Friday, August 21, 2015


Do you love the feel of paper?

I know I do.

My one-day class with Sharon Zeugin, Calligraphy on the Go, at the Passionate Pen, was a technique- and inspiration-filled day using pen and paper. I brought with me some of my favorite pens to use: Pentel's Tradio Stylus, Zig's Cocoiro Letter Pen, several of Pilot's Parallel Pens in different sizes, and a Rotring Art Pen. The choice of paper was important too. I packed a Strathmore drawing pad as well as some sheets of Arches Wove. The Strathmore is a good quality drawing paper, but the Arches has a deeper feel. It is often used for printing because of its softness, but it is good for drawing and calligraphy too.

I brought along a fine point Sharpie, which is one of the few pens that I have that is waterproof. The other pens, when wet, create interesting washes that sometimes change color from black to brown or blue.  

Our class practiced gesture and contour drawings, skills I'd learned in high school. Either type of drawing is a good way to understand the form of something while drawing.

We drew rock walls. 

We went outside and sketched flowers in the garden. 

We washed water over the inks to see what would happen.

When the day was over, we were charged to go out and sketch and write about what we saw. I have plenty of sketchbooks filled with drawings and doodles. I have plenty of notebooks full of writing. Now I want to combine the two. I want to create an artist journal where not only am I sketching in the moment, but writing down my thoughts as they occur. I want each page of my journal to show more of a designed intent, rather than random wanderings (though that can be fun too).

That evening as I sat at a restaurant in Petaluma (see below for the list of my food finds in Petaluma) and drew the view of the old mill buildings as well as the herbs on my table and the seagulls looking for food.

A bike was propped up against a wall.

I was using a small booklet that I keep in my purse. The hard-finished paper accepts ink well without any feathering along the lines.

Once I was home, I began sorting through my stacks of papers that I've kept because "I knew they will be useful someday." I came across a small pile of stationery with the letterhead of my father's employer on it. My dad had attached postcards of antique cars to the papers, which he used for reference in his work.The paper is old and brown around the edges. It smells slightly musty. The rubber cement had long given up its hold on the cards, leaving the paper with the residue of glue swirls on them. I folded the papers in half, made a cover, and sewed the papers together as a sketchbook. 

The glue swirls on my father's stationery

The cover for my new sketchbook with a coloring book design

What a treat it will be to use papers that my dad had used. His collection brings back memories of sitting in his studio making drawings while he was working.

Check out Sharon Zeugin at

Good Eats in Petaluma. Petaluma is another California food haven:

Brixx's Pizzeria:
Not your ordinary pizza place. Sit outside for great summer evenings.
Wild Goat Bistro:  Local produce, fresh ingredients, right next to the Petaluma River
Graffiti:  Another restaurant next to the river with yummy food!


  1. I am missing a puzzle piece. Did I forget or ever know who your dad is? Apparently he is an artist. Pease forgive me for not knowing.

    1. You are forgiven. Both my parents were artists. They met at Disney Studios. My mom stopped working to raise three girls. My dad went on to draw the Bugs Bunny comic strip for 30 years.


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