On 01.02.02, I was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer. Too late for surgery, I had chemotherapy, which failed. In May the chemotherapy was changed and I was soon in remission which was celebrated and welcome and lasted nine years - until October 2011. There was progression in 2011 so more treatment was indicated and I am now back in partial remission. But I'm not only a cancer patient - I also enjoy my family, walk my dogs and am learning to draw and paint. Life is good!

Friday, February 15, 2008

May I read your journal?

Call me voyeuristic, but I love to read other people's journals. For me this week, it was so fun to nonstop read bits of 30+ journals, all illustrated and written in various styles. Jennifer New has put together a lovely compilation of part sketchbook/part diary from many walks of life, each example exquisite as it stands, however different from the ones that precede and follow it.

At Juvenile Hall this week I was asking the girls if they keep journals. Many said they used to but only a couple still do. We make art journals every week there, always adding pages that are somehow related to the day's topic. Since I hoped to add journaling as a tool they can use to reduce stress and encourage insight, I held up two of my own journals. One, I said, is all words. I have about 50 of those. The other one is a combination of words and drawings and I flipped through the pages to demonstrate.

The girls were attentive, a little surprised, perhaps, that an adult would trust them with something so personal, but they immediately became more talkative about their journaling experiences and got busy with the pages they wanted to add in the simple ones we work on each session.

This afternoon, I took a few minutes to sketch my sleeping dog, Beulie, in a journal of my own.


  1. Very sweet sketches of your dog. What you are doing for those kids is just awesome. They will carry your lessons with them for a long time, I am sure.

  2. Hi Ann -- Thank you so much for your comments. - Barbara

  3. Hi Barbara,

    Yes, I first scanned the illustration and then "painted it in Photoshop. I'm glad you like it. I love your dog illustrations. It's great to draw them while they are sleeping. Sadly, we lost our Blue in 2006 and still miss him dearly.


  4. Barbara - I like your pages - I am trying (for the most part) in this class to get everything into one book with the exception of my Camp Sparky stuff. Maybe my nature journal because I clip things out. So I appreciate your comments too. Did you use the pan pastels on the dog page?


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