“The nutcracker sits under the holiday tree, a guardian of childhood stories. Feed him walnuts and he will crack open a tale…” Vera Nazarian, author and award-winning artist.

The nutcracker and other trinkets

The nutcracker and other trinkets. (Sakura Koi Water Colour Pocket Field Sketch Box and Strathmore Mixed Media Visual Journal).

This page was painted as part of an assignment for Jane Lafazio’s Sketching and Watercolor :Journal Style class in 2014.

I really enjoyed these lessons.   Jane show us how to appreciate and record the simple things in life.  A little pine cone here, a special memento there, a delicate rosebud all become possibilities for lovely journal pages under her guidance.

Jane’s teaching style is very calm and reassuring.  She teaches her students to compose journal pages using different techniques and subjects.

For example, in this lesson, I painted seashells.

I never thought I would enjoy painting a sewing machine, but after taking Jane’s class, I added my nonna’s Singer sewing machine to my journal.

In “From the Plumber’s Tool Kit“, I painted odd things like an old copper faucet, a drain, a water valve in a journal page.  I was extremely pleased with the outcome.  I would never have thought of painting such items had Jane not pushed me in that direction.

I think it is always good to try new techniques and to continue learning.  Too many people think they cannot paint or sketch but the truth is that everyone can do it under proper guidance.


There are so many ways to learn to sketch or paint.  Local high schools offer evening classes that can be very satisfying.  And more than ever, it is easy to find free tutorials or to sign up for online classes for more in-depth and personal instruction.  Yes, personal!  When you submit your work to the class, the teacher and other students will comment on it.  If you wish, they will also give you suggestions for improving your work.

Take it from someone who has bought many online classes, this virtual world is an excellent place to learn whatever it is you wish to pursue as a hobby or craft or passion.

Cheers everyone!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *