IFJM 2015

Below are my posts for the 2015 International Fake Journal Month, chronologically from April Fool’s Day 2015!
The month is over; It was GRAND!
I had a blast, and will do it again.


April Fool’s Day 2015

W15 4 1 IFJM 003Never went to sleep, not really.  Laid down but could not sleep and so, I stayed up.  Too excited about the trip, plus I had to connect one last time with Jai and the kids before we left.  We are both upset about us going, but thankfully Ruthie is here to stay for the month.

W15 4 1 IFJM 002“Nothing ever goes away until it has taught us what
we need to know.”  Ani Pema Chodron

And so, I just kept drawing.  I sorted through my art supplies again.  In doing so, I realized that I’d probably have my ink bottles confiscated.  I went online and found a pen shop in Rome.  Repacking my carry-on began.

W15 4 1 IFJM 007

“Weapons will do you no good in that cave, Luke.
You will find only what you bring with you.”

W15 4 1 IFJM 009I also rethought the whole brush pen thing.  I haven’t used Roz Standahl’s suggestion of brush pens though I bought them.  But maybe this is a good time to try.  It would be good to step up my watercolors to illustrate where Elizabetta and Miguel travel.

“Life itself is the proper binge.”  Julia Child

W15 4 1 IFJM 011Waking Mik up, sleepy man.  Off we go, our first overseas adventure for the book!

NELIPOT IFJMOn the first leg of the trip I stowed my backpack overhead.  I re-read a bit of the Moore/Lyndon book on architecture, “Chambers for a Memory Palace” and dozed twice.

Writing to you especially and posting to this private blog page is such a cool thing.  Way better than when I last traveled for months to Europe, and you had to wait to hear from me.  Glad you told me that you could not read my writing when I posted this morning.

“This place where you are right now
God circled on a map for you.”  Hafiz

W15 4 1 IFJM 013My journal:
“Taking Delta all the way.  Pretty good for airport food . . . and pretty healthy.  Wrap with hummus lettuce onions.  Mik’s “salad” w/ feta, chicken, cabbage.  4 hour layover which I took so we didn’t have to sweat missing the connection.  I waited until Mik got back and had time to sketch.  Sky blue Korean Air.  [Here is the] Obligatory plane [sketch.]  Turned out to be a gorgeous color making me want to draw.

W15 4 1 IFJM 014Back on the plane, this time I did not put my backpack overhead. 

Mik kept me on track w/food.  I wanted Popeye’s hot spicy friend chicken but Mik put his foot down.  He’s right, of course, and I will feel better if we eat right.  Italy will be easier, at least, to commit to non-GMO, because Italy has already committed to transparency / non-GMO.”

From my journal:
“Back on the plane, M fell asleep.  Looks like they will serve a meal 8-ish.  I may take a sleeping pill.  I am just now turning toward our trip.  I called Ruthie to check on the guys. . . they were all over her on the sofa.  We could not leave them if not for her decision to move to Portland. . . the Universe paved the way for this trip.  M & I decided to do our bubbling at meals”

“Glad we ordered kosher meals and shocked I was hungry.  I am pretty upset the Lamy pen I bought for Mik is cracked already.  So much for Lamy.  I’ve abused Preppies w/no downside then this crazy pen is cracked?  Crap.  When we go tot the pen store in Rome I may buy him another pen.  I’m using his pen right now and it is a slow leak.  Mik is already asleep again.  The man is the opposite of me — able to sleep anywhere.  I’m soon going to take a muscle relaxer so I don’t wake in spasm.

W15 4 1 IFJM 016Thinking about this trip & how we will balance research & travel & art.  I always regretted not drawing more in my months in France/Italy/Spain.  I wrote like crazy but didn’t really draw.  Now I’m sorry.  I intend to on this trip and Mik is excited to see “our” journal!  I’m glad I bought him a small moleskin too.  Watching him nap I give thanx for our relationship.

Just asked the flight attendant how to say “I love you.” “Ti Amo.”  And “Ancho ti amo” is “I love you too.” 

10:30 I took my drug.  I wish I could have brought tinctures.

I made Mik a teeny card.  Glad for the impulse to throw the ACEO cards in my pack.  I’ll color it, a lively “grounded heart” telling him I love him.  Time to sleep.”

I slipped the heart in his journal before I slept.

W15 4 1 IFJM 015NELIPOT IFJM2 April 2015

W15 4 2 IFJM 001Landed, picked up the car, and then headed into Rome for food and to visit the pen shop to buy inks.

My journal:  “It was fun watching Mik navigate a rental in Italian!  Our van is the color of the tip of my Preppie fountain pen.  Took this nondescript hippie-looking hotel so we’d not have to drive far.”

“What is truer than truth?  The Story.”  Jewish saying.

While waiting for Mik drew Hotel Euro House, 9 Vai Rome la Valle.  Added the brochure which appears to be about the history of the Port.

Drew Cose Buone Dal Forno Trevisiol at Via de Val Telina 66 after lunch sitting in the market.  “We took a different route — back road — Vai Portense into Rome.  We actually saw countryside so close to the airport!  We took a chance, roughly, with a map of Rome in hand, to find lunch . . . We stopped at a market — alimentari — and across the street was a place to eat.  Yum.  Pannini w/ proscuitto & pesto & antipasta.  By the way, we passed Lago Traiano and it seems it is the remains of an ancient Roman port.  How it got so far inland is beyond me. . .  [bought} avancio (oranges) and bananas.”

“Where the spirit does not work with the hand,
there is no art.”
  De Vinci

 W15 4 2 IFJM 002“Novelli (pen store) is near so many places I won’t feel guilty spending time here.  Dropped Mik off at 1-ish at Piazza Santi Apostoli and he is going into the church.  Thank God for cell phones.

Bought inks, and was bought by pens, including a gift for Mik.  Black, Brown (samples), Blue (samples) and a lovely Green Super5.  I haven;t filled them yet.  Amazing to test drive a pen — always I buy them sight unseen & I’ve had some dogs — including a Lamy that was cracked.  Stood to draw the view before meeting Mik.  I doubt I’ll pull watercolors out ever!  In hotel rooms?  Maybe.  I am leaving space below for pen drawings and ink samples.  Off to meet Mik.”

(Came back to add pen info so will translate later at time of writing.)

“Axes reach across space to draw together the important points in a place. . . paths are where your feet actually trod, so that what happens along the way becomes the important thing.”  Donlyn Lyndon or Charles Moore

W15 4 2 IFJM 004From my journal 3:30pm “Meeting Mik now at Santi Apostoli.  We agreed to meet in the portico.  Love this sad lion, guarding the Apostles . . . He reminds me of the fu dogs that guard Chinese temples.  But he is sad not fierce.  (This is our first separation on this trip and I am happy we have the cells, but what if they don’t work?  We need alternate plans . . .)  I did a quick pencil outline then began with my carbon pen.  Mik just showed his face.  (Hearts) Relief!”

W15 4 2 IFJM 003“Back to hotel.  Beat.  I think we’ll park at the Collonna again tomorrow (Via de Santa Maria).  Mario at the front desk recommended a sushi bar not too far away.  M laid down but I am afraid to nap — I want to sleep deeply tonight.  HAHAHAHAA I almost forgot!  I wanted a roast chicken or sushi, and wanted to try for organic — “biologico.”  Turns out “organic” is understood, and I did “pollo arrosto” well.  Then I tried “crudo pesce” — raw fish — and Mario said, “Sushi?”  Well duh.  It’s Japanese!”

