What is a diary? According to Gwendolen, it is . . .
I never travel without my diary.
One should always have something sensational to read in the train.
--Gwendolen, from The Importance of Being Earnest
I started on my thumbnail sketch and was suddenly reminded of this painting by Jean-Honore Fragonard. So, I looked up the image and somewhat modeled my painting's composition and color scheme after "The Reader." I used my trusty faber-castell pens because I was too lazy to get out my dip pen. :) After I painted it, I scanned it in and added a few highlights in Painter--I have a terrible time keeping highlights in watercolors.
It reminds me of the journal I opened with the New Year, once, when I was a boy and a confiding and a willing prey to those impossible schemes of reform which well-meaning old maids and grandmothers set for the feet of unwary youths at that season of the year--setting oversized tasks for them, which, necessarily failing, as infallibly weaken the boy's strength
of will, diminish his confidence in himself and injure his chances of success in life.
--Mark Twain, The Innocents Abroad
Not keep a journal! How are your absent cousins to understand the tenour of your life in Bath without one? How are the civilities and compliments of every day to be related as they ought to be, unless noted down every evening in a journal? How are your various dresses to be remembered, and the particular state of your complexion, and curl of your hair to be described in all their diversities, without having constant recourse to a journal?
--Henry Tilney, from Northanger Abbey
[She] wrote in the diary which, with that magnificent freedom from human weakness that marked every aspect of her live, she kept all the year round instead of only during the first week of January.
--P.G. Wodehouse, The Coming of Bill
Personally, I am full of human weakness and my attempts to keep a diary are always dismal failures. But take heart! We have this bit of wisdom from Oscar Wilde's Miss Prism (and as someone who has written a three-volume novel, is she not a trustworthy authority?)
Memory, my dear Cecily, is the diary that we all carry about with us.