Category Archives: Influences

Friday’s Thought – The Silver Lining

“Clouds come floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storm, but to add color to my sunset sky.”

(Rabindranath Tagore)


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Being Mindful of Giving Thanks

As I’m making progress in my recovery from whatever was making me ill (at this point I’m pretty sure it was a combination of age-related hormone changes + a walloping case of anxiety about what was going on with my body), I’m mindful of wanting to give thanks for all the love and support I’ve received from family and friends.  When you’re anxious and scared, it’s easy to feel like you’re all alone.  Even though there were times when I felt pretty awful over the past two months, I never felt alone…so a BIG THANK YOU for being there for me!

For those of you who might struggle with anxiety as well, or are just curious to know what’s helped me so far, I’m happy to share.  I see this recovery as an ongoing journey – one that will ultimately make me stronger, healthier, (and hopefully) wiser and more compassionate along the way.

In addition to my new ritual of daily meditation (I like to do my meditation just before breakfast), I’ve also done daily yoga sessions on Youtube with this wonderful teacher.  Getting outdoors for exercise in the sunshine and fresh air has also worked wonders.

Since our minds have an uncanny ability to sabotage our best intentions at times, I’ve also found it helpful to keep furthering my reading on meditation and mindfulness practice.   My book pile above currently includes the following titles:

How to Sit – Thich Nhat Hanh

Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway – Susan Jeffers, Ph.D

Timeless Truths for Modern Mindfulness – Arnie Koza, Ph.D

5-Minute Calm 

Breathe: The Well-Being Special

The Mindfulness Manual

(Not pictured, but also incredibly helpful have been the following two books: Minding the Body, Mending the Mind – Joan Borysenko, Ph.D, and, The Upward Spiral – Alex Korb, Ph.D)

XOX – Joana


Filed under Cartoon Illustration, funny art, Humorous Illustration, Influences, inspiration, live in the moment, Live In The Now, Live In The Present, motivation, wisdom

Friday’s Thought – Pondering the Fountain of Youth

“There is a fountain of youth: it is your mind, your talents, the creativity you bring to your life and the lives of people you love. When you learn to tap this source, you will truly have defeated age.”

(Sophia Loren)


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Friday’s Thought – The Little Details

“The true secret of happiness lies in taking a genuine interest in all the details of daily life.”

(William Morris)



Filed under Art, Cartoon Illustration, Drawing, drawing faces, Friday's Thought, funny art, Humorous Illustration, illustration, Influences, inspiration, Joana Miranda Studio, marker and ink illustration, New work, photography, wisdom, wise quotes

My Favorite Things – Illustrations by Hilary Knight

I’ve admired the work of illustrator Hilary Knight for a long time, so I was delighted to learn recently that there is an exhibit at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts dedicated to Knight’s fascination and love for the theatrical world.  (In addition to this wonderful Hilary Knight’s Stage Struck World exhibit, there will be a second exhibit dedicated to Knight’s most beloved children’s book character, Eloise, opening up at the Historical Society in June.)

After my rehearsal at the David Koch Theater yesterday, I made my way around the plaza to the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts.  The Hilary Knight exhibit is immediately visible as you enter the library.  A fabulous mural featuring Knight’s colorful characters along with an interesting video interview with Knight greets you as you walk in.

(Here’s a portion of that mural…)

The long hallway is papered with posters from Hilary Knight’s prodigious theater poster designing career.  Most fascinating is to see the different drafts and versions for each poster.

Posters for such musicals as Timbuktu…

And Sugar Babies.

Taking it all in is almost an impossibility, but the standout impression is one of joy, movement and color!

On the opposite wall are display case windows with Knight’s sketchbooks…

Pen and ink illustrations…

And, of course, sightings of Eloise.

And early ink and sepia illustration shows Hilary Knight’s talent with creating harmonious and humorous movement…

And that humor is also evident in this more serious-looking pencil illustration.

Knight’s illustrations resonate with me because they capture the human spirit in all it’s conditions, yet always do so with movement and irrepressible joy.  This is an exhibit worth revisiting…and, lucky for me, it’s not only free to the public, but it just happens to be around the corner from where I’m working these days.

And that’s certainly something to be happy about!


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Friday’s Thought – Theme and Variations


“Satisfaction lies in mindful repetition, the discovery of endless richness in subtle variations on familiar themes.”

(George B. Leonard)


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Filed under Architecture, Friday's Thought, Influences, New York, New York City, photography, wisdom, wise quotes

From My Sketchbook – My Peeps

Yes, these days my “peeps” – or the people I’m drawn to sketch – are the ones with unusual expressions and, often, quirky outfits.  Don’t get me wrong; I’ll still admire the rare specimen with the perfectly proportioned face, luminescent skin, elegant figure, and beautiful clothes.  But artistically speaking, it’s the humanity in the rest of us mortals that catches my attention and inspires me.  (Not to mention that there is charm and often humor in that which is unique.)








Filed under Art, Cartoon Illustration, Drawing, drawing faces, From My Sketchbook, funny art, Humorous Illustration, illustration, Influences, ink sketches, inspiration, New work, practicing drawing, quick sketch, sketchbook, subway sketches, weekly sketch project