“The person who writes for fools is always sure of a large audience.”  Schopenhauer on Religion

W15 4 2 IFJM 0057:30pm Fuji’s, Via Delle Ombrine 33  “Waiting at the sushi bar at Fuji’s — a sample or someone else’s order is [on the] glass, making our mouth’s water.”

W15 4 2 IFJM 006 copy9:30pm  Back at the hotel, added color to my drawings.  From my journal: “Mik is asleep.  I am coloring my sketches and playing with the pens, filling the new pen.  This is the most gorgeous pen.  Reminds me of Bakelite or a green tortoiseshell, stunning.  Ahab Flex has a huge tip.  My first flex pen too.  Super5 ink: Dublin.  OH SO PRETTY!  FLEX Wow Take Some Getting used to . . .  Pressure!”

10:00pm “Adding color, took a potion to sleep, Benedryl.  Love my new pen (from the last page).  We talked a bit about Rome versus other travel, will stay 1-2 days before leaving & M gets acclimated.  May have to rush later on — OK!”


3 April 2015

W15 4 3 IFJM 007W15 4 3 IFJM 003We got up and were out the door, grabbing an espresso and assuming we’d find food beyond the fruit from yesterday.  From my journal:  “Santa Maria Sofra Minerva (above Minerva).  Built on top of the ruins of a temple to Isis (so how did Minerva get involved?)  Dominican church.  The plaza has an amazing elephant statue by Bernini holding a piece of another ruin.  The plaza is totally cool because it underscores what is so about Rome — Every corner you turn there is another ruin or great architecture.”

W15 4 3 IFJM 004“A very flat Renaissance facade does not prepare us for this [above].  We were blown away by the Gothic interior.  I would not have gone in but Mik pulled me in!  Colorful, ornate but tasteful.  Gilding everywhere.  Peacock blue, gold and red.  A la leaky pen!  Pin dots of gold like stars.”  11:12am / added watercolor to the page at 9pm

W15 4 3 IFJM 005“To be realistic one must always admit the influence of
those who have gone before.” 
Charles Eames

W15 4 3 IFJM 002W15 4 3 IFJM 008From my journal: “Okay, been there, done that.  Pantheon.  Maybe I’m just a victim of boring history profs @ 7am [in college]. . .  I liked the Minerva Church better.  This place was a zoo, and I’ve seen it before.  I went in but bowed out for the guide (which Mik did).  Came out to grab a coffee and did a so-so-sketch.”  (Notes that say it is not long enough along the front facade.)  “Tons more people.  Pencil then ink 40 minutes with tourist interruptions.  Now to Late lunch.”  Added watercolor to the page at 9pm in the room.

W15 4 3 IFJM 0092pm, From my journal: “Late lunch at Antico Forno del Ghetto @ Piazza Costaguti 30/31.  Path to Teatro di Marcello.  Ancient Jewish bakery, [got it] to go: pizza rossa, pizza bainca, ricootta cake with chocolate, biscotti.  LOTS of biscotti treats and [pizza] crust in olive oil.

Munched amazing red pizza w/ tomatoes as we walked. . . and the other pizza was drizzled w/ olive oil that tasted like olives, and olives.  Mik’s carried his Mac today — WOW — different from carrying books.”

W15 4 3 IFJM 010From my journal: “Doric columns @ the base, Ionic in the middle.  Amazing re-use of the ruin w/ apartments at the top and behind.  More interesting than the Colosseum.  Outdoor theatre now.  These apartments are the newest, built after the 1930’s . . . was once part of the Orsini residence.  Then there is this Temple to Apollo, three columns, a sacred altar.  All this in what was once the Jewish Ghetto.  Mario told us there were lots of bad places to eat, but we have this great list!  4pm Teatro di Marcello – Temple di Apollo Sociano.”

9pm “Omigoddess the ricotta cake w/ chocolate is too amazing.  Dinner back at Sushi. . . To beat to hunt [for food], and clean food is heavenly.” 

Ignore my early morning musing (that black blob on the page going sideways), the start of the 4th, up at the crack of dawn.  I would’ve posted earlier but had to wait because Mik’s ‘puter was packed!.  Love you guys.  Hope you are enjoying.


4 April 2015

W15 4 4 IFJM 001 dtlW15 4 4 IFJM 0025:15am From my journal: “Yesterday I made a change in my thinking.  I am playing it safe and being lazy!  I am uncomfortable carrying all the tools I need but I need to  WATERCOLORS!  I need to push beyond the comfy zone I have in sketching buildings.  So [yesterday] we went looking for a basket.  I found (and bought) a lovely asphodel basket from Sardinia which will be a souvenir, but not good for what I need.  Finally I bought an African basket .  I have SO many from home, dumb!  I can layer my pens / paint / and journal on the bottom, and we will put food / shopping / treasures on top.  One excuse removed.”

Yes I know I thought I had worked it out but then I took my bigger pans of color, not my travel pans.  So now I can’t just drop this case into my backpack or purse, because it should sit flat, which the smaller travel case could do.

“Cracked me up when I asked for ‘cestino’ — basket — and I was sent to a bakery for this Easter egg in a doughy break basket.”

W15 4 4 IFJM 001

It is not time or opportunity that determines intimacy —
it is disposition alone.
Seven years would be insufficient to make some people acquainted;
seven days are more than enough for others.”  Jane Austen

From my journal:  “We decided to do one more day.  We were going to go to the Vatican but hello, EASTER is Sunday.  [I wasn’t clear, but the town is already packed.]  So I don’t know where [we’ll go]  And we’ll take a cab today.  We have reservation for Sunday night in Florence.”

“Our non-specific time is channeling down into our goal — to experience and record all we need to know about Elisabetta and Miguel’s travels.  On this we are in sync.  We want to see/smell/taste the country they travel even though it was another era.  the ability to sink into Florence, Parma, Genoa, Marseilles, La Mer — what a treat!  And we have to find a wagon . . .”

“We are going to write ourselves into a new life together!”

W15 4 4 IFJM 003“Campagnano Di Roma, Impression of the market before lunch.”

From my journal: “When we woke we talked and decided to skip out early and head for Firenze.  No reservations tonight . . . We’ll have to rely on the travel gods. . . Took a back route Mario recommended. . . First stop in the mountains @ Campagnano di Roma.  We wandered around what we would call a Saturday Market & I caught s colorful sketch.  How I wish Americans knew more than beige, light blue or green, and various pale shades of baby shit brown to paint their buildings.  Lunch was lovely, from the market vendors, and in Todi we stopped @ a cafe and they directed us to a place that knows pensiones (spelling?) — homes that take boarders.  Up up up a winding road of homes in peach and yellow and met them and YAY for the night includes a simple breakfast.  An Italian B&B . . . now off to a beautiful church we saw coming in . . . “

“Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see
the whole staircase.”  Martin Luther King

W15 4 4 IFJM 006“Santa maria Della Consolazione, Todi”

W15 4 4 IFJM 007From my journal:  “The central Greek cross plan recall’s Bramante’s first plans for St. Peter’s; Bramante did not design the church.”

“Lovely gem of a church and pilgrimage place for an iconic Madonna.  I want Elisabetta to inhabit a church like this . . .  but Todi is so far out of their path.  Mik will have to figure this out!”  4pm

The paper glued in is a tiny map so we can record our trip.  I plotted out planned route, but this will be the route we actually take overlaid onto the map

BTW, how was the eclipse in Vancouver and Los Angeles?


5 April 2015

Happy Easter sweeties!

