Plein Air at the Park

It’s been a while since I posted.  To be honest, it’s been a while since I did any art.  Life has been busier than normal (is that possible?). Then today a double blessing – we all went to the park with enough leisure time for me to realize I might get in some sketching AND my 2yo Hurricane fell asleep at the park (first time ever for the highly energetic bundle she is).  This meant I was given a chance to practice watercolor plein air.  Yay me!

I haven’t studied that many watercolor tutorials yet.  But I did manage to get my paintings to evolve just with trial and lots of errors.   I started with just drawing and realized a little belatedly that this was my chance to try out some painting.20190511_192133

Then I tried again and went too wet with the paints so I kind of lost control of shaping and values.20190511_192138

The third attempt I went for form and control, remembering to do light values to dark (the opposite of oils).20190511_192301

Finally, I put it all together for a decent first day conclusion.  20190511_192339

Then as I opened my sketchbook, I found a subtle reminder of an artist’s life with children hanging around.  There are a half dozen new pages filled with drawings like this in my sketchbook.  The Hurricane strikes again!  Although this time, it’s a moment worth preserving.



Sketches from Bolivia


These are 2 sketches of a juiceseller that I saw during our last trip to Bolivia.  I’ve started working on several paintings based off of my sketches and photos.


I am starting to get used to having an art career while raising my whirlwind of a third child.  I’ve discovered I can jot down sketches, but actually painting will either have to wait for my 2-hour weekend session, or until my Whirlwind is out of toddlerdom.  The joys are that she wants to be with me as I create and draw.  The challenges . . . . well, not every sketchbook is understood as only mom’s and sharing paper is so much more fun!


As you can see from the scribbles over my thumbnail boxes on the left, I was getting “help” on these sketches.  The best part is, they become a journal of the two of us as we draw together.


Love theme preliminary sketches

For the month of February, the online illustration school that I attend,, is holding a contest.  The theme for the month is love.  The problem is trying not to be cliche and illustrating it with an original idea.  I spent an evening sketching out ideas.

As usual, I started with my kids.   I have a photo from our breakfast table where they were just loving each other, or maybe I should say the youngest was loving the older two and they were being very tolerant as she gave them jam-covered hugs.    I made a brief sketch of it to get the head positions and then decided to try a second version with each of them as cats or dogs.  My Happy Cricket thought she looked much cuter as a dog.

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Then I continued with my kid-like thinking and began imagining the expression “a bird can love a fish, but where would they live?”.  I imagined it with a whale and a canary dreaming of their home together.

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Finally, I took the bird and fish motif a bit further and drew them as yin and yang.

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Now I just have to wait for my whirlwind of a toddler to fall asleep and I can go down to the studio to ink them!


Vintage Avon



oil on art panel


This is a work-in-progress that I started last night.  It’s a vintage Avon perfume bottle that my grandmother gave me when I was five and a vintage handkerchief from my great-grandmother combined with a heritage rose.  I’m still looking for a name that doesn’t use vintage or antique.