japanese friendship garden -- phoenix, arizona

Japanese Friendship Garden, Phoenix, AZ / 7″ x 10″ ball-point pen on sketch paper

Because of a total absence of information, when I booked my flight, I took the earliest flight because the travel agent had been told we were to arrive by noon Sunday. So I ended up arriving in Phoenix by 9:45 a.m., although the conference didn’t even start until Monday morning. And since I couldn’t check in to the hotel until 3 p.m. (believe me, I asked, as I desperately needed a little sleep), I inquired as to where I could spend a few hours waiting near the hotel. I was directed to a nearby park. A pond filled with koi mesmerized me for awhile. The balmy weather and waterfall relaxed me, and drawing this nook in the park absorbed my attention completely for a few hours. The pen was a bit primitive (being just a crummy Bic ballpoint), but it sufficed. The drawing is very busy, dense with foliage, which captured that corner of the garden well.

I found people in Phoenix quite friendly. The staff I met at the airport and hotel were eager to help. And as I sat drawing, a number of people sat on the bench next to me to watch and chat. Several people asked if I’d gone to school for art, and I wasted no time letting them know I’m self-taught. That sparked an interesting conversation with an older woman about creativity and how art is everyone’s domain, and how that understanding is lost when we are told it is only for the “talented,” or that it’s a waste of time to pursue. She looked thoughtful as I shared my perspective. Perhaps she’ll be inspired to connect with her innate creativity someday. It is never too late.

It was an amiable way to spend an afternoon. Later that evening I also enjoyed a really good visit with my sister and brother-in-law. It was fun to see them, and they very graciously treated me to dinner. Yum! Sleep was sweet that night.

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6 Comments on “Souvenir”

  1. Laura Says:

    Beautiful – I’m glad that you had a good time in the park (and that you eventually got to check in and sleep, too! :).

  2. Fran Says:

    Wonderful sketch–and I’m glad you had a pleasant outdoor time in Phoenix–conference, visit with relatives, etc. I have family in Phoenix and when it’s hot, it is miserable. You wouldn’t have been able to sit in the park.

  3. kat Says:

    what a gorgeous drawing kathryn!! i especially love the tree.

  4. tess/chameleon chronicles Says:

    Wow! That’s beautiful. Wouldn’t know it was done with a “crummy” pen! Glad you enjoyed the warmth in Phoenix. (I am heading back there in a few days myself.)

    For most of my life I have battled the (crummy!) idea that art is only for the “talented” and is in any case a waste of time. I am thinking and writing about this issue now in particular because of some of the questions in Chapter 8 of the Artist’s Way book. It is inspiring to witness your vulnerability, your creative energies and the way you find balance in your life.

    I’ve been reading your blog but have not commented before. Just wanted to say hello and also empathize with the grief you mentioned earlier. That’s quite a lot to weather. Take care of yourself.

  5. vishwanath Says:

    Hi kathryn,

    That was an interesting conversation about creativity with the woman in the airport. It’s true–most of the people i know either think art is way too above them and only for the gifted, or they too busy to waste time in such mindless pursuits.

    Liked some of your earlier posts( Taken by surprise).

  6. thimbuktu Says:

    This beautiful artpiece can only be done by someone with a clear, peaceful and calm mind. You are a soulmate with a true love for Nature.