W15 4 5 IFJM 002“Complesso Templare di San Bevignate” 9:30am

W15 4 5 IFJM 003 BANNERFrom my journal:  ” San Michele Arcangelo, or Sant’Angelo.  I kept looking for John Travolta’s big fluffy wings.  Called a Tempietto, sixteen Corinthian columns.  Pentagram too.  Hmmm . . .  I wish we’d had more time for Sant’ Angelo.  Onward.”  10am

“I hope you will go out and let stories, that is life, happen to you and that you will work with these stories. . . water them with your blood and tears and your laughter till they bloom, till you yourself burst into bloom.” Clarissa Pinkola Estes

Noon in Cortona, From my journal:  “Tea stained easter eggs and strong coffee and we were off early.  My intuition chose the right colored pens for today, as the colors in and on the road to Perugia were Quin. Gold and Undersea Green.  We had trouble seeing Lago Trasimeno, but came into farm & olive tree country.”

“Grabbed lunch from a stall yesterday, glad we did, most everything is closed. . . but not churches!  Elisabetta is nobility.  Does she miss out on simple country pleasures?  A walk in an olive grove by San Bevignate?”

W15 4 5 IFJM 001“Curiosity is the main energy.”  Robert Rauschenberg

W15 4 5 IFJM 005“Hills of Arezzo.  Looks Religious.”  4pm
I am struck that they look like Napa-Sonoma except for the skinny trees.

From my journal:  “Mik and I have looked at our time here and are questioning our trip plans.  We are not going far enough into France for the changes he’s got in his head for M and E’s travel.  Now we are contemplating ditching the day trip to Milan (unnecessary in any case — a shopping spree) and going from Parma to Placenza then drop down (as E&M) into Genoa. . . Then if we can ditch the rental car and take a boat trip to Marseille we will ACTUALLY recreate that trip — their trip!”

“From Marseille we’ll go up into Aix-en-Provence, across to Arles, where they then cross the river into Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer.  Somehow then (and I haven’t maps nor a way to be online [today]) we’ll go toward Toulouse, France, and cross/travel alongside the Camino.   Maybe we’ll do a day of Camino too.”

“We are so good together, ebb and flow, even having synchronistic ideas at the same time. . . We will come back along the Italian coast, in a hurry or taking our time, depending on how much time we spend in the Camargue region and in France. . . painting, drawing, writing!”

“Mik & I get the best creative ideas while traveling and have the best sex too.”

W15 4 5 IFJM 004


6 April 2015

W15 4 6 IFJM 001I called upon the spirit of Rodin to guide me through drawing David by Michelangelo.
No watercolors allowed.  Sketchbook in plain sight.

10:30am  From my journal:  “Galleria dell’Accademia.  Appointment with David.  I never saw it the first time to Florence because I saw the fakery and thought it was the original.
No watercolors, so took my limited time with a gesture drawing a la Rodin!
Very rusty, got better as I moved from left to right.  Big hands, like Rodin’s hands.”

“Fiction is a lie. 
Good fiction is the truth inside the lie.” 
Stephen King

W15 4 6 IFJM 003Right versus left, From my journal:
“5 minute impression.  Over an hour during lunch. 
Old style [mine] versus new try all watercolor impression.
Shaky at best but such fun!
Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Flower;Cattedrale de Santa Maria del Flore.
Architects Cambio and dome by Brunelleschi.”

“This is my skin.  This is not your skin, yet you are still under it!”  Ian Thomas


7 April 2015

W15 4 7 IFJM 001“Ponte Vecchio”

“Scribbled secret notebooks and wild typewritten
pages for yr own joy.” Jack Kerouac

From my journal:  “This morning we wrote about  E & M at a wonderful cafe near the Ponte Vecchio.  Kerouac talks about loving your life . . . I think you have to have to love your characters, even the evil ones to write them into your life.  I think you have to love the process too.  I love our creative process, love seeing the story unfold, watching the synchronicity of the characters and the history we never knew that inhabited and guided us.  I see E & M in these rich earthy drenched colors.”

“Walking along the streets, holding hands, kissing, being . . . loving my husband as if we were just married but better and more.  Having  it all . . . Us working together creatively!

W15 4 7 IFJM 004“Basilica of Santa Maria Novella”

“Those who dwell among the beauties and mysteries of the earth are never along or weary of life.”  Rachel Carson

From my journal:  “Tomorrow we are leaving Florence.  It is fitting that I sit and sketch Alberti’s Novella with a wonderful cup of coffee this afternoon, Mik reading at the table next to me.  I fell in love with Alberti in college.  I found his designs elegant and timeless.  Sweet.  Jewels.” 

“I keep thinking about Moore’s discussions of public places, and how we have lost them in our culture, and how Disneyland recreated them!  When you look at these huge plazas early early in the morning before the city is eating and drinking and shopping and lounging about, they look like cold hard places.  When the city wakes the plazas fill with bustling talking laughing people.  I crave this.  Maybe this is what Americans fall in love with, because we have lost that in our cities.  We are off to stroll around the city, hand in hand.  My loverman.”

BTW, I will get around to showing you the crazy pasted stuff in my journal.  Here is one example!  It’s how I see where we might want to go or have gone.  I wish I’d done this when I was a kid.

W15 4 7 IFJM 003


8 April 2015

“Anytime you get clear about what you mission is
or what your focus wants to be, things start to
come together in your life.”
  Eve Ensler

W15 4 8 IFJM 002“Santa Croce, the Basilica on the Piazza.  Home to the bones of Alberti, Dante, Galileo, Michelangelo, Ghiberti.  Franciscan.”

From my journal:  “Leaving Florence.  Grabbed coffee and some sort of biscotti and wandered to the plaza to see its emptiness.  We don’t have far to go but want to wander on our way to Parma.  the other worldliness of travel has finally arrived.   What is foremost in my mind now is an inner dialogue with dead mentors (Moore, Koenig); what I want our characters to see and feel and smell; and my intense reconnection on so many levels with Mik.”

“If buildings are to speak, they must have freedom of speech. . . the things they can say be they wistful or wise or powerful or heretical or silly have to respond to the range of human feelings.”  Charles Moore

W15 4 8 IFJM 004W15 4 8 IFJM 003“First stop 10:00am.
Sanctuario Madonna
di San Luca.
Outskirts of Bologna.”

From my journal:  “The architect gifted us with a surprise view through the wall to the intense blue sky.”

“Look at the juxtaposition of these two sacred places.”

W15 4 8 IFJM 008“Sanctuary of Santa Maria Della Steccata”

From my journal:  “Arriving in Parma, checked in for three nights, then went down the block to the lovely church where so much activity for E & M occurs.  The sanctuary I chose due to name and location, but oh, it is a sweet gem of a building and we are both taken by it!   The color [of the stonework] changes from quin gold to Minnesota pipestone [Daniel Smith watercolors] as clouds rolled overhead.”

“We walked and walked between our first encounter with Santa Maria and dinner — all routes E & M and her family will walk — to the Pallazzo Della Pilotta, to the theatre, to the Piazza del Duomo (outdoor market) and to the Cattedrale de Parma.  We’ll visit them in depth again, but oh, how cool to see what we’ve been imagining.”

“Appreciate everything , even the ordinary,
especially the ordinary.”
  Pema Chodron

From my journal:  “Dinner at the very romantic Gallo D’Oro.  We wanted fish, but ended up splitting Parma ham (we “had” to) and an unusual tortellini, antipasta, wine and local cheese/custard and not-very-sweet dessert.  Warm Tuscan colors, cheery, crowded, maybe family owned — and around the corner!  After ward, another walk, down to the Parma River and out onto a bridge.  It’s not Paris but it is lovely and romantic . . .   and I notice lots of people our age holding hands and kissing.”


