completed work – Watery Woodnymph 24×30

All finished! This is a 24×30 gallery wrapped canvas painted with acrylics and overlaid with intricate line work done in opaque paint pens. Its all listed up in my etsy shop too!

Sometimes it is hard to draw the first lines of the illustration onto the canvas. Especially after you really work at getting just the right background with your paint and brush. About halfway through, i often regret ruining it. But that’s also usually when i jnow i just need to push forward until i’ve seen it through.

i know a lot of folks would have left it abstract and pure, with just color on the canvas….

What do you all think? Are you ever tempted to stop short of your plan? but then push forward anyway?

Fingerpaint & Chalk – new artwork

ImpressionistPainting1-doodledThis artwork is the painter’s equivalent of a writer’s mind dump. You get all these thoughts swirling in your head and have an almost physical need to get them out on paper, or in this case-computer screen, since i made the art using my favorite toy. My Wacom Intuos4 Graphics tablet and stylus. Oh man! How did i ever live without them?! No messy paint tubes and no brush cleanup….especially nice when your urge for a mind-dump comes in the wee small hours and you’ve got a 2 month old baby sleeping beside you! SO awesome to be able to get my vision onto the screen without even changing my seat!

i kept seeing this filmy colorful background….sort of like when latex balloons in bright colors overlap each other with the sunshine behind them? Bright, vivid and transparent….

The sketches had to be white. No other option. The sketchy, messy style is a little different than my usual doodlings, but i see a trend moving toward the UN-done look like this for me in the coming weeks. It feels very genuine and somewhat warm and inviting because of it….like a conversation. Approachable and friendly. i haven’t named it yet, though i’ve had many suggestions on facebook.

Fingerpaint was my favorite theme so far.

Maybe Fingerpaint & Chalk??

well here’s something new – doodling digitally

ColorfulCuts2Doodling on the graphics tablet again…this was a super interesting and tedious exercise. Putting aside pencil and paper and scanner is so foreign to me! But in this piece i wanted to do something that felt handmade and clean at the same time, would have imperfect shapes and scribbly textures, while still looking crisp. And we all know i’m a fan of intricate detail. : )

i think i’m happy with how this turned out, but with pieces this time-consuming and intricate, i tend to go “blind” by the end. i need to sleep on it and look again with fresh, editing eyes tomorrow. Then we’ll see what i really think. So welcome to the process and nighty-night!

New artwork – Technicolor USA

USMAP-blogi started this map of the USA this past summer and got to a certain point where i just stopped.

i don’t know why? Maybe i got distracted by other work, maybe i needed a breather from all the close, detail work? i think maybe i ran out of ideas for patterns to draw in each state!

Anyway, the map popped up in the background of another photo i blogged earlier and got quite a few comments, so i finally decided to finish it already!!

Each state is a bright color, hand-drawn pattern or a snip of one of my other artworks. It’s a happy map. i hope it inspires happy travels.

You can find it in my etsy shop at 11×14.

Art on a baby’s belly


Hey gang, here’s just a quickie post because i burned the midnight oil last night on a super exciting project…..which i can finally share on thursday!

Today i’ll share with you this little ditty. A giraffe illustration in my colorful, twirly style that was commissioned by Green As Wee Grow. It’s the final piece in a 3-illustration package i’ve released to this awesome indie organic baby/kids clothing company. i can’t wait to see the completed itty bitties!

commissions: in my element


Last week i received a lovely email from a man who had seen a past art exhibit of mine and bought some of the pieces for his daughters. He mentioned that seeing one of my art pieces on the wall as he was tucking his daughter in one night gave him an inspired idea for a birthday gift for his wife, Sadie. He wondered if i could create a portrait of her so she’d have a piece of her own.  i sent my usual reply quoting my pencil portrait and painted portrait prices, but also mentioned that maybe we could do something more whimsical if she was a fan of my style. i was over-the-moon excited when he quickly wrote back that he was absolutely interested in that! From that moment on, i was working with a collaborator and dream client. He encouraged me to take artistic license, he listed all his wife’s favorite things and the names of their precious 3 children, then mentioned a few of my pieces, namely, Miss Lookilou, whose style he admired. That was enough to get my creativity revved up, so i got to work!

i whipped up a quick pencil sketch and emailed it along with the Miss Lookilou inspiration piece and another illustration i’d done last year exclusively for indie fixx’s Feed Your Soul project. i explained that i’d like to sort of combine the 2 concepts and come up with something just for this project. i also mentioned that i’d love to do a custom collage mat if he was game….and find a frame all with a bit of Anthropologie flavor since he’d mentioned she loved that style. The comp was a hit and i was on my way.


The final drawing took about 3-4 hours all in all and incorporated the kids’ names, a map of Ireland (the couple’s native country) the Sydney Opera House, a glass of red wine (my kinda lady!), books, some red crosses as a nod to Sadie’s career, her birthdate, the Milkboy Coffee Logo (b/c that’s where they first saw my art and where Sadie goes to get her caffeine fix regularly), then the words, “Sexy Sadie”(her college nickname) and  “i love you.” The final touch was a cut paper yellow rose which i placed above her ear. Yellow roses are her favorite and i thought the collage element would add dimension and tie the drawing in with the patchwork mat i’d made.

Finally, i scanned the art and manipulated it digitally to create 4 possible colorways for the client to choose from. They’re shown below.


We couldn’t decide! It was tough, so i’m giving the couple a few prints as options and letting Sadie be the final say. But for framing, i chose the drawing done in reds since that is her favorite color. Here are some shots of the finished piece.


i truly hope this is only the first of many projects like this that will come my way. The client, John, was simply the best to work with. His enthusiasm for the project and willingness to give me creative freedom was so refreshing! His excitement to give the gift and his overall generous demeanor were icing on the cake. When i work with husbands for gifts for their wives, i am always touched by the thoughtfulness and obvious care and affection they have for these women. i sure do hope Sadie likes the art! It is filled with  devotion and love.

Happy Birthday Sadie!

….and if anyone else wants to collaborate on a piece like this, shoot me a message! i am primed and ready and thirsty for more!

completed works – when i grow up…

CupCakeSprinkler…a little something for everyone. A mix of all my favorite colors, combined into my favorite pattern which is used to fill the words in this little ditty for the indecisive and crazy ambitious little girl (or not so little girl) in your life. It’s never too early to start dreaming big about what makes you happy. You can do it all! And here’s the reminder.

This piece is really reflective of me as an individual. i’ve never been the best at zero-ing in on one interest, one field of study,  one art medium or one lifelong dream. i bet i would have written something like the above artwork when i was 6 years old, and then again at age 12 and maybe again as a young adult. You can see it in my artwork. It’s in the clashing of themes and colors and chaotic calamity of it all. But i think there is also a calm to it. i know who i am now. And rather than say i am “scattered”, i prefer to think of myself as appreciative of beauty in many forms. Yep. i like it. That’s me. Today i’m pretty much feelin the  cupcake sprinkler. Tomorrow maybe i’ll slip into my tap shoes.