Journaling with Lisa Sonora

I am a huge fan of Lisa Sonora and her work. Picking up her book The Creative Entrepreneur changed my life. It was the first time I understood that I could turn what I loved doing into a sustainable way of life. What a journey I have been on since then! 

And speaking of journeys, each year Lisa also generously creates a set of journaling prompts which she shares for free! This is my 4th year working with them, and every year my experience gets richer! This year I am a bit behind as our youngest has been receiving treatment at the Cleveland Clinic and life has been a bit chaotic, but I have been working on the prompts in the hotel. Here’s a glimpse at my journey so far this year, once again I decided to use my page meditation method to work through my ideas.

I have a lot coming up in the next month, so I am looking forward to a week at home getting caught up with housework and grading for my students, and a little studio time too I hope! 

I’m planning to scan some of these and put them in my redbubble portfolio if anyone is interested in prints. And if you want to join the thousands who are journaling with Lisa Sonora you can find more about the project here.


I have been slowly working my way through another 30 day journal project from the wonderful Lisa Sonora. I have received some wonderful feedback from other artists online, and so in the spirit of paying it forward I am offering a free download of one of the images from this series. I will be loading other similar images into my Fine Art America account as I scan and edit them, in case you loved one of the others and would like to purchase one.


To get a FREE printable jpeg or pdf of this image fill out this form and I will email you the file. Feel free to share!



end of another semester

I had hoped to post more often, but life has been getting in the way at lot. The end of the academic year is always busy, lots of papers and exams to mark, wrapping up, longing for it to be summer already. But this year has been additionally complicated by a sudden illness, and a trip to the hospital. Although I am fine now the 5 days I missed laying around in bed have really thrown me for a loop.

Things are gently ticking along both in and on the studio, which is being renovated right now. After 20+ years of working in a largely unfinished space, my long suffering hubby is helping me frame out some walls and hang sheetrock. This was largely motivated by my decision to be a part of an open studio tour at the end of May. Here’s a picture of my lovely bright space now shaping up, this was taken a few weeks ago, so we are further alongand should be at least halfway done by the time the tour comes along. In the meantime every previously empty space in the house is filled up with my relocated art supplies while we work!


It is hard at this point in the year to find long blocks of time to work on anything but I am still keeping up with my weekly color me positive journal page, and because these meditative pages are so relaxing for me I am also adding a daily quote related challenge for the month of May. I realised I have been doing these blackout style pages for over a decade now as part of my daily studio practise. Here’s a blast from the past

morris 1

Here are a few new images to enjoy.

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This weekend I will be at an Antique Book and Paper show – next weekend our youngest graduates from college and then I Have to deal with Finals for my own students. AND then I have to really buckle down to get ready for the open studio tour and summer festival season. And I REALLY hope a more regular blogging schedule. It may remain a bit quiet here for the next couple of weeks, but please stay tuned.


not much studio time…

Those of you who have been reading my blog for a while know that I am the co-founder/creative director of a women’s art biennial. Last week I was busy installing the huge show across two galleries, and Friday we had another amazing opening which was well attended. Of course while that is really fun it does keep me out of the studio, especially as my students are also expecting me to say something intelligble during lectures! I have been trying to stay on track with my blackout journaling project, and do a little catching up to the group. I find the blackout pages are really relaxing when I am stressed. Here’s one I really like from last week. I started out drawing a path to my dreams, but then it sort of looked like a tail to me, so I made it into a dragon instead. I am loving adding the coloured pencil to these pages too. Maybe they are not works of art, but they are so much FUN! This is not a great picture – I just snapped it quickly with my phone, but I hope you enjoy it. I think it looks a bit like a story book illustration.


A little process tutorial

I thought I would share a step by step of my page meditation process for the owl page. As each page is different, this isn’t really a tutorial, more a look behind the scenes.
Step one for me is to hold an idea or thought in my mind and then wait to see what words float up from the page. This is the meditation. Just being with my own thoughts, waiting for what each page has to offer.


The prompt for this week’s journal page was to incorporate an animal. So I added a very simple stylized drawing of an owl, my spirit animal. Solitary, thinks too much.


Then I start blacking out the words I am not using. This goes slowly if I am incorporating a picture as I decide on the fly where the divisions go between areas.


I decided the owl needed to look a little more spunky so I added some spiky hair/feathers. I gave the owl hybrid human/owl eyes.
So here is the page completely blacked out. Next step for me is to add in white doodles and details. I use sharpies to black out and white gel pens to doodle over the top.


Here I have added details to the eyes and feathers. Again, this is not a planned process, I just try to feel what the image needs as I go along.




The last step is usually a quote stamped on. I love the quirkiness of hand stamped text.


I am enjoying the challenge of using only really limited materials to work with the journal prompts.
Here are two more catch up pages I finished up since my last post.


Thanks for visiting!