How things are going

I’ve been feeling a LOT better since my surgery, although I have really fallen off the wagon with my healthy eating. I think that is in part because I feel better, so my diet is not always a priority on my mind like it was a few months ago. Some things that have stuck are that I have been eating quite a bit of fruit for the first time ever, and I haven’t eaten cold cereal with milk since November.

I have still been focusing on my health in other ways though. I started reading the book Mind over Medicine and it discusses the effects of stress in healing quite a bit. I’ve always known that I feel better overall when I work on art, but this book does a really good job of explaining why. I’ve also been trying to get better sleep at night and I’ve started taking melatonin which has helped my sleep tremendously. I bought a sauna back in December but I started using it recently and it’s incredibly relaxing.

Last year I did not get much artwork done, mostly because of all the upheaval in my life.
A chart of all the days I drew or painted in 2022.My schedule should be more routine for me now and I am going to focus on my artwork a lot more. Instead of just drawing random things in my sketchbook, I’ve decided to work on projects this year – things that will result in a tangible artwork to frame or a product (either digital or physical), or work in a series of some sort. With the limited time I have, I need to be intentional about what I focus on and I would also like to have something that I am able to sell at some point.

I’ve started by making a little series of flower drawings in sepia toned pen and ink and watercolor (see one of them below). I still need to edit the images and remove the backgrounds, etc. but I have an idea of something I would like to make with them. I recently cancelled my Photoshop subscription and purchased the Affinity suite (because there is no subscription). That means that I have to learn how to use the apps, which should be fun but will take me extra time.

Pen and ink and watercolor illustration of an orange poppy flower.
©2023 Carolyn A Pappas, Orange Poppy. Sepia ink and watercolor in moleskine sketchbook.


  1. Shirley Kern says:

    Dear Carolyn,
    I’m so very happy to hear that you are feeling good and things are going better for you. I’m glad that are starting to dive back into your art. I’m sure that you’ll do just fine learning the new apps. It’s always fun to have a new challenge. Looking forward to seeing your upcoming beautiful drawings and paintings. Be kind to yourself and take the time to heal your mind and body. Best wishes to you always. I love your painting of the flower.

    • Thank you so much for your kind words Shirley! I am so fortunate to have people like you who encourage me to dive back in! I am so looking forward to creating all of the things that I have planned out.

  2. Nouna says:

    Hi Carolyn,

    Glad to read that you are feeling much better and of all the good things you are doing for your health. Positive steps lead to positive results. Our bodies are wonderfully made, but we need to sustain them with good things. I follow the simple saying that “An apple a day keeps the doctor away”. Luckily I love apples!

    The Poppy is very pretty, and I like your bright, happy-looking calendar as well. Wishing you success in all your goals and looking forward to hearing of the positive results.
    With love and prayers, Nouna

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