9 April 2015

W15 4 9 IFJM 002“Palazzo Della Pilotta [River side or Front]”

9:30am From my Journal: “Today we are going to see E’s home as it might have been in the 17th century.  The renderings this page are of her home . . . sacked of all her families belongings . . . now a museum.  The building is a huge disappointment. . . an ugly blockish pale brown unadorned building.  In we go.”

“Arrive without traveling; See all without looking;
Do all without doing.”
  George Harrison

W15 4 9 IFJM 004 From my Journal: “From the museum @ the Palazzo.  NO Watercolors allowed! [Pencil then colored sitting outside during lunch.]  Damask w/ floral and foliated pattern brocade with gold thread.  Lace from the edges of the sleeve.  Loose fabric bustle.  Mantua [left] loosely draped, displays rich silk to best advantage.  Coat-like construction, held by sash.  Skirt over lace petticoats.  BANNED from the court of Louis XIV!”

“Day dress [right] is wool with stripes embroidered in silver gilt thread.”

[After] “Drew the back of the palace after our tour.  I wonder if Moore ever saw it, because of he did he’d have to see the barn-like shapes of these two wings ends.  They are the most interesting parts of the building. . . The language barrier kept me from getting answers about boarded up windows.  To a late lunch.”

W15 4 9 IFJM 001“Palazzo Della Pilotta [side facing town]”

W15 4 9 IFJM 003


10 April 2015

W15 4 10 IFJM 002“I had to add la bella luna!  Took liberties and painted the tower.
From the bar on Str. Duomo looking toward Cattedrale di Parma. 
How did this look in the 17th century?”

8am From my journal:  “Our routine.  We are not usually chatty in the morning at home, but do read snippets of what we ae seeing online one to the other; now we are writing / drawing in cafes (oops I stand corrected, bars) or eating on plazas . . . talking drawing, writing about what we see, plot changes, descriptions.  Today what is on my mind is how this street looked when E was alive.  We want to get it right.  True, it is fiction, but both of us hate it when writers have glaring mistakes.  As an architect I cringe when a character is AIA.  Writers do this thinking they’ll have oodles of time (workaholics), balanced (so often control freaks and divorced), and rich (HAHAHAHAAAA).  Few have good taste anymore.  With the constant need for computer drawing they are more geek than artist.  We don’t want to make [the same] glaring mistakes.”

W15 4 10 IFJM 003“BTW, this is our Bar.  Mik orders “un dippio” (two shots) and I have a marocchino.  And dunk biscotti.  Mik tries to talk Italian and I make endless fun of him for it!”

I should draw the coffee bar for you!

“If you can’t find the truth right where you are, where else do you expect to find it?”  Dogen Zenji

Duomo_di_Parma_francobollo“I decided not to try to draw the entire corner of Piazza del Duomo, because Elisabetta would never have seen it like this with scaffolding around the tower.  I have this wonderful image of a postage stamp from the brochure from the Cattedrale di Parma”

From my journal:  “The Piazza della Duomo houses the Museo Diocesano (the old Bishop’s Palace), the Cattedrale di Parma, and the Battistero di Parma.  The cathedral is unique, beautiful, and in need of a tour guide.  We were sitting in dim lights, discussing the need for light, looking at the frescoes on the vaulted ceiling for a LONG time before we overheard that you can light the place up for a couple of Euros!”

W15 4 10 IFJM 006“I am weary and only painted the lion because I was waiting for Mik; he bought books.  MORE books.  In Italian.  We are going to have to ship them back.”

“On the way “home” we bought “Pane Carasau: pane tipico sardo” a fairly low-calorie flat bread, and a cold risotto salad, a white cheese with a goat-like flavor (I pointed to), slices of Parma ham (which is like prosciutto), olives and fruit.  We’re tuckered out and need a break, so we are curling up in the room and noshing and reading and maybe painting.”

“Millions and millions of years would still not give me half enough time to describe that tiny instant of eternity when you put your arms around me and I put my arms around you.”  Jacques Prevert

Mind blowing how fast I can communicate with you all.  Your grandmother had to wait a couple of weeks for letters from me when I was in Paris three months, and I had to wait until I called her.  Now, instantaneous!


11 April 2015

W15 4 11 IFJM 003“Monastero di San Giovanni Evangelista”

“Love is the way messengers from the Mystery communicate.”  Nisargdatta Maharaj

10am From my Journal  “A slower day.  Promise of lots of sketching, and another day in Parma.  Why?  This morning we were told we are able to take a boat from Genoa to Marseilles.  This saves us days of driving!  (Okay, 2.)”

“So glad I brought [Charles] Moore along on this trip.  After all we’ve seen, Roark’s angry rant on the Parthenon came to mind:“Shall I tell you what’s rotten about it?  The famous flutings on the famous columns – what are they there for? To hide the joints in wood – when columns were made of wood, only these aren’t, they’re marble. The triglyphs, what are they? Wood. Wooden beams, the way they had to be laid when people began to build wooden shacks. Your Greeks took marble and they made copies of their wooden structures out of it, because others had done it that way. Then your masters of the Renaissance came along and made copies in plaster of copies in marble of copies in wood. Now here we are, making copies in steel and concrete of copies in plaster of copies in marble of copies in wood. Why?”  [Ayn Rand, the Fountainhead]  “I looked at post-modernism like fashion — paying homage to the past with modern technology.  Visual 3-D stories to influence the masses except I don’t really think architects let people in on the dialogue.  Then crap architects and mini-mart developers copied Graves [without knowing what the symbols were about] and it became a real mess.  I am a lover of modern buildings in the hands of skilled designers and even more of post-modern in the same hands.  I see almost nothing interesting coming out of the computer generation.  Bad designers made abominable; good designers made so-so.”

W15 4 11 IFJM 002“Monastero di San Giovanni Evangelista and Spice Shop.
No guidelines, 15 minutes.”

2pm From my Journal  “Drawing is part of thinking creatively, be it architecture, art, or design . . . hand to eye to brain to heart . . . computers do not activate those connections.”

W15 4 11 IFJM 004From my Journal  “Crossed from the “ugly” (okay plain) Pallazzo della Pilotta over a lovely bridge (and Torrente Parma) into Ducal Park.  The Palace is one that should be painted for months, feminine, sits in a lovely landscape.  At the other end is a lake, and to spark our imaginations, a wall of fountains. . . Relevant!  Yay!  So little time.  On the way back we passed an early hospital [Ospedale Vecchio].  Can it be worse than some of ours now?  YES, no pain killers).

“I don’t want to leave Parma but also am ready for our next drive, 3 hours straight, and we must check in with our boat company tomorrow night.”


12 April 2015

 “San Sisto Church.”

“It is hard not to see into the future, faced with
today’s blind architecture — a thousand times more
stupid and revolting than that of other ages.
How bored shall we be inside.”
  Andre Breton

From my journal: “When I saw the entry gate to San Sisto Church courtyard [left above] I thought it might be a postmodern addition!  A bit over-sized and crisp edges . . . not like antique stonework.  Had I added postmodern colors it would have sealed the visual.  Several pages of line drawings, colored line drawings, and watercolors has given me something to comment on.  I like plain line drawings or these soft loose impressionistic watercolors [right above, of the courtyard and church facade] best.  The colored drawings are a bit coloring-bookish. . . Just my hit today as we drive. . . I have a chance to muse.”

