Sketchbook Studies – The EYE is Key



For $100 you can spend 10 Monday evenings with 2 well known Indiana artists, John Reynolds and Bruce Neckar, either learning to draw or honing your skills. They give you supplies, generously provided by Prizm Art Supply in Indy (a favorite art store of mine, so I am happy to give them a plug!) The classes are hosted by Nickel Plate Arts in Noblesville, IN, where John and Bruce have their studio.

If you want to see what a working artist’s studio looks like, you should check it out sometime!




These classes (or workshops) are conducted in a laid back fashion and you get out of it what you want to put into it. The guys are very happy to coach and answer questions or help you get unstuck, if you ask.


For 2 of the 10 weeks the guys brought in stuffed specimens to give us an as-close-to-a-real-thing in drawing wild birds as an artist can get. That was a highlight for me.

I love birds and have been painting raptors for over 30 years, so it was fantastic to get this close and to be able to study them. I spent the time doing quick sketches to “feel” the birds, as opposed to trying to do a finished piece.



Touring the Mormon Temple in Indiana


Carmel, Indiana is home to the newest Mormon Temple (#148). Many artisans were involved in all aspects of the creation and design of this sacred building, but the one I was most interested in was Jacob Dobson. Jacob hosted us on a tour of the temple this morning. What a pleasure and an honor!


Some of my long time readers will remember Jacob as the inspirational art teacher from my days at AI. He was my teacher in Life Drawing, Art History, and 2 Illustration courses (class 1 and class 2), which created a turning point in my art and my life. He holds a very special place in my heart because of that.


Jacob created the high relief panel above the baptistery depicting the baptism of Jesus by John the Baptist; however, no photography is permitted inside the building, so we have no photos of that beautiful piece (except the one I snagged from the online virtual tour and one process photo on Jacob’s website.)


The beautiful stained glass was created by a company in Kokomo Indiana. A theme throughout depicted the flower of the state tree – the tulip poplar.


This is what an artist lives for, to do something that is personally meaningful and will be a blessing to others. I am simply thrilled for Jacob!


If you get a chance to tour before August 8, you will not want to miss it. (There is also an online virtual tour.)

Grammar Lettering


I am an Instructional Designer and writer, as well as a graphic designer. I am really enjoying the Editors on my team right now and decided to let them know this by turning some of their editorial comments and gentle reminders into hand lettered posters. Here is the first one.

Compounds formed with prefixes are spelled closed [i.e without a dash – took me a bit to figure that out] unless they create double identical vowels or triple identical consonants. – Helen O’Guinn

This one spoke to me for 2 reasons: I was curious as to why they removed some dashes and not others in my documents, and then it took me some puzzling to figure out what Helen was trying to tell me here. When the aha moment happened, I knew it was worthy of it’s own wall space.

Primitive Treasures


Farm Scene – graphite and crayon – Mildred Burge 1943

Our own Grandma Moses: My Dad’s oldest sister was born in the early 1920s. I spent today going through and scanning some treasures her daughter shared with me – drawings made on found paper. It caused me to wonder a lot about my aunt who died when I was in 5th grade. She was the oldest of 10 and her art and photography has been quite the revelation of a creative young woman with a love for her family and the details of life.

1943 Dec Night Before Christmas

Night Before Christmas – graphite and crayon – Mildred Burge 1943

1945 Attic

The Attic – graphite – Mildred Burge 1945

1948 Oct In the Rockies

The Rockies – graphite and crayon – Midred Burge 1948

My aunt seemed to be inspired by her travels, Christmas, and lots of detail.

1950 Jan-24

Farm Country Scene – graphite and crayon – Mildred Burge 1950

Farm Scene 2-pencil-crayon

Farm Scene – graphite and crayon – Mildred Burge date unknown

1969 Jan-11

Farm Scene – graphiite – Mildred Burge 1969

1969 Jan-6 Farm crayon-pencil

Countryside Scene – graphite and crayon – Mildred Burge 1969

1964 Feb 22I

Mountain Valley – graphite and crayon – Mildred Burge 1950

1950 Oct-17

Large Barn Scene – graphite – Mildred Burge 1950

I find myself becoming lost in the details of life in the mid 1900s. It is like an eye spy page -the more I look, the more details I find! Very interesting.