Thursday, December 22, 2011

Stare into my eyes

I just love the way dogs will study their owner's face to pick up clues as to what their big buddy is thinking. Like, is she going to give me a hug? A treat? Like, what's up? Is it dinnertime yet?

Sunday, December 18, 2011


There is nothing like sinking into a reverie to refresh your day!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Holiday rush

Can someone please tell me how it got to be December 12th? Where oh where is the time going? Apparently I'm not going along with it, I got left behind at the Thanksgiving dinner table. Well, I'll just get in my car and get shopping and decorating and soirée planning. First I'm going to get my dictionary and find out what a soirée is so I can have one.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Sweater Girl

It's definitely sweater weather around here. In fact, it's becoming heavy coat weather - snow is falling this morning, but not in earnest. Just enough to coat the freeways and make the commute miserable for folks with jobs outside the home. On days like this, I count my blessings for my in-home office/studio! Now I'm going to commute to the kitchen and make a cup of coffee.

Monday, November 28, 2011

The Quick Brown Fox

I was sorting through sketchbooks and came across this page. I was beginning to work on a painting of a fox in a surreal landscape and I wasn't sure how I wanted to proceed. These sketches provided a starting point and a way to loosen up. Sometimes I just need to get my hand moving, and then my brain says,"Hey, wait for me!" and kicks into action.

Friday, November 18, 2011


This week's Illustration Friday's theme of "Vanity" brought to mind an illustration I did a while ago - a perfect match for the subject!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Blazing Trees

Oh awesome Autumn! From the top of the world to the bottom, it is a captivating sight! The tree in front of my house is illuminating the gray skies, and in the backyard, Suzi-Q blends in with the leaves. It's the "Where's Waldo" effect! Hope you are enjoying the fall wherever you are.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Halloween is tomorrow - still can't decide what to wear!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Art Attack 2011

It's time to open the doors and share the art! If you are in Minneapolis next weekend, come to the Northrup King Building for an afternoon, and an overload, of art! There are over 200 artists working in a wide variety of media, from fine arts and crafts to furniture, fabrics and more. I'm in studio 350 - stop in!

Here's more information about the event, directions, and the artists.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Cup 'O Tea Sketch

There's a bit of a chill in the air these last few days, time to throw some wood into the pot bellied stove and have a cup of tea!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Happy Birthday Mary Blair

Today would have been illustrator Mary Blair's 100th birthday. What a prolific and dynamic artist! She began as a water colorist with a naturalistic bent, but her style soon evolved into the more abstract and colorful forms she is known for today. She worked as a color stylist and concept artist for the Disney Studio in the 40's, a time when there were few women animators, and almost none in managerial positions. Her influence can be seen in such well-loved animated films as Cinderella, Alice in Wonderland and Peter Pan.

Disney's animated films were enhanced by her bold ideas about composition

and mood

and color.

She was so versatile. After resigning from Disney, she worked as a freelance graphic designer, and her vibrant colors and stylized designs could be found in TV commercials, murals and children's books.

I loved how she was not afraid to use black to enhance her colors, but I think what I love the most about her style is it's utter simplicity, and how she streamlined all her line work into such harmonious proportions. A great example is this illustration for a product called Choco Milk. I mean, how sweet is this!

For more information on Mary, you can visit the website created by her nieces: here.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Fashionista and her Hoover

If you believe the ads in the magazines published in the fifties, housekeeping was a stylish affair! Swirly dresses and high heels were the standard outfits for cleaning the house, or so it would seem.

I am paying homage to West Elm's gorgeous rugs with this print. I would love to purchase this rug but since I can't afford it at the moment, at least I can look at it in my print!

This print is available in my online shop Graphitegirl.

Friday, October 14, 2011


I'm vacuuming in my high heels today, tralalala lah! This happy homemaker is probably wondering what to do with that floating lamp.

Seriously, I have a Hoover vacuum cleaner that is older than the hills, but I will never trade it in because according to the repair shop, "they don't make 'em as good as this old model anymore!"

Monday, October 10, 2011

Walking the dog

Today, while walking my dog, I lost my house keys. I got home and discovered this fact, and fortunately I was able to get into my house because I had forgotten to lock the back door. It didn't seem to be a good beginning for my day! I wondered if the key had fallen out of my pocket while I was pulling the plastic doggie "pick-up" bag out of my pocket. Every morning before our walk, I say to myself, "Don't put the key in the same pocket as the doggie bag, because your gonna lose it some day when you pull the bag out." I never listen to myself! For some perverse reason, I always stuff the bag and the key in the same pocket.

So I went back to the big open field, covered in fall leaves, and walked around. Within five minutes a sparkle caught my eye, and there lay my key! Amazing!