“Piacenze may or may not play a part in the story.  Characters are from here, but how much action happens here is not known right now.” 

“The San Sisto Church is Beautiful!”

“Dance the orange!”  Rainer Marie Rilke

W15 4 12 IFJM 005“The boats in front of Galata Museo Del Mare, Genoa Harbor.”
[Where we meet our rides to Marseille.]

7:30 pm From my journal: “We arrived @ Galata Museo Del Mare late after dropping off the car.  Glad we shipped Mik’s first purchases off . . . I didn’t want to burden our hosts.  While I waited with our belongings for Mik I sketched the area.  Grey skies make me nervous about sailing but it should be sunny by tomorrow.  I am nervous but Mik is thrilled.  He loves to sail and I hold him back . . Antonio and Palma are delightful and as I write this we are well-fed and curled into our cabin while they run a few errands. . . We will leave with the sunup and get to Marseille in about 12 hours — or more!  To sail or go by motor?!

“What counts more than style is whether
architecture improves our experience of the built world;
whether it makes us wonder why we never noticed places
in quite this way before.”


 13 April 2015

Understand that this was the first connection and conversation we’ve had, so we were  talking or enjoying Antonio and Palma’s company, and enjoying the sights.  Unfortunately for Mik, this will be the only time I ever see this view.  As I said, not a sailing gal!

W15 4 13 IFJM 001From my journal: “Wow! A replica of a brigantine passing us in the water [as we were getting started west.]   Mik says this is a possible vessel for E & M!”

W15 4 13 IFJM 004“Mayan / Phthalo / Manganese / Lapis [blues].  Water is hard!”

3pm From my journal: “Trip is about socializing & we are loving it . . . but I am goofy at oceans!  I drug out the two flats I brought.  Italy, above.  Below I will attempt a town . . . French!?  Mik wants a boat oh please help me . . . Update, I hate Cobalt Teal.  I better keep my day job.”

W15 4 13 IFJM 005Obviously, I suck at landscapes.  But then, I don’t do them much.  This was all I managed today, and posting because I have WiFi!!  We will have dinner on the boat, and even though we are to arrive in Marseille around 8:00pm, we will spend the night on the boat and get an early start tomorrow.

I miss the cats.  I don’t miss you guys yet but am enjoying contact through emails.


14 April 2015

W15 4 14 IFJM 002From my journal:  “11am Arles France.
Made a fast decision to head straight to Arles, so  said our goodbyes, got in a cab to Marseille Airport, picked up our car and boogied.”

“Oddly, as we were on the road, we saw the parallels between our choices and E & M’s!  The countryside was beautiful.  We found a B&B, Mi Casa, with the wonders of WiFi and Mac!  A charming street and room!

“We have one day in Arles (also like E & M) so we decided to walk along the Quai Marx Dornoy next to Le Rhone, and head to the Roman Amphitheatre.  Touristas!”

W15 4 14 IFJM 003W15 4 14 IFJM 006shed-with-sunflowers-18879pm  From my journal:  “We ducked into the Vincent Van Gogh Museum — disappointing — not much of his work on display.  I did find one captivating, Shed With Sunflowers, sweet and colorful.  [Postcard on its way!]”

“We walked by Le Cafe and made reservation . . . then on to a surprising find, a huge Roman amphitheatre in the center of town.  The history is interesting — which is good because these structures bore me.  After the fall of the Roman Empire Romans moved into the structure and turned it into a fortress, building over 200 houses [in the center.]   I’m sorry to say they removed the historic town and now hold cruel bull fights. I root for the bull.”

W15 4 14 IFJM 008From my journal: “Dinner at the cafe was okay — fair —  it was lovely to be in that historic space.”

“Tonight I added color memories of the day, because I didn’t take my watercolors along.  I kind of like doing it this way.  Another experiment!”

W15 4 14 IFJM 007


15 April

W15 4 15 IFJM 001“Gardian House Carmargue Region”

From my journal:  “Maybe it’s France.  We’ve had a shift in travel schedules . . . languid!  Took time for our lovemaking, and then a heavenly very French breakfast and favorite breakfast. . . brioche, a creamy cheese, fruit, [and for me] cafe au lait.  (M had un petit cafe — puts hair on your chest though it sounds sweet.)  We chilled.” 

W15 4 15 IFJM 002“Big black bull.  My first real (not plastic) flamingo.”

From my journal:  “Our drive to Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer was only an hour driven straight through the Carmargue. . . We took our time, stopped to allow a sketch and to allow the important area fill our senses . . . Healthy marsh, somewhat flat by this California turned Oregon gurl’s standards.  Horses, bull with huge horns, and FLAMINGOS!  I’ve only seen lalaland plastic variety in person . . . and my own flamingo lights of course so this was a HUGE teat, and we saw flocks!”

“Dreams are free . . . So free your dreams!”  Astrid Alauda

W15 4 15 IFJM 003“Roma gypsy “RV” showing up for the festival in May.
I want one.”

From my journal: “Roman Carmargue Cross.  Faith Hope Charity.  Cowboy [gardian] fork/prong = Faith; Sea Anchor = Hope; Heart = Love or Charity.  Daughters of Sophia (Wisdom).”

“This country feels more foreign than Italy or France, a place onto itself.  A place of Magic, mystery, seduction, wildness, fierceness.  The mix of tarot and Catholicism, saints and heathens.”

“When we arrived at the Hotel Marie we dropped everything (no sketchbook) and headed for the beach.  HOME, no matter what continent.  Feet in Sand, wet toes, salt air smell of sea.  We necked like teenagers then walked some more.  Dinner was what I’d call ciopino, but I didn’t write the name, a type of seafood stew.”

“Finish every day and be done with it.  You have done what you could; some blunders and absurdities [and poor drawings] no doubt crept in: forge them as soon as you can.  Tomorrow is a new day; you shall shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered in old nonsense.”  Emerson


16 April

W15 4 16 IFJM 001From my journal:  “Magic abounds.  You can feel it!
Paroisse Saint Marie de la Mer rooftop.”

“I’m restless.  Things are calling me.
My hair is being pulled by the Stars.”
  Anias Nin

W15 4 16 IFJM 003From my journal:  “Explored the church. . . We climbed to the roof to take in the view of an incredibly gorgeous sea.  The church houses the relics of Mary Magdalene, Mary Solme, and Mary Jacobe. . . and Saint Sara.  The pilgrimage that everyone is beginning to set up for is her celebration — Sara the Black, Sara-Kali.  We are going to to out to visit the gypsy’s to talk to them about Sara-Kali. . . Some are camped east and some are up the road on the beach.  I vote for the beach. . . and getting our tarot cards read.”


April 17

W15 4 17 IFJM 004From my Journal: “Early afternoon. . . We walked west along the beach moving from sand to boardwalk as necessary.  It took us hours, lovely wet sand and I’d worn my skirt and simply tied it so I could walk ankle-deep in the ocean.  We found the western campground with caravans and went knocking.  None too friendly at first, but finally found someone to talk to, and she agreed to pull a tarot for us.  Tomorrow, New Moon, is an auspicious time.  We are to wake and be in silence and consider our questions. . . and bring cash.”

