Tuesday, November 29, 2011


I painted these candies as a lesson for my watercolor class this month. If you are interested in this project, I put together a 7 page pdf booklet and you can purchase it here.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

New Watercolor - finally!

Here's a painting I recently finished of a white cat on a piano. I've really been wanting to explore textural effects. I've done it a bit here and there but am ready to keep moving forward with it. Right now I'm playing with textural backgrounds. I painted this cat realistically but I wanted to get some texture, value and shape in the background. I painted the background randomly with gesso to get the texture and then I just played around with the shapes and values until I got something I liked.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Illustration Friday "Swell"

How about a nice fat, feasting mosquito for Illustration Friday's topic "swell" (as long as it's not on me.) I tried to capture a feeling of the body starting to float up like a balloon and ready to pop!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Illustration Friday "Obsession"

Here is my illustration for IF's theme "Obsession". I love painting kids in costumes. I don't know why besides the fact that they're so cute. Maybe it's an obsession? I love the color green. Dragons/dinosaurs can be green. Boys like those things. Voila! 

To my regular readers, I'm sorry I haven't posted for 6 weeks. I didn't realize it had been so long. I've been pretty busy with lots of things and I took a vacation but I'm back and will try to get rolling again. :)

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Sunday, June 05, 2011

Illustration Friday "Shadows"

This weeks IF theme is Shadows and this is the first thing I thought of. Who doesn't enjoy a good shadow monster...especially when it scares the cat. I can so totally see my 10 yr old son doing this. :)

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Illustration Friday "Asleep"

OK. Illustration "Tuesday" for me this week which is earlier than I usually post and thank you in advance to anyone who stops to see this. I doodled this cat and dog a few weeks ago for another IF topic (which escapes me at the moment) and I was happy to be able to go back to it for this week's topic "Asleep".

Monday, May 30, 2011

Marouschka - a little girl watercolor portrait

I joined in the Weekend Paint on Wetcanvas and couldn't resist painting little Marouschka. I haven't done a watercolor portrait for a while. I keep letting myself get distracted and also I've been trying to develop an illustration style which is like learning another language! This is my native language - straight portraiture in watercolor and it was without any commission pressure so it was a breeze to paint. Some day I hope that children's illustration will come as naturally for me.

The only part about this portrait that I do not like is that I didn't wait for my first wash on her face to dry before I jumped into the background and the purple moved in. You can't really lift it so it has a somewhat ghastly cast to it, too heavy. I really hate purple for flesh colors. If I were to try it again, I'd go for lighter and more scarlet lake in the complexion. But overall, I am happy with this.

Now, back to illustration.... :)

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Illustration Friday - Safari

This was so fun and I'm so late hardly anyone will see this but here's my illustration for Illustration Friday's challenge last Friday "Safari".

Monday, May 09, 2011

Illustration Friday "Beginner"

So many things you can do with "beginner". The first thought that popped into my head was music lessons, this was #2 and I decided to go with it. 

Someday I hope to figure how to get my thumbnail sized correctly for the IF Blog. Does anyone else have trouble with this? I've done everything I can think of, followed directions online and they still come out bigger than 15K even when they 72 dpi and 50 x 50 pixels. ?? I'm taking my question to a Photoshop expert tomorrow night but in the meantime I really wanted to post this before Thursday. :) Have a super week!

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Butterfly & Lilac Watercolor

Here is a painting that I also taught in my watercolor class. They wanted to try masking fluid and I introduced the concept of negative painting in the lilac. It's been a work in progress that I've fiddled with and now I'm calling it done.

Sunday, May 01, 2011

Spring Blossoms

I spent around 5 hours this weekend cleaning up my garden. There is still lots to do but I have to wait for the trash to be picked up because I filled all of my trash cans. It finally feels like spring here and it was perfect weather to garden about 60 degrees. Tonight, my husband asked me why I had a red line on my back above the waistband of my pants. Apparently that part of me was in the sun long enough to get burned while I was bending over my plants. LOL

We have an enormous flowering pear tree in our front yard that is gorgeous for about 2 weeks every spring. This is a close up of the blossoms that I painted on a 6 x 6 piece of Aquaboard. A fun surface to work with and it just needs to be sprayed and framed.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Illustration Friday "Journey"

Last Friday's IF topic was Journey. These turn into week long projects for me and today is the deadline. This is a day in the life of my cat, Juliet. It's not a real traveling type of journey because she doesn't meander far from our yard but this is her world. She's a real character and I think I've captured her spirit and body language. That one of her lying on the patio is so typical with her long, lanky body relaxing in the sun. The life of a cat.

This second sketch was my idea for the previous week's topic "Bottled". I doodled while my husband and I drove down the Missouri Watercolor Society's Annual Show that weekend. I just had to chuckle because it looks so similar to the one that was chosen for IF's home page - I like mine better though. :) I'll paint this one up and try to get it posted in the next few days.

Thursday, April 07, 2011

Watercolor painting of Lab Puppy - Mojave

My husband's co-worker let me paint her beautiful labrador puppy named Mojave. Isn't that a cool name? :)  I am selling prints in my Etsy store so if you love chocolate labs or you know someone who does, you can find them here .

