Friday, December 28, 2007

IF : Soar

As I look back on 2007, I realize there's baggage I need to leave behind. It's filled mostly with broken promises to myself. As I went about my hurried life I was forgetting to take care of my main goal, to replenish my spirit. Some of you remember that from last year. I got caught up in my wonderful new studio until opening after opening consumed me. I became part of the downtown artwalks, which are wonderful, but

I was forgetting the real reason I needed to be there. I needed it to be my sacred space where I made art, period. No agenda other than to fulfill my need to paint from my heart. In all of this racing to be part of something, I lost a part of myself. It wasn't all bad, believe me! I sold a lot of paintings and made a ton of new friends who love art. But still, in the end I feel empty.

So, what I've decided I need to do as I soar into the new year is leave a lot of bad habits and distractions behind. I'll keep the stuff that was working for me and leave the other stuff. And yes, Illustration Friday is a keeper, so you can bet you'll see me here each week. I'm looking forward to it!

New Year's blessings to all of my friends who have supported me each week. May we all soar into 2008 with good health, an abundance of friends, and gratitude for even the smallest things.

acrylic on canvas done for Illustration Friday, "soar."

Monday, December 24, 2007

Feel The Magic!

To all of my friends who come to visit, I wish you all the magic this season brings!

Here's to a New Year that holds the promise of peace, health and abundance for one and all. I look forward to spending more time with you and sharing more art in 2008!

Until then, Merry Christmas...and remember, the magic is in the small things :)

Friday, December 21, 2007

IF : The Horizon

This is the time of year when many people complain about what they don't have. They make huges lists of material 'must haves" for Santa to bring or for their parents to buy because they think life will be better with them.

For others, this is a time of year when we remember the less fortunate. Those without food, shelter or warmth. Those who are battling life-threatening illnesses. Those who don't have any family members left and feel totally alone. Big TVs, Ipods, computers, diamonds or fancy cars wouldn't fill their needs or their hearts.

What all of us need to keep in mind in any of these situations is that people care. I still believe that good outweighs bad. So let's remember the less fortunate in this season of giving. Let's show them that hope is always on the horizon.

Wishing you all who celebrate, A Very Merry Christmas. Sharing with you week after week is one of my greatest gifts of all!

( And for those of you who know my secret signature, the 3 cypress trees are always in my heart. They represent the 3 cats we drove from Rhode Island to California with 14 years ago. I miss them dearly and feel blessed to have had them in my life for so many years. Merry Christmas, boys.)
Done for the Illustration Friday prompt, "Horizon." acrylic, Prismacolor pencils on bristol. ( click to see hope on the horizon!)

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

In the spirit of giving

I was visiting The Heartful Bogger and I really like her idea of a holiday giveaway. Here's what I'd like to do. The first 5 people who comment on this post will get their choice of an ATC or an assortment of 3 notecards. The ATC can either be a subject of your choice, or you can let me surprise you! Of course it would be an original work of art, not a copy. The cards, however, would be laser copies.

This is just a little way of paying it forward to my friends who stop by. I wish I could give all of you a gift, but I think that would surely take a lot of time (and resources!)

Please give me a month to respond with the goods if you choose ATC's. The cards can be shipped right away.

Good luck! I'm happy you're here :)

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

True Blue Blogging Award

I've been awarded the True Blue Blogging Award by

This award is given to people who stick by you in blogland and make it fun to blog, creating a community of communication and friendship.

I have made many friends on this blogging adventure, but there are ones that visit me consistently with encouraging words and support.

"Ascender" is one of those people, however, I can't vote for the one who voted for me, so here's my list in no particular order.

Get Zapped, for her heartfelt, kind comments and her daily inspirations on her blog. Ronni Hall from Designing Fairy, another inspiring lady who shares a deep connection to animals. Kim Coles from I'm With Sully,so talented and sweet, I enjoy seeing her Moleskine creations and her jewelry. She's been such a lift for my spirits on tough days. And she has the cutest little dog, Sully! Princess Pepper Cloud, who made the trip to my studio to meet me and she even brought me a beautiful handmade dish! We got choked up telling different animal stories. It was so nice to put a face on my blogger buddy. If you haven't checked out her wonderful Ant-ics on her blog, you must! And finally, Forever Young, one of my newer friends here. She always has something nice to say on my posts, and I love the way she tells it like it is on her blog. She's the real deal!

I'd keep going down the list of my faves, but I can only choose 5. Perhaps one or all of them will be your new blogging friend if they aren't already.

I thank every one of you for taking the time to stop by. It's great having you here!

Season's Blessings,


Friday, December 14, 2007

IF : Riding Bare-Backwards

Zappo the cat left home at a very young age to join the circus. Till this day, Zappo always rides his flying pig backwards because his mother long ago said, " Always remember where you came from."

Okay, so Zappo took it literally.
You can see my Moleskine entry here :)

Friday, December 07, 2007

IF : Little Things

So many images come to mind for this topic~some are whimsical, while others are just quiet observations.
I get most of my inspiration from nature. I love trees. I draw them, paint them, photograph them~can't get enough of them. If the old, stately trees could talk, imagine the history they'd share. The younger trees are just starting out, reaching towards the sky with so much hope and promise. Not much different from us in many ways.
I love the way the same tree looks so different in morning light as compared to dusk. It's these seemingly little things that are huge to me.
It's the little things that make up the big picture.
Be sure to check out my entry for this topic in my Moleskine!

Friday, November 30, 2007

IF : Excess of Yellow Birds

This is an illustration I did for the cover of a new picture book I've been working on aptly named, "The Yellow Bird Tree." It's the story of a little village boy who had been quite ill for a while. So ill, in fact, he never left his room. The elder doctor of the village said the only hope left was to say a prayer each time you see a yellow bird, and ask the yellow bird to deliver the prayer to the little boy. This is the sight he sees one day when he finally gets out of bed and opens his balcony doors! The tree was bursting with little yellow birds, and more were still coming for miles.

This is a story about hope and the power of prayer.

Now if I'd just finish the darn thing and get it to an eager publisher :)
Stop by and see what I did for this word in my Moleskine.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

IF : Lolo At The Zoo

This week's prompt for Illustration Friday is "The Zoo." I can't hear that word without remembering The Franklin Park Zoo in Boston, near where I grew up. I was only six years old in this photo, 1959. This is Mabel, the matriarch of the gorilla colony at Franklin Park. She and I were good friends right from the start. We used to talk about what we'd do when we'd get out into that big world waiting for us . (I could talk to animals all of my life.) She worried about her little one, Hank, but she knew that there would be a better world waiting for him without barriers and barricades. He'd have better opportunities than she had. He wouldn't have to live in the confines of the city. It just didn't seem right to sit in the short, mown grass and watch cars go by. Not right at all. Yeah, Hank would do just fine as long as he could find his way out.

As soon as my parents and I got to the zoo I could smell the popcorn and roasted peanuts mixed with the smell of the monkeys and elephants. It was heaven to me! My six year old hands would grasp the cold bars of the monkeys' cages while they looked at me, anticipating a treat of some kind. I'd name them all and make plans for each and every one of us to meet again. I'd run to the aviary filled with the most magnificently colored birds that filled the air with their shrieking, shrilling calls.

Franklin Park Zoo was a much needed escape from my hard life at home. It's amazing to me that my parents even took me there. It just tells me that in spite of the hard times, they tried. They really did the best they could. But it was Mabel who taught me to be strong.

I used to pick flowers for Mabel whenever I got the chance to go to the zoo to see her. As you can see, I would stand beside her and we'd talk for hours, sharing secrets and planning life's strategies. She was the heart and soul of Franklin Park.

We moved around a lot when I was growing up and I never got to say goodbye to Mabel. She knew I had to follow my parents as a youngster, but she also knew I'd grow up to be okay. She often comes to me in my dreams and I wake up laughing, not being able to tell anyone I felt gorilla breath on me last night and how wonderful it was!

You know, Mabel and I weren't suited for the city yet somehow we found each other and gave each other strength and hope. Man oh man, that's what life is all about.

Thank you, Mabel.

Love always, Lolo

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

I'm it.....again!!

Okay, so now I've been tagged by Laurel Neustadter, OttoBlotto and ForeverYoung to list 7 random and hopefully interesting things about me. Try not to hit the snooze button!

1) As a kid, I used to be on probabtion for truancy. (Long story!) Anyway, back in the day they used to send a truant officer to your house if you missed a lot of school. The magical thing that came out if this was my probation officer, Janice. She was my first mentor and 44 years later, we're still great friends!

