An Interlude: Writing, Travelling, Grieving

The winter has passed in a most hasty way here at Paper Blogging. First an interlude researching and completing projects for marvelous writing instructor, Eva Shaw. Then preliminary work on a creative non-fiction book which now occupies about a third of my time and will for the year ahead.

But by far the greatest amount of time has been spent travelling, sketching, and grieving the unexpected loss of a family member. I'm thankful for the miles covered, much kindness experienced, and the sweet balm that comes when you sit with those you love. Especially when you sit and sketch together.

I'm thankful for beauty found in unexpected places. Walks on the beach, rain-splattered pebbles, tidepools with children, bald eagle sightings daily, and a new palette of watercolors. Some images are below.

I'm also thankful for artist Christopher Stott whose stunning realism in oils now graces the header image of Paper Blogging's homepage. I'm thankful for his permission to use the painting, which has inspired me to redesign the color scheme here, and which depicts my favorite typewriter, the Smith-Corona Silent-Super of mid 50s vintage. More on that, and on how you can decide on the perfect typewriter for you, in a post to come.

And I'm thankful for the recent chance to travel to Maryland and spend three days learning from brilliant nature journaler John Muir Laws. Come with us on an early morning frosty nature walk in pictures in an upcoming post. He showed me first hand the importance of asking questions and being comfortable without a quick answer. And a million thoughts on brain study and creativity. The belief that drawing is in you. You'll be hearing plenty of encouragement along those lines in posts to come.

So now I am sitting at my desk contemplating piles of work, enjoying the prospect of spring, once nor'easter season is done in Boston, and pulling together some delightful material for you, dear patient Paper Blogging reader.

Stay tuned.

 Pebbles from a walk in January and a clogged brush pen ... far from Boston.

A Journey to Sit and Grieve

There is so much I could say about the healing power of art. But the most important thing is not your skill level but just doing the art.

The beneficial effects of creating aren't dependent on a person's skill or talents. "It's the process, not the product," says Megan Carleton, an art therapist at Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital.

Click any image to open as a slideshow.

“Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.”
— Pablo Picasso