Saturday, December 31, 2011

New Look For the New Year

Happy New Year dear friends!

2011 has been a beautiful year, full of friendship, art, and discovery.  As 2012 approaches, I wish you all the best in everything you pursue. A new year brings new beginnings, and I'm excited to announce that I'll be redesigning my blog as one of my New Year's goals.  New look, new name, and new address coming soon! 

Friday, December 16, 2011

Cards for the Holidays

It's my favorite time of year again!  I love the weeks leading up to Christmas, full of wrapping presents, baking sweets, family returning home from places far away, and of course making cards for dear friends.  This little card was done on bristol using pencil and watercolor paints.     

(the back)

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Snail shell eyes

Detail from a small work in progress.  So far it's acrylic on gessoed panel, but I'm considering adding some mixed media elements as well in the lower half and background.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


8" x 39"
Ink and chalk pastel pencil on shellac-coated paper

I've had this done for a while but just haven't had the time to post the pictures.  The rose petal paper was a dream to work on, I have another piece and am thinking of using it for my next body of work.
Here's some close-ups so you can see the details better! 

As I mentioned before, the images are inspired by Polish folk motifs and stories.  She's wearing a Polish folk costume and holding a miniature Baba Jaga's house . . .

 . . . here's a rooster and a magical forest, . . .

 . . . the witch Baba Jaga's chicken-foot house again . . .

 . . . and a cluster of mushrooms and some little red shoes!

I've begun some more pieces that I hope to keep you updated on as I work on them.  Hope you have a relaxing rest of the week.

Thursday, November 3, 2011


Gouache on paper

I went out early this morning to do some plein-air painting at the edge of the forest.  The weather was gorgeous, the sun lit the hills and foliage with golden light.  I sat on the grass beside a bush full of hummingbirds.  Every so often I would hear the whir of their wings as they flew close beside me.  It was so peaceful among the whispering trees, I haven't felt so relaxed in weeks!  I'm already planning to paint outdoors again this weekend.   

Monday, October 31, 2011

Another New Project

I'll be working on and likely finishing this painting today.  The scroll I showed you last week is almost done, just a few finishing touches to do, so pictures of that soon to come.  Below is a study I did prior to beginning my deer painting.

Hope everyone has a great day, and Happy Halloween!

Monday, October 24, 2011

A New Project

My latest task for Mixed Media class is a work in scroll format.  I've coated several sheets of paper with shellac to get an antique feel, including some beautiful rose petal paper I've been saving for just such a project.

I love using my Polish roots as a source for my imagery, so look forward to seeing Baba Jaga's house, folk costumes, and wycinanki (Polish paper cut-outs) motifs in this piece!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Afternoon Shadows

The sun paints such lovely silhouettes on my wall in the afternoon.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Snack break

There's nothing like a late evening snack of fresh fruit and yogurt while painting.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

In the future, will there be trees?

Gouache on paper
18 x 24"

The first painting of the school year!  For this piece, I've imagined a clockwork dystopia where pollution and factory smog make the air nearly unbreathable, and trees live only in memory.  I hope our Earth never sees such a time.  

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Back in the Woods

My plush raven peeking out my window.  I love my view!

Summer has been a dream, but it's fall now and that means back to school.  I've been busy packing, unpacking, and attending the first week of classes.  I'm taking a painting class and a mixed media drawing class, so lots of artwork to come. 

My new apartment is lovely, I'm even closer to the trees now.  A deer even came up to my window to see what I was listening to yesterday evening!  Would have snapped a photo but it was off and away too quickly.   

Monday, August 29, 2011

Work in Progress

How the time has flown!  I'll be starting my last year of college soon, so I've been studying hard for the tests I need to pass to get into grad school for elementary school teaching.  

As a result I haven't had much time for anything else, but here's one of the works in progress I mentioned some time ago.  It's a pencil under-sketch that I plan on adding color to with watercolor and pastel pencil.  More photos to come.    

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Sunday Morning Sketch

8x11 inches
Watercolor, micron pen, and chalk pastel pencil

Wishing you a comfortable Sunday.

What I'm listening to: 
"Morning: Another Morning" by the Moody Blues
from Days of Future Passed

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Show and Tell

I can't believe how fast time has flown, it's already the last week of Summer of Color!  It has been such a pleasant journey.  I'm brimming with new ideas inspired by the things I tried in my ATCs, and it's been nice getting back into some colors I haven't used in a while.  

A big thank you to Kristin for creating this wonderful event for all of us, and thanks to everyone who participated for establishing such a devoted community.  Also, to my constant givers of encouragement and praise, reading your comments put a smile in my heart every week, thank you so much for sharing your thoughts.

Without further ado, here is my collection of ATCs for this week's final challenge (which happens to be a good old show and tell of what we've done throughout the event).  Make sure to check out everyone else's beautiful works at Kristin's blog as well!  








Sunday, August 7, 2011

Clockwork Magician

Chalk pastel pencils on watercolor ground

I can't believe it's already the last challenge for Summer of Color!  There's still one week left for sharing what we've created over the last few weeks together, but as far as colors go I'm sad to say this is the final one.  This week was orange, and for my ATC I decided to stay in the darker, brown region of orange with some more vibrant highlights.  

