A pencil box. Regarded with reverence.


Go to:


My father’s last pencil box.  It will remain untouched.  It contains his favorite drawing tools like the black pencil crayon and his instant coffee spoon and his rolled up hand towel that he used to brush eraser bits away.

I went into Staples today and felt the weight of missing Dad.  He and I loved shopping for stationary together.

I miss our coffee dates and his to-do lists, but I am ready for the next chapter.  Ready to keep going.

See also:

Life has no opposite

Healing sock monkey watching over Dad

Document it.  All of it.

We’ve become a band of gypsies

Dad’s inner work

Dad’s last day.

Drawn Together

Love letter to my son (August 1987)

I found out I was pregnant with my son, Julian, on May 20, 1987.  You gotta love journals with their details.  I was 25 when I wrote and drew these images in my journal on August 10, 1987.  I addressed every entry after that to the baby until he was born.  I recall my daughter singing to my belly every day.

I’m a mother of two!  Contemplating Anna’s sisterhood…

Ultrasound today and we met BABY!  Just one baby!  2 legs, 2 arms, a spine, a head, a stomach, a bladder, an umbilical cord and a beating heart!  You kicked.  You sucked your thumb?  You held your arm behind your head.  I cried.  It was an overwhelming and wonderful experience.  It is so amazing.


Also see Love Letter to My Daughter

Love letter to my daughter (March 1985)

I was about to turn 23 when I drew and wrote this in my journal 26 years ago.  I was 4.5 months pregnant with my daughter.  I always referred to her as Felix.  It wasn’t until the moment she was born and I saw her, that I yelled out, ANNA!  I “recognized” her immediately.

March 1985

Dear Felix,

I don’t know how else to communicate with you… I want to talk to you, touch you, hold you.  I feel like I’m enclosed in a womb also.  Why else would I rather sit here with you, than to pick up the phone and call old friends?  Do I want them to share this experience with me?  Does pregnancy have to mean…

Drawing this has made me realize that it is not only you Felix, who is crouched in the fetal position in a warm and isolated environment.  I feel like I have drawn myself rather than my baby.  Then again you are me… Can you read my thoughts, Felix?

Why do I not have the energy to seek out other friends?  I guess my gestation period isn’t over yet.

Felix… I will always be your oasis of warmth, love, peace.

Birth will be a coming out for [me]… My desire to discover all that life has to offer will be revitalized.  Pregnancy is so incredible that the wonder over all the processes going on in my body overrides other interests.  Will the opening of the cervix set me “free” as it will set you free, Felix?  We are free already, but we must keep protected and warm.

… Is it possible for love to keep getting stronger and stronger?  Yes, it is.  “God natt, min ängel.”

PS.  Please be healthy.  I hope my selfish ways haven’t harmed you.  I saw death at the cancer clinic today [checkups after treatment].  You in my belly got me through it.  But I think I will cry now.

And thou shalt in thy daughter see,
This picture, once, resembled thee.
~Ambrose Philips

Also see Love Letter to My Son

She was amazing- my host @RebeccaRaw (5 min portrait no. 32)

I will be posting in detail all about last night’s art event all this weekend, but right now I have to thank Rebecca Rawlinson for making it an event of a lifetime!  To have such support, love and leadership from someone so incredible took the pressure off me and let me enjoy the night fully and allowed me to facilitate what was essentially an art therapy session on steroids!

Rebecca worked the room like magic.  Those who met her for the first time, fell in love.  For the rest of us, we fell in love all over again!

I have a portrait of Rebecca (in oil) to finish, started last night (just needs some finessing), and will share that when done.  But to debrief the night for myself I just had to do a 5 min sketch right now (in pencil in the back of an index card).  I call it Rebecca as California teen.


When anxiety hits- pick up a pencil… draw what you like #arttherapy

Oh my- anxious evening… my head swims with to-dos and self-criticism.  So before I do anything more, I will pause and simply draw.  Draw what I love, and for those of you that know me, you know that means: SOCK MONKEYS.  My daughter, Anna, gave me this delightful book for Christmas: SOCK MONKEY (Publisher teNeues)

By coincidence, my friend Lynn gave me the corresponding calendar!

In the spirit of Lynda Barry, I’ll draw on lined paper… I wish I had yellow- but oh well!  5-10 minutes, 6B pencil…

I believe this was the monkey Anna thought looked like me...

For a few minutes, I stopped thinking… so success.  I also watched CUTE WITH CHRIS while drawing… highly recommend it! 🙂

If you pick up a pencil and put it to paper to quell anxiety, share with me!  I’ll post!

5minute6Bpencilanderaser backofanindexcard portrait no.26- @Kris_Carr!

UPDATE JAN 15, 2011! CONGRATS KRIS on the launch of your new book:

There are people in our lives that can say just what we need to hear when we need to hear it… One of those people, for me, is Kris Carr.  Kris Carr is my role model/mentor and her books and DVD got me through many rough moments as I took care of my mom during her battle with pancreatic cancer.

E.g. a quote from my overly-post-it-noted-well-loved copy of Crazy Sexy Cancer Tips- more rebellion and fire for your healing journey (containing-my last-card-to-mom-and-a-fave-photo-of-my-kids-ie.-her-grandkids):

Learn to live with a Stage IV cancer?  How?  How could I learn to live with cancer without thinking of dying every day?  That’s when a lightbulb blazed on.  To move through the fear, I had to change my focus and turn to the one thing that had always saved me in hard times: creativity. (p.3)

This is universal for any issue at any time.  Her work still nourishes me.  E.g. DEC 23 tweet:

Some days (actually sometimes several times a day) I battle fear- fear of the future, fear of money (lack thereof), fear of self-promotion, blah blah blah.  But I look at a page in Kris’s book or view her documentary or visit her blog etc and will find something to lift me and bring me back to the moment.  I ADORE this young woman.  Thank you, Kris!

Visit her site at http://crazysexylife.com/


And a sock monkey is seen on page 198 Crazy Sexy Cancer Tips- more rebellion and fire for your healing journey!