Monday, April 04, 2011

Illustration Friday "Duet"

This weekend, it felt like spring. I had 4 crocus wake up this week and my daffodils are blooming. I hope you're feeling spring in your corner of the world, too.  :)

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Illustration Friday - Toy

I find that the pieces I have the most fun with are usually inspired by things I'm familiar with. This one is inspired by our cat, Midnight. When we adopted her, her name was Spitfire because she liked to jump on this elderly lady's beehive hairdo. She still has a hair fetish, but thankfully she's doesn't jump on heads anymore. My kids liked the oh-so-original pet name of "Midnight" so she was rechristened and calmed down quite a bit after that and she grew up and became a plump housecat. The end. :)

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Illustration Friday - Cultivate

Here is my illustration for Cultivate, inspired by my daughter and similar to the illustration in my sidebar. I'm kind of tickled with this character and have plans to use her in future illustrations. And I had to include our kitty, Juliet, trying to steal some affection though she is black in real life and I haven't quite figured out how to paint her as an illustration using black...yet. I'm thinking I may need to darken the values in this but here it is for now.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

News Article about my illustration

Tess Sykes is my new best friend! She is a local writer who I met when she did a couple of stories  last year- one about a local art club that I belong to, Bellevue Artists Association and then another highlighting the watercolor class that I began teaching one year ago. She recently started a blog to review children's books and asked to interview me. I am really impressed with her writing. :) Everyone needs to know a person like Tess to cheer them on. Thank you, Tess!


Sunday, March 13, 2011

IF "Stir"

Where does the time go? I haven't posted for about 3 weeks but not because I haven't been painting. I've actually attempted the last two Illustration Fridays even reworking one a couple of time but I didn't think they were very successful so fast forward and we'll try "Stir". This reminded me of my husband's hunting dog who was a German Short Haired Pointer and a superior bird dog. He was really pretty, too, and thought he was a lap dog. I wish I had more pictures of him.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Illustration Friday "Layer"

I'm always late for IF. It seems to take a day or two for an idea to percolate in my head. Then sometimes it take another day or two to finish it. I really enjoyed this one. This sort of goes with the "itching for Spring" theme of my previous post. I'm sure most people are feeling this way. I understand Mother Nature is sending us more cold weather tonight though. :(

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Illustration Friday - Sweater

The theme for Illustration Friday this week was Sweater. Lots of fun you can have with that one. I originally thought it would be fun to have a really poofy sweater with a little bit of dog showing. Maybe I'll still play with that but this is I ended up with. :) 

and..........Happy Valentine's Day!

Sunday, February 06, 2011

Hayley & Juliet

This is a picture of my daughter and one of our cats, Juliet, who loves to be cuddled and held. I think she'd be really happy in a sling baby carrier. :)

13 x 16

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Watercolor Child Portrait Finished

C'est fini! And I am really proud of this one.  It's called "Quilted" and I actually made the quilt wrapped around my son. I wish more of it showed because it was a cat design that caught my eye about 8 years ago. It was paper pieced and took many hours. I've only made a few quilts and this one had a gazillion pieces and tons of quilting. I will definitely try to use it in a future painting.

Each painting is a learning experience. I have learned quite a bit about working with earth colors lately. This painting was much more subdued than others that I've done. I wanted to go darker and I also stayed true to the quilt colors. Lots of raw and burnt umber mixed with ultramarine blue. Raw umber is a very handy color. I use it a lot in hair and I actually used a similar painting technique on the quilt as I do with hair. Basically you're working dry in wet and layering and building the colors up light to dark. I also did a little wet in wet but not sloppy wet so I could control it some. This way you get soft edges.

For the background I took advantage of the paint (raw umber mostly). It's a granulating pigment so you're bound to get some flecks of paint that settle. I let it react with my damp background and do what it wanted to. I also painted the sofa while the background was dark hence the crazy edges. I love it. My husband hates it. But I told him it's better to leave those things than keep going back over and making a mess. Blooms and backwashes can be beautiful things .... It's art after all.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Watercolor Portrait On My Easel

This is a painting of my son. So far it's going pretty smoothly. I wanted a lose background and I think I achieved that. I think it's important to have a variety of edges both soft and hard. Even though I am using a photograph for a reference, I don't want it to look that obvious. The hard part (face) is done and now it's just figuring out how to paint the quilt he's wrapped in. Actually, that may be the hard part. I will post the finish in a few days.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Illustration Friday "Deja Vu"

Illustration Monday for me! We had a snow day today so I stayed home from work and though I spent most of the day in my studio, I didn't get as much done as I wanted to, seemed to take forever getting my next painting ready to paint, but tomorrow I will be ready to get my brushes out. 

My interpretation of Deja Vu.

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Aquarium Collage

This is a fun project I put together for a class I'm taking. It started with a paperclip. I used mostly my own collage paper made with acrylic paint on rice paper. The seaweed is some scrapbook paper I had been saving for just the right project.

This year I'm planning on focusing more on illustration and I did this project with children's illustration in the back of my mind.

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...