Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Monday, December 13, 2010

Gift Wrap Angel

Sometimes wrapping the present is more fun than purchasing it.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Here Come the Holidays

Time to start baking shopping writing cards buying travel tickets cleaning - WHOAAAAAA! I'm exhausted just thinking about it. Let's just have a few homemade cookies first.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Bunny Skater

This talented bunny was part of a fabric design I illustrated for cozy flannel pajamas.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Illustration Friday - "Savour"

A moment to savour - the luxury of an outdoor lunch while reading a book and having the waiter bring me a piece of chocolate cake for dessert - YES!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Winter Arrives

Our beautiful Indian Summer is SO OVER! These photos are from last weekend, when we had eleven inches of snow dumped on us. Yesterday was the coldest Thanksgiving Day in 25 years, with the day starting out at a nippy 2 degrees. Let me remind you, that is 30 degrees below the point of freezing. Time to dust off the skis and brew up some hot chocolate!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Art Attack!

Yes, another year has passed, and once again it is Fall. This means that "Art Attack" is about to begin in the historic Northrup King Building in Minneapolis, Minnesota, home of my studio, as well as the studios of nearly 175 other artists. Our doors are open, are creations are displayed, c'mon down!

The hours are:

Friday, November 5th - 5 pm to 10 pm
Saturday, November 6th - Noon to 8 pm
Sunday, November 7th - Noon to 5 pm

For more information about the event, check out the building's website.

Hope to see you!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Rompers for Cuties

One of the fun projects I participated in years ago was illustrating rompers for little tykes. Cuuuuuute!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Skipping Stones

This little vignette is from my designing-for-Sleepyheads days. This illustration was one of about ten retro scenes that made up an overall scatter design that was printed on fabric and then made into pajamas. There were a variety of themes - puppies, the fair, camping, and in this instance, vacation time. It was so much fun to wear my art! Although the company was sold and I am no longer designing for them (boohoo), you can still see lots of great pajamas and lounging accessories at

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Illustration Friday - "Transportation"

The nippy winds of fall are here, yet I can't face it. I'm in denial. Instead of looking for my sweaters and getting the furnace checked, I'd rather be wearing a sundress and biking to the flower market. We'll see how long I can keep this up.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Backyard Discoveries

Look what I found in the shady part of my backyard. Huge mushrooms! No, the pear was not sprouting, too, I set it there for comparison purposes, so you could see how big those umbrellas are!

And the dahlias. What can I say. They are always the regal show-offs of the garden, lasting until the frost comes.

Stepping away from my drawing board and computer for a moment to see the little wonders of nature does wonders for my nature!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Peacock Trivia

A male Peacock is known as a Peacock. A female Peacock is known as a Peahen. A baby Peacock is known as a Peachick. A group of Peacocks is known as a party. So I guess this means when you want to celebrate, don't throw a party, throw a Peacock.

Just thought you should know these facts.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Illustration Friday - "Proverb"

Just yesterday I came across a Chinese proverb that I liked: "You often find your destiny on the path you take to avoid it". Sometimes I worry so much that my dinner party will be a disaster that it becomes one!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Labor Day, Almost

The State Fair is the official reminder that summer is ending and we are headed into our long dark frigid winter BOO HOOOOOO. So the State Fair is our last chance to celebrate summer and enjoy our fellow Minnesotans and all the fun and food the Fair provides. This year I really had a hankering to undergo the rituals and trials of the Fair. It's always insanely hot and humid, in the 90's, with the paramedics routinely reviving people who have passed out from heat stroke. And it's always insanely crowded with merrymakers who don't give a second thought about heat stroke!