2) I don't know how to accept comliments. For instance, if someone says "Hey, that's a beautiful blouse!", I'll go on about how it doesn't fit very well and it's really old and then probably admit I bought it at Goodwill!

3) I can't watch underwater scenes on TV or at the movies. I literally lose my breath. Maybe it has something to do with an ex-boyfriend trying to drown me. Nice guy. I hung in for ten years.

4) I have a greeting card addiction. I'm an old-fashioned letter writer and I have at least a hundred blank cards to choose from at all times, yet I still keep adding more. Whenever I see an off-beat card shop, I'm there!

5) I'm a published children's book author but I didn't get to illustrate them...Ashley Wolff did. The books were published in 1991 and are still best sellers~yay!! Last March they came out in bi-lingual board books and sales have sky-rocketed. Sixteen years later those nice checks are coming to my door :) For those of you who can't find them, here's the latest editions of "I Love My Daddy Because..." and "I Love My Mommy Because..."

6) There are so many places I'd love to see but I hate traveling! I'd love to drive the back country roads of Ireland and stop for a pint at the pubs~or go to Scotland to see where my Grandfather and Great Grandfather were born. But I'll never go. Besides, I can't stand to leave my animals!

7) I love to read but I never find the time. I bring books to bed with me but fall asleep after one page. I don't think I've completed a book in at least 2 years! How sad is that.

So there you have it. Seven things you could have gone along nicely without knowing about me. I'm just not that interesting!
Oh...and seeing as I've tagged so many of you before, I'm letting you all off the hook :)

Saturday, November 17, 2007

IF : Superstition

" Carrying an acorn will bring luck and ensure a long life."

I love it when a painting I just finished happens to fit the "IF" theme! I painted this Thursday for my friend's birthday. She loves acorns, oak leaves and Ravens. Yesterday I had no computer access due to some glitch at the towers, or whatever. It was hell for me because I wait all week for Illustration Friday! I still could have gone to the studio to draw or paint something, but no, I frittered away the day in withdrawal. Today though, I hope to do something superstitious in my Moleskine! So check back on my moleskine site if you'd like.

Have a super weekend!

Friday, November 09, 2007

IF : Scale

Phyllis discovered she had a natural talent for playing the scales through her nostrils.

For some reason I found myself humming "Puff the Magic Dragon" while drawing this. Honest. It was torture!

acrylic, Prismacolor pencils, Pitt pen, collage notes and rubber stamp wings on a scrap of cardboard.

Done for Illustration Friday
click for a bigger dragon experience!

Friday, November 02, 2007

IF : A Magical Hat Indeed

Let me tell you about my hat.

I keep my secrets under it.

I store my worries and fears there where I can't see them,

and if I can't see them, how can they bother me?

This is my magic hat.

My no more troubles hat,

my reachin' up to heaven hat.

And when I wear it I stand tall

and proud and happy because I know

it's going to be alright.

acrylic, colored pencils on watercolor paper
Done for Illustration Friday's prompt...hats.

Friday, October 26, 2007

IF : Trick or Treat

Hello all! I don't have time to do a painting today so I played around with my greeting card program and made this image. I've also posted a small pumpkin painting I did last year for a friend. I think this fit's the theme because pumpkin pie is one of my favorite treats.

Happy All Hallow's Eve to those of you who enjoy it, and to those of you who have fond memories of that part of your childhood.
(click to enlarge the horror!!)


Thursday, October 25, 2007

My Virtual Store

Well, after seeing how many of my favorite folks have opened an Etsy shop, I decided to give it a try. I'm offering my notecards and small paintings, and many of the things I've done for Illustration Friday. So far it's a lot of fun, but I'm spending a lot of money there too! I'm not trying to solicit business, but if you want to stop by, please do. It's a fun place to support artists and craftspeople. And hey, the holidays are coming!

You can find my link at the right side of my blog under my list of "inspiring friends."

Friday, October 19, 2007

IF : Grow

I've been in a funny mood these days. Just a bit 'out of sorts' but I can't quite put my finger on the whys of it all. I'm wondering if it's because winter is setting in and my body is going into hibernation mode. I've had some stressful pet care cases which always do a number on me, but I think it's more than that. I think I need a break. Some sort of a 'pulling in' to take care of my own cries. When I saw the topic for this week I loved it, but ironically I came up blank. I sat at my studio all day today and this is finally what I came up with. I admire the mushroom that grows in the dank, darkest of places. In fact, it thrives in those conditions. I spent a large amount of time looking for inspirational quotes about mushrooms and didn't come up with anything, but I did come up with this quote on growth. And it's about nature, which is my church.

