Requests and Cathy’s art journal invitation…

Cathy of “wander essence” is a very energetic, organised and well travelled person. Her posts are full of interesting stories of her travels and enhanced with photos of the many places she has been to. She sets herself challenges and invites the community to join in. She has photo , poetry, prose and travel challenges and this is the latest…

ART JOURNAL” INVITATION: I invite you to post a journal spread on your own blog about your travels. You can do collage, watercolor, acrylics, stamps, drawing or stencils — whatever art form your heart desires.  These are my first art journal spreads and drawings, so I can only hope I’ll become more creative as I practice and play. I invite you to do the same! 

I have been keeping art journals for a number of years and find them to be quite addictive. A great way to practice art techniques, keep a record of things I have done, make quick sketches of places I have been and maybe just doodle. There are no rules.

Recently Jack came across the Japanese word “ikigai” The Japanese recipe for a life filled with calm and contentment is ikigai – a philosophy practised by Okinawa residents, who happen to be the longest living people in the world.

An excellent book I am reading that explains Ikigai is “Ikigai” by Hector Garcia.

We became interested in discovering more about this fascinating Japanese culture. Then I read this and thought it to be so appropriate to my journal keeping…

“The meaning of ikigai

Ikigai is translated as life’s enjoyment and substance. The Japanese verb “iki” means “live”, and “gai” literally translates to “reason”. The ikigai philosophy is described as a motivational system which makes us want to get up each day. In a narrower sense, the term applies to specific activities and states which we attach some value to, thus finding in them the purpose of our lives and actions. These can be both everyday small things or great plans that we become engrossed in when turning them into reality. Its core is finding enjoyment and purpose in what we are doing in a given moment, without expecting a spectacular result, success or applause of those around us. Ikigai emphasises the value of activities which we do for ourselves – such as writing stories with no intention to publish them, or painting pictures that no one will see. Such an attitude helps to get to know oneself.”

So my journals were done for my own enjoyment and are by no means perfect works of art, but with Cathy’s encouragement by posting her journals (see them here) I will share just a few of mine.

buddha belly journal art cyclone ocean 014_3888x5184buddha belly journal art cyclone ocean 020_5184x3888Sometimes I add quotes I have found. This quote was inspired by seeing the movie “Pavarotti”buddha belly journal art cyclone ocean 015_5184x3888Photos and notes and a sketch of a local pub are reminders of time spent with our son and his wife in Grafton during Jacaranda time.

We had another visit to Grafton for the 5 day art workshop and I put my new found pen and wash sketching to practice.

buddha belly journal art cyclone ocean 018_5184x3888

A great way to remember the highlights of the year is to put them in the journal…buddha belly journal art cyclone ocean 019_5184x3888

Finally because of Jack’s request I will share with you sketches and a painting I have done of the beautiful, exotic and sculptural Birds of Paradise (Strelitzia). The acrylic painting is rather stylised. The 2 drawings were done at the weekly art group I go to on a Wednesday. Denise, our extremely talented tutor, challenges us with different styles and types of art each week. This time it was drawing the Strelitzia from life in ink. When I got home and showed Jack he said it needs colour so I used coloured pencils on the second drawing. I think Jack was right…

So I will link this to Cathy’s new “art journal” invitation.




  1. Pauline, I am so impressed with your creativity! Your ability to sketch so well means that you will never be without memories of places you have visited, things you have seen….Fab!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pauline, I am as they say, gobsmacked! I had no idea you were so talented in this area, as talented as you are with gardening. Wow!!! Thanks so much for sharing this. I’m just smiling and shaking my head and planning to save this to come back and appreciate again later.


    Liked by 1 person

  3. I love your art journal! What a marvellous idea. I have only kept notes and rough sketches in my travel journal, but looking at this and seeing Cathy’s makes me want to start keeping a visual diary myself. Trouble is I never do anything out of the ordinary these days and I am certainly not a talented artist. Your sketches and paintings are wonderful and that strelitzia is stunning. I love the pen and ink sketch and I love the coloured one too, it is so realistic. I think you would draw amazing botanical studies. Something I have always admired.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Jack was always the artist when we travelled in the past, I took the photos, then had to wait for him to finish drawing. So eventually I tried my hand at it. Quite badly to start with. But I studied art books and you tube eventually getting a bit better. For journals, most are A5 size so you can carry them with you, and you can save pictures from the brochures you get at info centres to stick in as well as maps, tickets, memorabilia etc. so rough sketches are great for bringing back memories. Give it ago Jude, I’m sure you would enjoy it

