Sunday, December 30, 2012

"New" Illustration Friday

New Snow!!

This is what it looks like around here. There is about a foot of new snow from two storms that came through this week. My oldest daughter and I pulled out the snowshoes and took a walk on the nearby rail trail this morning. There was no one else on the trail, and it was pristine except for one set of cross country ski tracks made by an earlier riser. It was wonderful to be outside and enjoying the best part of a winter day!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Snow Angel

Illustration Friday "snow"

Remembering the childhood pleasure of throwing one's self down in fresh snow, moving arms and legs and making a perfect snow angel.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

IF "Explore"

Illustration Friday "Explore"

The dreariness of our recent weather ---a lot of rainy, foggy days without much hope for a white Christmas inspired me to draw this week's topic with a more tropical theme.

Sunday, December 2, 2012


Working on this week's Illustration Friday post---"stretch"

Now I have to figure out a background for him, and add some watercolor.

Saturday, November 24, 2012


Illustration Friday "whiskers" (colored pencil and watercolor)

I had a very nice Thanksgiving holiday with family, and I am especially thankful for the long weekend to get organized for the month ahead. On top of all the Christmas insanity, I'm getting my work together for several art shows that have deadlines in December. I've also been working on a couple of prints. I finished a new reduction print of a crow which I'm hoping to get on my Etsy shop today. Here's a sneak peak of it.

It's very similar to a smaller 4"x 4" print I had made several years ago of the same subject, but this one is 5"x 7" with 2 layers of ink over a red-orangy rainbow roll.

Hope everyone is enjoying their weekend! Yesterday was mild, but today the wind picked up and brought in some much cooler, wintery temperatures. Brrrr...

Sunday, November 18, 2012


Here's the drawing I'm working on for this week's Illustration Friday prompt. I'm going to finish it up with some watercolor and get it on to the IF site tomorrow---hopefully. I've been busy this weekend with a couple of printmaking projects. I'm trying to print some Christmas cards from a Solar Plate I made Friday night, as well as another relief print. I also bought a cool "Gelli" plate that is supposed to work like a gelatin plate when doing monoprints. It's made from a rubbery material infused with mineral oil, that can be used over and over. I bought some monoprint inks too. I can't wait to experiment with it!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Illustration Friday "tree"

This week's IF prompt is "tree." I felt a little bittersweet  drawing this theme as I've been thinking about the large maple tree that had to be cut down recently in our backyard. For many years it supplied shade on part of our backyard and deck. It had a lovely shape, but it developed a crack above the main trunk that compromised its ability to withstand another winter or wind storm. Now the pieces sit stacked in the yard, ready for pickup by one of our neighbors who has a wood stove. On the other hand, our gardens will get more sustained sun next summer, and that should be a good thing.

Sunday, October 28, 2012


It was probably not the best decision to eat so much Halloween candy before bed.

We're anticipating some bad weather for the next few days while hurricane Sandy makes its way into our area. Hopefully we'll only see a lot of rain and moderate wind. Last year on Halloween, we had a freak 2 foot snowstorm that postponed Trick or Treat, and closed schools for a few days. This year it's a hurricane. Glad to get out this afternoon for a nice walk, and enjoy the last remnants of foliage. I imagine the rest of the leaves will be blown off the trees by the time we see the sunshine again.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Illustration Friday "sky"

"Sky Travelers"

A crazy, hectic, stressful day makes me wish I could just fly away--preferably there'd be a chaise lounge under a palm tree involved!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Illustration Friday "water"

Try not to get too water-logged.

My town has a giant pumpkin festival every October, where humungous pumpkins are weighed and displayed. They also turn some of the giant pumpkins into boats, and have a crazy race on the river. This morning it was raining very hard early, but fortunately by noon it was only cloudy and occasionally drizzly. I was gallery-sitting at the town hall for a few hours this afternoon, which gave me inspiration and a chance to work on this piece.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Illustration Friday "Mirror"

"Who's hogging the bathroom mirror?!"

Feeling a bit more like Fall today here in New England. We had a beautiful warm Friday with temperatures in the high 70's, and a Saturday that started mild but turned cooler after a rainy front went through. The foliage is becoming very colorful, and the "leaf peepers" are out in force for this Columbus Day weekend. Spent part of the afternoon working on a new block print of a Blue Jay that is coming along pretty well. I'll post it when I'm finished.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Illustration Friday "crooked"

This is the first stage of my post for Illustration Friday's "crooked" prompt. I'm going to add some color over the valued wash that I put down on the colored pencil drawing. I was inspired by a nursery rhyme about a crooked man who walked a crooked mile. This I guess is his crooked wife.

Sunday, September 16, 2012


It was probably not a good idea to put Hedgehog in charge of the balloons for the party!

It's a beautiful fall-like day here with nice cool temperatures in the low 70's. I just took a long walk around town, and noticed mums, pumpkins, and corn stalks springing up on local porches and front walks all over. The calendar still says summer for a few more days, but the signs are all there that it's coming to a close.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

IF "Imagination"

This week's theme reminded me of the breadth of children's' imaginations, and how fun it was to play at being whatever one wished.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Illustration Friday "Identical"

For this week's IF word, "identical", I was thinking about the mother-daughter identical outfits that I believe were more popular back in my childhood than today. I did find a few photos of myself and my younger sister wearing our identical dresses that my grandmother had made. It appears that at my birthday parties, for several years, she and I had matching outfits. At this one, I am 5 and she is two. 

Monday, August 27, 2012

Illustration Friday "tall"

You've got to be very hungry when you order the "tall" stack of pancakes!

Today's my official last day of summer vacation, and then I'm back to work tomorrow for the teachers' day, with students coming in on Wednesday. It has been a lovely summer here with few rainy days. I spent yesterday with a friend who lives near the seacoast, and we enjoyed lunch at a restaurant with a water view. There was not a cloud in the sky all day, and the temperature was in the low 80s. It was a perfect way to wrap up my summer break.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Illustration Friday "teacher"

Summer break is almost over, and next week I'll be back in the classroom again. I can't believe I've been an art teacher for about 30 years, and on top of that, I've literally been in some type of classroom every year since I was five and in kindergarten. Of course I always loved my art teachers, and I don't regret that I followed that path for a career. Every new year brings its challenges, but it also brings the rewards of working with students and helping them discover their own unique creative voices. This may sound sappy, but every once in a while when I observe our students really engaged in the process of creating their works, I think---- this is the best job ever.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Sketch for IF "freeze"


A 4-B pencil drawing for Illustration Friday this week---I usually use a black Prismacolor pencil, but was enjoying the feel of plain old graphite on my sketchbook paper so this is where I ended up.

This reminds me that I better get moving on the 2012 Sketchbook Project. I have the empty book on my desk. Last year I worked with colored pencil and watercolor, but found the thin pages wrinkled quite a bit when I added the watercolor. I'm not sure exactly what I'm going to use this year, but I'm thinking of a beach and nature theme.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Happy Birthday Dad!

Sending a great big "Happy Birthday" wish to my Dad on his 84th birthday! Hope this year brings health and happiness, and maybe an actual moose!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012


    This guy has an imaginative way to get the early apples!

I'm a little later than usual with this week's Illustration friday post, as it was a busy weekend with the Uncommon Art Show here on Saturday, and a trip to the 79th Annual Craftsmen's Show in Sunapee on Sunday. My husband had part of last week off so we also went to a lake on Thursday, and the ocean on Friday. It has been a beautiful summer overall, so I'm more than happy to take advantage of it!

Friday, August 3, 2012

Uncommon Art on the Common

On Saturday 8/4 from 10---4pm, I'll be manning my booth in the Goffstown Village. Over 30 craftsmen and artists will have work for sale at this annual arts fair. I'm looking forward to being a part of this event for the first time. Hot, sunny weather is forecast, so hope lots of people will be out enjoying the day!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Illustration Friday "lonely"

It's hard to be lonely when you've got friends!

I was working on this drawing last night while watching the Olympic Games on TV. In swimming, it's amazing to see how incredibly close the finishes are with only hundredths of seconds between winners and losers. Also incredibly difficult to understand the scoring for gymnastics with judges making deductions on minute errors that are undetectable to those not in the sport. Looking forward to track and field, but will probably watch a bit of everything over the course of the Games.

I wanted to post this today, but will hopefully have the finished colored version up soon.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Summer Projects

I just posted about my latest summer projects on the illustrators' group blog, Smells Like Crayons. We're a group of artists who met through our mutual interest in children's book illustration, and have maintained a loosely organized support system for all our artistic endeavors through the years. You can check out our blog and my post at Smells like Crayons.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Illustration Friday "carry"

This week's theme made me think about all the stuff we carry onto the beach every time we go. No longer am I lugging the kids' paraphernalia, but the chairs, the beach bag, cooler, and umbrella are still part of the trek from car to sand.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Illustration Friday "Lost"

When Mouse got lost, he climbed a flower to find his bearings.

It's hot and humid here today. The cat is spread out flat on the porch table, which has a grid-like surface. She's probably trying to find a little ventilation from underneath to keep her cooler.

I've been working on a new print, but I may have to go over to the college printmaking studio where the temperature is more comfortable to continue. I don't think the inks will dry in this weather. I will have a booth at an outdoor art fair on August 4th, so I need to keep busy during the next few weeks, creating some new prints to add to the ones I have.

