Carved folding Buddhas-inside

Ink in Moleskine (Larger)

This is a pocket-sized, hand-carved, portable altar. From the outside, when it’s closed, it appears to be two hands in prayer (see below). When you open it there are two serene Buddhas in meditation. (Unfortunately in my drawing they look less than serene.)

Carved folding Buddhas-outside


I watched no TV today and was astonished by how much more time I had, and everything I was able to fit into the day. Instead of watching TV while I ate my meals I read the art magazines I subscribe to but had barely glanced at. As soon as a meal was done I was up and off to something else instead of sitting and finishing watching a TV show.

After lunch, instead of having my afternoon cup of coffee in front of the TV, I sat on my sunny back porch and reflected on this and that, watching my baby hydrangeas grow. That’s when it struck me how little time I’ve been spending with my mind free to wander and ponder.

When I was a kid I loved to lay on my back in the grass and watch the clouds drift by, seeing different creatures in them. As an adult, I had a Zen meditation practice that got squeezed out of my schedule a few years ago. Somehow TV had gradually taken the place of that kind of open, meditative time. Now, without TV, it feels like there’s time for real relaxation and getting things done.

Today I finally cleaned up the junk I’d piled on the counter in the studio kitchen months ago and had been ignoring. This evening, when I gathered up the sketchbooks that had piled up on my drawing table, I discovered a Moleskine with only two blank pages left. Today’s sketch is of one of the items that needed putting away from the kitchen. Now I’ve finished the kitchen and the sketchbook and a really great day.

Drawing, Life in general, Sketchbook Pages

Join the conversation! 10 Comments

  1. Yes, I find days seem much longer without TV – and breakfasts more satisfying if I look at art books instead of reading the paper. I have posted a drawing of pots that I did in the beautiful sketchbook that you gave me. I am using it just for pencil drawings. What an intriguing little ‘shrine’ – great to draw. I have had a lovely week investigating and being inspired by Giorgio Morandi – all written up on my blog. Alison


  2. I gave up t.v. too many years ago, it sneaked back in a little of late with “Top Chef” but at least I spend the time watching with trying to draw quick portraits of the contestants at the same time! Yay for such a good day without the dang time wasting box!


  3. CONGRATULATIONS, JANA!!!! THIS IS WONDERFUL!! All that work accomplished, a terrific sketch, and a relaxed mind!! i’m impressed!!!


  4. I love that little portable shrine! Very cool!

    A super day without TV makes all the important, rather than urgent, elements rise to the surface. And productivity PLUS quiet retreat time fills the well instead of how TV empties it, huh?

    I like Top Chef, too. But we record it digitally and watch an hour show in 40 minutes, on our chosen schedule. That’s my way around seeing the few shows I learn from.


  5. Love this little shrine. Wow, I want to find some “time consuming thing” to give up! The only thing I can think of would be blogging and looking at art sites and I’m NOT giving that up! Your day sounds so relaxing and productive. I love the mental puttering.


  6. You always seem so productive, Jana, I wouldn’t have thought you were wasting much time watching television. I got into watching food shows on TV at lunch time when I went on a diet – I’d eat my salad and watch what I was missing out on!

    The internet is the great black hole my time disappears into, but like Tami, the art blogs and gallery sites are very hard to give up. Certainly makes me more of a Watcher than a Doer though.


  7. “…mind free to wander and ponder…” and there you have it! From a purely selfish viewpoint, I am inordinately pleased that you’re losing the “box” because I (we) might get more wonderful Jana dreamscapes and honest progress posts.


  8. I just stumbled across your blog, and have already bookmarked it. I enjoy your artwork, your thoughtfulness, and, most of all, your ability not to take yourself too seriously. Your sense of humor is wonderful.


  9. My whole family went “cold turkey” some 25 years ago while the children were still in junior high school. They hated it, but wonder of wonders—-they got some interesting hobbies that have served them well into adulthood, including cooking, reading, hiking, photography and model building. One now has TV but seldom watches it; and the other still lives without TV.

    I have a set, but it isn’t connected because I use it only to watch movies when the weather is bad and I can’t be outside to sketch. Even the movies I watch are carefully chosen. I see no reason to subject my mind to violence or gratuitous sex when the world out there is so beautiful, and sketching is a wonderful way to really “see”. I don’t miss it and am always a bit shocked at the language and content when I’m at a friend’s house where the TV is on—and sometimes I’m even horrified.

    Anyhow, everyone has only 24 hours in a day and a finite amount of energy, and watching TV is, I think, not a good way to spend it—-at least not for me. I consider it second-hand life lived through the eyes of others instead of living MY LIFE.

    Keep up the good work Jana. This is the first time I’ve added to your blog, but I come by to read almost every day. Love your work!!!


  10. There was a six year period of time in the past that I did not watch TV in my own home. I only watched movies. This was more of a necessity than a choice. It didn’t take long to adjust, just more time on my computer.

    Now I watch the PBS national feeds over an FTA satellite receiver. I now find myself turning on the TV just for the noise, something I never did much in the past. Maybe I should keep it off more often; more time on my computer, more time to reflect..


Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: