The freeze

  • 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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The freeze

As usual, we've gone from fall to winter quickly. Once the snow starts falling, it's hard to convince yourself that it's really not that bad outside. And once the temperatures start dropping into the teens during the day (single digits if you count the wind chill), we're full on into the Arctic chill. To combat what's been going on outside, I've been sleeping in, drinking more tea, and keeping our new wood stove cranking to make it warm and cozy inside. My dinners have turned to winter also--scalloped potatoes, chili and cornbread, Delicata squash, Matt's enormous, delicious calzones, and other cheesy, comforting things that I want to eat when it's cold out.

The cat gets very antsy when the weather changes. Even though he is part Maine coon, he is a total wimp these days when it comes to snow on the ground. Each step in the snow makes him flick his paws to keep the wet cold off, and this is slow going when the entire yard is covered! We try to show him the neighbor's cats frolicking down the hill in the snow, but he wants no parts of it. He tucks himself behind the wood stove, against the warm slate, and hunkers down for a long winter's nap.

The crescendo of present-buying will reach a climax very soon. Finding the right gift is always such a chore. I tend to go for practical presents, especially things that one can drink or eat. Matt thinks my family is strange since we think nothing of giving spices, olive oil, or bottles of vinegar as gifts. My thought is that at least they'll get used! For those tricky people on your list, try a fancy tea or coffee. The Earl Grey from Tea Trekker is amazing--they mix premium black teas as the base and blend real bergamot oil from Italy into batches every week. The aroma is strong and pure citrus, but the flavors are perfectly balanced on the palate. For coffee lovers, try a single origin brew. I had to review organic coffees (lots of them!) and I found I loved the liveliness of Ethiopian Yirgacheffe. It's clean and almost floral with bright acidity (but not so much that it bothers your belly). Lots of different roasters do a Ethiopian coffee, so pick a reputable company and try some (a couple of sure bets are Counter Culture or Equator). It's also interesting that coffee has historically been grown and processed in a very unique way for many, many years, so you get a history lesson in addition to a great morning eye-opener!

Luckily, we won't have to worry too much about gift-giving this year...we'll be spending the holidays in Tuscany, Italy! If you have any suggestions for where to go and what to do, let me know.