Wednesday, September 30, 2009

one-line drawings

Here is a page from my sketchbook of drawings made from one continuous line:

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The World of William Steig, Lee Lorenz w/intro by John Updike

5 stars
Lorenz, a former art and cartoon editor for The New Yorker, friend, and thoughtful critic, has pulled together a wonderful invitation to Steig's life and work. The well-written book was compiled while Steig was in his 90s and follows a chronological approach to tbe production of his art. Filled with Steig's whimsical and delightful drawings this made for a very fun read.

click here for another recent Steig read

Monday, September 28, 2009

"Good Girl"

Above is my pen & ink drawing that emerged from an illustrative challenge I came across at Art Spark Theater. The picture below was the prompt that was given. Here is a link to the challenge - it was a lot of fun.

See other submissions by clicking here and checking out the side links during October

Sunday, September 27, 2009

William Steig

"Internally, everyone functions like an artist, constantly creating mental pictures of his moving, changing whereabouts. These pictures are not 'photographic' but 'abstract,' the emphasis being on movement, direction, shape, texture, and so forth - the feel of things. This mental picture is a practical necessity of our everyday lives. The act of ardent spectator re-creates the painting, following the same paths of energy laid down by the artist. He experiences again what the artist experienced in making the painting: movement, emotion, glory, and man's boundless creative power and wonder - which is respect for life."

from an article entitled, "Notes on Art"

For more on Steig see this previous post and click on the link about his recently toured exhibit...

Thursday, September 24, 2009

"May Your Roots Go Deep & Branches Wide"

Above is a card I made for some friends who are getting married this weekend.

pen & ink drawing with watercolor pencils (9" x 12")

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


The child that comes from the marriage of observation and discipline.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


Such a small word and yet it carries the testimony of the Christian message.

"What we do for God is less important than what we do with him." ~ Skye Jethani

On Sunday, Skye Jethani gave a sermon about being with God - I highly recommend listening to it. You can get a brief synopsis at the link below and also find an audio link to the message.

click here for Skye's thoughts and sermon on being "with" God

The Art of William Steig, Claudia J. Nahson

4.5 stars
Reading this book has been an inspiration. I love Steig's genius and beautifully and simply crafted pen and ink drawings. Truly a style all his own - a modern day master of the cartoon and yet he took the genre to a whole new level as an artist for The New Yorker. Also a much admired children's book author (Sylvester and The Magic Pebble being my personal favorite - see below). This book was published in conjunction with the exhibition From The New Yorker to Shrek: The Art of William Steig organized by the Jewish Museum and presented from November 4, 2007, to March 16, 2008. Included alongside the many reproductions are some intimate accounts of his work and life from those who knew him well, including his wife and daughter.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Bill Peet: An Autobiography

5 stars
I have always loved Bill Peet's children's books and this autobiography had all that I had enjoyed in those volumes; complete with page after page of Peet's fun drawings and a story filled with challenge, loss, excitement, and adventure. Following his childhood love of drawing, Peet takes the reader through the story of his life as an illustrator while he illustrates his story. Particularly interesting is his work with Disney. A strength of the book is Peet's willingness to not skirt the hardships he experienced and yet his ability to do it in a way appropriate for children. This was a very fun read - a Caldecott Honor Book.

Sunday, September 20, 2009


Photo of flowers in my garden by Tim Johnson.

George MacDonald: An Anthology: 365 Readings, ed. by C.S. Lewis

4 stars
A volume of Lewis' favorite MacDonald quotations. I used this as a devotional read over the last few months. An excellent book for those who love good quotes.

Saturday, September 19, 2009


The spring of water from which we fill our canteen.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

C.S. Lewis

"Never commit your virtue or your happiness to the future. Happy work is best done by the man who takes his long term plans somewhat lightly and works from moment to moment, "As to the Lord." It is only our daily bread that we are encouraged to ask for. The present is the only time in which any duty can be done or any grace received."

from The Weight Of Glory

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


"Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life."

Monday, September 14, 2009

Chinese Proverb

"It's ok to remove a fly from a friend's forehead, but don't use a hatchet."

