Tools & Talismans #47 — Penelope Dullaghan

My day starts out — rain or shine or snow or sleet (ok, maybe not hail) — with a walk. My dog Lucy and I walk down by the river behind my house and so my waterproof, warm shoes are very important to me. I often wear mala beads around my neck or have them sitting on my desk to remind me to reconnect with my breath. I also have a statue of Ganesha on my desk to remove obstacles. I love all the symbolism around Ganesha: big head for thinking big, small eyes for concentration, large ears for listening, axe to cut off attachments, etc. Every time I see him I feel better. Then I have tools like my brushes and ink which are used daily for my work. I also use a plain notebook and pencil to organize my life. They hold my weekly to-do lists, grocery lists, random notes and thoughts, etc. I’m sane because of that 80-cent notebook. And lastly, a simple candle. Every night I go around the house closing the curtains and lighting a few candles. This ritual helps me know that the work day is done and it’s time to relax and let the day go.

Penelope Dullaghan is an illustrator, artist and creative meanderer


Tools & Talismans is a personal painting project where I document {in watercolor} the tools and talismans of 100 different women — creators and healers, thinkers and makers, wordsmiths and visionaries. Join me for a year of Tools & Talismans — I'll be sharing a new painting with you every Wednesday.

I'd love to talk about creating illustrations for you! Do you have a project that needs some illustration? Think my work might be a good fit? Get in touch, I'd love to talk about your project with you!