Friday, November 7, 2014

Fox Shadow

My family had a wonderful rendezvous in Colorado for my cousin's wedding! We stayed at a camp up in the mountains where all the aspen trees were in their full autumn yellow. It was a beautiful setting and so fun to be with all of my family from CO, OR and CA!

One of the highlights was this friendly fox that visited me one morning. He came so close that I stood in his shadow!

I had to paint him when I got home.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Over the Moon

Hello! Sometime I will post before and after pictures of our home. We recently moved into a fixer upper and that has been taking up a lot of time! A whole "nother" creative process. My husband and I are expecting in 5 weeks and we currently have 8 rooms under construction. I look forward to things coming together and getting to "nest" like these owls.

This illustration was a special kind of commission. I painted the image so the commissioner could purchase a print! So, I still have the original : ) It will be going up for sale soon!

After creating a personalizable print for I thought it would be fun to make one of my own! This print is customizable with the couple's initials, baby's initials or baby's birth date.

You can order this print at my shop!

Here is a look at the process:

Inked and textured with colored pencil
First layer with yellow ochre
Adding color. The colors always look very unbalanced to begin with!
Finished painting
Customized close-up on print!

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Minted Journal/Notebook Cover Challenge

This is my entry for Minted's current contest:

Customizable Journal/Notebook cover. You can customize your hidden love message and your own initials : )

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Red Fox Ribbon

Minted hosted a contest for customizable children's art, called the "Never Too Early" challenge.  I usually cringe when I enter a Minted challenge that requires personalization options and increased Photoshop skills, but I feel like I am starting to get the hang of it after much trial and error.

I am very excited about this entry, because it is a new style for me and has opened up a whole new world of ideas. It is a mix of fine art and Photoshop, which means I can't slip the original into my portfolio like I usually do. I will have to order my own print from Minted if I want to show it off!

This print allows you to personalize your daughter's name and birth date. My little niece, Dayla, helped me pick out the colors stating that she has, "Only seen red and orange foxes, so why would you do anything else?" Well, that was easy : )

The date happens to be the due date of our little one who we are expecting in December!

Here is a look at the process. I started with a pen outline and then watercolored it in. I scanned the image and then carefully erased the line in Photoshop because I felt it took away from the clean simplicity. Next I downloaded "Paper cute" from and added the text.

I have a fun idea for a boy's illustration, so I will have to wait for the next challenge. Next time I will forgo the pen and use a soft pencil line that I can manually erase!

Finally Home! Lets Catch Up.

Summer is always a crazy time for everyone! This summer we get to enjoy 2.5 weeks at home, starting a couple days ago! My husband and I direct an over night summer camp during the month of June. Then we had a week of wedding festivities out of town, then we immediately left for a week long conference in Kansas City! Soon we will be going to Oregon to visit my family. By the time we get back, school will be back in session!

I have fit bits of art in here in there. Mostly contest entries for Here are my six entries for the Art Fair Challenge: Wild Hare, Dachshund, Strawberry Plant, Oregon Mushrooms, Turtle Shell Top and Turtle Shell Bottom. I will be very pleased if a couple of them win a place at Minted!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Mr. and Mrs. Peacock

I did this commission in April for a friend's wedding. The couple had their first date at the zoo, where they were chased by peacocks! Then, on a beautifully warm April evening they got married at the zoo! It was a beautiful wedding.

I also found some cool iridescent watercolor from a sample sheet, to make them shimmer!

Here they are matted, packaged and ready to go!

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Mollie Wabbit

When a 6-year-old girl's birthday wish is for your and your husband to come to dinner, you have to paint her something special! Introducing, the Mollie Wabbit!

Monday, March 24, 2014

Mr. Owl

Mr. Owl is all dressed up in feathers and ready for tea! 

Sometimes my paintings go through an awkward stage, where the colors are unbalanced, too hot or to cold, sometimes I lay down the wrong color, or textures don't look right. So many things can go wrong, especially since I am still learning through trial and error on some of my favorite illustrations! Mr Owl went through such a horrible awkward stage that I seriously felt sick to my stomach for 2 hours while I tried to "fix" him. I was ready to start the hard work of re drawing him (with out a light box for tracing.)  I have always been able to problem solve my way out of these situations, and I was able to with Mr Owl even though it seemed pretty hopeless! Kinda goes with his grumpy mood. He was a stinker to paint! But now he is done and I think he looks great!

