Love in Wonderland

I got to do a super fun commission recently for a customer who always makes my day with her unique ideas and excitement over the whole creative process. I was asked to make a keepsake piece of artwork for a bride, to be given at her bridal shower. The theme of the party was to be “Wonderland.” The concept was to combine some aspects of fashion illustration (the bride is quite the fashionista and has chosen beautiful attire for her big day) and some components of Wonderland. Here are some images of the basic process as it got underway.


Then here are some closeups that had a bit of gold sparkle. * and if you look closely, you will see some “patriotic” flowers that represent the groom.

JillWonderlandFINAL-WM_2 JillWonderlandFINAL-WM_3 JillWonderlandFINAL-WM_4

Finally, I really got inspired to create wrappings for the gift that would hint at elements of  the art. I found some plain white tissue paper flowers at Target, and spattered them with watercolor to represent the huge watercolor blooms in the art.


Then I wrapped the gift with B&W striped paper to mimic the striped flower stems in the art and coordinate with the B&W ink sketch. I finished with multi-colored floral ribbon and metallic gold ribbon to go along with the shimmery gold paint accents I’d used in the art. I made a matching card using elements from the painting and then decorated the chic black envelope with a glittery gold heart.


i LOVED working on this project and wish everyday could include special commissions just like it. If you would like to work with me on a special keepsake like this, please drop me a line and we’ll see what we can brainstorm together!!

Catching up again

i think it’s just my MO. Blog regularly, settle into it. Find a rhythm. Then….get bogged down with a big project or deadline, and ignore it for a couple months. ugh. Maybe there is no use fighting it. i’m sporadic!

But, a lot has happened.  i’ve had a lovely holiday with my family, finished my new book, and survived 4 days of solo travel to a trade show in Atlanta to promote my upcoming gift line. Came home from said trip and fell ill for a solid 10 days with the worst combo of yuckiness i have ever experience. My hair hurt! : )


And now i’ve caught up on all the loose ends that followed that little whirlwind and i’m resetting my clock and  beginning to sketch daily and really create again. It’s an ebb and flow sorta thing.

So here’s a little smattering of images from the past couple months for a little catch up.


Christmas Eve with my sisters. Laura, Jodi, Lissa and me…. 

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Pencil Portrait: Sisters


No matter how many years pass or how many painting and sketching styles i try out along the way, i think i will always continue to do plain old pencil portraits. i love them so. These cutie patootie sisters were too precious not to share.

Drop me a line if you’d like to give a portrait gift for a holiday or special occasion. i’ve done quite a few for fellas looking to make their kiddos’ mama cry that happy, mushy cry.

What’s New


So much is in the pipeline for this spring, i thought i’d share a little.

i’m doing a juried art show in april at Historic Yellow Springs, here in Chester County, PA.  Busily painting for that as we speak. A bunch of new licensed products have hit stores recently, including these doodle book spinoffs.

i’ve also been hard at work designing lots of items that you guys will see available in shops in 2015. More details on that later!

My first ever online workshop, Layers of Color, starts on April 7. So i am VERY busy getting all the content up and running for that. Please join in! It will be a very loose, self-guided worskhop delivered via blog posts, step by step photos and videos on a password protected section of my site. The workshop basically shares all my favorite supplies, techniques, and ways that i lay down color and texture in my signature style. No experience is needed to play along. And you have access to the posts for a full year after the 6 week session is finished. $75. Read more & SIGN UP HERE!!

Some fun collaborations are upcoming with 2 wonderful artists; Stephanie Fizer Coleman and Jenny Alexander. Those will be posted very soon!

I’ve also been working on lots of new commissioned pieces, which is always so rewarding. Portraits, screenprint designs like the one above, logos and canvas paintings have all been heading out the door. If you’d like to chat with me about a special project; check out the basics here, shoot me an email at, or post a comment on this page and i’ll get back to you lickety split!

One bit of super-exciting news is that my husband and i will be breaking ground in about a month or so to build a new studio space onto our house. I’m hogging the first floor master right now as my workspace, but since we added our third little boy last april, it’s apparent that we need to make some room. We’ve been saving our pennies and plan to do much of the finishes and electrical (hubby is an electrician) ourselves, so i’ll be making a new series of blog posts in the warmer months to document the creation of this project. i am soooo excited, but also super nervous to take this big step. agh!

i can’t think of anything else right this second. Daylight savings is making me so happy for longer afternoons in the sunshine. Spring is finally trying to break through the waist-deep snowfall that slammed us this winter. My last little baby turns one next month. Finally, all the kiddos are feeling better and off their daily breathing treatments, There is just an overwhelming sense of hope and anticipation of what the year will bring.

i’ll leave you with a favorite sketch i made this weekend that is a sneak peek to some VERY different painting work i’m going to be doing in the coming months….enjoy!!

xo, s

Case Study: Branding + a little extra


i want to share a fun branding project with you. Months ago, i was fortunate to receive an email request from a very cool photographer in Alaska, named Leslie. Look at this stunning work she creates!?