"Day by day I grow more knowing in the ways of the trees and the moss and the snow on the ground, and all things are my friends."

Knut Hamsun

So here I go into hibernation, willingly. But I won't miss an Illo Friday entry, no sir.

acrylic on canvas 6"x6"

Sunday, October 14, 2007

My Best of "IF" Show

Well, as you may have read in my latest post, I had my Illo Friday opening but no pictures were taken because of a camera malfunction. Such a bummer! It was such a wonderful night. It was so great seeing people actually taking time to read the story with each illustration. Some of the comments in my book were so touching! Several pieces sold, bittersweet as that is. Here's what the place looked like after I hung the show. Hopefully when you enlarge the photos you'll recognize the work.

Thanks for stopping by! I couldn't have done it without you and your encouragement!

Saturday, October 13, 2007

IF : Life's Extremes

What a fitting word for my 1 year Illo Friday anniversary! It's also been a year since I moved into my studio. I went from trying to find time to create art to having my own space not only to create art, but to display it at monthly art walks and open studio events. That's a huge extreme from painting at my kitchen table!

The other extreme has been becoming a blogger and joining the Illustration Friday community. Not being much of a computer person other than doing a little research and sending emails, I think I've settled in quite nicely with the weekly challenges. It's just what I needed to jump-start my brain and my drawing hand again. As a matter of fact, Fridays have become my favorite day.

And finally, the other extreme is how I went from doubting my abilities to gaining a little self-esteem encouraging me to keep at it. It's all because of the support I get from you. Thanks for helping me grow and stretch and to keep on doing what I do even when I draw or paint something crappy . It's all about the process and doing what we love.

Last night was the opening of my "Wallflowers" and "Best of Illustration Friday" show at studio lolo. It was a smash hit despite my anxiety. ( Sorry, due to a camera malfunction there are no pictures.) I just added pictures of the gallery above, just before the opening :)
Happy Anniversary to me!
Watercolor on Canson Tinted paper, rubber stamped wings, micron pens.
Click to enlarge the pencil lines I didn't erase
This was done for Illustration Fridays "Extremes"

Friday, October 05, 2007

IF : Open Mindfulness

I believe there is magic in every moment. We just have to be open and awakened to it.

Acrylic on patterned scrapbook paper, prismacolor pencils, dragonfly sticker as embellishment.
Done for the Illustration Friday Challenge, "Open."

Friday, September 28, 2007

IF : Chasing away the blues

I could have posted several images today seeing as I always use blues in my work. This is a painting I did called "In the Moment." I remember I had the blues one day and went to my favorite place down the street, Asilomar Beach. My heart was as heavy as the fog on the bay. I saw this lone gull just sitting and looking into the ocean as if all of his troubles were being washed away. He wasn't trying to be anywhere else. He was here, just as I was. He reminded me to be in the moment because that's all we have. So for a while I let the waves carry my blues away and my heart felt lighter.

The ocean is my sanctuary, my chase-away-the-blues place.

Thanks for coming along with me. Here's a photo of Asilomar, so you can see why I love it so.

acrylic on canvas 48" x 24" click to enlarge

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Help the environment

Please go to this site on October 15th and post something relating to the environment and how we can help it. Many voices, one big message. Incrementally, we can all do something. Thank you!

Friday, September 21, 2007

IF : Juggling a move

Some of you know that my husband and I often talk about moving back to Rhode Island, but what some of you don't know is how much anxiety it causes me. It all hinges on finding work for both of us (which means no art for me for a while, at least)...and being middle-aged and set in my ways and missing my friends and this perfect weather and.....blaaahhhh!

But that's what I left behind when we left Rhode Island. A job and great friends and ....okay, the weather isn't very good back there most days, but I did have my art. So the other day I told my husband that we should go back without jobs. "Let's just go on faith!" I said. And then the wise old crow put his two cents in . "You ain't young anymore honey. Caaawww. Just how much do you think you can juggle at your age? Go, stay, run away!"

