Wednesday, December 30, 2009

An Afternoon Well Spent

Another painting from my references at the nursing home. I wish I could remember this lady's name but I do remember that she was one of our favorites. She always played with us when we visited and the kids always wanted to work with her.

7 x 5

Monday, December 28, 2009

In the Spirit of Painting Quickly

Jumping off from yesterday, I decided to do another quick 5 x 7 painting (especially since I spent most of my afternoon with my nose in a book.) This took me an hour.
A few years ago I was part of a project with my daughter's 4/5 grade Montessori class. The teacher had won a grant to spend time doing art once a week with the nursing home residents who lived behind the school. I was fortunate to be in the right place at the right time and got to be the one who facilitated the art. At the end of the school year, we had a show where we displayed all of the art projects we had done. We had cookies and the students brought books over to read to some of the residents that we worked with.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Painting Quickly vs. Painting Slowly

I've got two watercolors to share today. The first one is from a reference of my son when he was 3 or 4. It measures 8.5 x 11. I've labored over this one for a while. Next time I will do some more pre-planning, like a value study first instead of trying to figure things out as I go.

From drawing to finished painting, the second one took me all of 70 minutes this afternoon. It was from a Wetcanvas weekend paint session in the All Media Events forum. I like this one better. I always like these better. I don't feel any pressure when I tackle these portraits and there is a suggested 2 hour time limit which forces one to work quickly. These are always so much more satisfying to me than the paintings I spend hours on. Sowhy do I continue to labor over so many paintings???

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Illustration Friday "Undone"

I'm sneaking this in before the next IF topic comes out tomorrow. Couldn't help but work Christmas into this illustration. It looks like he didn't do too much damage though.

I'm hunkering down for the Christmas weekend. We're supposed to be snowed in and I don't expect to get out for a couple of days. I've got a new computer and lots of paint and paper so we'll see what I come up with to post in the next few days.
Merry Christmas Everyone!

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Little Girl Portrait

This is a portrait commission I just finished. I saw a more recent picture of her. She's all grown up and she's gorgeous.
11 x 14

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Illustration Friday "Entangled"

I ended up with three versions of "Entangled" this week.

The first one I almost trashed but it ended up being a learning experience. I added the blue background and what I thought was a permanent black pen for the yarn turned out to not be and I went back in with white goache and I was satisfied with the result.

Then I redid it and liked my second version better.

And then I mistakenly scanned it in black and white and I think this one is my favorite maybe because I don't usually work monochromatically. A fun afternoon of painting.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Illustration Friday 11/6 "Blur"

This is so late but I'm posting it anyway. I got an unexpected day off today due to a sick child but he's been amazingly non-whiny or needy and seems to be recovering quietly so I get to paint!

Interestingly on Saturday, I took a workshop on a technique that the artist calls "Soft Focus"and everything we painted was blurry.

Genno and the Angel in the Woods Published

I've been told that working on a book is like having a baby. Well, this baby has taken 2+ years for me and 10+ years for the author. What's different about birthing a book is you never know your due date so we've just waited and wondered....until yesterday... I got a call from Angie Williams and our baby was born. ;)
If you would like to order a copy from me, let me know, or you can go directly to Publish America and buy your copy there.

Friday, November 06, 2009


Ginger is a fellow artist and unbeknownst to her, I took her picture while we were at our annual art show reception in early October. Along with the casual yet sophisticated pose, I love that I could include the paintings and ribbons in the background to help tell the story of her career as an artist and the many awards she has won.

Thursday, October 29, 2009


I've got to get all my Halloween illustrations out of my system in the next 2 days. I actually drew this one for Illustration Friday back when the theme was "wrapped" but never got around to posting. It's a friendly mummy. ;)

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


I'm practicing drawing "out of my head" - to me, an important skill that I would like to possess. ;)
Kids in the Pumpkin Patch 5 x 7

Monday, October 19, 2009

Illustration Friday "Frozen"

I had second thoughts about posting this because I'm NOT READY for WINTER!!! But I love painting snowmen. :)
I gessoed my watercolor paper before painting on it which is why it looks like it has a texture. I like this effect for snow.
8.5 x 10 in.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Monday, October 05, 2009

Trying to make up for lost time....

So I'm posting twice tonight! I painted this with the All Media Art Event forum on Wetcanvas over the weekend. I love painting people and kids creating art.

7 x 5 in.

IF Oct 2 "Germs"

It's been too long since I posted anything for IF. I've illustrated a bunch since my last post but got lazy due to a scanner issue, long story... So, I'm jumping back on the wagon. Here are a few germs. See if you can guess what the first one is....After I doodled these, my son sat with me and we created "Spores" which has something to do with a video game. It was a good art bonding experience.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Illustration Friday "Idle"

A couple of years ago, my husband and I took our kids up to a farm in Washington County, Nebraska where one day each fall, the farmer has an open house and he shows people how people used to grow corn and operate without machinery. That day, these tractors sat idle while we learned how corn was checked, rope and candles were made by hand, and transportation was by horse drawn carriage.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Tango - Illustration Friday

I went for a real classy upscale type of illustration for tango and I love the color blue green so that was my background choice. I found a video clip for reference and paused it when I thought the dancers were in a good pose. Then I experimented by spattering alcohol drops onto the background which didn't do what i thought it would do but maybe it was because I was using cold press w/c paper or it was too wet. Instead of leaving white spatters, they were dark so I spattered some water over that to get some white drops to add to the bubbly effect. I love the way winsor blue can be manipulated to get interesting textural effects. Of course, this ability can work against you if you want a smooth wash. :)

Monday, July 13, 2009

Illustration Friday "Hollow"

The first thing that came to mind when I saw the subject "Hollow" was how kids like to play with paper towel and toilet paper tubes. Lucky me, we had one handy and I coaxed my son once again to model. He's almost 9 and at one of the best ages for being curious and goofy without being self conscious about it.

