Thursday, March 26, 2020

Keeping an Artist's Journal Class--FREE

Many years ago, I offered a very popular interactive class on the old Yahoogroups (remember them?) called Keeping an Artist's Journal--as you know, that's been a passion of mine for many years.

Afterward, I made it into a CD for those people who still wanted to take the course when it was no longer interactive--and then turned it into an e-Book!

Our artist's journals are so important...for our own sanity, for practice, for experiencing our world, for responding to our lives.

In these challenging times of a global pandemic, when we are all learning to cope with the sweeping changes in our lives and in our days, with fear or paranoia or growing courage, when we are seeing the heroism of so many helpers, when we see neighbor helping neighbor and many offers of assistance, help and encouragement (from a safe distance), when our healthcare workers, lab researchers, first responders, veterinarians, grocery store workers, janitors, farmers, truck drivers and so many more are on the front lines doing what must be done to keep us going, our journals will see us through.  Artists are good at coping, I do truly believe.

One of Mark Alan Anderson's delightful coping sketches...
 My friend Mark Alan Anderson is using his sketch journal to cope with self-isolation and the virus by using gentle humor at himself and his situation, as we covered in this post.  It's an inspiration!

Our journals and sketchbooks may also be historically important, as I've said elsewhere.  Think of diaries and journals an personal and tribal records through the ages that have let us have a window on peoples' lives...Anne Frank comes first to mind, but there are so many more!  Audubon, Lewis and Clark, early naturalists and explorers, herbalists, prisoners of war, Lakota winter counts, cave art (not all journals are on the pages of a book!)

Our journals can be a place to record the days, our ways of coping--recipes, observations, research, suggestions, garden plans, projects, a place to capture the images of our loved ones and pets and wildlife, birds at our feeders, imaginal journeys, meditations, prayers...

Write, draw, collage, paint, press flowers...whatever records your days, your's important, and, I believe, healing.

And so, to that end and to offer help and suggestions and hopefully downloadable eBook, Keeping an Artist's Journal, is free for the duration.

Please, help yourself.  

The free option is at the top of the page, please be sure to use that!  One lovely gentleman paid--and of course I refunded his money.  Free is free, for the duration of our shelter-in-place order.

(If you've been on this page before, you may need to hit "refresh" to see the free offering--I did.)

This is different from my mini-class by the same name, and from my book, Artist's Journal Workshop. There may be some of the same art, but with more step-by-step illustrations and a different format, as well as a number of "extras."

This journal was made from a single sheet of watercolor paper--instructions in the YouTube video below.

Or cut a long strip of paper and fold it zigzag-wise.  SIMPLE!  Sketch on both sides...

If you don't have a stack of empty journals or sketchbooks on hand, use what you have!  A stack of printer paper will do.  Cut up art paper and make your own--that can be as simple or as complex as you want.  Here's my little YouTube Video on the simplest kind you can make!

The zigzag or accordion-style journal above is the easiest...but so versatile!  Here's a YouTube video of my old California journal.

Feel free to share the book and save to your hard drive. We WILL get through these hard days.


  1. Thank you for your generosity - and for helping to keep us (somewhat) sane. Peace to you and yours.

  2. Thank you, Cathy! I just downloaded. I've read your book, too, and you are always inspiring. Stay safe and keep sketching!


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