“It is not only possible but probable that psyche and matter are too different aspects of one and the same thing.”  Carl Jung

W15 4 17 IFJM 006From my Journal: “Back in our room with the salty breeze coming through our window, I decided to draw the Kali Ma statue of Ganges River clay we bought from a Roma Gypsy vendor.  So many stories about Saint Sara (Sarah the Black, Sara-Kali) and her connection.  Some say she was a black servant to the three Mary’s [Mary Magdelene, Mary Jacobe, Mary Solome], that she arrived with them in their boat.  But others say Sara IS Kali, brought into the region by the Roma gypsies who come from India and that the myths evolved to allow the “pagan” goddess [odd the people think another countries religion is pagan] to be palatable for the Roman Catholics.  If so, she is creator and destroyer, Mother, protector.  Kali is so misunderstood by westerners.  She cuts heads or destroys illusion.  She devours evil.  OM Kali Ma!”

“It is better to fail  in originality
than to succeed in imitation.” 
Hermann Melville


 April 18

W15 4 18 IFJM 001This day is too chaotic to try to convey to you.  I took my journal and drew the images quickly, scribbling, because I also wanted to write down what she said.  I kept a page from Mik’s journal so I could write on both.  He took notes too, and I have them all.

From my journal:  “Incense, cleansing before entering the tent.  We were not invited into her caravan.  Before we went I had a long talk with Mik to stop him from even humming “Love Potion Number Nine,” however, it was in MY head all day.  The focus of the tarot questions we had were centered around our journey and the book.” 

“Oddly, before we got started she had laid the cards out and two black cats jumped on the table.  She was surprised because she said they rarely come around strangers.  Each put a deliberate paw on a card and we decided to take them as part of the pull.  Cats have always been good luck for us!”

I will paraphrase the info, instead of trying to decipher my notes, as there is so much to understand, and it will stay with us for the next week as we get into Camino territory:

The female pulled the Ace of Wands, which felt like a gift, and is about revolutionary transformation, following your intuition, and a caution to stay on a spiritual path.

The long-haired male pulled the Knight of Wands, about intellectual inventiveness, getting into a rhythm, and travel or a journey.

Gypsy pulled the Ace of Pentacles for me: about the long haul, belief in yourself, groundedness, seeing the big picture.

Gypsy pulled the 10 of Swords for Mik, about asking he questions.  Are illusions as real as reality?  Everything is an interpretation of the mind.  A caution to follow his dreams.

And for the book itself, the 3 of Cups, the LOVE card.  Surely it is a product of our love!  It is about passion, brings changes or growth, builds community, and is a symbol that we are creating our world!

W15 4 18 IFJM 003“The entire Universe is a great theater of mirrors, a set of hieroglyphs to decipher; everything is a sign, everything harbors and manifests mystery.  The principles of contradiction and of linear causality are supplanted by those of resolution and of synchronicity.”  Alice Bailey


 April 19

W15 4 19 IFJM 002“The only valuable thing is intuition.”  Einstein

W15 4 19 IFJM 004From my journal, our vision, as this journal is writing/painting us into our new life:
“Our dream is to finish the book together within twelve months.
On Sundays after yoga or a walk or lovemaking we will continue the writing process in coffee shops or tea rooms or around our Monterey table in our studio.
We will be supported financially toward our goal . . .
stealing some evenings and an occasional whole weekend at the ocean,
the year will culminate in 4-8 weeks off in December where we have prepped
to drop in and sprint to the creative finish line.  This will be a joyous experience!
Final edits will occur before this time next year.
We see each other in good health and excellent shape,
feeling joyful enthusiasm for our lives and our work.
This will be the first of many books together. 

This or something better for the good of all concerned.
So be it!”
❤ ❤ dkcat ❤ ❤
mrp om

W15 4 19 IFJM 010W15 4 19 IFJM 012From my journal:  “Isabelle drove down to meet us at Broc’ Cafe.  We met her through Dr. Chen, our Chinese doc.  Her acupuncture practice is thriving, and she’s taken up watercolors.  Her paintings are amazing . . . intuitive talent!  She tipped us toward places where the Camino would cross populated areas — or close enough — where we might meet up with travelers.  (Saying that word makes me think of Lord of the Rings or Deep Space w/ Star Trek.)  BTW, enjoying playing with the pencil from the hotel. . . It is softer that what I brought.”

W15 4 19 IFJM 013“The more I travel the more I realized that fear makes strangers of people who should be friends.”  Shirlee McLaine



April 20

W15 4 20 IFJM 005Middle of the night, Montpellier, from my journal:  “I woke to find the pensione cat had crawled into our bed and snuggled in like Jai does with me.  So so sweet.  Made me miss home tremendously.  The guys are not pets, they are family, and I am ready for home.  2/3 through our trip, loving it AND ready for Jai kisses.”

“All the world is made of faith, trust, and pixie dust.”
J. M. Barrie

W15 4 20 IFJM 002From my journal: “Found a group of travelers at benches outside a hostel at Eglais Sainte Mare Madelaine in Bezier.  Isabelle’s first tip was a good one.  M and I joined them for coffee.  None of them were technically traveling together. . . though they were loosely doing so now.  Our burning question:  “Why do YOU walk the Camino?’  [We wanted to hear it firsthand.]

“A woman in her 40s does a bit of it each year as a part of her Catholic Spiritual Practice, in Spring, and for no particular reason but penance. 

W15 4 20 IFJM 007A 50-ish man was doing it in honor of his dead wife.  He is an atheist, she was Catholic. 

A younger woman was one year sober and walking the Camino as her 4th step.  She cried as we talked.  She said she had talked about her regret with her sponsor, but none of her friends wanted to hear it.  She had lost so many friends due to her anger when she drank, and even more when she would not party with people anymore.

Back in the car, M & I talked about this research.  Nothing we can use in these conversation.”  11:30

“Dreams are the touchstone of our character.”  Thoreau

W15 4 20 IFJM 008 BANNER


 21 April

W15 4 21 IFJM 003“Marker for the way of St. James”

From my journal:  “We took our breakfast to a small country church in Baziege, laid out a blanket, and waited.  Latte, brioche, prosciutto and apples helped us pass the time. 

W15 4 21 IFJM 002I spoke to a traveler my age who opened up to me.  She was walking the Camino because her gossip had led to the ostracizing of a woman and that woman had committed suicide.  She had begun the journey in Arles and intended to go all the way to the cliffs.  She said if she could not change how she felt when she arrived she might jump.  This conversation upset us. 

I spoke to her about having been the victim of lies and that I, like the woman, had choices.  I moved.”

[Discussing dreams:]
“Around thirteen billion cells in the occipital cortex fire off with every image we experience, whether or not the image reaches consciousness, and whether or not the image is of endogenous or exogenous origin.  The fact that something has caused at least thirteen billion cells to fire off in the brain must be appreciated as wondrous.”  Brugh Joy

“On to Toulouse. . . La Ville Rose . . . The Pink City.  Sketched the Hospital La Grave.”

W15 4 21 IFJM 006From my journal:  “We stayed on the East side of the Garonne in a pensione near the Universite Toulouse.  On our way to dinner I did this sketch [below] of the hospital from Basilique Notre-Dame.  We had a wonderful roast chicken dinner — like my own cooking! Heaven.

Toulouse is a gorgeous city.  The lights and the waterways and the pink brick.

Not knowing French has been a problem.  [Let me explain, because I don’t know Italian either but I can understand more due to living near Mexico.]  The ‘Canal du Midi’ is a great example.  We saw waterways, rivers, etc. [on maps], but had no idea of this spectacular canal.  We could have taken the canal — it would have been a different trip from Montpellier!  Wish I’d known!”

W15 4 21 IFJM 007“Where your love like Heaven!”  Cat Stevens

“Heard today.  Home Home Home.  Young again.  Brings it all back!”


