Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Copperplate Flourishes

These flourishes were done in W&N Imitation Gold Gouache with a pointed pen.  It has a nice shine and flows very smoothly through the pen.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Snowy Clothesline

Beautiful storm here in the high desert.  Time to snowshoe, feed the birds, bake cookies, and cozy up to the wood stove.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Vintage Wedding

This couple used the brocade pattern from the bride's dress for the canopy on their Wedding Certificate.  The design was filled in with pastels of their wedding colors.  Their rings formed the focus between their signatures.

Congratulations, Guth and Jess!!!!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Wedding Blessing Gifts

Allison and Jim gave these personalized framed blessings to their very special guests at their wedding.  Each was hand lettered in archival paint on heavy paper.  Congratulations, Allison and Jim!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Anniversary Love Poem

Friends of this couple had me create this anniversary certificate for them using a poem meaningful to the couple. I used gouache with brush florals and italic lettering.  The gold shine is W&N Imitation Gold Gouache.
Congratulations, Mike and Ellajean!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Student Watercolor Landscapes

I taught a short watercolor class at Orme School.
Here are a couple cloud studies the students created. 

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Wedding Name Cards

These little cards were ordered by the bride and groom and used as gift tags for their special guests' favors.  Done on cream-colored archival cards with Italic lettering in a deep sienna.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Calligraphy Class Work

The Orme School invited me to teach two art classes this fall.  My students ranged from 8th through 12th grade and came from all over the globe.  I enjoyed their enthusiasm and fresh eyes. Their final project was in Blackletter with a traditionally decorated "versal".

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Baby's Nursery Sign

It all starts with the perfect little baby.
I do a lot of sketches and planning.
Each of these animals has a special meaning  for Whitman, including the family dog, Coco.
 I then transfer the sketches by graphite paper
to a board I have sanded and painted.

I use acrylic paints for the illustrations and lettering.
The final painting is varnished with several coats of acrylic varnish, completed with hangers and ribbon, and mailed off to hang in Whitman's nursery. 

Monday, August 27, 2012

Wedding Logo Stamp Set

This is a great idea for your favorite couple.  The logo stamp can be used for personal stationary, thank you's, escort cards, menus, etc.  The return address stamp makes all that correspondence so much classier!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Personal Stationery

Personal stationery cards with a logo of the client's name done in flourished italic lettering.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Garden Gate

These photos are of a garden gate on a ranch here in Arizona.  It originally came from New Orleans, and rescued and moved after Katrina.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Traditional Invitation

This invitation for an event at The George Washington University was modeled after a handwritten note by Pres. George Washington.  It uses some of his personal shorthand and wording, and is written in Copperplate Script.
The hand addresses envelopes were done a little fancier, and hand delivered.

client: Joshua Levie with

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Wedding Vows

These vows were a gift for the bride and groom.  Lettered in a Copperplate script in black Sumi ink and blue gouache.  Congratulations Christine and Toby!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Birth Announcement

I love this photo the parents sent me for their baby's birth announcement.  The illustration is water colored cherry blossoms.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Spirit Flower

Another piece on the loss of a loved one.  Watercolor on Arches paper.
Text by B. Martin Stanton

Monday, June 18, 2012

First harvest of sugar-snap peas.  For Amity Parks fans, the little "carrot"  bowl is one of her early pieces.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Ring of Fire, Eclipse of the Sun

Eclipse photo by Michael Keller

The day of the eclipse my parents invited me on a drive to get closer to its center path. In their late eighties, they were excited to see the once-more-in-their-lifetime event, and planned on driving 5 hours to get the best Arizona view possible.  We didn't have sophisticated equipment for viewing, just a very low tech cardboard pinhole viewer.  But off we went on our adventure.

I had experienced a solar eclipse years ago in Montana.  Totality occurred on a February morning in 1979. My brother and friends and I had skipped classes and driven to a wildlife refuge to watch.  We wanted to see what the animals would think of night falling in mid day. It was spectacular. As darkness began to fall from west to east (!) the birds and animals became restless and noisy.  The deer formed a large herd that crashed aimlessly back and forth across the fields.  I could only stand still, silenced by the confusion such an event was causing in their minds.  At totality all was quiet. No more movement.  No sound.  Did the night creatures wake up again?  We couldn't tell.  We took turns looking at the hidden sun, passing around the binoculars. Then, with relief it seemed, the second dawn started.  This seemed not to be so traumatic for the animals, and the day began anew.

Now here I was again, waiting to see an oddity of the universe.  This time in the company of my parents who were every bit as curious and energized as my earlier college buddies had been.  We found a quiet field north of Wupatki, and watched the tiny projection through my pin hole.  The light lessened and the air grew cooler.  Sunset colors began to deepen. I found I could make a pinhole with my fingers and project the eclipse's progress on the white rocks scattered around.  I felt primal.
I walked out into the field and looked back at my parents, these people without whom I would have never existed.  They sat quietly on lawn chairs by their car, in visor and Tilley hat. Watching. These are the ones who fostered my intense interest in nature, who gave me the eyes to see beauty, the desire to know and understand the world and her people.  To go out of my way for something of value. I felt immensely grateful  to have been born to them, people so alive and kind and just.

