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My new gratitude art journal is my first mixed media sketchbook!


I can journal for quite a few days and really play with things with this book. This page layout was from the past week and culminated in the Women’s March. I didn’t make it to Washington, DC, but I did go to Trenton NJ. It was a really uplifting day. Yesterday I taught part 1 of a mandala drawing class at my Unitarian Universalist Church. I donated the class for their annual service auction. The people who made it were really happy with part 1 and I’m looking forward to part 2 next Sunday. You will see some of my samples in this journal.


Here is my sample free-hand mandala and some very free for all art journal play. I’m going backwards chronologically so here is the beginning of the gratitude journal.


I got some new art supplies that are used in these pages and am playing with lots of flower images. I’m kind of doing a 100 flowers challenge as well as the 100 mandala challenge. I have really enjoyed doing a lot of mandalas as samples for the class. It gets me working in different ways. Another focus for the new year is to get a new blog for just my art and beef up my Etsy site.

The right hand page of the top image has much of the Maya Angelou poem, “Still I Rise” written out. It really captures the spirit of the march and was part of our minister’s sermon yesterday. I’m so grateful for the legacy of Maya Angelou. Here is the poem in its entireity.

Still I rise

You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may tread me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I’ll rise.

Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
‘Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.

Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I’ll rise.

Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops.
Weakened by my soulful cries.

Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don’t you take it awful hard
‘Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines
Diggin’ in my own back yard.

You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise.

Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I’ve got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?

Out of the huts of history’s shame
I rise
Up from a past that’s rooted in pain
I rise
I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear
I rise
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise
I rise
I rise.

Maya Angelou

I hope you encountered beauty today.