Tuesday, April 20, 2010 9:00 AM

the skinny on the fate of ftg

So here's what I've been doing: blogger's decided that they will no longer support FTP publishing, which is how I've done this blog for almost the past 9 years. So.... instead of painting? I'm coding, just to try to get the blog to stay mostly the same for now, because what I don't have time for right now is a site-wide redesign. And the address of the site has to change as well - so the blog will now be at, and it has to happen by May 1.


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french toast girl #

Monday, April 05, 2010 7:22 AM

illustration friday: Dip

My son loves food, my daughters love amigurumi, and we all love to eat. What started out as a doodle turned into a coloring page. I can honestly say that not all kids eat all of these foods, but I would say they eat all but 3 (different for each kid... Peter's not fond of beets, Sophie doesn't do tomatoes, Angela won't touch mushrooms). And of course, all of them work well with (or in) dip in one form or another!

There is a precedent for faces on fruit at our house.... remember this?

That pear still cracks me up.

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Monday, March 22, 2010 8:32 AM

Illustration Friday: Expired

If I planned everything out in advance, I'd expire of boredom.

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Sunday, March 07, 2010 11:01 PM

illustration Friday: Brave

This is Ruby Bridges. One of my children brought home a worksheet about her from school, and I realized that I already knew her story, and if you're an artist, you may recognize her too. Norman Rockwell painted her walk to school, escorted by federal marshals, in 1964 as "The Problem We All Live With."

It really hit me in the gut reading about her again, and probably even more now that my kids are her age - how incredibly brave she was to go to school in the face of all that opposition, and just as a little six year old. I don't know how her parents managed to let her leave the house every day! This is the part of the worksheet that really got me:

"Many white parents took their children out of school. I was the only child in my class. My teacher, Mrs. Henry, was my best friend."

That just kills me. The incredible thing is that years later, she went back to the same school and volunteered there. Forty years later, she and her first-grade teacher, Mrs. Henry, now speak to other parents, educators, and students. I find Ruby and her bravery so inspiring.

Who is inspiring you today?

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Wednesday, January 27, 2010 2:41 PM

Last chance to see my watercolors at the library

There are only a few days left to get to the Westfield Memorial Library and see some fairies up close and personal! I'll be taking down all the artwork this weekend to let some other lucky artist hang her work up.

For those of you not in the area, the lovely people at the library graciously recorded a short movie so you can pretend you're there, having a walkthrough. Grab a book and settle in a comfy chair for the full effect.

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french toast girl #

Thursday, January 14, 2010 7:21 AM

a giraffe (and a half, to make you laugh)

Continuing the reveal of finished Christmas paintings, Angela's giraffe and baby. Eating leaves, as per her art direction, she was very firm on that.

I've enjoyed painting giraffes in the past... check out this one and this one (both on paper bags, for some reason).

(Throwing this into the Illustration Friday queue as well for "Wilderness". Hi i-Fri-ers!)

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Saturday, November 21, 2009 12:29 PM

Illustration Friday: Music

Four years ago, (and I can't believe it's been that long) I posted the companion piece to this CD cover as my Illustration Friday entry for "Cold". I like how they work together:

My husband is an amazing piano teacher, and I sing, so as you can imagine there are loads of opportunities for music and art to meet at our house. These are the covers of the music books we've done together... inside they're coloring books as well as having sheet music to play.

It's also occurred to me that for a girl who regularly posts about all different kinds of music and sometimes provides links to said music, I can't believe I've never had a label called "music" before! So this is the first. It's about time!

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Monday, November 16, 2009 8:27 AM

Illustration Friday: Unbalanced

Some scoffed and called the group "unbalanced" for their preference of wearing silly hats. I say, who are we to judge?

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Monday, November 09, 2009 7:05 AM

Illustration Friday: Blur

Most of 2004 was a blur to me. I had a one-year old who had recently undergone surgery, and then had preemie twins who were born 10 weeks early and came home with heart/lung monitors. I had a day job. And, unsurprisingly, a large case of post-partum depression. I had days where the only way I got through them was the fact that I knew that later on, when the dishes were in the dishwasher and everyone was in bed for a while, that my paints were waiting for me. I seriously have huge dark patches in my memory about that time. But I remember the freedom in those paints.