We did so many fun elements! She wanted to do a logo,

some pattern for her site wallpaper,

a little initial watermark/favicon,


a business card,

and a blog header design with tabs,

We did these projects and had such a great time with them… and time marched on.

About a week ago, i was so excited to see Leslie’s name pop up in my inbox again! She wanted to add a few new “Alska-fied” motifs to her wallpaper pattern, (do you see the narwhal, moose & fox?)

and do some nostalgic, heart-tugging silhouette-style art for her packaging that features her own 2 little girls riding a narwhal; the veritable unicorn of the ocean. (Yes! they are real!) Kids + a fantastical looking creature that hails from the icy waters were just the perfect combination to tell Leslie’s story. Storytelling art is my very favorite kind of art to create! Woohoo!

In doing that piece, we stumbled into an unplanned project that turned out to be really magical. See, i think we both knew that the silhouette/graphic style would match the branding the most….buuuuut.….. a storybook-looking pen & ink illustration of her actual children would be just too special to pass up. Leslie decided to do both.

….and i got to google narwhals…..and draw with a very fine pen for the first time in a very long while.

Thanks so much for trusting me with your vision, Leslie! Helping you build such a special brand just makes my job so worthwhile.

If you would like to work with me on artwork that tells YOUR story…visit my “work with me page” and let’s get to chatting!

New Stuff and a Giveaway

Bouffant 11×14 Art Print

i had every intention of posting a giveaway last week, and it completely got away from me.

So here we go now with some pictorial evidence of new stuff coming out of the studio and a GIVEAWAY grab bag of a few prints, selected by yours truly, to a random commenter on this post. Tell me if you have a favorite recent piece and why. i really want to know!



UPDATE****** a winner was chosen at random on april 16,2013 – Jennifer Kitakis, come on down! shoot me an email at to get details on your grab bag!


Night Bloomers – 36×36 acrylic on canvas
Commission – 16×20 Watercolor Family Portrait
BLUEMARINE 11×11 Art Print
Custom Name Watercolor 8×10
KRISTEN 11×11 Art Print of my original acrylic painting

Fun Stampy Goodness in my Mailbox!

i posted a ways back about some custom rubber stamp characters i was commissioned to design for Tickled Pink Stamps in Australia.

Well!, i got a fun package with a few of them in my mailbox yesterday!! The stamps are so cute and shipping was flat, b/c you just get the rubber part and can mount it to a chunk of wood if you choose : ) OR, you can choose the digital option and receive a file of the art to use.

The 4×6-ish size is perfect for making cards and decorations. Stamp it down and color it up!!

Go visit Tickled Pink to snag some of their other designs as well.

sweet commission

Here’s little something  i’ve been working on….yep, still taped to my art board….

My friend commissioned this sketch for her boyfriend who is from the town where this gate is a landmark. Such a sweet thought, right? i hope he likes it.

Here’s a little info on the gate/arch.

From Wikipedia:

Qur’ān Gate (Persian: دروازه قرآن, Darvāzeh Ghor’ān) is a historic gate in the southern-central Persian city of Shiraz.

It is located at the northeastern entrance of the city, on the way to Marvdasht and Isfahan, between Baba Kouhi and Chehel Magham Mountains near Allah-O-Akbar Gorge.[1]


The Gate was first built during the reign of ‘Adud ad-Dawla. By the time of the Zand dynasty, it had sustained a lot of damage, so it was restored and a small room on top was added, in which were kept hand-written Qur’āns by Sultan Ibrahim Bin Shahrukh Gurekani. The two Qur’āns are known as Hifdah-Man.[1] Travelers passing underneath the gates were believed to receive the blessing of the Holy Book as they began their trip or journey from Shiraz.

During the Qajar dynasty, the gate was damaged by multiple earthquakes; it was later restored by Mohammad Zaki Khan Nouri.[1] In 1937 the two Qur’āns were taken from the gate and were taken to the Pars Museum in Shiraz, where they remain today. In 1949 the arch of the gate was restored by Hosein Igar, a merchant also known as E’temad Al-Tejar.[1]

Today the gates are part of a city park where Shirazis relax and picnic during their leisure hours.

sneekity peekity – for a cause

October is all about Breast Cancer Awareness! Tickled Pink Stamps Australia commissioned me to draw up 2 rubber stamp designs that will be produced and sold with a portion of profits donated.

Since there are so many other causes marked by ribbons of various colors as well,  we decided to keep the 2 designs neutral, merely featuring plain ribbons. This way, they can be colored any which way making the stamps versatile for lots of users! Make a flyer, a sticker, an email for your event or fundraiser! We’ve got you covered and you’re donating just by purchasing.

These 2 ladies are e not available just yet at TPS, but i’ll let you know when they are.