Jun 26, 2009

Girls on the prairie

So here's my pioneer girl painting, all finished!

A Letter from Brother
8x10in Watercolor and colored pencil on hot press paper.
These two pioneer girls are reading a much-anticipated letter from their older brother, who has gone out further west beyond the prairie.

Original is HERE
Prints and such are HERE

Been a quiet day in the forest. A good day, really -- I think I have the best collectors in the world. :) (Art collectors, that is!)
I am still working on portrait-style Mr. Darcy and Lizzie paintings. Brother watching The Simpsons on another laptop here in my studio space, we'll see how working goes! I am feeling quiet, so I suppose that'll be all for now. There will be ice cream later.

Jun 24, 2009


So I finished this horse illustration, and I thought it was fun to do:

New Baby
8x8in Watercolor and colored pencil on hot press paper.
A mare and her new foal are enjoying the sweet smell of the hay in the stable this fine spring day.
This was created for the “Ripped Off” 2009 EBSQ show! It is based on Kiya Sanders's (who happens to be my best friend!) “Horse and Baby”, found here. Kiya has also painted her own versions of my Talisman of Escape and November Shadow. The show isn't up yet so I can't show hers to you yet! It is a fun show to do, and it occurs once a year.

Oh yes, and:
Original is at my Etsy shop!'
Prints & such are at my ArtWanted shop!

The end.

Jun 23, 2009

Gardening update and Upside down tomatoes in a 2-liter bottle update

Hey all -- I know I've been terribly absent for over a week! We've actually been dealing with a lot of crazy circumstances and losses in our family, all at once and I guess I haven't felt like posting. I tend to be rather private about emotional goings-on, and there are a lot of goings-on. Just trying to roll with it all and depend on God. He seems to be the only unshakeable One around here!
Anywho, I have still been painting; just finished a pioneer girl illustration that I've submitted to my critique group for any revisions before I post it here. And currently, I am working on a horse painting! A mama and baby, for the EBSQ "Ripped Off" show. I'm doing it in a rather picture-book type format, with space for text.
Last but not least, it is SO time for a garden update as our gardens are exploding! There are going to be a lot of pictures, bear with me. ;)

Current state of the top garden. The cucumbers and watermelons are quickly migrating and spreading over the bottom half!

Current state of the front garden. There are also gigantic zucchini plants, oregano and lavender that you don't see in this picture. Those tomato plants are absolutely covered now in little green tomatoes! Had to finally tie them to the stakes today as they are starting to bow from the weight.

The upside down tomatoes are doing splendidly. Even they are now covered with little green tomatoes, which sprouted since this photo was taken! Some of their stalks have flipped now so that they point straight down instead of growing upwards like this.

This is a great way to reuse those plastic bottles for a good thing, folks! A refresher on how I did this:

Need: Baby tomato plant, 2-liter bottle, craft knife, single hole-punch, 2 long pieces of thick string or twine (I crocheted mine out of yarn with a chain stitch), coffee filter, dirt.
1. Cut the bottom off of a 2-liter bottle or juice bottle.
2. Punch 4 evenly spaced holes around the rim of the bottom to put hanging string through. Can put duct tape around the rim before you do this for more strength if you want.
3. Pull a piece of twine through 2 of the holes on each side, so that the twine hugs the outside of the bottle to hang it with.
4. Carefully pull baby tomato plant through the smaller mouth of the bottle, by either leaves or roots, whichever will go through easiest until the leafy part is all outside the bottle.
5. Put a coffee filter around the plant's base like a tree skirt inside the bottle so it won't fall out as you put the dirt in.
6. Fill up the bottle with dirt, with the small mouth of the bottle & plant facing downwards.
7. Tie it up somewhere sunny!
8. Water it very well, until the water runs out the bottom. After that keep it consistently moist. In my hot/dry climate I water them every day, sometimes even twice for REALLY hot days. Less if it's cloudy/raining.
9. Watch it grow and eat some lovely tomatoes!


I love this completely adorable watermelon. It's about softball sized now, I wonder how big it will grow?

Aah! Bell pepper of cuteness!

Eggplants really make beautiful flowers. This wound up turning into a baby eggplant.

Mystery squash in the top garden. I have no idea what this will be, but it is huge! Methinks there was a seed in the compost when we mixed it in with the garden soil. In the compost heap itself there is another great big mystery squash growing that is different from this one, and today I discovered some potato plants growing in there too! Compost heaps are really great fun. Full of surprises. ;)

Here is what I picked today. Three pickling cucumbers (there will be salad tonight!), a big zucchini, and some oregano. The oregano was getting leggy and was sprouting little blossoms, so I thought it ought to be trimmed. This garden has been such a rewarding experience and joyful too. Good to have some joy especially when the world has gone crazy.
Well that's it for now, folks! Hopefully an art update soon.

Jun 15, 2009

Er yeah, more critters!

So apparently this making of little ACEOs with animals in them thing is quite fun. I have more!