Damn crow's feet.

acrylic on canvas, rubber stamped alphabets, collaged raven

Friday, September 14, 2007

IF : Wedding

I find this week's word a bit limiting, so I thought I'd post a little painting I did for a friend's daughter's wedding gift. It's titled "Love Is In The Air."

She got maried in August and I haven't mailed the painting yet. Maybe it will get there by their first anniversary!

Lots of people get married on the beach which inspired me to paint this.

Have a great weekend everyone, and if you're getting married this weekend, I wish you all the best!

Friday, September 07, 2007

IF : Momentum in Nature

The soft free-fall of a feather swoops from side to side, being carried by it's own momentum, soon to be swirled into the ripples of a pond gathering it's momentum from the tossing of a pebble.

Two quiet forces of nature equaling a feeling of peace.

acrylic on canvas 10" x 10"

Saturday, September 01, 2007

IF : Emma A to Z !

Okay, slow day at the studio today. I worked on projects for clients and then had a little time to mess around. I figured I'd draw to keep limber so I drew my dog with a Bic pencil on graph paper, nothing fancy. Then I thought I could perhaps use it as another alphabet entry for Illustration Friday, so here's the list of traits about my dog from A to Z. Some are not so flattering but I love her anyway!
(You can see my first alphabet post below.)



Chihuahua mix


Emma !



Heart stealer



Killer instinct


My girl

Naughty (sometimes)

Out of control


Queen of the house

Rescued from SPCA


Terrorist !

Under foot

Very special


Xanax could help her!



Friday, August 31, 2007

IF : Alphabets

Yay...I finally christened my Moleskin! I was feeling very child-like and whimsical today so I thought I'd go for that style. Just loose and scribbly! I used acrylic paint, colored pencils and alphabet rubber stamps. In case you can't read it, here's what it says.

"What's good today?" I asked.

"We have really good duck soup with alphabets." she replied.

"Okay, I'll have that."

Who knows where my head was...but I know this makes me giggle!

Monday, August 27, 2007

I'm A Rockin' Girl, or so I'm told!

I've been given the "Rockin' Girl Blog Award" by one of the coolest bloggerettes , Kim Coles of Personally, most days I feel like I should have the "Rocking Chair Award." I have so many women here that I admire, and it's funny but the ones I'd like to pass this on to already had it passed on by someone else. So you know what that tells me?? We all rock!!

Here's to all my new rockin', bloggin' friends. Thanks, Kim!!

Sunday, August 26, 2007

IF : Visitors

How appropriate the word is for me this week. My eighteen year old niece from New Hampshire came to visit us. It was her first time flying and being so far away from home. My husband and I took her to all the beautiful places in our area making sure she had the full 'peninsula experience.' It turns out her favorite place is also my favorite; Point Lobos State Reserve. There are walking trails along sheer cliffs surrounded by the restless sea. You can't help clicking shot after shot so you can take it all home with you to savor the experience again.

I did this little painting today of China Cove, one of the prettiest spots in Point Lobos that brings many visitors each year. It's truly a magical place.

If you ever come to the Monterey Peninsula, be sure to go there. And hey, look me up...I'll come with you!!
P.S. After having missed last week, I'm glad to be back!

acrylic on canvas, 6"x6"

Thursday, August 16, 2007

My "Best of IF" show at Studio Lolo ! Save the date!

Okay fellow "IFers", I've finally come up with a date for my "Best Of Illustration Friday" show after much encouragement from many of you as well as my friends here at home. It will be one year since my first post on October 15th, so being the way the calendar falls this year the opening will be Friday, October 12th with a wine reception. It will also be the night of the Art Walk in Pacific Grove, so there will be many more galleries staying open. It's really a fun event!

Now I have the job of choosing which illos to frame and how to display their stories next to them.I do know that I won't use any of my collages, just paintings. I'd also like to find the time to get 3 more Wallflowers done so they can be a part of the show.

I'm hoping with this much notice many of you would be able to pop in to meet me. You have no idea how much this venue has meant to me this past year! I'll keep the show up for a month, so even if you can't make it on opening night, perhaps you could drop in on one of the weekends.

Okay...I have lots of work to do!! Thanks for all of your encouragement this past year, and today still.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

IF: Emergency Grounding Energy

Many of you may be familiar with the Soul Collage process. You make your own deck of cards to use in your personal readings. It's an amazing intuitive process used by therapists and regular, run of the mill people like myself. To learn more about it, go to

This is one of my animal companion cards that represents the first chakra, the root chakra located at the base of the spinal column. It is associated with the material things of life, with shelter and food and with making money. It has to do with our sense of security in the world and is connected with survival and self-esteem. This chakra holds grounding energy. It stabilizes us and helps us keep our balance, physically and emotionally.