Just so you know, I was not wearing high heels and Suzi is not a Poodle, but it makes for a good beginning to this story!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Happy Birthday Laundress

All you birthday fashionistas, take a LOAD off your feet and celebrate! This cheerful lass is now a birthday card in my Etsy shop here.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Laundress sketch

Here's a smudgy beginning of a birthday card I'm working on for the fans of the fashionistas. She going to wish you LOADS of fun on your birthday, get it? get it?
I thought about reversing her position to face the washing machine, but it didn't work as well as I thought it would. Here, take a look:

In this version, the washing machine becomes more prominent in your sight - since she is facing it, our eyes tend to take it in at the same time we view our lovely subject. But that is just the point, I don't want that washing machine to share the limelight, I want her to be the star. So for me, the first version works better, where she turns her back to the machine and it becomes less important. It's just one of those things where you ignore the rules and do what you wanna do - it's called "artistic license"!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Green grape catastrophe

Yesterday my dog Suzi-Q gave me such a scare! I came home to find her eager to see me, but she had vomited greenish puke all over the floor - and a single green grape lay underneath the coffee table. Yikes! Grapes are toxic, lethal, to dogs. On my way out the door previously, I had been carrying a bunch of grapes in my hand, and one (or more?) must have fallen to the floor where she found it and ate it in my absence.

She is fine today, but I think I may give up grapes (and chocolate) so I won't have any more accidents like this!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Monday, September 26, 2011

Fall grasses

Every year I wait for the tassels to sprout on top of the prairie grass in my garden. From my window I can see them swaying in the autumn breeze, highlighted by a sun that is slowly backing away from us Northern climate folks, soon to abandon us to winter's austere presence. I love fall....winter, not so much!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Another sketch, another cover

Here's another peek into the advertising world, this time the front cover of that 2004 Target electronic catalog which was the subject of the previous post. It's always helpful for an advertising designer/art director to have an illustrator sketch out what the art director is envisioning for the layout. But sometimes, when they arrive at the photographer's studio to do the final photography, it just doesn't look right! Maybe there have been last minute alterations. Maybe new props are added, or the product is substituted, or the pose needs to change. So right there on the spot, the sketch becomes a starting point rather than the final say.

Aren't these models the cutest? (I am never given photos of the models when I am sketching, I just invent them, so it's always a fun surprise to see the final version). And I love the color combinations!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

From sketch to cover

Pardon my lapse in posting, but I've been working working working, for Target on upcoming printed materials, so now that I'm in a lull, waiting for revisions to hit the fan, I thought it might be fun to show how a finished cover evolves from a sketch. This is the back cover of Target's 2004 electronic catalog. You can see how the position of the boy and his dad remained the same (although flopped), but changes were made in the product - from two to only one. It always amazes me to see my drawing become a photograph, no matter how it transitions. I also liked the Mid-century feel of the type/script, since I'm partial to retro!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Catalog work

I often do sketching for retail companies, such as Target or Kohl's, and my friends ask, "Yes, but what do you DO???"

Well, I sketch! Those circulars, or mini-catalogs that fall out of the back of the Sunday paper, the ones that have all the photos of goodies that you need to buy, SOMEBODY has to do the preliminary sketches of all the products. Otherwise, how would the photographer know what to do or how to photograph all the merchandise that is brought to the photo studio?

Here are some sketches from the kid's toy circulars from previous years. I just love drawing kids and toys, it makes me feel like I am seven years old again!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Birthday Fashionista

Do you know someone who is going to be celebrating a birthday? Here's the illustration that I began a while ago, available as a card from my Etsy online shop here.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Millenium Park

Nothing like getting spit on when it's a hot day in downtown Chicago! I visited my friend Marilyn over the weekend, and we toured Millenium Park, complete with this fun and popular wading pool. The rotating projected images are of the citizens of Chicago, and they are not static images..every so many minutes, they blink their eyes, or purse their lips and spit a fountain of cool water over the delighted kids.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Lorraine Fox

I am fascinated with the mid-century fashion illustrators, and Lorraine Fox is one of my favorites. She was one of very few women in a male dominated field, and she was very bold and experimental in her approach to illustration. When I look at this illustration from a Women's Day magazine dated October 1956, her figures look as if they could have been illustrated today, especially the older couple standing at the top. You can click on the image to see a larger version.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Adoring cat

Here's a little detail of an illustration I will soon post, an adoring cat. As a former cat owner, I can agree with that old saying, "Dogs have owners, cats have staff."

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

July Birthdays

I have so many friends that have birthdays in July - including me! Here's a page from my sketchbook, a future Fashionista birthday girl. I'll post the finished version, when I finish it! Rembrandt and I were born on the same day in July, a trivial fact that I relish. Who do you share a birthday with?

Friday, July 15, 2011


Whatever happened to that nice gesture of tipping hats to the ladies? It probably went the way of the dinosaurs when the gents stopped wearing hats and the ladies stopped wearing white gloves.

This is from a pattern design I created for

Friday, July 8, 2011


I'm just going to the store. I'll be right back. Really. STAY!!!!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Retro Summertime

Summer is here and the living is....HOT! I thought I'd share some illustrations from a past fabric design in which the motif was fifties fashion. There is really nothing new under the sun..... these vintage style swim suits are popping up in current fashion catalogs, which just goes to show ya, what's old is new again!