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September 2013



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Danny Gregory's New Book

This is one of my contributions to Danny's new book, which he's written about here: http://www.dannygregory.com/2007/09/an_illustrated.php (Of course I missed that at the time, since he posted it on our wedding day!  We had a few other things going on...)

I'm delighted to be part of this project, and I can't wait to see all of the other artists' work...the book is called An Illustrated Life: Drawing inspiration from the private sketchbooks of artists, illustrators and designers, and from the samples I've seen it's going to be a true inspiration and a real treasure!

Actually during the process of collecting art and interviewing all of us, Danny kindly shared pages and pages of things that were coming in...WOW. That really got my creative juices flowing, as I'm sure he knew!

Keeping a journal has been an ongoing part of my life for 30 years and more...all sorts of journals, from a simple garden journal to a record of my spiritual journey to a diary to the kind of illustrated journal I keep now...I believe very strongly that it helps keep me sane, or what passes for it. If I can respond to what is Out There, if I can interact with it, if I can STOP, and see, and try to catch a bit of my response...it's essential for my wellbeing.

My sketches take me back to a moment in time...whether beautiful, calm, nervous, touching, anxious, loving. This one, above, reminds me of lunch with my darling friend Susan at Scandinavian Country (http://scandinavian-country.com), and the many times we've sat and discussed life and loves and books; later that same day, I went out to paint at the lake--my magnet. (I feel like the Artist in Residence at Watkins Mill State Park, I've painted and drawn it so many times!)

I've drawn my new husband dozens of times--and my late husband Harris before that. I've sketched my changing panoply of cats over the decades, remembering each one as a treasured member of the family.

I've explored nature, and my response to it. I've used my sketches as learning tools, asking questions and finding answers.

I've celebrated the precious everydayness of life, and the excitement and challenge of change, of travel.

I've discovered the integrating, centering nature of journaling--thanks in large part to my friend and fellow artist/journalist Hannah Hinchman, whose A Life in Hand; Creating the Illuminated Journal, which changed the way I thought about journaling back in the late 1980s. Thank you, Hannah!  (Alas, that book is only available through the secondhand market now...)

Many of my journal sketches and paintings--as well as my feelings on the importance of keeping such a record, for me--appear in my own new book, mentioned yesterday..Creating Nature in Watercolor; an Artist's Guide.

The most responses I ever got to my old Watercolor Magic column was the one entitled Painting Through Pain...I still get letters today, more than 2 years later.

Danny's book will bolster that truth, as his did own book, Everyday Matters...it's still got a treasured place in my bookshelves!


I love Danny Gregory-he got me to scrawling something every day, even if it's on a breakfast napkin. I can't wait to get this new book.
It seems blessings keep falling on you. I am very thrilled for you.
Thank you so much! Yes, life is GOOD.

And I can't wait for Danny's latest, either...I loved the work the other people submitted, what we saw of it...


How gorgeous is that spread!!! I've been an admirer of yours for a long time, dear heart, and am so happy for you that you were included in that book! Of course, you've written scores of your own, but still,,,, . Sketching adds so much to life, a fact I can attest to, too.
Congratulations, so well deserved, sweet Kate!
Thank you, sweetness! The only thing that would have made it even better would be if YOUR sketches were included! I can never figure out life...

And XO right back...

way to go! i didn't know you were involved in this project (i didn't even know Gregory had a new book in the works). Coolness!!
Thank you, Miss Mandy! I wasn't sure Danny had announced it yet, so I didn't want to...then I saw his post from the 22nd, finally, yesterday! And yes, it IS going to be cool! Wish I could show you some of the other peoples' work!


Journals, sketches, and husbands :-)

Hey Kate,

I, too, have a late husband and a shiny new (8 years) husband I draw.

Lovely to read about your new book -- I look forward to reading it!


Re: Journals, sketches, and husbands :-)

Hi Nona--was that your Mr. Al? It's an adjustment, and a huge one, isn't it? Harris was 18 years older than me, and I thought I was prepared, all those years--but I was wrong.

It's wonderful to have a second chance at love. I don't think I really believed in it...loving, yes, but not IN love. I am delighted to find I'm wrong about that, too. Drawing them is SUCH pleasure...

I'm so sorry about your father...one of my oldest friends just lost hers, this past week--she was to come visit me, but her dad died unexpectedly, just short of his 90th birthday. It STILL hurts, even at that age...you still miss them, and you miss who you were, to them. A bit of us goes, too.



Thank you for the beautiful explanation of your art journaling experience. It is because of you and your inspiration, that I have been journaling my life through my art. I don't post much due to time contraints, but I read your blog and all your books (the first being your Sketching in Nature by the Sierra Club), as well as Hannah's book and others including Danny and try and make the time to sketch and paint my world. It's a constant battle as I am a caregiver and work full time, but I sure can tell when I don't do it...as I am pretty cranky! I have come to learn that I NEED to express myself in this way, and I wish I had done it earlier. But, we can't go back in time..and I applaud you for inspiring so many for so long. I guess I want to say, "Thank you" for doing all this for all of us!

Nancy Patterson
Former Watercolor Online Student

Re: Inspiration

Nancy, it's so good to hear from you! I think of you often, and wonder how you're doing--I knew you had a lot to carry. Yes, art DOES help with those loads...gives us something of our own, I think, and honors the act of creation.

I'm touched by your comment...thank you. I'm so glad to have helped you in any way I can.



What a beautiful book and your page, what I can see, looks stunning. YOUR new book sounds fabulous. Can't wait to dive into it! - Ronni, Designing Fairy

Re: Congratulations!

Thank you, Ronni! I hope both projects are a huge success! I'm delighted with the job North Light did on designing mine, and Danny's new one is from one of the publishing arms of the same company so it should be gorgeous...

your tender words

Hi Kate, I love your new avatar photo--much lovelier than Kate in dust mask! Even more I loved reading your tender words in this post. I agree that journaling and sketching is the way to keep one's sanity (or find it amidst craziness), heal, reflect on life and honor the moments and creatures in our lives. Your words and pictures have always been such an inspiration to me. I can't begin to say how honored and amazed I am to be mentioned in your book and I can't wait to get my copy. We are so lucky to be able to have the benefit of the artists who've explored the territory before us so generously share their knowledge and experience with us in books likes yours and Danny's and Hannah's and more!

Re: your tender words

Good morning Miss Jana! Thank you, on the avatar photo--I suppose I'll move on to something different after a while, but oh, my the wedding was just glorious. I had no idea! I sent photos to his parents and my sister, who don't travel any more so couldn't be with us, and they all thought it looked enchanted...

I've touched base with your blog the last few days, and know that you DO understand about making art through stressful times as well as calm ones...

I wish I'd had room to mention more--but you, Karen, and Laura have been inspiring to this project and I needed to thank you, publicly. The acknowledgments could have taken a whole book all on their own!


Re: your tender words

Oh, thank you again, Miss/Mrs.Kate. It really is we who should and do acknowledge you and your constant and attentive and loving support!
I've had your book on pre-order for months. Cannot wait!
Xoxalines (whatever ;D)

Re: your tender words

Giggle! I love xoxalines, but you really, really deserve the recognition and respect due to my dear friend at http://laurelines.typepad.com/.

If we can't support our friends and encourage others in their work, we're just taking up space, yes? I want to be more than a place marker...
Beautiful! Congrats on the new book, too!
Thank you!