Drawing, painting, planning

Some of the visual journal pieces I do, I do in an hour or so.  Some, though, take days or weeks.  It depends on how the idea develops.  Sometimes, I need to sketch something quick and jot down a thought I may paint later.

Elephant ears in pall point pen

Other times I have a story to tell.


And sometimes, what I think is going to be a sketch becomes a study for a larger painting.   This one I’ve started over a month ago, after the children were separated  from their families as the Mexican border.  The next day, by chance, in the lobby of the Crosstown concourse, there was a photography exhibit put on by World Refugee Memphis, showing successful integration of refugee families into American culture.  I began a sketch, then left it alone, then inked it in, then left it alone.  Today I painted it.

Refugee girl, ink and watercolor

I may use it later in my Saints Among Us series:

St Foster Keeper of Stolen Wisdom
remember the future
Remember the Future
Holding Space

Because I keep the visual journal, I don’t lose ideas.  It may take months to get around to finishing them, but art can be a slow process.  The journals though fill up quickly, and that gives me a sense of accomplishment if I get mired in depression.  It also greatly improves my chance of having a successful painting later.  It helps me practice, find new ways of using color, and it helps me remember so much I’d otherwise lose sight of.


Thanks for reading my post.  If you like it share it.  If you find a typo, please let me know and I’ll send you a thank-you postcard.  

You can get prints and cards of some of my work on Redbubble.  They also print my work on lots of other items, including phone skins, tote bags, shirts and journals:


If you’d like to support my art and writing, please consider becoming a donor on Patreon.  If I get enough supporters, I can make this blog ad-free!  Here’s a link to my Patreon page:


If you prefer to make a one time donation, you can do so at paypal.com  Please email me at joyzmailbox@gmail.com if you’d like details.



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