Little Experiments

  • 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


    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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Little Experiments

As always, there are new things to try preserving, encasing in batter, or drying. Right now I'm mainly working on the first and third of those techniques. The left photo is my first attempt at rose petal jam (here on bread and goat cheese, and yes, that's my man thumb holding it). I was at a friend's house for dinner and we were sitting outside, just about next to this beautiful shrub rose with bright fuchsia blooms. Of course, I didn't hesitate to ask if I could literally deflower it for my selfish needs. I had a recipe from these crazy guys, who put everything that grows in northern MD, central DE, and southeastern PA in jars and serve it as cheese plate accompaniments. I had a vague idea of how it would turn out, definitely floral, maybe sickeningly sweet, and colored a barely-there hue of pink. I was drastically wrong about the flavor and color; it is floral, but in a delicate way, showing more nuance than I expected. And the color is unbelievable! I wish I could have caught glistening in the sun, but sadly, there was none by this afternoon. Take my word that it is a glorious bright shade of deep pink, lovely to look at and quite delicious.

Oh, and the other photo is something I took from those same friends (bet they're real glad they asked me over! now their yard is bare). I planted chamomile from seed this year, but apparently those tiny seeds drowned or blew away or just never germinated. They had lots of it, so I am drying some to use in future pastries, along with lavender, which actually is from my garden. I've found that chamomile is good in shortbread, infused in the butter, and ground and blended with turbinado sugar to be sprinkled on top. It's funny–as much as I love tea, I've never been fond of drinking a tisane of chamomile (it's not a tea since it's not made from the actual tea plant)...but I do like its flavor in a flaky, buttery cookie!