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Helen Keller

"We walked down the path to the well-house, attracted by the fragrance of the honeysuckle with which it was covered. Some one was drawing water and my teacher placed my hand under the spout. As the cool stream gushed over one hand she spelled into the other the word water, first slowly, then rapidly. I stood still, my whole attention fixed upon the motions of her fingers. Suddenly I felt a misty consciousness as of something forgotten—a thrill of returning thought; and somehow the mystery of language was revealed to me. I knew then that "w-a-t-e-r" meant the wonderful cool something that was flowing over my hand. That living word awakened my soul, gave it light, hope, joy, set it free! There were barriers still, it is true, but barriers that could in time be swept away. I left the well-house eager to learn. Everything had a name, and each name gave birth to a new thought. As we returned to the house every object which I touched seemed to quiver with life."

from The Story of My Life, chpt. four

Friday, September 11, 2009

John Gardner

"“Long sentences, one soon learns—and I mean not fake long sentences, wherein comas, semicolons, and colons could be changed into periods with no loss of emotional power or intellectual coherence, but real sentences—can be of many kinds, each with its own unique effects. The sentence may be propelled by some driving, hysterical emotion, like William Faulkner’s long sentence in the occasionally included introduction to The Sound and the Fury, in which the town librarian finds Caddy's picture in a magazine, closes the library, and rushes with the picture, her wits flying and her heart wildly pounding, to Jason's store; or the sentence may be kept soft—that is, held back from the relief of a final close, a full stop for breath, in other words, a period—by some neurotic sense of hesitation in the character whose troubled mental processes the sentence is designed to reflect—some intelligent middle-aged housewife, for example, who has read about women’s liberation in her magazines and feels an increasingly anxious inclination, hedged in by doubts and on-the-other-hands, to take a nightschool course—one in flower-arranging, or ceramics, or self awareness—perhaps telling her domineering mother and husband what she’s doing and then again perhaps not—though money will be a problem if she takes the course secretly: She has only her household and grocery allowance—and there are always the children, though Mark (let us call him) might possibly be talked into staying after school Thursday nights to play basketball, and Daniel, on the other hand…but would Daniel even miss her if she went out, in fact?—glued every night to the TV in his room, smoking (if that’s what the smell is) pot?—but it would be risky, no doubt of it; if they found her out—Harold and her mother—there would be scenes, tiresome dramas; better to find some more foolproof plan…or the sentence many be kept going by the complexity of its thought, or by the ornateness of its imagery, or by the “sheer plod” of the drudge it illustrates, or by some other cause, or motor, before at last it quits.

Short sentences give other effects. Also sentence fragments. They can be trenchant, punchy. They can suggest weariness. They can increase the drabness of a drab scene. Used for an unworthy reason, as here, they can be boring.

Between these extremes, the endless sentence and the very short sentence, lies a world of variation, a world every writer must eventually explore."

from The Art of Fiction: Notes on Craft for Young Writers, p. 148-149


Although a noun, it functions as a verb.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Mary Oliver

"Every day I walk out into the world / to be dazzled, then to be reflective."

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Chilled Tenderloin w/ Horseradish Cucumber Sauce (w/ side of Butternut Squash & Fresh Berries)

Here was last night's took a fantastic steak and brought in a new and delightful taste...

INGREDIENTS - makes 8 servings
a 3-3 1/2 pound beef tenderloin, at room temperature
salt & freshly ground pepper
Garnish: fresh parslet sprig

Horseradish Cucumber Sauce:
1 cucumber, peeled, seeded, and finely diced (about 3/4 cup)
3/4 cup sour cream
3 tablespoons drained prepared horseradish
1 teaspoon white whine vinegar
2 teaspoons minced, stemmed fresh tarragon
salt & freshly ground pepper

Preheat oven to 500 degrees. Grease roasting pan. Season beef with salt and pepper to taste and place in prepared pan. Roast, in middle of oven, 25-30 minutes, or until meat thermometer registers 135-140 degrees for medium-rare or to desired degree of doneness. Remove from oven and cool to room temperature. Slice crosswise into 1/2-inch slices. Arrange slices on platter and garnish with parsley sprigs. (May prepare up to 2 days in advance. Wrap tightly in foil and chill).