 22 April

“Watercolor is like a pet.
It has its own mind,
and you can only domesticate it to a certain degree.
You’d better find a constructive way of cohabitating.”

Felix Scheinberger
[Urban Watercolor Sketching, via Marion VO]

W15 4 22 IFJM 010From my journal: “Toulouse was part of the Camino or path of Saint James.  Saint Sernin-Basilica is part of the UNESCO Heritage Site.  Two places to cross the river in the 1600s: Point Neuf. built in the 16th Century, and the Bazacle, a ford across the Garonne, built in the 12th Century.”

“They tried to bury us.
They didn’t know we were seeds.”  Mexican Proverb


April 23

W15 4 23 IFJM 001From my journal:  “A great find, the Canal was built in time for E & M’s travel . . .  We had no idea but for being here, on foot, looking.”

Thanks to Isabelle again.  This will change the book considerably!

“After 1980 you never heard reference to space again.  Surface, the most convincing evidence of the descent into materialism, became the focus of design.  Space disappeared.”  Arthur Erickson


April 24

W15 4 24 IFJM 002From my journal:  “We stopped by the commune of the Aigues-Mortes (stagnant or dead water) on our way back to Marseille . . .  Our poor French has us wondering if this castle/fort was really built before the birth of Christ.  Part of the canal system (Canal du Rhone a Sete) enters through a wall.  The outside left me cold.  (Does it show in the drawings?)  But on the inside is a bustling lively city with eateries, markets, etc.  We had a light lunch of some sort of sandwich-bread-cheese concoction.”

[This day I was under the weather . . .  does it show, S & H?]

“It is not light that we need, but fire.
It is not the gentle shower, but thunder.
We need the storm, the whirlwind, and the earthquake.”
Frederick Douglas


April 25

W15 4 25 IFJM 002From my journal:  “Poked around Old Port, because this was a possible place E & M could be.  We shopped, finally, for gifts for Ruth and Family: soaps, chocolate.”

 “Life is the art of drawing without an eraser.”
John Gardner

W15 4 25 IFJM 007From my journal: “Walked off without a pen — geesh.  We walked up the Boulevard Liberation to visit the museum (Musee des Beaux Arts de Marseille).  It was fun to play tourists, no book agenda.  I was thrilled to see the Muse by Rodin and two Rubens — I love Ruben.” 

“We tried an airy, bright restaurant — La Table Cinq — for a fabulous dinner.  An amazing salad, pork and fish.  Split desserts, a lemony tart and a berry ‘cake’.”

“It is precisely because we resist the darkness in
ourselves that we miss the depths of the loveliness, beauty, brilliance, creativity, and joy that lie at our core.”
Thomas Moore, Dark Night of the Soul


April 26

W15 4 26 IFJM 003From my journal: “Everything is so close.  It took no time to get to Nice, and we decided to stay close to the water all the way to Genoa.  I had us stop at the train station, where I landed [years ago] in Nice in the snow.  In April it was cheerier, and crowded.  Old Town church.”

Note the writing here is in order of the day.  I wrote in my journal all wacky because the sketches dictated the order.

“I didn’t master writing and oral storytelling.
There is no mastery to be had.  You love the attempt.  You don’t master a story any more than you master a river.  You feel lucky to canoe down it.” 
Garrison Keller

W15 4 26 IFJM 007I apologize for the bits of writing.  I was all over this day!

From my journal: “Brigid Cross* bought in a marketplace with amazing gold/red/burgundy colors.”  [Above.]

“I want to go and I want to stay in Nice.  I felt like this in Paris.  Missing home and feeling at home.”

“We walked the narrow streets back to our pensione. . . I found some lovely scarves, baskets . . .  now we are shopping for Heather and Ruthie.”  [Below.]

“Creamy brie-like cheese, sliced ham, cold roasted asparagus, wine.  To go to our room.”

W15 4 26 IFJM 004“Form is Emptiness; Emptiness is Form.”  Buddha


*I can’t let this go by.
I bought the Brigid Cross in real life from Keith Madden,
and it fit so nicely here in my story.

April 27

W15 4 27 IFJM 001AFrom my journal: “The yum shop! Breakfast of brioche + yummies + cheese.”

“Another day of pure vacation as we head to Genoa . . . one of our takeaways brings us to remembering Eddie Izzard talking about Europe “where the old stuff is.”  Meandering up the slow road, hugging the coast, reminds me of 101 in California, and our precious Mission system (which we don’t take care of!)  Here, I could spend a week sketching in every tiny town, noteworthy gorgeous ‘in-use’ buildings and spend a year just from Marseille to Genoa!  Menton, one of the last places as we headed out this morning!”

Guys I don’t know if my personal thoughts were clear enough.  We have little ‘old stuff’ in he USA and we don’t care much about it.  Here they have so much ‘old stuff’ google barely knows about it!  I tried to find the name of the church above the blue striped awning I sketched below and could not.  It simply did not show up on any map!

W15 4 27 IFJM 003From my journal: “10am Had a coffee and hung out in front of Chiesa di San Michele in — wait for it — Latte, Italy!” 

“There is a truism in the world of architecture that
design creates culture.”
  Tilar Mazzeo

W15 4 27 IFJM 006“Have enough courage to trust love one more time
and always one more time.”
  Maya Angelou

W15 4 27 IFJM 008From my journal:  “Stopped about an hour from Genoa to eat and walk here.  I want to call this the cake church, because it looks like a frilly edged cake.  Antipasta, a pasta I’ve never seen before stuffed with cheese, and desserts to go. . . On to Genoa!”


April 28

W15 4 28 IFJM 004From my journal:  “Genoa, a key city in the novel.  The colors of the city are like Pompei, bright almost garish painted facades.  So many influences . . .  Arab? Roman?  We haven’t had enough time as we near the end, but I was able to find several key places we researched and soak up the visuals on how the city might have been. 

Then there are the Sad Lions.”

W15 4 28 IFJM 002“Happiness is holding someone in your arms and knowing you hold the whole world.”  Orham Panuk

W15 4 28 IFJM 007

W15 4 28 IFJM 008“Arise and drink your bliss for all that lives is holy.”  William Blake


April 29

W15 4 29 IFJM 000From my journal:  “Last day in Genoa, and we wandered into the Mercato Orientale . . . a well-kept tourist secret.  We wandered the stalls, bought more chocolate (we ate what we bought in Nice — oops!), bought spices (yum for us) some of which I’d never heard mentioned.  We can have an adventure at home figuring out what to do with them.  Upstairs found artist’s stalls and supported locals with art cards.

We took our lunch (bread, cheese, lunch meats, berries) and began our day long drive back to Rome. . . like driving 101, it should be beautiful.  We let go of Google map and are following signs.  It’s a gorgeous warm spring day, I’m with my loverman, life is good!”

“Honestly, the only question most ask about a new building at this point is basically, “Is it a soul sucking eyesore of cheap-ass despair?”  It’s not?  Whew.”  Sarah Lowell

W15 4 29 IFJM 003From my journal:  “Stopped for an ice cream in a nameless coastal town.  The drive has been amazing.  Gelato was great and we discovered we were in Puccini’s home town (statue and signs to his villa were the tip-off.)”

W15 4 29 IFJM 004From my journal:  “Having never seen the leaning tower of Pisa, I was surprised at what was AROUND it.  I loved the wonderful ice-cream-cone building in the Piazza (of course, maybe I am obsessed suddenly with ice cream.)  Okay, leaning tower seen.”

