Sunday, July 27, 2008


After two crazy weeks trying to squeeze in the time, in the wee hours of Saturday night I finished my third watercolor of my two birds series. Was thrilled with how well it came out and don't want to shrink it down a ton to fit into small frames just yet.

The bird was held gently, then set free and is now back with friends.

My inspiration came after a fluke cold spell in San Diego this spring. We were so excited by the light sprinkles and gray sky that we headed out for a walk. I bundled Emma up in some warm pink clothes and out the door we went. When we got back I thought she looked so cute with her pink hood up that I took a ton of photos standing by the door holding my keys. Thinking what cute illustrations they would make later. I came up with my three bird drawings before the night was through, but it took until half way through summer before I managed the time to finish them up. Here are the original photos I took of Emma.

I really wanted to combined my love for the crisp fall weather, Emma and Hyde Park. While expressing the gentleness, love and care children have with animals. Since Donald and I have a huge attachment for London and it's wonderful Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens it was only fitting that my thoughts would be there while I drew. When we were living in London, I would sit and draw for hours in the parks, and take photos every day rain or shine. Living on Queensway gave me direct access to Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens. Every morning I would walk through the entire park and in the evenings stroll through with Donald. My "Two Birds" series is a reflection of the wonderful fall in that park and how magical I think it is, nothing like the blah that is San Diego's North County. I can't wait for the day that I can take my darling daughter and crunch through the autumn leaves in London.

And yes, if you look closely at the picture you can see my Strawberry Shortcake cup I use for my water when I paint that I have had since I was about 7, my Burberry pencil case Donald purchased for me about 4 years ago, and my first piece of Portmeirion that Donald purchase for me about 12 years ago when we were still dating so that I would have something to hold my paint brushes in.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

A Light for Tim

Ask any one who does what they love, who inspired them, who encouraged them, who stood by them and I assure you the list won't be short. Mine is no different. I have so many to thank in my heart daily for their love and support. It's so hard to put into words the gratefulness you feel in your heart to those who have done so much for you, but I will try. Today I thank Tim.
My brother.
My friend.

His first mentor in art that I know of was our Uncle Fred. Uncle Fred was a very talented artist and my brother and sister Bernadette would spend hours learning to draw from him as small children. I was way too young to remember those happy times before my Uncle Fred passed away, but Tim and Bernadette never let me forget how great an inspiration he was. As a child I spent many hours drawing with Tim, he was always the one to spend his pocket money on "How to Draw" books. We would grab the reams of computer paper my dad would bring home and sketch for hours out of those books. We would draw pictures of characters we would create from his D&D game, animals we loved or wish in our secret lives we could be, or favorite cartoon characters from Saturday mornings. I loved the art he created that he would bring home from Jr high and high school (loads of which I still have today, that used to hang in his home). I wanted so desperately to be as good an artist as him. I was quite surprised when he didn't major in art in college, nor did he take any art classes. He went on to major in anthropology at UCSD and was looking to get a second degree in computer science. He never gave up on watching animation, and enjoying the art of others. He introduced me to some brilliant artists such as Maxfield Parrish, Patrick Nagel, and Hayo Murasaki. He was always up for visiting a museum or three, and loved discussions around art. He had even started to purchase some amazing art pieces for his own home.

The last time the two of us were together we were planning a trip to a medieval exhibit downtown (one which I never did see as I couldn't go with out him) and going to the upcoming Comic Con (which of course we never did attend together).

He passed away 8 years ago today and not a day goes by that I don't think of him and how he fostered my love for art at such an early age. A few years back I was visiting Paris and toured many wonderful catholic churches like Notre Dame and Sacré-Coeur. Every time I went into a church I would light a candle for Tim. Below is the light from Notre Dame for a life well lived and much loved.

Through my life he encouraged me not to give up on my art and I never have.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Tuesday Book Review

Put on Your Pearls Girls!
Not only is Lulu Guinness wonderful at making fabulous hand bags, she also has a valued sense on what it means to be a lady. We are so fortunate that Lulu and Martin Welch teamed up to create such a great book. This pop up book is for us adults that never quite outgrew our love for wonderfully illustrated books. Insightful fun and a must for any stylish lady 1 to 100. Donald purchased this book for me at Harrods while living in London for our 6th year wedding anniversary. From an artist standpoint, I wish I had done this! It's so clever, stylish, and beautiful. The art alone is a joy to look at and the words blend so well. A wonderful book to add to your collection or get for your stylish girlfriends. I gave it recently at a baby shower, since my little Emma loves it when I read it to her. The message is strong about being true to yourself, your own style and always feel great about who you are, never forget to day dream, count your blessings and so much more, so go and "Put on your pearls girls!"

Saturday, July 5, 2008

New Art New Store

Donald and I have been VERY busy this holiday weekend. Between the 4th of July celebrations, trying to beat the heat and humidity that has fallen on San Diego, playing with our darling 17th month old, launching a new store on Etsy for our photography and trying to get my new art up, we are swamped. After doing research and learning loads about selling on line and selling on Esty, the key is post, and post lots in order to draw people to your store. Unfortunately for me, it takes me ages to get a piece of art finished to launch, so I decided to wait until I had a few items to post and post them during a busy holiday weekend. But now that we are about half way through the weekend, I am ready to get Emma up from her afternoon nap and go to the pool to cool off and relax. I know Donald and Emma will be thrilled to get out and away from our computers and art for a bit. Tomorrow more posting on Etsy, and then a week full of more art and painting.

Below are some of my new items. And Yes! my lovely Emma was my wonderful model for all my new art. Each new piece has been done in watercolor and pencil and then printed as a giclee on Crane fine art paper. They have turned out so beautiful, I can't help but share.

Beach Babe with large blue bow

Girl About Town
and personalized cards too!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Tuesday Book Review

OK, time for a bit of book review. Yes, art people read, as a matter of fact most artist I know have bigger personal libraries then scholastic types (this still doesn't mean I know how to spell).

First up (which I found it difficult to decide what book to review first)
Drawing People, How to portray the clothed figure.

I chose this book because it has been such a great resource for my art of late. I purchased this book not that long ago, maybe 4 or 5 months ago for the sole purpose of drawing children. None of my life drawing books at home went over drawing children, and it was even more surprising how hard it is to find a book with more than just 1 or 2 pages on the subject. Most people think it's us just smaller, or just draw a big head on a squat body with big eyes and a button nose and large grin and you have a kid. Well it's not that simple, children are way out of proportion to adults and trying to draw different ages in the younger years gets quite complicated. You would think that with the explosion of children's book market that this would be easy to I just wanted a book that would go over key points so that my imagery of children wouldn't appear off. This was the only book I could find with quite a bit of good information. Not really my drawing style, but the key information on proportions and age differences were there. I also came to the conclusion that since this was never taught to me in art school and the information was really hard to find that is was no wonder that there is so many ugly illustrated children's books on the market. I think that the books that are beautifully done are by artists that have taken the time to study and educate them selves on drawing children. I have to admit I have a wonderful model, which makes me really fortunate. But it's still nice to have a bit of good reference that puts it into words and sketches what makes children look like children. If you know of any other books on the subject PLEASE let me know. Otherwise, this is your best bet for now.