Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy Birthday MOM!

My mom's 75th birthday is coming up on Sunday. Here's the little card that I made for her.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Illustration Friday "Winter"

Getting ready for a big snowstorm here in New England---our first one of this winter. I will have to break out the XC skis myself next week and get out there and enjoy it.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Merry Christmas

Three little snowmen bearing gifts---hope everyone has a wonderful holiday!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Solarplate Print "Lap Cat"

Just finished my 12 week printmaking class at NHIA with this Solarplate print of my cat, Sadie. She was sleeping on my lap the other day so I drew her from above. I transferred the sketch onto a piece of mylar, then transferred it onto the Solarplate. This image was printed on BFK paper using Akua waterbased intaglio ink.

It's funny, now that Sadie is getting older, she has become a lap cat. In her younger days she would never stay. I think her older bones must like the warmth, and since I'm always cold, I appreciate it too.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Illustration Friday "burning"

Don't you hate when you leave your perfectly toasted marshmallow in the fire for too long and the next thing you know, it's burning!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Stonewall Reduction Print

I've been having a great time taking a printmaking class this fall. Last weekend I had the opportunity to work in the studio Friday night, Saturday, and Sunday afternoon, while an "Open Studio" event was going on at the college. During this marathon session, I worked on a new four-color reduction print. The print is made using only one block that is carved away with each subsequent color. The darkest final layer pulls the image together.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Drypoint etching

I had the opportunity to take a workshop on drypoint etching last Saturday. This intaglio technique consists of scratching into a plexiglass plate with a stylus, and then pushing ink onto the surface with a small piece of matboard. The ink is then rubbed off with cheese cloth, leaving ink in the grooves. We used Akua intaglio ink which is an awesome ink because it can be cleaned up with water, but it becomes permanent and waterproof on your paper when completely dry. This is a huge improvement over the days of cleaning up with solvents. The plate was then put through an intaglio press along with dampened Reves BFK paper. My image came from a photograph of the stone wall at the end of my street, that I took last winter.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Illustration Friday "Spooky"

I wanted to create a spooky atmosphere for this piece, so I covered my paper with vine charcoal and rubbed it in with a tissue. I used the vine to draw the sketch, then pulled out the light areas with a kneaded eraser. To darken up some of the values and to add details, I used a black charcoal pencil. I like the way this technique allows for such a broad range of values, but also lets me get the fine details that I want.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Illustration Friday "beneath"

As I was working on sketches for IF this weekend, I couldn't get away from the concept of "beneath the sea", until it finally turned into "beneath the pier".

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Illustration Friday "old fashioned"

For this week's Illustration Friday, I was inspired by an old family photo album from around 1920, and this little girl with the old fashioned hair bow.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Illustraton Friday "Proverb"

I liked the sentiment in this proverb that I found in my handy book of quotations. It reminded me also of a quote by Langston Hughes, that I believe goes like this,"Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die, life is a broken winged bird that cannot fly."

Monday, September 6, 2010

Illustration Friday "Dessert"

For dessert I made a yummy "sand cake".This is the original illustration, but I liked the close up better.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Illustration Friday "Star Gazing"

For this week's Illustration Friday topic, I started off my piece drawing with pencil, followed by the usual black Prismacolor pencil and watercolor wash, along with more colored pencils. I couldn't get a rich enough sky tone so I tried layering and rubbing in pastels over the watercolor. I like the way the pastels add more depth to the sky, and give everything a softer feel. I used Strathmore Illustration board, and it held up well to the multiple media.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Friday, August 6, 2010

Illustration Friday "Caged"

This week's IF word is "caged". This formerly caged bird is looking for its freedom.
Speaking of birds, the house wrens nesting in our backyard birdhouse are raising their second brood of the season. From early morning to evening, the parents fly in and out bringing insects to their babies. One can tell when a parent approaches the nest, as there is a cacophony of chatter from what sounds like a lot of little mouths. I hope we'll see them fledge soon and maybe get an idea of how many babies were in there. As I write this, dusk is falling and I can still hear the sounds of feeding going on.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

House Portrait

This is a picture of a house portrait commission that I completed this summer. It was mainly done in watercolor with a little addition of colored pencil for fine lines and details.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Block Prints