Monday, July 06, 2009

Illustration Friday "Shaky"

This is my idea for this week's IF theme "Shaky". Two weeks in a row...Yay! Thanks go to my 8yo son, who modeled for me with only a tiny bit of coaxing. ;)

Monday, June 29, 2009

Illustration Friday "Worn"

For the last couple of weeks I have really wanted to start participating and though I doodled some images, the week was over before I knew it. But this week, I've made it!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Genno & the Angel Illustrations

This past week I finally finished the illustrations for Genno & the Angel written by Kansas City, MO author, Angela Williams. This is the second children's book I've had the opportunity to illustrate. They are now in the publisher's hands and the book should be available in about 3 months. I will definitely let you know when it is finally published. Here is a preview of the cover.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Family of Four

This is my latest portrait commission and the most faces I've done to date in one painting. Handsome bunch, aren't they?
Approx. 12 x 14

Friday, April 24, 2009

This is from Wetcanvas' All Media Event weekly paint which I used to be a regular at but now only join in occasionally. Anyway, I had an unplanned day off today and decided to paint this 1 year old boy. I only gave myself an hour but went over about 10 minutes. I really enjoy doing these little watercolor portraits and I've got a little collection piled on my desk. ;)
4 x 4 inches

(watercolor on 140 lb Arches cold press)

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Missy & Emma

This is for my friend, Missy, who I know loves her baby very much!. I love the pictures where she's kissing Emma and I wanted to try and capture that special moment between the two of them.
5 x 7

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Lying Around Portrait - Finished

Here is the finished painting. I really loved painting these girls. Everything just seemed to knit together easily. Of course, having a great referenced photo helps. I love the rose petals scattered around. They are the little extra that makes this portrait special. I also used a fairly limited palette of mostly warm reds and cool pinks balanced with blue and touches of yellow.

13 x 15 inches painted on Arches 140lb. cold press.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Lying Around WIP Part 3 - Stripes!

I never would've guessed how long it would take to paint the stripes I painted last night (about 2 hours). Maybe I just wasn't focusing well because I was listening to music too, but, anyway, I'm making progress. ;)

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Lying Around WIP Part 2

Both girls' faces are now done. Started working on the stripes today. Not a quick thing painting stripes. I am getting some beautiful pinks with scarlet lake, permanent rose, rose madder and cadmium orange. Back to painting....

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Lying Around WIP

I'm really liking this painting so far....I got the value of the washes on the skin right the first time which made me very happy. It's looking really clean and coming together quite nicely. Can't wait to do some more. Stay tuned...

12 x 16 watercolor on 140lb Arches cold press

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Illustration Friday "Subtract"

Subtract: to take away; deduct

I drew this quickly in my sketchbook and then used watercolor pencils to color it.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Portrait WIP - Part 2

Last night, I worked some more on the little girl's dress, the little boy's face and the background, but I'll need to do something wth that green between the heads. Stay tuned....

Sunday, March 15, 2009

New Double Portrait Work in Progress

I thought I'd post a WIP of the portrait commission I'm working on. It's roughly 12 x 16 painted on Arches 140 lb cold press. I think these kids look like "Hummel" figurines. They're so darn cute.

I am working from a photograph but I'm trying really hard not to make it look "hard" like many watercolor portraits I see that are painted from photographs. I let some of my first washes go over the lines and blend into the background. I will also soften the hair into the background in some places. I seem to stay with the same palette for most portraits (alizarin crimson and new gamboge for the first wash on the face; alizarin crimson, burnt sienna, cobalt blue, sap green, burnt umber, rose madder, perm. rose on the face; new gamboge, quinacridone gold, raw sienna, raw umber, burnt umber for the hair). I can't take any credit for these colors as I've studied with Jan Kunz and this is her palette but it's one I'm comfortable with.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Baby portrait ....Hayley

Yesterday I painted this while I sat at an art show (emphasis on "show"). It was supposed to be a demo but only a few people stopped to watch and whenever I looked up and said "hi", they would scatter.....because I'm so scary. lol
This painting is a good example of why I love watercolors. Their amazing ability to look spontaneous and fresh even when they are carefully controlled.....
This is a painting of my now 13 year old daughter when she was around 8 months old. 7 x 5.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Chase - Dog Portrait

Here is another recent dog portrait that I finished.

Watercolor 14 x 17 inches

I'm busy doing major framing this weekend for the Omaha Visiting Nurses Association's Annual Art & Soup fundraiser on Feb 22.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Chalking it Up

Who couldn't be entertained with an enormous sidewalk slate and pieces of chalk? This was from a field day at the end of my son's kindergarten year. I followed the kids around and happily snapped pictures.
This painting will be included in the Omaha Visiting Nurses Association's annual Art & Soup Fundraiser on Feb. 22.

Drippy Daffodils

6 x 6 in. watercolor on Aquabord Daffodils are one of my favorite flowers and dozens of little clusters have been appearing in my yard s...