Signs of Life

  • 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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Signs of Life

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So, it is looking more and more like spring around here. You can see the tops of some hopeful daffodils and tulips above, and the sturdy garlic shoots that came barreling out of the ground one warm Saturday. Matt and I decided to celebrate spring by going canoeing! Yes, this seemed to me a bit premature. All of my thoughts about canoeing involve some measure of bathing suits, sunscreen, and lazy summer days. Yet here we were, loading the Stillwater onto the roof of the car preparing to takeon some very fast water. While Matt had been looking forward to this all week (which I didn’t realize until Friday night), I tended to think that maybe our canoe was not going to take on the raging Hoosic too successfully….hence its make name above, the Stillwater. But Matt persevered, and I took precautions (extra change of clothes, lifejacket, leaving my valued camera at home) that in the event I accidentally, ahem, evacuated the canoe, I wouldn’t be a headline in the next day’s paper. To my surprise, it was a great trip! We cruised down the river in record time ( 2 hours this time compared with 3 hours last May) and navigated some decent rapids. It was easier since there was so much more water and, therefore, not as many rocks to worry about scraping. We broke in our new canoe rather quickly last year on the same trip. All ended well on Saturday, although I did take a few waves in the face.

 

Spice Experiment, Part 1 – This recipe was a bit of a cop-out in terms of using whole spices. What could be simpler than making great chai? Still, it was one of those things that I hadn’t made in awhile, and I do crave a good cuppa sometimes. I’ve never found a blend that I really love. Here’s what I threw in the pot with around 4 or so cups of water: 2 ½ star anise, pinch of Tellicherry peppercorns, pinch of allspice berries, 1 hibiscus flower, grated nutmeg, lightly crushed green cardamom pods, and some broken pieces of vanilla bean. I simmered the spices and water for around 10 minutes and then added 3 bags of Numi Rooibos tea. I actually made a test batch last week, where I made one batch with black tea and one batch with the caffeine-free Rooibos. I found that the earthy, vanilla notes of the Rooibos were much more harmonious with the spices than the tea I was using, which was too robust…and I added too much, making it a little bitter. I’ve really been enjoying my chai heated with milk (about half as much as chai), frothed with a little battery-operated Aerolatte wand, and sprinkled with vanilla sugar. Yum - I’m never going back to ground spices! Stay tuned for the next installment of the great Spice Challenge.