Cornflower Mouse ACEO

Sparrow ACEO

Auctions are here of course!

Also good practice for more realistic-style animals for illustration jobs. Which reminds me, I finally sent out some promo postcards today!! Now that I've actually broken the ice and DONE it, it doesn't feel as intimidating as it did before. Yay, finally.
I am going to have to make another post about gardening soon, all of our vegetables are exploding with life! There are little green tomatoes all over the place, many more zucchini, even a cute tiny watermelon. And I didn't know that eggplant made such pretty purple flowers.
My mom's car has just broke down on top of everything else -- agh. I sure don't know what it is going on, it seems like everything is going wrong all at once for her! At least the house is getting nicely re-done, it's actually turning out to be something of a blessing because of the whole flooding incident. It smells of new wood and construction in there.
Still a lot of work to do today, I'd best keep on going. Have a beautiful summer day, all!

Jun 13, 2009

Spot Illustrations

I've been making these little animal spot illustrations today, and they've been really fun. Here are two of them up on auction at the moment:

Poppy Rabbit ACEO

Smiling Beaver ACEO

Auctions are here!

My poor displaced mum is still here, probably will be for awhile yet. They've torn out the ceiling and the floors, so her house is a shell! It's been a busy family kind of week. My sister's birthday was also yesterday, and we celebrated with supper and strawberry cake with cream cheese frosting. She turned the big 21, heheh. Tonight's supper was chicken dumpling stew. Yum!
My cat is busy snoring away over on his favorite perch on the bookshelf, and I have a bit of work to do yet. I wonder if there will be more thunderstorms? They just keep coming and coming.

Jun 11, 2009

New painting: Strangely Familiar

So I've finished the oil-like girl at last! It seemed like a good place to stop, rather than keep tweaking it.

Strangely Familiar
6x8in Watercolor on hot press paper.
Dreams are funny things, mixing ordinary things with the fantastic.

Original available in Etsy shop
Prints & such available in ArtWanted shop

A detail:

It's been quite an eventful past few days... for those on Twitter, you know that my mom's house whilst in its roof shingle-less state got flooded out in a huge thunderstorm and nearly destroyed, so after a very late night evacuation of important things my mom and brother are staying here with us. Thankfully the roofers are paying for the damages and the house can be repaired (unlike what we thought at first), but wow what a nightmare! I sure hope all of their belongings can be salvaged; we already got most of the super-important stuff out a couple of nights ago. Sheesh, you just never know when something like this will happen and your world changes in an instant! My mommy has been displaced and poor brother shocked. :(
In nicer news, my promotional postcards have arrived and they look pretty. My critique group made lots of great suggestions for how I can improve them, so that is what I will do for the next batch. Now to send out to publishers!
Hopefully I will have more time to blog soon, it's been craziness around here!

Jun 5, 2009


So I've decided to start offering sketches on Etsy. Usually I'm pretty possessive of those since I don't get to keep most of my paintings, but I thought it would be fun to do some on purpose that I know I'll be letting fly to new homes!

Friend of the Meadow

She's available here on Etsy!

And here's a detail:

I just had an artichoke and a grilled cheese sandwich, but strangely am still hungry. Bah! Maybe it is that I did not have any chocolate for dessert. ;) It will soon be remedied! Can you believe I'm still working on the giant chocolate block I got from Trader Joe's... I've had it for a month. Only a few squares to go!
It's been raining all day here in the forest, which is probably good since it is fire season now.
I'm stalled on the oil-like watercolor painting, it seems to have come to a grinding halt! Methinks I need to walk away from it for awhile and come back with fresh eyes. Meanwhile I can delve into the million other projects that are going on.

Jun 4, 2009

A Year of Sketching!

So I've finally finished up this back-burner project, which is to put my entire sketchbook from 2008 up on my website. Go and see!

My 2008 Sketchbook
Okay, so you might have to be a little dedicated to click through all those thumbnails. But still, could be fun! I love looking at other people's sketchbooks.

I had a credit to use over at Paperback Swap (lovely wonderful way to get free books!) and I ordered Catundra, one of those Serendipity books I loved so much as a kid. I got it today, and oh is it cheering me! I've always adored Robin James's illustrations and looking at them was definitely an influence on me wanting to be an artist when I was growing up. They're just so colorful and lush and sweet. Plus, anything that brings me back to my childhood gets an A+ from me. ;)
We have ACTUAL, REAL ZUCCHINIS growing on the zucchini plants now! The bell peppers have started to flower! This is all rather too exciting. The top garden is really growing well too -- it's really kind of amazing that these lovely green things with fruit on them come from just a little seed.
In other art news, I am actually finding myself in the rare (for me) position of having *too many ideas at once*. Now if I can just draw them all before I forget them.

Jun 3, 2009

Illustration Friday: Adapt


This little boy is enjoying his family's vacation by the sea, and thanks to a snorkel and fins he can swim with the dolphins!

Original is available at Etsy shop
Prints & such are available at ArtWanted shop