Eclipse photo by Michael Keller

On the way home the moon was still moving across the face of the sun.  I watched the sun peek out from behind the vertical edge of the mountains as we drove along.  Still a crescent shape, it was not just one point of light but two, one above and one below, as if there were two tiny suns.  Then, when fully revealed, it became the familiar setting sun.  A very good day.

Thank you to Michael Keller and Karen Applequist  who we met in the field. They shared their welder's goggles with us (far better viewing than my cardboard) and their amazing photos.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Ceramic Pins

These majolica ceramic pins take their designs from ancient manuscripts and ceramics.  They were done with Amity Parks for a class we designed together.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Plein Air Painting for the Garden Tour

The Prescott Alta Vista Garden Club held their garden Tour yesterday, and invited me to paint in one of the tour gardens.  I painted in Chris's garden, a lovely "English style" garden with rock walkways, and vignettes of flowers growing in pots and natural beds among the rocks.
A tiny planter of petunias.

Toni's Geraniums.

Snap dragons
Gardeners are very nice people.  It was a lovely morning. 

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Painting for Charlotte

Little Charlotte was born into a world of loving family and friends.  
Below is a sign for her door commissioned by a couple friends 
very excited to welcome her into the world.
The sign was painted onto a pre-formed wooden plaque from Michaels'.  I first sanded and primed it, then painted a coat of gesso for the background.  The painting is all in acrylic.  Some of the flowers are wooden pieces painted and glued on.  I sprayed a varnish on at the end to protect it.
Detail of a butterfly.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

I Send Love to You

This piece was done for someone who lost a loved one.
 Such beautiful words by Rudolf Steiner.
 Watercolor and acrylic on Arches cold pressed paper.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

It is spring here in the desert.  The best time for hiking... fewer snakes.  This rock is hanging on the banks of the Agua Fria river.  I love the softened contours of the granite along this stretch of the river.  There are often falcons soaring off the cliffs, and a heron that watches my progress up and back down the bank.  Connecting with such beauty puts my mind at ease and strengthens my heart. 

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

I was snowed in for a few days this week... who would have thought it possible in Arizona?  And the power was out.  So I worked on this set of envelopes going to a client in Japan.  I chose my "Fun and Fancy" style that needed no light table or lines since I had no electricity.  All was so peaceful and quiet, spring colors of lavender and sage in the midst of snowy drifts.

Friday, March 16, 2012

St. Pat's Day Greeting

Lettering for a Printery House card.

What we know about our Irish heritage is very limited.  The great famine that sent many Irish immigrants to our US shores was not just the result of a potato blight.  " Thomas Gallagher points out in Paddy's Lament, that during the first winter of famine, 1846-47, as perhaps 400,000 Irish peasants starved, landlords exported 17 million pounds sterling worth of grain, cattle, pigs, flour, eggs, and poultry -- food that could have prevented those deaths. Throughout the famine, as Gallagher notes, there was an abundance of food produced in Ireland, yet the landlords exported it to markets abroad. "
"More than a century and a half after the "Great Famine," we live with similar, perhaps even more glaring contradictions. Raj Patel opens his book, Stuffed and Starved: Markets, Power and the Hidden Battle for the World's Food System: "Today, when we produce more food than ever before, more than one in ten people on Earth are hungry. The hunger of 800 million happens at the same time as another historical first: that they are outnumbered by the one billion people on this planet who are overweight." 
Read this article by Bill Bigelow in the Huffington Post here

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Grizzly Bear Project

This is a really great project I did in 2004, before I had started this blog.  I thought you might like to see how it developed.  The University of Montana selected 35 artists to paint large Grizzly bear fiberglass sculptures for the UM's Grizzly Scholarship Association.  The bears were each sponsored by different businesses and displayed by these businesses for 11 months.  They were then auctioned off and the proceeds given to the scholarship association. 

Bear grass, Xerophyllum tenax, is a flower unique to subalpine and low alpine regions in Montana and a few other western states. My family used to camp near fields of the tall, sweetly scented lilies, making it a favorite of all of us.  I had painted it before in watercolors and loved painting the reflective colors in the myriad of tiny white flowers bear grass has growing on its elongated stalk.  Bear grass seemed the perfect way to decorate my bear. 
3 Bear Grass, watercolor

 Once my bear arrived, I put it in the Sussex School art studio where I taught classes for 3rd through 8th grades during the school year.  I worked much of the summer with the large doors open to the Montana breeze, and the studio quiet and peaceful.  I spent over 200 hours painting my bear.  Each blossom was layered with several glazes of acrylic colors, and there were thousands of blossoms covering the black-bear-sized statue.  It was my first time working with acrylic paint, and I found it forgiving and the colors brilliant. Even though I knew it would be sold, I developed quite a camaraderie with my silent bear, and dreamed about her often over the weeks I worked on her. It was a wonderful summer project.
When the painting was complete, friends and I loaded it up for a photo shoot, and delivery to the auto shop that would give it a protective coating.

I don’t remember just who purchased my grizzly at the auction that October, or where she is now.  I do hope she is being admired and enjoyed!