I have been experimenting in my mixed media art journal with making inkjet printings onto tracing paper and then affixing them in the journal with a gel medium.  I love the translucent yet textured effect.

TWP (c) 2011


The Sage smiled at me, her face shiny as a full moon.  Her features were smooth and without wrinkles, yet she seemed ancient, as if she had seen everything that had ever happened in the world from the beginning to the end of time.   Her gown was silk in shades of gray with a  shimmering trim of white brocade.  It was simple but elegant, just like herself.

“How are you today?” she asked in a solid low voice.

Whenever she asked me how I was, it was  not in that trite way you hear from friends or co-workers who really don’t care how you are.  She really meant it.  And even though she already knew better than I did myself how I was faring, she asked anyway.

“I’m fine,” I replied.

Her eyes twinkled.

“Really, I’m okay.”

Her gaze did not waver.

“Okay, everything sucks,” I finally admitted.

TWP (c) 2011

Photo:  I took this image through a backyard photograph when I was a kid.

Austin Kleon has a great post on his blog entitled How to Steal Like an Artist (and 9 other things nobody told me).  I resonated so much to his advice, that I decided to preserve his points in my art journal.   To read his full article, click here.


The woman heard a plop.  She opened her eyes a slit and peered at the spring-fed pond at the foot of the temple steps.  A large carp had leaped and snagged a careless mosquito.   Moments later the woman began to doze again,  but before she could fall completely to sleep, a gentle awareness pushed her to consciousness.  She opened her eyes and before her was the loveliest woman she had ever seen:  The Sage.

TWP, (c) 2011

This exercise is from SARK’s Juicy Pens, Thirsty Paper.  The exercise is to list the reasons that one does not feel like writing.  This spread was created in my tiny 6×4 “travel journal” during my lunch hour. I used water soluble oil pastels, a waterbrush, glued art paper, black Pitt pen, and gold gelly pen.

The text:

Here is a fast list of the reasons I don’t feel like writing:

I am afraid I will reveal too much of myself.

I am afraid I will offend someone.

I am afraid readers will think I am weird.

Too much effort — I’m tired and emotionally exhausted from the Crazy-Makers.

I don’t have anymore new ideas.

Do not let fear and the Crazy-Makers rule your life!

The Wayward Pelican (c) 2011

In twilight, though, the forest changed.  It softened, and the shadows that seemed so deep and threatening in the daylight, melded with the gentleness of the night.  They faded into the pale mists that rose from the carpet of dead leaves and needles that spread over the forest floor.   It was then that the forest came to life — not in the usual manner by nocturnal creatures and night birds– rather when small orbs of  golden light would flicker on and then silently float among the ferns and groves.

At first the woman thought the lights were fireflies until a temple groundskeeper informed her that the lights were the fay, the elemental beings that ruled the forest. Oddly, the woman was not surprised and took this information in stride.  The presence of the fay was merely one more strand woven into the magic of the place.

The woman loved the lingering twilight.  It was not the same in the place of her origin– a harsh desert land where the transition from day to night was sudden and to-the-point.   She had a hard time remembering from whence she came.  Her memory of her life before coming to the temple was fading.  Her recollections were becoming vague – like herself.  The woman chuckled.  One thing she did remember: someone had once called her “vague” and in need of a little character development.   “Give me a chance,” she had replied.


Click HERE to go to my garden blog for a new post.

Good morning. I am testing the WordPress iPhone/iPad app. I won’t usually be posting by way of mobile device because it takes too long for me to type with my thumbs, but I like to have this option available to me if need be. Thanks. End of test.

Here’s the next paragraph…. maybe someday I’ll get beyond description to an actual plot!


.………The woman opened her eyes and set them on the edge of the forest that ringed the temple grounds.  

 The trees in the sacred forest were taller than any she had ever seen – cypress, blue oaks, katsura with their short broad leaves, and the magnificent cedars, the lords of the forest.  Their top-most limbs were sweeping wildly in the brisk breeze, creating an undulating canopy.   

In the daylight hours, the woman often went walking short distances just beyond the edge of the temple complex, but only until the canopy pulled over her like a blanket and she felt an uneasiness rise up within her.  Often that uneasiness became a voice on the edge of her hearing that said “Tread with care the pathways here.”

Writer’s note:  I just noticed that I use the word “edge” three times in this short bit…. mmmmm…. I guess I’m a bit “edgy” these days.


Image and text,  Wayward Pelican (c) 2011

Altered Book Mixed Media

The text is:

The least explored realm of natural and human experience is not the depths of the oceans, or the vastness of the stars, or the mysteries of the human genome and the theories of quantum physics.  The least explored region is the complex hallways and chambers of the personal psyche.  There are a multitude of rooms, each unique and each relevant only to the individual who owns it.  It may take a lifetime to map this inner architecture and one may never finish.  Enter your room here.

The Wayward Pelican (c) 2011