Even when it's this hot, I am still so happy to be on summer vacation! Just wish it wouldn't fly by so fast!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Illustration Friday "suspend"

The builders had to suspend operations when the tide came in.

My husband had the past week off from work, and we enjoyed a pleasant day at the beach on Thursday. This was my first trip to the ocean this summer, and the water was surprisingly a comfortable temperature. I admit I didn't really go swimming, but it was pleasant to walk along the beach with my feet  in the water. My daughters had a blast kayaking a bit, and trying out a paddle board. My illustration this week reminds me of when they were much younger, and we always brought all the paraphernalia for building sand castles.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy 4th of July!

Hope everyone has a Happy and safe 4th of July! Looking forward to a little grilling, and later watching the Boston Pops and the fireworks display on TV. The rain came through early this morning, and now there's a beautiful blue sky!

Sunday, July 1, 2012


For this week's Illustration Friday prompt, "refresh" I was thinking about summer vacations, and how we all need time to refresh our minds, bodies, and spirits. Because I teach full time in a high school during the rest of the year, my summer vacation tends to be the time when I feel like I must get a lot done---new art, better Etsy shop, organize my studio space, on and on good intentions. Some days though, especially the hot ones (no central air here), I find myself pulling out the latest library book and plopping down in front of the fan for a refreshing escape into another's world.

I just read "The Unfinished Work of Elizabeth D." by Nichole Bernier, and enjoyed it very much!

Saturday, June 30, 2012

"Puzzle Print"

I finally finished a project that I've been working for a while. One of my friends, Hannah Phelps had been creating some beautiful woodblock prints using plates that she cut into pieces with a scroll saw. I wanted to see if I could do something similar using "easy cut' blocks and an X-acto knife.
I started off with a sketch of beach roses and a background of hills and sea.
I transferred  the image to a 6" x 9" piece of "easy cut" and outlined everything with a permanent marker. Using an X-acto knife, I tried to carefully cut out the flowers, and separated other sections of the block. You can see the first two layers will be light blue and yellow. I have the block firmly locked into a mat board frame with guidelines to help me line up the subsequent layers.

Here you can see the results of my progress.

I continued to cut away areas in the flowers, leaves, and background, and printed layers of pinks, blues, and greens. I used Akua inks and a lightweight block printing paper.

The block ready for the last layer of dark green ink...

And here is the finished print.

As this is a reduction print, I like the way the pinks stay pink, and the greens stay green. I did a regular reduction print of beach roses last year, and I found it difficult to choose the sequence of colors as there would be some areas of overlay using these complementary color tones. The hardest part of this process was maneuvering the inked flowers into the rest of the block each time I made a print. As an experiment trying this puzzle technique, I feel it was fairly successful. I ended up with 5 or 6 quality prints out of this edition of 20, and have a better idea of what to do, and what not to do next time.

Monday, June 18, 2012


                   Only her diary knew the name of her secret crush!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

IF "shiny"

I've added a little color to the black and white version I posted yesterday. She looks pretty happy posing with her shiny trophy!

Monday, June 11, 2012

"Shiny" sketch for IF

Here's the b and w sketch I'm working on for this week's Illustration Friday post. Lots of road races going on, and I was thinking about the shiny trophy for the winner. Such a busy weekend, I'm a little behind on my posting. Hope to get the colored version done by tomorrow night.

Saturday, June 2, 2012


On a hot summer day, you have to hurry to get your cone under control before it melts!

Today is definitely not a hot summer day! It's been pouring since the early am, and it feels raw and cool outside. I spent part of the day working at the local co-op gallery I belong to in town. The rain spoiled the town's scheduled "Old Home Day" celebration, and what we hoped would be a busy day at the gallery. Oh well, it is what it is---there will be better days ahead!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Illustration Friday "faded"

For this week's IF theme---faded, I was picturing faded, comfortable clothing. Then I had a "Little House" moment, and drew this young girl in her faded cotton dress, somewhere on the lonesome prairie.

It's been a lovely Memorial Day here. There was barely a cloud in the sky all day. I managed to get up for an early long walk, ate breakfast on the back porch while watching the birds at the feeder, and the squirrels and chipmunks foraging around underneath. This was all before 9am, when my husband and I walked down to Main Street to see the small Memorial Day parade our town puts on. In the proper spirit of thankfulness to our troops, I came home to finish putting in some tomato and zucchini plants. This weekend of beautiful summer-like weather makes me feel less than enthusiastic about going back to work tomorrow. In New England, this is our reward for living here, and making it through the cold, snowy winters.