"I learned, again and again, the lesson of creativity: the painting I make today, the drawing I do today, the poem I do today, is meant to save my life today."
~ Judy Collins, Singing Lessons

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Monday, November 02, 2009 7:04 AM

Illustration Friday: Skinny

A doodle for i-Fri's theme of the week, "Skinny." It's been a long time since I've had time - no, made time - to participate. It's good to stretch my brain and make something just because.

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Thursday, December 11, 2008 6:34 PM


Dancing squirrels, a little rambunctious for Illustration Friday this week.

Remember I gave everyone on our gift list the choice of an original painting? Well, Angela requested "Squirrels, dancing." And so she shall have them. I had a sketch where one was upside down on his hands and she was really opposed to it for some reason, so here are her dancing squirrels, all on their feet. They'll need to have shadows underneath them, but other than that, I don't think I want to do too much more to it. In a perfect world, I would have painted the background FIRST, but I'm toying with going back in and adding in a light wash.

Extreme tail close up:

Tomorrow hopefully: painting in progress of a lamb, a cat, and a dog, all wearing boots and carrying umbrellas.

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Sunday, July 13, 2008 9:45 PM

illustration Friday: Foggy

I've been feeling blurry lately, like someone didn't color in the lines properly. And I figured out that when I draw or paint every day, and when I go for a 2-mile walk every morning as well, everything comes into focus and I have loads more energy. So:

More drawing.
More painting.
More walking.
More yoga.

ps ~ This was so much fun to paint. See it bigger here.

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Monday, July 07, 2008 3:44 PM

Illustration Friday: Sour

This painting is an exercise I did a while ago, messing around with the watercolour colored pencils. I think it's interesting that I tend to go through waves with my painting - at least once a year I get really loose, and then a few months later, get almost crazily detail-heavy. I guess it's the times in between where I hit a balance. I like the loose, I like the tight, and I really, really, really like citrus fruit.

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Thursday, February 07, 2008 8:17 AM

Illustration Friday: Blanket

Coffee, glitter, watercolour, and bits of photocopied fairytale. Can you tell which one it is?

All three of my kids take books and a flashlight to bed. Wonder where they got that from (ponders the mama with stacks of books next to her bed, a booklight, and a battery recharger)? Hmmmmmmmm?

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Saturday, December 29, 2007 8:38 AM

Illustration Friday: Soar

(Watercolour, pencil, and coffee)

Unlike previous years, when I've done a "Big" list on my birthday, I had no "Big 36" list this year. I've found that making a laundry list on one day of the year makes me feel obligated and doesn't take into account the fact that I change, darnit. But I do like to have a goal and a purpose and a reason to things. In 2007 I tried a lot of things, and some worked, and some didn't. What I want to do this year is to let my focus go to what is most important to me: my family, my artwork, my self. Once I have down a clear set of priorities I can figure out if other things serve my purpose or just distract me from them. For instance, after the craft fair and NaNoBloPoMo, I realized that more than a month had gone by without painting. And for me, painting is a necessity; I was shocked that I had let so many days and nights go by without it. Sure, I spent time on my site, and on scanning in and making prints, and framing things, but not painting. And that's where my heart lies.

I'm working now through this list: the Simple Living Manifesto. I really think it's going to help me focus and get back to basics. Paul's trying to do it as well, including naming Sunday nights Art Night for him as well (although in his case, it'll be Piano Night.) But I love the idea of the two of us filling the house with creative energy from top (me in the Tower) to bottom (his studio is on the first floor) at the same time, while the kids are asleep. We will also be making some plans on what the focus is for our family, as well as planning some regular date nights.

So here's to a new year. And to letting your imagination soar.

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Monday, December 17, 2007 8:22 AM

Illustration Friday: Backwards

I've been working on this one for ages ... it's Alice and the Unicorn from Through the Looking Glass.