I've been experimenting with "easy-cut" blocks, and doing some reduction prints of birds. I've been working small using only 4" x 4" blocks. Here are a few of my new images of a sanderling, crow, and piping plover.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Illustration Friday "breakfast"

When my sister and I were little, my father always made our pancakes into all different kinds of shapes. Later he continued the tradition for our children.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Back from Maine

I just got back from an art teacher fellowship at MECA (Maine College of Art) in Portland. It was an awesome week of collaborating with other artists, working in a personal studio space, participating in workshops, and enjoying the city of Portland with new friends. Living in a dorm and eating in the caf made it a true college experience. I brought lots of materials to work with, but ended up spending most of my studio time doing block printing. I experimented with easy-cut blocks and waterbased Speedball ink using the reduction method of printmaking. I ended up doing 4 new prints of different birds. Here are the 3 stages of my print of a black-backed gull.

Friday, July 9, 2010

IF Diary

This is an image I did a few years ago for a story about my grandmother. I thought it fit the theme for IF this week.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Beach Picnic

This "beach picnic" was inspired by a new blog I follow called We Love To Illustrate For Children. This month all the super-talented members of the group have created works with a picnic theme. Fellow illustrators can join in on the fun and link in their own picnic pieces. They can be found at

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Illustration Friday "giant"

I wish I had planted giant sunflowers this year. The goldfinches love to eat the seeds from them after the flowers go by. I did pick some snap peas for dinner last night, and the raspberries are ripe. Getting ready to cook burgers and dogs on the grill for a traditional 4th of July supper. Happy Independence Day!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Illustration Friday "satellite

Today's post is my 100th for this blog! I started blogging last July as a way to participate in Illustration Friday and to challenge myself to create new work on a regular basis. It's been great receiving feedback as well as being able to view the work of so many talented artists. It feels like a small world even though we are spread out around the globe! Just thinking, satellites must play a part in this.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The beginning of summer vacation

This illustration is a tribute to the beginning of summer and the break from my school schedule. Looking forward to a productive time of focusing on some new (and old) projects. I've got my summer studio set up---card table on the screened-in porch, some sharpened pencils, and a pile of blank paper. The possibilities always seem endless on the first day of summer vacation!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Illustration Friday "paisley"

Last week, a little girl was gathering creatures in a tidepool. For this week's IF I thought they should be returned to the sea.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Illustration Friday "ripple"

This week's Illustration Friday theme ties in with illustrator Kelly Light, and her effort to raise money for The Institute for Marine Mammal Studies, and the International Bird Rescue Research Center. Illustrators can donate their artwork to Ripple (If we all do small acts together - we can cause a ripple - and it can grow). One can donate $10 to either organization to help the animal victims of the Deep Water Horizon Gulf Oil Spill, choose a sketch card on Ripple, and the illustrator will mail out a signed copy of your chosen card. It's a win-win situation for everyone---inexpensive art for the buyer and money to a worthy cause.

This little girl "tidepooling" on the New England coast is a reminder of how devastating it would be if an oil spill happened here. We love and appreciate our beautiful beaches and coastline with its wide variety of wildlife, birds, and sea creatures. It's so hard to watch the news and see the continuing crisis unfolding in the Gulf.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Illustration Friday "trail'

One of my students suggested that I do an illustration from the story of Hansel and Gretel for Illustration Friday's word for the week. I used a smooth Strathmore paper with watercolors and prismacolor colored pencils.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Dog portrait

I was recently commissioned by a colleague to do a pencil drawing of her friend's dear departed yellow lab. I hadn't done a pet portrait in a while and enjoyed working with black verithin and regular prismacolor pencils to get the textures of the fur and grass.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Illustration Friday "slither"

Slippery, slithery spaghetti! Tried to think of an illustration that did not involve snakes because I realized I did not particularly like drawing snakes, and it seemed a too predictable way to go. Although, if an illustration assignment came my way involving snakes, yes, I would gladly draw them.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

IF "Early"

For this week's Illustration Friday, I tried to capture the sense of the early dawn, and the creatures who inhabit it.

Monday, May 17, 2010