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A Sketchbook Celebration & Definition of Inspiration

First, a quick note that I was interviewed for the fascinating Tools Artists Use website. Although it often ends up sending me shopping, I love to see the tools other people use to make their art. If  you’d like to read the interview about my favorite art supplies and tools, just click here.

OK, so to celebrate the return of the my sketchbook, here are a few sketches from the past couple weeks that are happily no longer lost forever.

Old Sailor Man on BART, ink & watercolor, 6x8"
Old Sailor Man on BART, ink & watercolor, 8x6"

He looked like an old sailor man to me, wishing he was on a boat, not the subway.

While I was waiting for the ear, nose, throat doctor I copied the information from his wall chart and sketched the assortment of stuff on his shelf. I became fascinated with the names of the parts of the mouth and throat (I’m easily amused).

Waiting at the Doctor's Office, 4x6"
Waiting at the Doctor's Office, 4x6"

Defining Inspiration:

I noted in particular the “Epiglottis” and wondered if the word had anything to do with the word ” Epicurean.” Even more interesting was a depiction of an open throat, described on the chart as “Inspiration” which I supposed means “breathe in.” It made me think about inspiration in art and how, when feeling uninspired we try to force something to come out when perhaps it’s more a matter of simply opening and allowing it to come in, instead.

I had my sketchbooks out to share with my painting group buddies at the end of a nice Friday night dinner together at Jimmy Beans in Berkeley…

Judith at Jimmy Beans, ink & watercolor, 8x6"
Judith at Jimmy Beans, ink & watercolor, 7x6"

so I added one more sketch (above).

Entranced by his cellphone
Entranced by his cellphone on BART, 3x2"

And one more subway drawing. He was mesmerized by his cellphone but I see now that the sketch looks like he’s playing with his beard or rolling or a joint. (Are they still called joints?) I heard American Idol judge Randy Jackson call a song a joint on the show tonight, so maybe not.

I’m so happy to have my sketchbook back!

5 replies on “A Sketchbook Celebration & Definition of Inspiration”

Didn’t the other clients stare when you were drawing those mouths and teeth and tongues? What fun you have in not thinking about horrible procedures from the doctor! Way to go! And if you write poetry you could have a lot of fun with those words too.


Great line about opening and letting in the inspiration -an unconscious burst of creativity- instead of trying to force out. I am always intrigued with those great anatomical drawings at doctors’ offices but I usually just think of rolling them up and taking them with me . . . .


How very cool that you were featured on that site about artists tools. I think everyone is interested in how other people approach their art. I’m loving your sketches and paintings lately.


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