Monday, December 24, 2012

Season's Greetings

Wishing you peace and happiness and all good things for the New Year!

Monday, December 10, 2012

The First Snowfall

It was snowing like crazy when I snapped this photo, but you can't see the flakes. My backyard gate has a quilt of wet snow covering it. Just in time for the holidays, we got plastered with a storm that left between 10 to 15 inches of snow in Minneapolis, depending what part of the state you live. It started around eight o'clock on Friday night, and snowed steadily for almost 24 hours straight! Over a thousand cars slid off the roads throughout the day, and the usual fender benders occurred. I was so happy I didn't need to leave the house yesterday. I am not so happy today because I DO have to leave the house. SHOVEL SHOVEL SHOVEL!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Catalog Sketches 3

This is quite an elaborate play setting for our little princesses, one of which has just read the fairy tale about an enchanted frog who turned into prince with a kiss. This fairy tale has sent a lot of girls into couples therapy when they grow up. A frog is a frog no matter how many kisses you give it.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Catalog sketches 2

Another preliminary page of the catalog, sketched out in black and white. The treasure chest and other toy in the background mysteriously vanished in the colored version. What is that girl on the right doing?? ......IT'S NOT HER TURN! Do kids still play hopscotch? They must, since I was instructed to illustrate it.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Catalog sketches

Catalog Cover (rough layout)

PAGE 6 sketch

Page 6 mock-up

Now that we are through digesting the turkey, the December holidays are fast approaching. I decided that I would get a jump on my usual New Year's resolution to clean up my act, and began sorting through old papers, sketches and the general collection of ad layouts that I keep until I'm sure I won't be needing them anymore. I guess I can throw out this 2005 layout for a catalog I did for a very familiar company headquartered here in Minneapolis. After 8 years, I suppose they won't be needing any revisions - hah! These sketches were for a Christmas catalog advertising toys, and I (and many other artists) contributed the preliminary black & white sketches for product placement purposes. I absolutely love sketching kids. The world needs more cute! So this assignment was my cup of tea! This is page 6, and I'll be showing you some additional pages in the next posts.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving

I hope you all had a lovely day and gave thanks, no matter what your situation.  It's a day of relaxation and a time to embrace your relatives, friends and other blessings!  I'd love to credit the photographer of this photo but it was forwarded to me in an email without a credit.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012


Peace and love, who could ask for more?

Well, OK, I'll ask for a little more. Come visit me during the big Art Attack Open Studios event! The festival starts this coming Friday and proceeds right through Sunday. My building will be open to the public, and since there are over 250 artists, you can spend all weekend immersed in a wide variety of arts and crafts on display! Free parking, food trucks, who could ask for more?

Well, OK, I'll ask for more - how about a little Peace and Love!  


Friday, November 2 – 5:00 to 10:00 p.m.
Saturday, November 3 – Noon to 8:00 p.m.
Sunday, November 4 – Noon to 5:00 p.m.

1500 Jackson Street NE
Minneapolis, MN   55413

Friday, October 19, 2012


I'm working on another Mod Girl illustration, and the background is going to be a tribute to the great 60's psychedelic poster artists, including Wes Wilson and Bonnie MacLean. I've abandoned my sketchbook to doodle on pieces of tissue paper, so I can rework and rework (and rework) my images by laying the paper over the previous image. Above are some of the scraps of paper I found laying about, depicting the wrestling I did with the imagery of a dove, fox and bunny. The piece is entitled "Peace and Love" but I was not very tranquil as I reworked the sketches!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Fall's Arrival

A blackbird thinking things over in my ash tree.

I'm thinking I need to get out my rake.

The day after I took this photo, all the leaves fell off the tree in one day, floating down like bits of yellow rain.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Illustration Friday - Water

This week's theme in Illustration Friday brought to mind this painting I created years ago, entitled "Moving Day". It pretty much sums up the confusion in a transition, and the deer with the blindfold came from a dream. I think it symbolized myself, as I was feeling "blindsided" (like a deer in the headlights) by the move I was making from one part of the country to another.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Armadillo Girl

I haven't worked on any collages lately, so when I ran across this collage that I created a few years back, I got all nostalgic! Where are my scissors? Where's the glue? Let's head for that strange world of collage where anything can happen!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Autumn garden

Autumn is one of the most spectacular seasons for color in the Midwest. I remember planting this tall grass "Miscanthus" in the spring when I first moved into my house 15 years ago. It was a plug of dirt with a tiny 4 inch wisp of grass. "Don't plant it too early", said the garden center expert, "it hates the cold and is slow to root." Well, it has certainly adapted and thrived, and I love the variety of color it provides. It stays this color all winter long, and if a blizzard buries it under a blanket of snow, the plumes will struggle until they stand upright again. A little weird if you ask me, but you gotta love a plant with such spirit! The pink sedum attracts bees and butterflies, and it's one of my favorite varieties of plants.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Farewell dear flowers

As fall is approaching, I might as well say goodbye to the flowers, and hello to falling leaves - another motif to explore!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Bucket purse pattern

Remember this Mod Fashionista that I created a while back?
Since I'm experimenting with designing patterns, I thought I would create a pattern to go along with this illustration. A pattern that might look good as a companion illustration (I'm thinking about the licensing market) and a simpler version than my previous attempt.  I love simple shapes and bright colors, so I came up with this. It really was a fun and interesting project! HOWEVER now that I see the two illustrations together, maybe a flower motif would have been better. Well there you go, I've just decided on my next experiment, a flower motif.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Assorted Purses Pattern