The first photo is our arrival view, and the last is the departure: a sea of people. There is an unspoken rivalry amongst the vendors as to who can produce the most unhealthy (but delicious) food, and kudos if it is on a stick or deep-fried or both.(alligator-on-a-stick, deep-fried bologna and corn dog pizzas for example)

This year the heat was so intense that we didn't even make it to the animal barns or the Midway. The Horticulture Building was fun (did you know that a stalk of corn only produces one ear? Think how much land is needed to produce corn!) Of course we went to the Dairy Building to watch the sweet State Fair Princess having her portrait sculpted out of butter in a refrigerated "studio". Her attendants also will have their likenesses carved. After the Fair ends, they can take their heads home. What a lovely addition to a future brunch, the hostess's head carved in butter next to the croissants and jelly!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Illustration Friday - "Atmosphere"

I'm not sure exactly how this image fits into Illustration Friday theme of "Atmosphere", but somehow, I just know it does, and I get the giggles thinking about it!

(Originally, this vignette was one of 8 other little retro scenes I created for a fabric design, with "camping" being the concept)

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


I've been a non-blogger lately, mainly because I've had a steady stream of summer visitors. But now the house is sadly quiet, so I'm back! Here's a comp I did last year for CVS. The flowing hair was quick and easy to do. The man's hand, well, that's another story. I must have done 30 versions before this one finally met approval! Hands are really difficult for me to draw, especially from memory!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Hot Suburban Knight

As long as we're talking barbecue, we need someone to MAN the grill!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Hibatchi story

Summer = barbecues! I have a fear of lighting Webers. This is because of my first experience, when I doused the coals with too much lighter fluid. As I recall, it was a little portable hibatchi. When I lit the coals, a burst of flame shot so high up it almost touched the ceiling of my wooden balcony. Then, I looked down and saw that all the excess lighter fluid had trickled down the leg of the hibatchi and puddled onto the floor. The flame was traveling down the trail of lighter fluid to the wooden floor, just like in an old James Bond movie, where the end result is an explosion or a massive fire.

Having watched way too many Bond movies, I knew exactly what to do.

I picked up the flaming hibachi and threw it over the balcony! Like a shooting star, it lit up the night. It crashed onto the sidewalk and glowing coals bounced all over the yard like drunken fire flies. Was I an idiot or WHAT! I was so lucky that no one was walking below my balcony because it would have been the last walk they ever took!

So now I have my guests light the barbecue for me while I tell the story.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Madonna Doggy


This portrait of my darling Suzi-Q was taken by my out-of-town friend Marilyn while she was visiting me last week. On their journey here, she and her daughter Genna had to pull over and huddle in their car while a tornado passed overhead (seriously, I kid you not). Then, on the evening before they drove back to Chicago, we had to run to the basement for cover while sirens sounded for yet another tornado and stormy night! In between we had a fun week of shopping, eating, swimming, drinking and running amok.

Suzi Q is a cross between a Chihuahua and a Pug, which according to Marilyn, makes her a "Chuggle". We did not pose her, this is how she likes to sleep - under the covers in her doggie bed.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Health Care Reform Magazine Cover

This was a big step for me. I've been wanted to incorporate textures and drawing into my illustration in a more prominent way, and this is the first time I've been able to mix them all together. It was challenging for me, but I loved the process and can't wait to continue along this road. All the elements are on separate layers in Photoshop, so Janna the super wonderful designer at Minnesota Medicine Magazine will be able to use them for spot illustrations throughout the publication. The arms of Uncle Sam and Minnesota make a respectable handshake when used without the rest of the illustration.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Dancing Doggies and Looming Deadlines

This was not a good weekend! First of all, we had a huge storm and the power went out. Suzi (she looks just like this little dancing doggie) and I were in the dark from Friday at dinnertime until Sunday noon. This meant that I had no computer, and couldn't work on my illustration assignment, since much of it is computer-generated, and it was due on Monday.

When the electricity was restored on Sunday, I hopped to work, sketching and scanning away. Suzi came in to see me, and whenever she comes into my office and puts her paws on my lap, I know she has something on her mind. Food, a walk, Frisbee, etc. Well, this time she lead me to my bedroom to show me that she had rummaged through my purse and found 3 Dark Chocolate Hersheys tidbits. (doesn't everybody carry chocolate in their purse?) She had carefully peeled away the tin foil, and consumed the chocolate. I wasn't too concerned, but I decided to call the emergency vet anyway. Good thing I did, they told me that the little amount she had consumed was poisonous to a dog her size, and that I should bring her right in because they needed to induce vomiting. So off we went. I'm thinking, is there anything else that can go wrong this weekend? She was shaking like a leaf because she hates to ride in the car and I was shaking because I was afraid I was going to lose her!