Working with watercolor can be very challenging, but I don't think I will ever trade it for digital! The feeling of accomplishment is great!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Mr. Owl's English Tea

Mr. Owl is hosting his annual English tea. He invites all the woodland creatures in the neighboring trees. However, not every guest is as polite as the Proper Squirrel. When you see whats going on, you will understand Mr. Owl's disgruntled look!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Snowy Walk Home

Spot Illustration

This is what I am working on today. This is a spot illustration to go with Once Upon a Book. I am preparing my portfolio for my 3rd SWBWI conference. (Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators.) The purpose of this piece is to show that I can carry the same characters through a world to tell a story. These two hedgehogs are making their way home from a book fair to snuggle up and read in their cozy home. 

Monday, March 17, 2014

Foxes Across the Moon

I am working on a book project with my photographer friend, Phillip VanNostrand. The story is based on one-off magical realism. Where a nonsensical sentence is made real by the illustration.

Can you find the snail?

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Friday, March 14, 2014

Mrs. Deer rivised

After looking at my deer couple, I realized that Mrs. Deer did not have the right response to Mr. Deer's dashing gaze. I wanted her to look shy and graceful. So, after work today, I sat down and brought her to life. I made her edges softer, tilted her nose down and gave her fur a softer pattern. I also made her woodland crown more delicate. I am really happy with the results!

Before I paint them I will re draw the oval a little higher so that she doesn't seem so tall. I think they make a much nicer couple. Don't you?

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Mr & Mrs

I put finishing touches on my flying foxes tonight! I will post them as soon as I get them stitched : )

Yesterday I had a spurt of inspiration and did 3 drawings on watercolor paper. The owl joined the English tea party, he will make an appearance soon, and Mr and Mrs Deer appeared. I finished the drawing tonight, and am now waiting for a trip to the city to buy more pens. Mine are all dried up!

Here are Mr and Mrs Deer. They are a fine couple, don't you think? Although, I think I might redo Mrs Deer. She doesn't quite match Mr Deer's Dashing intensity. I want her to look shy.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Sneak Peak

Here is a sneak peak at what I am working on! After dinner I will start painting.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Luma Stitchery

You know that feeling when you walk outside, soft grass under your feet, flowers blooming, birds singing, the breeze is warm and fragrant, you know its going to be a perfect day and your heart swells with happiness? That is how I felt painting this illustration. It was so refreshing to come back to my whimsical style after doing several design focused illustrations for Minted and West Elm.

I was working for the talented Amanda Eudy of Luma Stitchery. She opened an Etsy shop where she sells her lovely hand-sewn diaper bags. She named her shop "Luma" after her son, Luke and daughter, Emma. (its a combination of their names.) I had a great time working on this illustration and trying to put a little bit of Emma and Luke in there! "Luma" reminded me of the would "luminous" so I wanted her illustration to reflect the light of the moon.

Isn't this a sweet bag? Wait till you see all the zipped compartments and handy pockets inside!

My job was to create a logo and Etsy banner. I will share the banner after it is stitched with its full length and the text is added. I scanned in my line art before painting for her logo. This was a fun job! Thanks Amanda : ) Can't wait to see it all put together!

Monday, February 10, 2014

Creating a world of consistency

I am getting ready to start on a project, and I am realizing how much learning and discovering I still have to do. As an illustrator you have to create characters and carry them through a world. Now, that might sound easy, but its not! (for me at least.)

You have to decide what your trees look like. What your sky looks like, what your grass looks like. You have to choose a color palette that will stay consistent and complimentary and your lines have to be believably the same all the way through!

Here is an example with birch trees. It took me 4 paintings (over 2 years) to discover the way I like painting birch trees. From now on my birch trees will look consistent. Now I need to apply that to everything else in my illustration world.


Wednesday, February 5, 2014

State of the Art Winners!

Congratulations to all of Minted's State of the Art challenge winners! Check out the winner's page! You will find a ton of inspiring art work. A special congrats to Yao Cheng for her lovely Landscape of Triangles and Dots.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

The Quail is the new Owl

Thats my prediction : ) Based on nothing but wishful thinking.

I really like this quail family. They give me a happy and peaceful feeling.

Before entering the West Elm challenge I did some research to see what sort of animal might be popular this year. The fox is still in (how can he not be?)
A couple predictions I found from various designers, pop culture studiers and artists were the:


But despite my research I was inspired to paint moths, a buck and some quail. We will see how they do! Maybe not popular, but definitely lovable.

What do you think the animal of 2014 will be?

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Painted Coral

Since I got the best response on my Grapefruit color study, and since I had one at lunch, I decided to paint this coral "Grapefruit."

Color Study

I am working on another possible entry for the Minted/West Elm challenge. I did a line drawing of a coral tree, scanned it in and then played with colors based on West Elm's "color crush" page. This was a lot of fun! I took images from West Elm's online store and paired them with my color studies. This was a good exercise in color and design.

Here are three "color crushes"




I am trying to decide what to do now.... I have never done color that wasn't hand painted. Not sure if I want to enter the Photoshop artist world.