Making My Mark — or Not

Pocket Sketchbook

Pocket Sketchbook

I work with an art mentor about once a month. Last time I shared my pocket sketchbook with her. One of the things I treasure is her extensive vocabulary regarding art. It helps me to look more specifically and to see more deeply. She said I have a good selection process (in terms of line) and that I “made eliminations that produce excitement.”

Chicken Copyright 2014 by Janet Hovde

Copyright 2014 by Janet Hovde

So I am learning that what makes an interesting picture are the lines I choose to put in and also the lines I leave out.  The shapes I close and the shapes I leave open. I am deliberate in my art, using it as a playground for applying my intuition. Where do I put the vertical lines? Horizontal? Start and end where? Then what?



Of course I can apply similar questions to living. Where do I make my mark? Where do I observe and perhaps choose not to make my mark? It is okay to be open (say yes) to some things and to be closed (say no) to other things. How about you—any thoughts?

P.S. For those of you in the Twin Cities, my March Feeling Better class is filled, but there are openings in April. Let me know if you would like to come!


  1. It’s so exciting to learn a vocabulary that really opens things up for you. That can be such a blessing from a mentor. And how fun you’ve got one!

    It’s so interesting and wonderful how our understandings in one area give us new ways to see everything else as well. Once we see something we can’t un-see it.

    Fabulous drawings Janet.
    Deborah Weber recently posted..What is this Crow Moon calling for?My Profile

  2. Janet, it was so nice to meet you in person last night. Thanks for sharing your sketchbook at the meetup and here online. I love your lines and open spaces. 🙂
    Heather Koshiol recently posted..Learn: What It Means to Feel GroundedMy Profile

  3. Hi Janet,

    I second the thought that Heather shared about meeting you this week. So fun! Meeting people in person always is such a special thing. Thanks for coming out. On the way home, I debated stopping at Michael’s and buying a small sketchbook like yours and then I realized that I have a ton of mostly empty sketchbooks (like Amy in the group) and so I decided to save a few pennies and a few trees and just use what I already own. So the last few mornings, I’ve gotten up and lit a candle and either did art or did some writing. That is what suits me. Getting together with other artists has made me realize that I AM an artist. I don’t think of myself as one, but as I reflect on this – my life is FILLED with art. It’s a good feeling. Hope to see you again next month!
    Amy Putkonen recently posted..SoulSpace: Phase 7 – ElevateMy Profile

  4. You’ve given me a lot to think about as I learn how to draw… and as I learn, on an ongoing basis, how best to live my life. Thank you.
    Harmony Harrison recently posted..Gusty Beaches and Things that Look Like Things, a.k.a., Drawing on the Windy Side of the BrainMy Profile

  5. Janet- how wonderful to have an art mentor that you can share your artistic endeavors. It is interesting to learn how lines make such a difference in drawings. I go back and forth between deliberate simple lines and sketchy squiggly lines. Perhaps it depends on my mood! Thanks for sharing your sketchbook!
    Sue recently posted..Comment on Ride on by Harmony HarrisonMy Profile

  6. I’m always fascinated by how much my life, and my art, is affected by what I choose to not include. Very powerful lesson, and it can be difficult, for me, at least, to leave stuff out.
    Linda S Watson recently posted..Kay Small, WeaverMy Profile

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