A Spring Secret

  • Food + Drawing


    I don't know why it took me so long to start drawing food. I always had in the back of my mind that I wanted to combine my two interests somehow. In the last eight months, I've done lots of food drawings, beginning back in October with my Inktober recipes. I wanted to illustrate for someone other than myself, so I reached out to friends who have a coffee business. I'm working on a series of illustrations for different methods of brewing coffee. It's so much fun for me, and I find it satisfying to be working for "clients" other than myself.  

  • Chickens

    These chickens were modeled on my own chickens, Duck and Cluck. I took an online class from Anita Lehman through Carla Sonheim's website that was a very thoughtful look at composition. Sometimes it's nice to get back to basics and see how structure influences outcome. And, on a side note, it's been nice to have fresh eggs to eat and use in baked goods!

  • A New (Old) Way of Working

    I don't know why it took so long for me to go back to making collage and mixed media pieces. Maybe I didn't think they were "serious" enough, or I forgot how much fun it was for me to work this way, or maybe I just forgot how to do it. Recently, I found some fruit that I painted simply on canvas paper. I took out cheap, thin acrylics, poured green and yellow on top, and pushed the paint around the paper. After it dried, I tore out the fruit and saved them for a collage. That's where my playing around with fruit bowls began the other day. For a slight change of pace, I took a yellow piece of painted paper and turned it into a French press. I've mainly been using really smushy media, like a soft pencil, conte crayons, and Faber Castell gelatos. These collaged pieces really feel like me, and I'm loving all the color!

  • New Things!

    I'm test driving some new products at the market this Saturday. It's so much fun to play with color and shape on functional bags and totes. I like the simplicity of playing with fabric, paint, and potatoes. Yes, potatoes! That's what I used to make my stamps......and, they're compostable!

  • Stretching

    I decided to challenge myself with an online course, Explore Florals, taught by Victoria Johnson. It was three weeks of design briefs, each focusing on a different way to think about florals, with an accompanying palette. It was harder than I thought to get out of my own way of doing things and try something new. Just like life, I suppose.

  • Creative Thinking

  • UPPERCASE!

    I am so thrilled to have my very first drawn illustration in the current issue of UPPERCASE Magazine! 

    I drew this on Thanksgiving, 2017. We decided to stay home and celebrate, just the three of us. I wanted my daughter to feel like that even though we weren't going anywhere, it was going to be a special day. So, I let her pick the drinks!

  • Pushing Forward

    I'm trying to remember this and to boldly learn new things without getting bogged down by self doubt. It's hard!

  • Plugging Away


    I'm trying to enjoy the quiet stillness of winter. We've had lots of snow (and snow days) and rain, which has made for long weeks of nasty weather. I'm drawing daily and I can see myself steadily improving. 

  • Winter

    above image—not winter

    Winter is not my favorite season. It's cold, it's dark, it's icy....but with those restrictions comes permission to quiet your mind, think, make. It's the season when I have the most time. My daughter is in preschool, and farmers' markets are few and far between. It allows me to focus on my art and on all the other little projects that I think about during the summer. This year I'm stretching and taking Make Art That Sells, an online course from art agent Lilla Rogers. So far, I feel out of my element, which I'm taking as a good sign. Growth comes in fits and starts, and it isn't always comfortable.

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A Spring Secret

Even in Vermont, daffodils are blooming, herbs are rising from their winter slumber, and roads are (finally) being graded. Sometimes I could do without the winter, but then I wonder if the spring would be as sweet. If I lived somewhere that had pleasant weather for most of the year, would I be as excited about spring’s glorious arrival?

My husband and I have created a tradition that is all about spring–we ride the mighty Hoosic River in our trusty canoe. This is our third year doing the run, and it’s certainly not for the faint-of-heart. While “mighty” Hoosic is a bit of an exaggeration, the river runs fast at this time of year from the snow melt running down the mountains and early spring’s inclination to dump massive amounts of rain.

The first year we did it we waited until May to ride. This trip was a languid three-hour tour, with ample time to eat a picnic lunch, tiny sections of quick water, and numerous squeezes through narrow, rock-filled streams of water, involving us getting out and walking in the icy water and rendering our brand-new-used canoe heavily scarred. Last year, we took advantage of a freakishly warm 70 degree day in early April to really ride the river, quickly, in half the time it took the previous year. Having never attempted such a raging river in anything other than a raft, complete with experienced guide, it was an exhilarating (and scary) experience. So you don’t think that we were totally out of our minds (as several passer-bys did while we were launching the canoe), my husband is a champion Boy Scout merit-badged canoer, and he does the steering…and we were both securely strapped into life jackets just in case.

This year, the verdict was that it was fast, but less so than last year. The weather was amazing: clear blue blue skies and sparkling full sun. We spotted lots of waterfowl, including a couple of red-headed ducks that I had never seen and couldn’t identify (and I’m from MD’s Eastern Shore–we know our waterfowl!). We were the only canoers out there on that beautiful Saturday. We’re considering telling friends about it to plan a river party next year, but on the other hand, it’s the perfect spring secret.