When I look at this card I see this magnificent bear making sure I'll be taken care of. He'll help me keep my balance and keep me grounded. I feel that I could call out to him in an emergency and he'd be right there.

(Note: when my family sees this post, they'll swear I've been in California too long!)

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Princess Pepper Cloud visited!!

I was so thrilled to have met Princess Pepper Cloud the day she came to my studio! It meant so much to me that she took the time to look me up and hang out at Studio Lolo for a while. Her and her husband couldn't be nicer. She made this beautiful plate for me which I'll use at my art receptions. It has Monarch butterflies on it which is so appropriate because Monarchs migrate to Pacific Grove every year! We're actually called butterfly town and we have a butterfly parade and a sanctuary to see them in their natural habitat.

Now I have an original PPC creation which I'll treasure forever. I'll treasure that day as well. Thanks for visiting Kim!! Hug the cats for me and give my best to Ted.

Friday, August 03, 2007

IF : Missing you so much...

I worked all day on a painting for this topic today and ended up not using it. It just wasn't the right fit. I kept going back to one of my favorite illustrations I used for a promo mailer a couple of years back. This guy is really a heartbreaker, isn't he? Dogs miss us whether we're gone at work all day or just going to the bathroom with the door closed. They're missing us whether it's five minutes or five days, doesn't matter to them just as long as we come back. I feel sad for the ones who are waiting for someone who isn't going to return, ever. Thankfully a lot of those guys end up in new homes with someone new to miss! I have one of those rescues. Trust me, she never looked back! Now she's missing ME when I'm at work, or checking for mail, or out for dinner ...but at least I leave the bathroom door open. I know...too much information!

Fine point Sharpie, watercolor, and Prismacolor pencils.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Inspirational Award

I've just received an "Inspirational Award" from fellow blogger friend Ronni Fairy Girl! She and I have similar interests, mainly art and animals. We're also both animal communicators although she's been at it longer than I have. She inspires me as well, so kudos right back at ya Ronni!Here's her link...

I'm supposed to pass this along to five people, but honestly you all get this award from me. Not to sound gushing, but I'm here because you all inspire me to step up my skills and to keep drawing and painting. When I joined Illustration Friday I had no idea it would mean so much to me. I'm actually going to have a show at my studio of my best "IF" work. That idea was inspired by my friend, Mary Helen. That's in the future though when I get enough money together for framing the work.

So, thanks to all of you who inspire me to continue, and for all of the amazing comments you leave, and also for the laughs from some of you. There are a few of you I have a "back and forth" game of wits with! I look forward to our time together every week. Consider yourselves recipients of this award!

Friday, July 27, 2007

IF : Moon Mother

Trying to come up with a different take on 'moon', I started writing my ideas down; moonglow, moonflower, moon heart and moon doggie (remember him?!) And then I thought of arctic moon and began to draw a seal lit by the moonlight. But idea evolved into this thought and the whole picture changed. Well, at least the moon did.

The young seal asks his mother, "But what if you leave me too soon?"

To which his mother replies, "You'll see me in the moon, little one. You'll see me in the moon."

acrylic on paper, touch of colored pencils, not what I'd hoped for.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

IF : Poem...Drink Your Tea

Drink your tea slowly and reverently,

as if it is the axis

on which the world earth revolves-

slowly, evenly, without

rushing toward the future.

Live the actual moment.

Only this moment is life.

~Thich Nhat Hahn~

I searched a million (or so it seemed) poems on the internet to come up with something that sparked a painting. Here it is, a painting I did today just for Illustration Friday. I've titled it "Tea and Ginkos." The cup and saucer are very Wabi-Sabi. Who needs a perfect elipse?

inspiration and acrylic on canvas

Friday, July 13, 2007

IF: Self Discovery

I see myself in windows and mirrors. Squinting, I try to get a better view of my reflection but it's not anyone I recognize. I refocus my eyes, still I'm not sure I know that woman looking back at me. There's a vague familiarity around the eyes and mouth. Her hair is shorter and red. It was never red, always blonde. And her weight, surely that can't be. And then to my horror and shame I realize it is me. As I pick away at my physical flaws I make an important discovery. I AM NOT THIS PACKAGE. I'm more than that. I'm a wife, a sister, a daughter, a friend, a healer, an artist and a kind-hearted, spirited woman.