Every Fashionista needs the right purse for every occasion, so here's a pattern to satisfy her need for variety.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Illustration Friday - Burst

She is just bursting with emotion. Or a sugar high... My favorite part of this illustration is her hair, made up of cinnamon rolls topped by a banana split. My kinda gal!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Fun with Fashion

This was an assignment that ranks right up there on my list of MOST FUN EVER jobs! I had to re-submit the first drawing though, because it was decided that the scarf was too realistic in comparison to the rest of the sketch. I knew that would probably happen but I enjoyed tinkering in Photoshop, and re-drawing the scarf by hand was a quick revision.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Eyvind Earle

Eyvind Earle certainly had a unique perspective of the world. Born in 1916, he had his first solo show of watercolors when he was 14, and continued to his express his creative visions in a variety of mediums until his death in 2000 at age 84. His experimental graphic style enhanced Disney Studios animated films in the 1950's. When asked about his art, he stated that his influences were all the art he liked - "the Oriental, the Gothic, the Persian in it, as well as the moderns like Van Gogh". He lived by the Chinese saying, "Never put anything down on canvas until a year after you see it -- so that all you paint is the memory of it". I like the fact that he remembered cattle as being rectangles and trees as ovals, and long shadows lent a certain mystery to the landscape in his mind. Images are courtesy his website, where you can read more about Mr. Earle:

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Chrysanthemum Girl

The trees are starting to show a few yellow leaves - it's only September 7th, how can this be? It's too early for Fall to start unveiling its color show! With this transition in mind, I thought some mums in the background would perhaps get me more in the mood for Fall. It's not Fall that I mind, it's Winter which is attached to Fall like a shadow.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

We Love Boomerangs

This has gotta be my favorite shape, the dependable non-expendable bendable triangle! I think I'm obsessed with it because it was the Formica design on the countertop in my parent's kitchen when I was growing up, and I spent many happy hours watching my mom prepare meals and treats over that countertop!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Another Day, Another Background

I'm still experimenting with backgrounds, this one has a little more detail. The butterflies seem to go with the flowers on her dress. It has more of a folk art feel to it, with the single-weight line work, almost like threads or embroidery. I would like to re-do this in a more simplified style with varying line weight, but for now, I'll let it rest. I want to go on to another background since the more I do, the more I feel comfortable creating a singular style.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Miss Mod with a background

She looked so lonely with all that white, so here's a background to keep her company.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Mod Girl with Mondrian Dress

The sixties were a time of bright colors and artwork on fabric, like this Yves St. Lauren's classic Mondrian-inspired dress. Years ago, I purchased a reproduction of this dress at Target. I wish I still had it. More than that, I wish I still had the figure to wear it!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Mod Girl with Square Purse

Remember those white Lucite purses that were all the rage? I don't really recall ever owning one but I do see them in vintage stores and they are just so adorable!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Mod Girl with Purse

Ya gotta love green and pink! This mod young lady has become a bit more stylized than the previous one.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Mod Girl with Hat

I'm still obsessing about my previous 60's project. I had so much fun with it, I wish I could share the end results, but I'm still waiting for the illustrations to post to my client's webiste. In the meantime, I'm doing some additional figures for my portfolio. I began with my trusty 1968 JC Penney's catalog and selected a figure to draw - the model on the far right, in the blue dress advertised for $12.96! I don't know why I picked her, she is not particularly engaging, nor do I find the dress interesting. There was just something about the pose that I wanted to explore. I tried to use my ink pen but was not very successful. So I redrew her head, and redrew additional features, thinking I could patch them together in Photoshop, which I did.

 Before you leave, check out the JC Penney catalog photo again. What the heck is that object in the lower right hand corner? A flying saucer? A slow cooker? And who let that pigeon into the shoot? Are they standing in mud? Quite the photo!

Monday, August 6, 2012

More Field Guide Illustrations

A few more sketches of our fine feathered friends - a cardinal,  a wren, and a finch. I love the sound of wrens in my backyard since they remind me of my grandmother. She used to love wrens and would imitate their noisy chittering songs, making all her grandchildren giggle.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Field Guide Illustrations

 I'm working on a project that has taken a turn in a new direction, so these drawings that I created will no longer be used. That's OK - now I can show them to you! They are rough sketches. I will show you the new and improved versions when the project is completed and posted.

Meet Mr. Owl, Ms. Hummingbird, and Senior Blackbird.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Illustration Friday - Carry

 When I learned that the theme for this week's Illustration Friday submission was "Carry", this collage that I created several years ago came to mind immediately. ee cumming's beautiful poem can be read in its entirety on my collage blog (along with another version of the image) here. It is entitled "i carry your heart with me".

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Back to the Sixties

Remember culottes?

This pose was very popular, very lungy.....

Gotta love that girl in the green - what's with the hand?

And here I am, in the early seventies, still in my Mod phase.  I think I was standing in a parking ramp. I was in love with these bell bottoms, wore them everywhere!

 I know, I know, you're saying, where have I been? I've been working really hard on several illustration projects, one of which being a depiction of two performing musicians in 1960's attire.  I will post the results in a bit, once the images have posted to their website. In the meantime, you might enjoy a trip to the past, when orange was orange and pants were wider than a six lane freeway and models were contortionists. In my research, I had a lot of fun going through my 1968 J.C. Penney's catalog, and thought you might enjoy some of the pages, too.