This wonderful guy posed for me beside the Salt Creek Trail in LaGrange, IL. He wouldn't let me get very close for a good reference photo but he sure did want the other geese to know how magnificent his plumage was! I enjoyed watching him on the banks of the river but it was a greater joy trying to capture his strutting bravado on paper! This was done on hot press Fabriano paper. I love the smooth surface for rendering feathered friends.
This sweet little momma was trying so hard to catch her "z"s last year when I took her photo. It wasn't very nice of me to barge in on her snooze time with camera in hand. But...I'm not sorry either. This painting is almost finished. I've posted it because many love to see the process of the project in action. I've used hot pressed paper 140lb Fabriano paper and transparent paints. It has been a wonderful process!
This is a miniature of one of the waterfalls in Starved Rock State Park, Il, (one of my favorite places!). I could just sit at this place for hours and hours...just soaking it in! This watercolor is about 2" x 4".
I guess I can't get enough of peonies. I'll be doing some more renditions of this beauty but in watercolor next. These flowers remind me of ballerinas. They gloriously leap up in their bright tutus and then gracefully touch ground again in the slightest rain storm. Wish mine would bloom...I had to tresspass into our neighbor's yard with my camera to grab some photo references...An artist has to do what an artist has to do...
And yet...another thrush! What is it about these birds that I find so intriguing? Robins don't have as pretty a song as their counterparts but still, they sure have pluck! The Bleeding Hearts are from my garden. They truly bloomed their hearts out this spring! This is a miniature watercolor, 2 x 3 1/4".
As promised, here is the combined thrush painting with my card graphics. This is a marriage of watercolors, pen and ink and Photoshop tools. It is so exhilerating to mesh so many techniques together to produce a piece!
This is the next in the backyard bird card series. I was so looking forward to creating the Blue Jays as they are one of my favorite birds. I don't know why but I feel a certain kinship with the more racous birds. Jays are birds with attitude and I love all varieties, (may have to do the stellars too for they are simply gorgeous!). I have included my messy sketch to give you an idea of how I go about arranging the composition. The beauty of a computer program such as Illustrator or Photoshop is that you can take different scanned elements of a work in progress and easily slide them around in a format to quickly view the best composition. I prefer to do this on screen rather than on paper...saves erasers! But, as you can see...it ALL begins with pencil and paper...and an honest love of birds!
All the thrushes are among my favorite birds, (well...not too fond of the robin but love all the rest!)This little guy, (2.75 x 2.75) is not miniature quality but he will do nicely for a birthday card I am presently designing. I'll upload the entire design when I'm finished.
This is the last miniature I'll do for the season. I'm behind on other projects and must catch up. I'll start some mini's again in the fall for a couple of shows I think. They are just too much fun! This one, "Quiet Repose" is 2 1/4" x 3".
Here is yet another miniature. This one is a reworking of a previous painting only this one is scaled down to 3.75" x 2". This beauty grew in our backyard when we lived in Iowa. I thought the backside was far more intriguing than the front so, of course...it got all the attention in this composition. Until spring decides to wake up this year I'll be hooked on flowers from the studio for a while!
This is another mini, (3 x 2") painted from an old photo I had taken years ago at the Iowa State fair. It was a very hot day and though the afternoon light was harsh outide, inside the barns, there was a dramatic and warm refraction of those strong outside rays. Looking at sheep munching on hay always relaxes me...cows have the same calming affect. I'll have a hard time giving this one up for after having painting it I feel a certain kinship with those animals!
If only spring would come! Then I might indulge in a live model rather than a photo taken last year. Oh well...I take what I can get to chase away the winter blahs! This one is another miniature. It measures 1 7/8" x 4". The minis are rather addicting!
I just pulled these guys out of the closet and finished them. They've only been sitting there for a couple of months. Sometimes paintings get shoved aside when times get busy. It was fun completing this miniature. The composition is a whopping 3"X3" and took way longer than I would have liked to have finished. Still though...I'm happy with the results. Now on to the next...a mini landscape perhaps? Stay tuned...
Yes, I realize fall is over and done with...but...it's my favorite season! And as I find myself cowering in my studio, safe from the viscious cold, my thoughts, (and brush) turn back to the glorious days of hiking through gilded-leaved woods. It's what keeps me sane in January! Happy ponderings!
I've never been a patient person. The winter months are long and trying so I work with as vibrant colors the palette offers to chase away the winter doldrums. Spring can't come early enough for me so I paint the garden beauties with the faith that color will some day soon greet me OUTSIDE my studio doors!
I grew up in culturally diverse San Francisco Bay Area and indulged in all forms of creative venues varying from music and dance to rich visual treats at museums.
I earned a BFA in Graphic Design at CCA and relished in the fine arts and design courses offered there. I graduated just before the dawn of computer graphics applications and have always felt blessed to be one of the last students taught the disciplines of exacting, hands-on skills required of the pre-computerized field. We were trained to apply strict adherence to detail and almost Zen-like focus on precise execution. This disciplined arts oriented ideology has influenced my approach not only to what I do in the studio but to life in general.
Of course, I have learned computer graphics applications since. I would be deceiving myself if I didn’t embrace one of the most amazing and flexible tools available to the modern day artist/designer. I only hope my work reflects that of carefully thought out artistry and evokes sentiments of beauty and balance as good design is meant to do. Hopefully my passion for thought provoking art coupled with love of the outdoors brings you visual contentment and joy.