And so, I've discovered that I am enough.

Collage, sweat and tears. And with love to my dear husband and friends who tell me this every day.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007


Okay, Andy Doodler tagged me again and I'm supposed to tell you 8 hopefully interesting things about me. I'm supposed to choose 8 more to follow, but I'll let you decide if you want to join in or not. I've already tagged enough of you! Here's my list, lame as it is.
1) I'm pretty shy for the most part. I don't think you can tell that from my blogs though. Maybe because there's a bit of anonymity here :)
2) I'm very self-critical. I really need to be kinder to myself. I would never treat another person like I treat myself. Hey, we all have demons.
3) I have paint on almost all of my clothes! I hardly ever dress nice because of it. I make the attempt to look good, but that darn paint shows up everywhere!
4) I'm an animal communicator. I'm fortunate enough to be able to be very still and quiet in order to help an animal through intuitive communication. I get quite distracted during regular meditation though. My mind is everywhere!
5) I can't bear to watch animal movies. They always upset me, even if the endings are happy.
6) Nature is my church and kindness is my religion.
7) I have a large bank the karma bank, that is! I'm always doing good deeds and not charging for my animal services even though I really need the money. I usually put my heart ahead of my financial needs. What goes around, comes around though. I'm very wealthy in my friends.
8) My mother wanted me to be a comedian! She'd always tell me how funny I was and that I should do it as a living. Other people have said that to me as well. They all drink too much.

Friday, July 06, 2007

IF: 6 things I think are Geeky

Okay, I really didn't like this word. I thought no matter what, someone was going to be offended by nearly every post. And then I thought, lighten up and let it rip Laurel! Still, I kept it tame and to a minimum of insults. Here are six things I think are geeky.

1) Bow Ties...I know some wonderful guys have worn them (and still do) but do you really think "hunk" or "sexy" when you see them?

2) Holiday themed sweaters...ladies, what are you thinking??? Get rid of them. Even homeless people don't want to be seen in them. Thrift stores can't give them away!

3) The you really think you look cool? Well, you don't! And then if you make the hairdo a neon color you're really sending out a cry for help. Do yourself a favor and get some therapy. Or smoke a joint for goodness sakes if you need to make a statement. Chill out and fix your hair.

4) Socks with sandals...this is wrong on ANY planet! Men or women, please never, ever do this. Dark socks are a bigger faux pas, but still, ditch the socks if the sandals are on the feet.

5) Santa many store clerks does it take to wear a Santa hat? Every one of them!!!! And what about regular people who are out shopping and donning those hats? I just don't trust them. And how many kids do you think are traumatized by seeing so many versions of Santa out there? It's just wrong. And for those who don't celebrate Christmas (or the commercial version), must they have this in their faces day in and day out from Thanksgiving until Dec 26th?

6) and finally....adults with braces!! I stare at them, honestly. Do you really think at 40 you're going to get the same bang for your buck if you were 12? I think not. I have such a hard time looking at a balding man with wire and rubber bands in his mouth. I usually just hand him a kleenex to wipe the drool before I leave the room.

I'm sure I've offended some of you. Now you've seen my other side. Not so fuzzy is it? It's because the word was limited. I hope you'll still like me in the morning!

(The opinions of this post are not necessarily those of the readers, although they should be! )

watercolor on canson, glued onto scrapbooking paper with sticker numbers. Click to enlarge.

Friday, June 29, 2007

IF: Twist

Quite sometime ago Portnoy and Biff met at a no-kill animal shelter in the middle of America.

It seems Portnoy was a renegade that escaped a truck headed for the slaughterhouse. Afraid to go back to the farm, Portnoy walked for days until he met a kindly old gentleman who told him all about this shelter. Unable to properly take care of a pig, the old man gave Portnoy a ride to the door and waved a tearful goodbye. The volunteers at the shelter welcomed Portnoy with open arms and hearts. They brought him to his new quarters but on the way there he was struck by Biff, an old-timer stray dog with a twist in his tail just like his!