The text reads:
`Well, now that we HAVE seen each other,' said the Unicorn, `if you'll believe in me, I'll believe in you. Is that a bargain?'

`Yes, if you like,' said Alice.
Here's a bit of a detail shot:

Done in watercolour, pencils, acrylic, and coffee. I do so like to be thorough. Hmmm... I wonder if anyone else has done an Alice painting for this week?

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Tuesday, December 11, 2007 8:22 AM

Illustration Friday: (I believe in) Little Things

Faithful readers will know how much I adore the song "Little Things" from Sesame Street. While I have always appreciated the little things in my life, the more Mama-years I have under my belt, the more deeply I realize it. This song has always touched me.

Go listen to the song (and watch the video) here.

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Sunday, November 18, 2007 8:45 PM

Illustration Friday: Superstition

From the book of short stories, "Spirits Unwrapped", that I illustrated. There's a lady who... well... has a tendency to turn into a cat. And this illo goes with it:

(If I had had more time, I would have done a rockin' picture of Stevie Wonder instead!)

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Tuesday, November 13, 2007 8:21 AM

Illustration Friday: Scales

This was one of my Every Day In May pics from way back, but you know what, it fits. This is exactly where I would like to be right now: relaxing in the bath with a good read.

I promise I will have more about the craft show, and what I'm going to do with all those lovely framed prints, soon.

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Thursday, October 11, 2007 4:27 PM

Illustration Friday: Open

Open, a bookstore and art gallery in Long Beach, California in Long Beach, California is sponsoring this week’s topic, “open“, and in a show opening November 3rd — in less than a month — they will display 25 IF entries. Which 25? That’s up to you, the loverly IF community! You get to vote on your favorites to decide which ones go up on the walls.

(ahem) New painting.

These are the last few days to cast your vote (until Friday 10/19) so if you are so inclined: Go here, and click the text that reads "Vote here for entries on the theme: open". You'll see little stars (wait for them to load, there are a lot of entries!) next to each thumbnail. Clicking on the star turns it red and registers your vote. You must be logged in, and you only get 5 votes. Enjoy!

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Friday, September 14, 2007 7:56 PM

Illustration Friday: Wedding

I did this illustration for our own wedding invitation; I'm all mushy-romantic like that. :) It's framed on our dresser with this cutout from a newspaper that my best friend Kirsten gave us... I think the rest of the headline read "with soccer" and it was from the high school sports section of her local paper. Works for me!

And because I can't leave well enough alone, here's another one: I did this illustration for my sister-in-law's wedding invitation...

My friends Jon and Liz wanted an invitation that showed what a long journey it had been. This was what I painted for the outside:

And here was the inside:

(I love weddings!)


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Wednesday, September 12, 2007 8:24 AM

Illustration Friday: Momentum

A body in motion stays in motion. In this house, you don't stop, ever. And you keep lots of lists.

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Monday, September 03, 2007 9:21 PM

Illustration Friday: Alphabet

The summer before my last semester of college, I had homework for my portfolio class: to create 100 sketches for proposed logos for my personal identity package. I remember being nervous that I had only done 97, but I honestly couldn't think of anything else. (Of course, once I got to class, I found that many others in the class had done about 5 ... I have always been a geek par excellence!) Anyway, once we got to the class, we all had to pin up our sketches and logos and have the rest of the class critique them. I had all these great logos, things I thought were totally sophisticated and designy looking, and instead of the cool ones, the whole class pointed to the one of this little girl with braids, riding exuberantly on an E. "That's the one," said the teacher. No, no, I protested, and tried to point to something more mysterious. "Nope." said another classmate. "The E one, that's you." I think I tried again to sway the class and was resoundingly outvoted! I'd known everyone in class for 4 years and the teacher as well, so I grudgingly figured they just might know what they were talking about. :)

I wound up winning an award for my logo package, had my resumes passed around ("We can't use you for the job, but your stuff was so great we gave it to the design company downstairs") and charmed my current employer with it - I think he may still have it on his bulletin board, after 13 years of me working there!

