on my desk

detail of a fun side project

little pet portrait in progress
Note to self: once you get started it's not so hard, it's actually fun! 
That's why I love it...



Lots of animal sketching going on here these days. Unexpected side effect: easy to whip up a quick card for a friend.
(not my hand)



Happy St.Nicholas day all! 

a quick Samichlaus sketch
We started the day with a boot full of treats and will spend the afternoon baking Grittibaenze ( Swiss dough men) and eating nuts and mandarin oranges. These are traditions I can get into :)

I think this sketch might need some photoshop help....why do you think the paper looks so grey?


december crazies

what I've been doing...
 rainy Christmas parade

paper mache Luna moth Christmas parade float/sculpture (yes that's me on the right, having a good time)
 We had a good group to build the float/sculpture this year. There's never quite enough time, and it always rains, so those are the limitations to work around. It's still fun, even when you're walking in the rain behind the "Chick-fil-a" car. Definitely my kids favorite holiday tradition, especially when you include pizza with friends afterwards.

There's more, of course. I never like to mention the daily runaround stuff, I'm sure you've got your own. December is always full with all sorts of projects, so I'll just pop in occasionally to let you know I'm still kickin'.


IF: Shadow

Lots of works in progress over here, on and off the table. Some fun assignments, a local event hall to decorate (yikes), an interview (!!! more on that when it comes out) -  and wait till you see the Arts Center float/sculpture for this year's Christmas parade! 
Don't worry, I'll show you pictures as things develop.

I did want to check in and wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving, and put up a drawing for Illustration Friday. This week's topic is "shadow".

watercolor and gouache


a fancy experiment...

I'm trying something new, Check this out:

my first page in the Directory of Illustration

Coco posing with the book...



I just can't believe it's Friday afternoon again....

a little glimpse into my sketchbook

I've been drawing and making, learning new things and pedaling to keep up with all the loose ends...
life is good :)


the REAL costume

As usual, the final choice of costume was random - and perfect . An experimental pot of turmeric dye (I can't even remember why I felt I needed to try that right now) turned a white scarf with silver threads a blinding canary yellow. Ideal fluttery wings for a bird, and that little bird has barely settled down since.

first adventures in photoshop... :)


selkie costume

yesterday's costume idea...

I'm a big fan of Selkie's, much more interesting than mermaids, I think.
But don't worry, we've already moved on...
Maybe I should dress as a Selkie, now that I think of it, I'm not sure i have the time for that intricate a costume though. Maybe next year.


costume 2

An update on the costume question : the next plan was to be an elf  (touched off by a cool pair of thrifted felted slippers). I'm actually scrambling to keep up though, because the tide has already shifted to new costume plans. I can't give it away until I sketch it though, so check back in later :)

elf costume with acorn cap


halloween plans

What are you going to dress up as for Halloween? At our house we don't usually prepare costumes in advance. In part that is because we don't have a lot of free time, but mainly it's because my kids change their mind multiple times a day. "Witch, cat, cupcake, cat, cupcake fairy, cupcake cat" - who can keep up?

cupcake cat


IF: mustache

My Dad has had a mustache as long as I have known him.  My husband will sometimes jokingly leave a little mustache when he shaves - and it is funny ...
Otherwise this current, and probably finally waning, mustache trend is inexplicable to me, but even my 11 year old daughter had "mustache day" at school this year, and they had a lot of fun with it.

Go Figure :)


oh, all right...

I just couldn't resist...

IF: Underwater

Let's jump right in:

October here in the south is actually just a more pleasant summer experience. When you go apple picking, don't expect a brisk breeze and hot cider. In reality it's usually rather hot and sweaty and you feel like taking a swim. So this weekend when our apple picking plans fell through, we did the logical thing and headed straight for the lake.

lakeside sketch
With the "Underwater" theme, I was tempted to add some mermaids and monsters, but I didn't want to spoil anyone's future swimming experience. 
I was reminded that this is a man made lake, and like many lakes in Switzerland, it covers a valley that used to be farmed. Swiss legends are full of submerged villages and water nixies, so that could be a fun future series of drawings...


weekend experiments

Some experiments in soft sculpture....inspired by Phoebe Wahl, my collection of old sweaters and a very warm climate.

Voodoo doll by Louisa, age 11

kitty (she has her own wagon and a leash) by Nora, age 7


draw more people!