“We now MUST BOOGIE.  We want to pack and mail our goodies, and be ready to go home.  That will give us one good day of sight-seeing if everything goes smoothly.  On to Rome, and home May Day!”

“The divine is not something high above us.  It is in heaven. 
It is in Earth.  It is inside us.”  Morihei Ueshiba

W15 4 29 IFJM 002


April 30

W15 4 30 IFJM 004From my journal:  “Hard to believe it is our last day.  We thought to go to Vatican City, but we saw the lines and decided, another trip. . .  and back to Castel Sant’ Angelo, or the Roman Emperor Hadrian’s Mausoleum we went.”

W15 4 30 IFJM 003 W15 4 30 IFJM 001From my journal:  “We wandered across the Tiber and back into our stomping grounds from our first days.  We had everything packed to ship this AM!  Lunch on Campo Flori, simple red pizza and antipasta, not nearly as good as Antico Forna. . .  then wandered more, though I HAD to pull Mik back to Novelli.  He had not seen it.  He bought me a shiny copper body Lamy pen.  If only someone made a metallic copper ink that was waterproof!”

“We stocked up on more goodies for the night and trip home — then at the last minute went out for our dinner!”

“Memory is more indelible than ink.”
Anita Loos, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes

W15 4 30 IFJM 000Because it is our last day, I am posting the inside of the front and back of my journal.   In the front are things which helped me face what I was going through, personally.  I also took notes of foreign phrases as we traveled.  FRONT:

When we started the back was full of notes.  Now only the things that we didn’t do are in there, for another trip.

Moleskin 8×11 watercolor journal, Pentalic HB woodless pencil, De Artramentis Document and Super5 ink, and Daniel Smith, Holbien and QoR watercolors.

All my International Fake Journal Month posting are copyrighted.
It is unusual for me to not do Creative Commons but there is a reason.
My images/blog posts may be reposted; please link back to dkatiepowellart.


About International Fake Journal Month,
a piece I wrote before April:

BostonFAKERectangle200If Roz Stendahl has taught me anything it is that
you can make up a Thing for  Month and declare it
and before long people will believe It Is So.
April is International Fake Journal Month
(IFJM, for the cool kids.)

This is my first year participating.  Last year I was well
into the A to Z challenge and found Roz and wished
I’d seen this, because it is right up my alley.
For one month, I will be journaling as another character doing something completely FAKE. The only way you will know is the beginning of my blog posts will be labeled:

“IFJM: April Fool’s Day” (or whatever day it is).

After that, there will be no clue — I will write and make art as if I am that person
doing THAT thing!  You can do it too.  It’s not too late.  You can do art or write
(so no pressure if you are not an artist), and for those of you who want to do A to Z you can also incorporate this into that!  Find out all about IFJM!  Don’t be intimidated just because some folks are artists — some are not and they have a blast!  You writers can doodle if you think you can’t make art (I’m thinking of Sammy and Daniel . . . )  Come play with us!

BTW, if you don’t have a blog you can also post through Facebook on the IFJM page!

2015_IFJM_Button3_200The theme or catch phrase this year is considered truths

I will be using a moleskin, my first moleskin (so good for travel) and using a Pentalic  woodless pencil, Platinum Carbon pens, other pens with whatever ink I can find along the road, and Daniel Smith watercolors — when I can.  It’s hard traveling with all that gear!  (HINT.  HINT.)

My entire month will be posted here.  The pages will stand alone as if it were me.  Which it is.  Kinda sorta!  I am out the door to buy my tickets!  (HINT.  HINT.)

Gads this is like playing as a child! SO FUN!

Note: Roz Stendahl’s normal blog is Roz Wound Up.
You should visit.  She’s a great blogger!


All my International Fake Journal Month posting are copyrighted.
It is unusual for me to not do Creative Commons but there is a reason.
My images/blog posts may be reposted; please link back to dkatiepowellart.

40 Responses to IFJM 2015

  1. Pingback: IFJM 1: Sleeplessness | D.Katie Powell Art

  2. Pingback: IFJM 1.1: Travel | D.Katie Powell Art

  3. Pingback: IFJM 2: Rome | D.Katie Powell Art

  4. Pingback: IFJM 3: Elephant, Isis, and Pizza | D.Katie Powell Art

  5. Pingback: IFJM 4: Watercolors In Their Own Time | D.Katie Powell Art

  6. Pingback: IFJM 5: | D.Katie Powell Art

  7. Pingback: IFJM 5: Perugia and Arezzo | D.Katie Powell Art

  8. Pingback: IFJM 6: Florence, the City of David | D.Katie Powell Art

  9. Pingback: IFJM 7: | D.Katie Powell Art

  10. Pingback: IFJM 8: Bologna to Parma | D.Katie Powell Art

  11. Pingback: IFJM 9: Home, Palazzo Della Pilotta | D.Katie Powell Art

  12. Pingback: IFJM 10: Piazza del Duomo | D.Katie Powell Art

  13. Pingback: IFJM 11: Monastero di San Giovanni Evangelista and Ducal Park, Parma | D.Katie Powell Art

  14. Pingback: IFJM 12: Travel Parma to Genoa | D.Katie Powell Art

  15. Pingback: IFJM13: Sailing Far Far Away From The Shore | D.Katie Powell Art

  16. Pingback: IFJM 14: Marseille to Arles to Visit Van Gogh | D.Katie Powell Art

  17. Pingback: IFJM 15: Horses and Bulls and Flamingos, Oh My! | D.Katie Powell Art

  18. Pingback: IFJM 16: Saintes Maries de la Mer | D.Katie Powell Art

  19. Mascha says:

    A wonderful diary, I like your drawning/writing.
    Hats off! (that’s a compliment in German, I don’t know, can it say in English too).
    Greetings from Germany


  20. Pingback: IFJM 17: Saint Sara Kali | D.Katie Powell Art

  21. Pingback: IFJM 18: Tarot Reading Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer | D.Katie Powell Art

  22. Pingback: IFJM 19: Montpellier, Closer to the Camino | D.Katie Powell Art

  23. Pingback: IFJM 20: Meeting Camino Travelers | D.Katie Powell Art

  24. Pingback: IFJM 21: Bazeige to Toulouse, and more Camino Walkers | D.Katie Powell Art

  25. Pingback: IFJM 22: Toulouse | D.Katie Powell Art

  26. Pingback: IFJM 23: Thanks to Isabelle, the Canal du Midi | D.Katie Powell Art

  27. Pingback: IFJM 24: Aigues-Mortes | D.Katie Powell Art

  28. Pingback: IFJM 25: Old Port, and Being Tourists in Marseille | D.Katie Powell Art

  29. Pingback: IFJM 26: Nice! I Fell in Love Again! | D.Katie Powell Art

  30. Pingback: IFJM 27: Highway 101 in Italy | D.Katie Powell Art

  31. Pingback: IFJM 28: Genoa, the Painted City | D.Katie Powell Art

  32. Pingback: IFJM 29: Genoa to Rome, A Slow Drive on the Coast | D.Katie Powell Art

  33. Pingback: IFJM 30: Rome, Our Last Day | D.Katie Powell Art

  34. minnemie says:

    W.O.W. What a rich post full of great art and wonderful quotes! Thanks for sharing.


  35. An art journal is definitely a marvelous way to document a trip, and much more memorable than just photographs. Happy PPF! #63


  36. Pingback: VSW (Short for Virtual Sketch Walk): Amsterdam | D.Katie Powell Art

  37. Pingback: VSW: #1 A Short Walk in Laguna Beach, California | D.Katie Powell Art

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