She's fine now. Whew! And I finished my job that night. We are dancing in celebration!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Preliminary designs

A new assignment for Minnesota Medicine Magazine, folks is in the works, yay! Only this time, it is a cover for a supplement that will go out next month with the magazine. The supplement's theme is health care reform, with the general focus on Minnesota leading the nation in working with the federal government to examine changes in the health care system.

I submitted these two sketches, one being a collage treatment, and the other a more painterly approach. The art director selected the magnifying glass sketch. Here's something I learned - I drew the wrong icon for the medical industry. Initially, I looked it up for reference in various websites, and most of the reference sites got it wrong! The two snakes entwined around the staff (which as you can see is what I drew) is called the "caduceus", whereas what I should have drawn is the "asclepius", the single snake entwined around a staff. Caduceus is the symbol of Hermes, the ancient Roman messenger of commerce, and Aclepius was a Greek god who whose specialty was his healing powers. So you can see how these descriptions can make quite a different impression in regard to the medical profession! The snake shedding its skin symbolizes renewal and vigor, the aim of medicine. Now aren't you glad you learned something new today?

Friday, June 18, 2010

Illustration Friday - "Paisley"

When I read the theme for this week's entry for Illustration Friday, this image that I created several years ago immediately came to mind!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Little Cowboy

Today would have been my brother's 59th birthday. We spent so many years together, from the time this photo was taken, it's hard to believe that I can't call him up and wish him Happy Birthday. You're in our hearts and thoughts, Paulie, on this your special day and every other.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Bad Hair Day

I just can't do a thing with it. It has rained every day for the last week, and my hair turns into a frizzy icky mop, no matter what I do. My hair stylist's solution to any problem is, "more product". MY solution is to move to a humid-free climate, wherever that may be.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Book logos

I was putting away files and ran across a class assignment that was so much fun - a logo that had to be created for a fictitious book store, done in both a color version and black/white. This reminds me - summer is a great time to curl up with a good book!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Lolling Around

I had the flu over the weekend. Although I hated being sick, I just loved staying in bed. I slept all day Sunday and I thought it was the height of luxury, to be lolling around in my bed in the middle of the day. Fortunately, or unfortunately, my lolling days are over, because it was only the 24 hour variety of flu.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


For all those who came to my studio this weekend, THANKS! And for all those who didn't even know I was participating in the annual open studios event, don't worry, I didn't advertise this year! I wasn't sure that I was going to be able to open my doors until the very last minute.

It was fun, it was fab, and it will happen again in November - and I'll let you know ahead of time!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Giraffes and other Wonders


"Paper Acorn"

My "Air Show" print (available in my Etsy shop, Graphitegirl, ahem ahem) was included in Paper Acorn's post today, featuring handmade works involving that lovable creature, the giraffe. Check out the blog for the many fascinating artistic interpretations at paper acorn. And if you'd like to visit the the Paper Acorn Etsy shop, you will find some amazing handcrafted paper designs such as wedding decorations and luminaries.

Thanks, Jessica!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

The Buckley Sisters

I just LOVE these ladies! Look at them, smiling (well, sort of) in their fancy scarves and ties. I've been saving this postcard until now, when I am finally ready to make a painting/collage to honor them. Their names were Mabel, May and Myrtle. They were known throughout Montana as the "Red Yearlings" because of their red-blond hair and horsemanship. They were so accomplished that they were sought for hire by the Wild West shows, which they declined. I wanna be a cowgirl.


Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Spring finally

I know I know, yet another photo of flowers on the internet. I can't help it - my crab apple trees knock my socks off every spring, and every spring I take the same photograph! It only lasts a week, so it makes the viewing even more special.