I made a conscious decision not to draw like that anymore, and it was really, truly, okay to say goodbye to it. I realized I didn't enjoy drawing things that were cartoonish and wanted more emotion and expression. But I still love this girl, and I love the stickers and cards I had printed back in the day - I still use them when I can (after cutting off the address, phone number, and my name, which have all changed after 14 years...)

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Monday, July 23, 2007 8:08 AM

Illustration Friday: Poem

When you spit from the twenty-sixth floor
And if floats on the breeze to the ground
Does it fall upon hats
Or on white persian cats
Or on heads, with a pitty-pat sound?
Oh, I used to think life was a bore
But I don't feel that way any more
As count up the hits,
As I smile as I sit,
As I spit from the twenty-sixth floor.

~ Shel Silverstein
Where the Sidewalk Ends

My favorite poem of all time. Hands down.
Listen to the master read it (and others) himself, here (track 26).


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Wednesday, July 11, 2007 6:48 AM

Illustration Friday: Geeky

While I may not have tape on my specs, I am a geek from way back.

For more geeky goodness, don't miss Minimum Wage. Back in my a cappella days I remember them as being some of the nicest and funniest people we shared a stage with.

And according to this test, I am a Modern, Cool, Nerd. Like we didn't already know that.


french toast girl #

Sunday, July 01, 2007 7:26 PM

Illustration Friday: Twist

I think she's some sort of druidical acolyte who worships in an oak grove. Amazing what comes out of a little doodle...

♥ Note to i-fri-ers: this and pretty much every other piece of artwork on this site is now available as a print!

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Saturday, May 12, 2007 7:51 PM

Illustration Friday: Citrus

This is not an Every Day In May pic, but I had to post it nonetheless. :) Juicy!

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Sunday, April 29, 2007 10:21 PM

Illustration Friday: Remember

This afternoon, I was listening to one of my favorite all-time albums, A Gift From A Flower To A Garden (For The Little Ones). It has a definite renaissance-y feel, and whenever I put it on, I swear my blood pressure goes down. It always reminds me of being in college, when my friend Amanda and I would get up at the crack of dawn to go out and sit at the lake and freeze with our watercolors and cranberry-walnut muffins, being painterly. So this evening I took a break from working and dug out my box portfolio from back in the day, when I had done a calendar based on the songs of this album. This piece is (gulp!) 13 years old, and what amazes me is that I could slide this right into my portfolio today. Apparently I had a definite style even then.

The song this illustrates is called "Epistle to Derroll". It's a Carroll-esque song about a man who is searching for his friend, a banjo-player with a tattoo on his hand. He calls all the starfish out of the sea to ask them if they've seen him anywhere. My favorite line says, "Come ye starry starfish/ I know your ways are caped/ Maybe it's because you're/ astrologically shaped."

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Wednesday, April 25, 2007 7:25 AM

Illustration Friday: Polar

Edgar Allan Poe/lar Bear.

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Wednesday, April 11, 2007 8:16 AM

Illustration Friday: Green

I only have 43 fantastic ideas for new paintings featuring my favorite color, and the title of my theme song. But I'm swamped with work... so I offer up an old fave in hopes that I'll be able to do this theme later on and post it.

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Friday, March 30, 2007 8:26 PM

Illustration Friday: Snap

My favorite album of all time: Rubber Soul. I prefer the American version, which some critics (and I!) think is superior to the British release.

FEEDBACK TIME: While this was incredibly fun to paint, it's hard to get four people to look like they're supposed to, especially when the album photo is distorted. So: I invite you to tell me something in particular I could fix on any particular Beatle. And you also have to tell me one thing you like about the painting or that I did right. Or just tell me how much you like the Beatles.

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Sunday, March 25, 2007 9:51 PM

Illustration Friday: I Spy

Coffee and pencil. Can you spy the singing bird?

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Monday, March 12, 2007 8:50 AM

Illustration Friday: Wired

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Wednesday, March 07, 2007 9:29 PM

Illustration Friday: Hide

Hey, you've got to hide your love away.
Coffee, pencil, watercolour.

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