In the Presence of a Tree


I sat in the presence of a tree today
to lean in, to listen to
what it has to say.

To draw from its lines a story of the tree
with pen and brush in hand,
my sketchbook on my knee.

It offered me a leaf, with limb bent low,
and dindled and quivered
glad for me to know.

It drew itself up tall, proud against the sky.
Then settled for the portrait
breathing out a sigh.

My lines caress its roots, mark each scar around the trunk.
Then out on limby ledges,
each a mystery to debunk.

I hear the breeze of ages past, dance from leaf to leaf.
My pen records the music
on a bark-made sheaf.



I hope you get to sit in the presence of a tree today!

(The above is today’s drawing for #inktober!)

InkTober UnderWay

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#InkTober is proving to be such fun for me! I saw that it was coming up a few days before October began from Liz Steele’s Instagram feed. I thought it would be a great opportunity to just play with ink of all kinds…pens, washes, even a splash of color if I wanted to. I got a head start on things, warming up as it were, getting set with some of my favorite tools for drawing.

I try to show in the photo of each drawing, what I have used to make it. Thus far my go-to is a Faber Castell Brush Pen, an Artist’s Loft .05 Fine Liner Pen, a black watercolor crayon and a water brush. The crayon is only used as ink, activated by swiping the water brush on the tip before applying to the page. Really totally fun!!

I am keeping open to the possibility of color, as October should begin to show some color around our area soon. But thus far, I am so loving the black of ink on white paper. Love, love, LOVE it!!

Every now and then I’m posting some thoughts over on A Pilgrim’s Draw. Do follow along there as well as Instagram for my inky journey through October.

And seriously…you should join in, if you haven’t already!! Jake Parker, the initiator of #InkTober says you can do the marathon (all 31 days), the half-marathon (every other day) or any combo you like. He even offers prompts to guide you should you wish to do that.

I just like the simplicity of one (or more:) drawings a day in ink. Just ink. 🙂

Artfully yours,


P.S. If you haven’t heard of Liz Steele, you should check out her website and classes she offers! She is a true powerhouse for watercolor sketching as well as perspective in drawing architecture!



I’ve been enjoying my Sheaffer Calligraphy Pen lately. It’s nice to have one simple tool that combines line with wash. The only other thing you need with the pen is a water brush. I got a set of these calligraphy pens when I was a young girl (age 9 or 10 maybe?) and these are the SAME pens I have used since then. When my children were wee tiny I had a calligraphy business where I would calligraphy names and addresses on wedding invitations. I would also calligraphy poems and the like for folks who wanted that. Nowadays I enjoy drawing with these pens due to the NON waterproof  ink in the cartridge. The above is a recent drawing made at Eclection, downtown Kernersville,  on a Friday morning. I’m having to suspend my Friday drawing times due to working at my school to get ready for our Art Show. But I’m looking forward to returning in late February!




Here are few other Sheaffer Calligraphy Pen drawings. You simply draw with the pen and then take the water brush to any area you want to fill in. It works best to touch the brush to a line and drag the ink where you want it to go.  I will also sometimes touch the water brush to a drawn line, pick up the brush, and then move to another area to draw with the ink I’ve picked up on the brush. An example of this are the rectangle boxes in the background of THE FIRST DRAWING ABOVE, to denote all the paintings hanging there. I didn’t want a defined line, as it would compete with all the other lines. Just a hint of ink to give you the impression. In this last drawing right here, instead of going in with a water brush, I used watercolor on a regular brush to combine with the ink.

**Note: A light touch is needed here, as the ink can get away from you and flow into places you really don’t want it to. Start off lightly. Then go more bold as you get the hang of it. In this recent post the ink nearly got away from me, but I went in to redefine some of the lines with a Bic pen after it had dried. The watery black ink gave quite the impression of a dark, winter landscape. And, BTW, you don’t need a Sheaffer Pen for this…any water soluble ink pen will do! Have fun!

***Another note: My Drawing Your Life Mini Lessons have been getting a large amount of traffic lately. Thank you! It makes me very glad to think that they are helpful! As I said in the introduction, these are less about the how-to of drawing in a sketchbook, and more of the why, what for, and how-to-keep-going bit of chronicling your life in lines, paint or collage or ALL of it!

****And yet another note 😉 : Lest you think my drawing skills were off-kilter in the first drawing above, the mannequin really was leaning like that!! My fellow draw-er and friend, Debbie, can attest to that! Ha! Ha!