      Liked by 1 person

  4. 💕 I’ll be back with fresh morning HD eyes Pauline and look at your post on my big screen … a great treat for a more than likely gloomy Monday morning x

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Wow! What a wonderful idea! I love your movie page to remind you of the films you’ve seen during the year. It’s fun.
    Your sketches of Cooloongatta Beach and Grafton Pub are just gorgeous. You could make placemats ( laminated) from these as gifts. Love love love.
    Ikigai……..nice one:)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks May. I’ve also started a “books I’ve read” for this year. I have a shocking memory for details of anything I’ve seen or read longer than a few weeks ago (dare I admit a few days ago!!!😱) so these remind me. Like the place mats idea too…

      Liked by 2 people

  6. Fabulous, Pauline! I almost missed this 😦 😦 Like Jude, I’m no artist, but when you see things like this it does make you want to give it a try. The Strelitza really comes to life with the colour. I can see many happy hours here. 🙂 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Pauline, This is so fabulous! I knew you would love this kind of challenge as you’ve been doing art journaling for a long time and you are so talented! I love this concept you introduced of Ikigai as well. I love your Movies Watched journal. Where did you get the black & white photos for those? And your spread of Pavarotti – wonderful! I cannot draw human beings at all, and your sketch is marvelous as is the artwork around the musical staff. The spreads about Grafton during Jacaranda time, both the photos and notes, and that wonderful sketch are such dear memories and beautifully done! The pen and wash sketch looks fun; I’ve never learned that and wouldn’t know where to begin. But yours is great! And the Highlights of 2019 is a very creative way to sum up the year. Most of all I love the painting and the sketches, both b&w and color of Birds of Paradise. You are truly an amazing artist. All of my attempts look so amateurish next to yours. But you’re inspirational. Thank you so much for sharing and linking to mine. I’ll include your link on my next art journal post of March 13. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • What a lovely and encouraging comment Cathy. Everyone has their own style and way of doing art. I often think mine is too diagrammatic and strive to be looser. It is always a challenge. Pen and wash is my favourite style and one of the workshops last year was dedicated to 5 days learning that technique. Your drawing is coming on so well cathy I’m sure you would be able to outline with waterproof pen and dab a bit of paint on. The beauty of journals is that they are small and can be carried with you and perfect for experimenting and filling in waiting time. I’ll look forward to seeing more of your journaling and I hope some other bloggers take up the invitation/challenge. The art centre movies I go to puts out weekly news sheets that give a review of current films, with a photo, and what’s coming. Just a perfect size for the journal.


      • I would love to find a workshop like yours where you really learn and practice for a dedicated period of time. What kind of waterproof pens do you use? I agree, the size of journals is perfect for carrying around. That’s a great source for your photos of movies. There are so many fun things you can do with art and bullet journaling. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        • I use a uni pin fine liner waterproof pen in a range of nib sizes from .005 to a .8. Reasonably priced too. I’m going to a full day coloured pencil workshop next week that I’m really looking forward too.


  8. I knew you sketched and painted from time to time Pauline, and that you and Jack had enjoyed a couple of art breaks so it’s fantastic to see your Art Journal here ! I’m so glad Jack gave you nudge and you’ve taken up the invitation. You’ve a real talent and have some lovely creativity happening on those pages ! Lots of details .. and memories .. some lovely light brush work and delicate watercolours over your pen and ink drawings .. The bird of paradise is truly gorgeous professional . You seem to find it all more relaxing than I do Lol I don’t keep an Art Journal as such just a sketch book to *play with .
    Loving that I’ll have the chance to see more of your art .. I can see from the responses of your other blog friends that they’ll be eager to see those pages fill up too .

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for the comment Poppy. I am a very structural, almost diagrammatic type of artist. I really admire the loose, flowing, painterly style of art, but struggle to do it that way. But it is an ongoing challenge. Jack’s style is much looser than mine and I love watching him sketch, he is so quick and when we are out sketching he can draw 3 to my 1, I tend to stress on details…🙄🎨

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Lisa, what a lovely comment. I’ve still got a lot to learn in my art journey, but it sure is fun and satisfying to keep a record of things that catch my attention. Going to a colour pencil workshop next week, looking forward to that


    • Thanks for the link Poppy. I somehow missed your delightful sketchbook post back in February. The comments on that post are now closed, but I’m pleased I found it. You seem to have slipped off my reader so lm pleased to find you again. Hope you have a lovely creative Christmas season.


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