Horseradish Cucumber Sauce
In medium bowl, combine cucumber, sour cream, horseradish, vinegar, tarragon, and salt and pepper to taste. Cover and chill 2 hours or up to 24 hours. Transfer to serving dish.

Butternut Squash - 6 servings
2 pounds of butternut squash
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons butter

Halve the squash lengthwise; remove seeds. Place in baking dish, cut side down; add 1 inch of water. Bake in over at 350 degrees for 35-45 minutes or until fork-tender; drain; cool slightly. With spoon, scoop out pulp into large bowl; with mixer at low speed, beat squash with salt and remaining ingredients until smooth.

Monday, September 7, 2009

A Spanish Proverb

"God writes straight with crooked lines."

Sunday, September 6, 2009

"The Traveling Companion" by Hans Christian Andersen

5 stars
This short fairy tale written in 1835 is classic Andersen. The master tale-spinner has woven a story where the realities of kindness win out in a world of evil.

Here's a favorite quote from the story:
"Johannes and his friend stopped at an inn outside the walls because they wanted to wash and change their clothes before entering the city. The innkeeper told them that the king was a very kind and friendly man who never did anyone any harm, but what a daughter he had! Oh, God preserve us, she was a horrible princess! Oh, she was beautiful enough. There was no one lovelier to look at; but what good was that when she was as cruel and wicked as any witch, and had already caused the death of many a fine prince..."

i.e. not all that glitters is gold...

Read the complete tale here

George MacDonald

"Let me, if I may, be ever welcomed to my room in winter by a glowing hearth, in summer by a vase of flowers; if I may not, let me think how nice they would be, and bury myself in my work. I do not think that the road to contentment lies in despising what we have not got. Let us acknowledge all good, all delight that the world holds, and be content without it."

from George MacDonald: An Anthology - 365 Readings, ed. C.S. Lewis (#274 p. 131)

George Eliot

"It is never too late to be what you might have been."

Saturday, September 5, 2009

The Patchwork Girl of Oz, L. Frank Baum

4 stars
Another fun tale from Baum's Oz series - this is book seven and brings yet another adventure with new characters while tracking with favorites from the past stories. The journey motif is again followed and makes for an enjoyable read.

Here's a favorite quote from chapter twenty-three of the story where the Patchwork girl is listening to the Chief of the Horners (who spend their time decorating the insides of their homes and neglecting the outside appearance):
"Outside? Who cares for the outside of anything?" asked the Chief. "We Horners don't live on the outside of our homes; we live inside. Many people are like those stupid Hoppers [a neighboring group they are warring with], who love to make an outside show. I suppose you strangers thought their city more beautiful than ours, because you judged from appearances and they have handsome marble houses and marble streets; but if you entered one of their stiff dwellings you would find it bare and uncomfortable, as all their show is on the outside. They have an idea that what is not seen by others is not important, but with us the rooms we live in are our chief delight and care, and we pay no attention to outside show."


Today The Quotidian Journal turns one...I set out to faithfully post various thoughts for a year and today marks the 366th post. Looking back it seems like a chronicle of where I have been. This season of intentionality has proved beneficial - in it I again saw the value of paying attention to the days we wander through - the thoughts we think and the words we read...

Friday, September 4, 2009


In the words of my 9 year old, "I'm addicted to humans."

Thursday, September 3, 2009


Here's how you know human nature has not changed much over 2000 years:

Roman graffiti found in Pompeii (which was destroyed when Mt. Vesuvius erupted in 79 A.D.)

1) "Jarinus, you live here!" (written in the bathhouse)
2) "Celadus the Thraex makes the girls sigh!" (written in the barracks of the gladiators)

from 500 Things To Know About The Ancient World

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Haiku XXX

Embers of a fire—
warmth within this charcoal day.
A red-winged blackbird.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009


There are two ways to enter this condition of the soul: 1) to be in overwhelming darkness or 2) to be in overwhelming light.