The shelter worker saw the connection between Portnoy and Biff right away and asked if they'd like to be roommates. Biff's spirits soared by having Portnoy around. They shared stories of life before being rescued and celebrated every day for the strange twist of fate that brought them together.

Two peas in a pod, those two. Old souls embracing a new lease on life.

Just for IF, watercolor, Pitt pens and gouache on Canson pastel paper...and lots of struggling with each blasted medium! Click to enlarge.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Thinking Blogger Award

A little while back I was honored to be nominated for a Thinking Blogger Award by . I was surprised that my art could move people. I started contributing to Illustration Friday to give myself a creative kick in the pants, but so much more has come from the experience. I'm thrilled to have stumbled upon it and so many creative folks who share my passion. As part of my award, I'm supposed to nominate 5 people who's blogs inspire me to think. This is hard to narrow it down to five, but here they are in no particular order.(I'm sorry I don't know how to link them.)

Neilornstein: His rich paintings make me reach into the deep recesses of my mind. There's always a glimmer of light in a dark scene that draws me near. I'm always moved by his work.

Hardwax: Miri moves me along the same lines. Her work just draws me in and makes me go deep even if it makes me uncomfortable. I always come away feeling priveleged to be part of her art experience.

Quiet Storm: Nobody can draw like this guy. I'm left breathless with each post I come across. He makes graphite sing about having a purpose!

Ascender Rises Above: Not only does she post beautiful and thought-provoking images, but she always chooses a piece of literature or poetry to absolutely nail the entry. I never come away from reading her posts without saying "WHOA!"

Get Zapped: I have to give the award to the awarder! She gives us all a place to get centered in this crazy world. Her daily postings inspire and move me to a greater place than where I began. She's a breath of fresh air in a polluted world and reminds us that we can all be a part of the solution. Thank you Michelle.

I'm sorry to have left out so many more that inspire me. I thank each and every one of you who contribute to this experience for me. You've made me better in so many ways! I'll see you down the road.

Friday, June 22, 2007

IF: Camouflaged Pals

Domino and Greyling get tired of living their lives in black and white, so as often as they can they slip away into the colorful country. They love blending in with the birch trees so as not to scare the butterflies. The falling leaves and the flitting wings makes for such a relaxing, mesmerizing day!

Years ago I painted a Dalmation against a stand of birch trees all in blue tones. I don't have a picture of it anymore, but that's what inspired this digital collage. I wish I had time to paint something for this week, but alas, I must get the huge commission done so I can pay my bills :)

I hope this works well enough!

Friday, June 15, 2007

IF: Rejection

I love making cards! I have a line of these collage cards that I keep adding to. There are so many copyright free image sources out there waiting to be made into something. Anyway, these funny cards fly out of my studio and help me pay the rent so I have a place to do my art. I love it when that happens :)

Jello anyone?

Saturday, June 09, 2007

IF: Well Suited Pets

Emma, my dog, is the ultimate Queen of hearts. She was one of seven neglected dogs in someone's backyard. She has many fears and anxieties that stem from her past life, but she's got so much heart that all she wants to do is to love us and smother us with kisses. I tell everyone that "she can't hold her licker!"

Slick, my King of hearts is one of the best cats I've ever had. He never complained about anything, not even when it was time to let him go. He was grateful for everything. If someone stepped on his foot, he'd head-butt them to let them know it was okay because he knows they didn't mean it. Gosh, I miss that boy.

I guess I played my cards right when I rescued them. We suit each other just fine.

Acrylic, Prismacolor, and Sharpie on Bristol. Click to play my hand.

Friday, June 01, 2007

IF: Dreams of Paradise

I've always longed for a home of my own, specifically an old New England farmhouse with a few outbuildings and a large barn. I'd have as many rescued animals as I wanted without a landlord's interference. A big part of this fantasy would be to turn the barn into art studios and a gallery, but...every summer I'd have underpriveleged children taking part in a free art camp. Some kids can't even afford a box of crayons. This is so sad to me. I'd have volunteer art teachers and myself ready to open up a whole new world to these kids. Oh, I can just see their little faces light up! And at the end of summer we'd have a huge art show of all the kid's work with the proceeds to go into the 'Hearts for Art Camp' kitty. (That's after buying pizza and ice cream for all of the young artists!)

So, that's my idea of paradise. A happy home of my own to share with animals and young, budding artists!

watercolor, micron pens and acrylic paint on Canson paper. Click to enlarge.