Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Curved Lines

Playing with curvy lines using water-soluble graphite and green ink.

Monday, January 30, 2017

I Want

The journal is a powerful place to contemplate a wide variety of ideas, issues, and concerns.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Watercolor: Lifting

Lifting up wet watercolor with a paper towel, cotton swab, or plastic wrap is a great way to create texture.

Saturday, January 28, 2017


Freewriting, also known as stream of consciousness writing, is one of my favorite writing techniques. It has traditionally been used as a creative writing exercise, but it has value beyond writing. It's a great way to reflect on ideas, art, and motivations.

Using a water-soluble material when freewriting is a dynamic way to create a background for a page. By spreading the material with a little water, the words fade and create an nice visual texture.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Stick Figures

How many times have I heard someone brag about their lack of artistic skill by saying that they can't even draw stick figures. So, I drew some stick figures.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017


Quotes are always good for the journal. One of my all time favorites is by artist Chuck Close, and it has become sort of my motto. "Inspiration is for amateurs. The rest of us just show up and get to work."

Too many people think that visual art, or music, or literature, or any art form comes into being as a piece of divine inspiration. As if the heavens opened up and from out of the ether, the idea was formed. Unfortunately, throughout the centuries, artists, musicians, writers, and such have done little to dispel this notion.

It is simple, art is work, but it's easy to work when things are going well. When your in the mood, its easy to pick up the brush, the pen, the guitar. But if you only worked when you were inspired or when conditions were right, you wouldn't work much, and your art would not be very good. So, when you don't feel like working, you work. When you're tired and sick, you work. When there are a million things to do, you work. That is how you become an artist.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Cups, Glasses, and Bottles

Today it was a little observational drawing focusing on drawing some bottles, cups, and glasses. I didn't worry about drawing them with extreme accuracy, and I drew with several different media.

Monday, January 23, 2017


Exploring different types of markers.

Art and Soul: Portland 2017

Dave and I invite you to join us in Portland, OR in April where we'll be teaching at Art and Soul. We're excited to head back to the Pacific Northwest, and Portland is such a great place. We'll be teaching three classes the weekend of April 8th. Check out our schedule below.

April 8-9, 2017 - Art and Soul, Portland, OR
Click on the links for more info and the register.

We hope to see you in Portland!

And if you haven't checked out the promo video for our classes, watch it below.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Random Collage

I went through my stash of fodder and used quite a few random pieces to add to pages and to start a few more.

Saturday, January 21, 2017


Who says that scribbling is for little kids. Using a scribbly, stumbling motion with pen, pencil, or marker is a good way to fill in space, add texture, and bring emphasis to areas.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Watercolor Splatter

NAEA Convention - New York City

David and I are excited to be returning to New York City in March for the National Art Education Association's National Convention. Thousands of art educators from all over the world will invade NYC to be part of this annual event, and we'll be offering a variety of workshops and presentations. If you're an art educator, we invite you to join us for in the Big Apple at one of our talks or hands-on workshop.

Wednesday, March 1, 9:00 AM - 4:30 PM
Journal Fodder Junkies of the World Unite! (pre-conference workshop)
We kick off the convention with a full visual journal workshop, and we're taking it back old school with this. This was the very first workshop David and I presented and what eventually lead to our first book. The original workshop was only a two hour offering, pretty much just a tease of a workshop. Come a day early, and spend it with us as we delve into the visual journal. This is a paid workshop, and you will not be able to register on site. Make sure to register now so that you don't miss out.

Thursday March 2, 11:00 AM - 12:50 PM
Tet[R]ad: Draw and Play Here—Collaborative Journal Exchange Workshop (hands-on workshop)
Participants are introduced to the international visual journal exchange project known as tet[R]ad, and invited to get involved and engage in a one-to-one journal exchange with another art educator.

Thursday, March 2, 4:00 PM - 4:50 PM
Sketchbook and Visual Journal Speed Date
Bring your sketchbook or visual journal and participate in our interactive session – a speed date where we’ll share in a series of quick opportunities to learn and meet someone new!

Friday, March 3, 11:00 AM - 11:50 AM
Confronting the “One and Done” Mentality
Discover how to shift from “one and done” projects to a student-direct curriculum that honors personal goals, yet infuses the standards into a structure that allows for artistic inquiry.

Saturday, March 4, 1:30 PM - 3:20 PM
Priming the Pump: Creative Kick-Starters (hands-on workshop)
Using simple and fun activities and a few basic materials, this workshop focuses on engaging students in unique ways to generate original solutions to various artistic problems.

Make certain to register online to insure a spot in the hands-on workshops!

We hope to see you in New York!

Thursday, January 19, 2017


Reflecting on the notion of struggle today. I have often struggled with really putting myself out there, to really shine and call attention to myself. At times, I can be extremely shy and socially backward even though much of what I do is being up in front of groups of people. I sometimes wonder how much I am holding myself back.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Filling with Color

Using pens, markers, colored pencils, and other materials to fill in shapes because sometimes you just want to color.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Watercolor Pencil and Watercolor Paint

Watercolor pencil has to be one of my all time favorite materials to use in art in general, but I love using it in the journal. There are several basic techniques to use it, but one fun way is to use it with watercolor paint.

By coloring the pencil down first, and then painting a contrasting color over top of the pencil, you can get some gorgeous color blends and gradients.

This technique works on blank pages as well as a layer on top of other materials.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Folded Pages

The journal is a place where pages can interact with one another and create connection. Folding pages is a quick and easy way to link pages and create that interaction. Folds also create instant hidden spaces and areas of surprise.

Sunday, January 15, 2017


Just one photo today. Using the idea of memory, I spent quite a bit more time with the spread.