Nora, age 7
just do it :)


IF: together

This week's Illustration Friday topic is "Together". I haven't played along for a while, but here's my contribution. We have a pair of pet bunnies, and no matter how many pieces of food they're given, they always start out by nibbling on the same one. 

This is the paper cut I started out with. I stumbled across a post from Rob Ryan explaining how he got rid of pencil marks, and couldn't resist giving it a try.

the original being spray painted (shows the printing possibilities too...)

a bit shiny maybe

This is the final black papercut, There is probably a better kind of spray paint to use, since I just used what was in my shed, but all in all a fun experiment. I imagine the resulting black papercut would work as a durable stencil. Maybe that's my next experiment. Any suggestions on a kind of spray paint that works well with paper? 



I'm experimenting with tumblr, this little guy will be my "avatar" over there.  Have any of you tried it? Any hints, warnings, ideas? It's a fun challenge anyway, I am seriously digitally challenged :)


heads up

New header, look up.
Have a  nice weekend friends !


morning mist

A minimal landscape today.  A fun exercise, but doesn't really capture the atmosphere.

watercolor and collage
I got an e-mail from a stranger this morning offering to create "original content" for my blog. Now, I know this space could use a lot of things, but that seems like an oxymoron.


happy monday

To start the week off right, here are some things making me happy this monday.

Inspired kids drawing:

Nora, age 7 1/2

Random morning thriftshop score; hand pieced and quilted, all cotton, twin size, vintage quilt - $4 bucks

Back to the drawing board now; before the school bus pulls up, I hope you got a good start on your week!


Art After School

Kids Art Center classes are back in session - nice work guys!

owl monoprint


morning storm

The drive this morning was stormy and gray, this minimal landscape was inspired by the view of the lake 
(no sailboat in real life  though)

happy September !


almost fall

this is a small color sketch of my morning view on the drive to school.

We cross the lake a couple of times, some days it's so misty it looks like we're driving through the clouds.  There's no place to stop and take a picture or make a drawing, so I'll just keep on trying like this. I'll be back with Illustration Friday, this weeks topic is "lush".
Happy weekend, a long weekend for most of us here!


If you squint...

...my repeat pattern lines up perfectly. 

For this first try, I give myself points for followthrough. It was a lot of fun !
Although I love fabric, that's not really what I'm aiming at with this new experiment. I'm thinking more of the endpapers for a book....or maybe wrapping paper? In any case, I'm wrapping a little friend's birthday present with this first effort and moving on to the next idea. Hmm... how about bunnies?


hi there...

My, look at the date on that last post...
There's no good way to do this. I was waiting for the perfect comeback, but life keeps speeding by.  So I'm holding my nose, and jumping in, and little by little we'll catch up. 
So, how've you been?

 On my desk:  a fun little side project; I'm teaching myself to make repeating patterns with the help of Julia Rothman's tutorial on Designsponge ( so much fun,thanks) I will move on to trying something like it on the computer. 

On my chair: a mischievous little kitten growing quickly into an ornery little cat.


printmaking wrapup

This is the wrap up for this week's art camp, all around it was a very good experience. We finished with  collagraphs and dabbled in screen printing (with a stencil cut out of contact paper by me ).



 ambitiously screen printing shirts....

prints and stencils

Tune in next week, we'll be back to regular programming :)
Happy Weekend!


kids relief prints

Todays prints were made with a foam tray, ink and brayer, but I feel they transcend the medium - AND : no sharp objects :)


printing 101

We're in the swing of another week of Art Camp, ages 8-10; "printing without a press". Always a little nerve wracking at first until you learn what they need (a drawing assignment) and what they can and can't handle (sharp objects, waiting).
 It's a good group though, positive and creative with no difficult personality combinations. We've made collagraphs and lots of monoprints of different kinds. Here's a look at their work, I'm proud of them.

self portraits

self portrait

collagraph print and plate
 For more information on these processes and a lot of other inspiring ideas, check out my pinterest link on the right. I like it over there.....


All New

New month, new header, new week of camp; let the adventures begin!
 This week will be a group of older students exploring printmaking by hand (without a press). We'll start with mono types tomorrow, this is my little practice design using watercolors on a glass plate. 

I  think the paper cut collage header was inspired by the gorgeous flowers in my garden - they love all the rain we've been sloshing through.
Happy July


water walls

With the hot summer weather, the best way to end this week's recycled plastic sculpture camp was to build our own water wall. After some initial confusion the girls jumped right in.

Testing them was the best part, of course. Happy friday!