It was nice working solely in chalk pastel again.  I've been doing much more painting than drawing this year (as a result of my oil painting classes in college) and I've stayed in painting mode so far this summer.  Now I'm remembering just why the dry media were always my favorite to use!   

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Summer of Color: Purple

Here's my ATC for the lovely color purple.  In the center is a Victorian-inspired lady with black gloves, curled hair, and a big puffy dress (see bottom of this post for a detail of her).  There's a blackbird in the little border-frame above her, and a pocket watch below her, though it's a bit hard to make out.  

I started out with watercolor for the background and border, and then did most of the drawing in ballpoint pen with some colored pencil in the darkest places.

I would have been finished with this ATC much earlier this week had I not become distracted with other projects.   It's definitely been a week of new ideas and scattered artistic energy, a kind of brainstorming week.  As a result, I now have a variety of less-than-half-finished pieces floating about every flat surface in my room.  In-progress pictures soon to come, once I work on them a bit more!


Sunday, July 24, 2011

Red Trees and Falling Leaves

It's certainly been a while since I've worked with the color red as a major color in a piece, but here is my ATC for red week of Summer of Color.  
(It's been even longer since I've done anything with purple, which is next week's color.  This should be interesting.)

I began painting with no particular idea in mind, but soon the two red blobs of watercolor I started out with transformed into a tree in the background with a raven (of course!) sitting on a bush in the foreground.

It was fun working in red, tan, black, and white again.  About a year ago I did a series of pieces with these colors and really enjoyed it.  Now I feel inspired to dabble in this palette again. . .   

Friday, July 15, 2011

Two Birds

Human masks over feathered faces, the magician's birds look, but do not speak.  They play in a form they do not understand.  

I must say, brown is such a fun color to work in!  This ATC was done mostly in brown ink, with a little bit of watercolor and black ink to bring it all together.  I often do sketches and underpaintings with brown ink, its definitely one of my art supply box essentials.  

Do you have a favorite art supply you couldn't live without?

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Sending out light by way of yellow . . .

Ah yellow, such a glowing, optimistic, and spiritual color!  This little piece came very naturally to me, I didn't plan it much just picked up my brush and started dabbling in ochre, violet and brown with a touch of red.  I used some thin gold paper to embellish the star and moon, and a bit along the top of the border although it's kind of hard to make out.  Metallics are always challenging to photograph somehow. 

I really like how this ATC turned out, it reminds me of tarot cards in a way.

I've been out and about appreciating the natural yellow of the sun last week (even ended up getting a bit burnt at the beach, tsk tsk).  It's been such a lovely summer thus far, I'm looking forward to more fun at the beach with my sisters next week as soon as my sunburn heals.  I'm also looking forward to the next color challenge, brown.  Brown is one of my favorites in my color palette, can't wait to get started! 

Sunday, July 3, 2011

In the spaces between stars . . .

2 1/2 x 3 1/2 inches
watercolor paint and pastel pencil

She hummed to herself, the twin moons above watching over her.  The only other sound was the beat of feathered wings in the dusk. . . 

It's the end of pink week over at Kristin's Summer of Color (next week is yellow) so here, finally, is my ATC for this color.  I've had my nose in a book all week, catching up on all the things I didn't have time to read during the school year.  Books are such wonderful distractions!  I finally got back to art yesterday with this little piece and started some other works as well that I'll be posting about soon.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Green, the Color of Nature

It's green week of Summer of Color and I was enjoying myself so much I made two works for this week instead of one!  Both are mixed media ATCs.  I bought a small pad of ready-made canvas ATC's once in the art store, and I thought they'd be perfect for experimenting on.  I painted the deer on one of them and embroidered the border.  Something was missing, so I added the white flowers, which I think give it the perfect summer touch.

The green angel came together out of the same color I mixed for the deer's background, but this time I added a bunch of torn paper for the early layers.  Like my blue ATC last week, I went in for final detailing with pastel pencils.  I think of her as an Angel of Nature, a guardian of the forest and its creatures.  

Working in green reminds me of all the lovely plants outside in nature that we so often forget to thank for their company.  The peace we feel when we walk among trees is a touching of souls.
Have you taken a walk today?

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Gazing through a window into periwinkle dreams . . .

It's blue week for Summer of Color, and I decided to make this little ATC (artist trading card for those who have never heard of them before) for my first piece.  

I love working with neutral and grayed-down colors, so I used a muted periwinkle blue as the dominant color.  Inhabiting this 2 1/2 x 3 1/2 inch space is a character of mine who shows up a lot in my sketchbook and school notebook margins, a fluffy-haired Victorian-coat-wearing man with his three raven companions.

I used watercolor and brown ink washes first, layered Sanguine, Sepia, and White Prismacolor pastel pencils over that, and finished the detailing using Micron pens. 

Can't wait to start my piece for next week, this time the color is going to be green!  

Friday, June 10, 2011

Summer of Color!

School has been keeping me busy and away from the blog world of late, but summer is finally here!  I'm looking forward to posting photos of my recent art project I mentioned a while ago, eating ice cream, reading all the books I haven't had time to crack open, and getting to enjoy lazy me-time in the summer sun.

I also want to make this a summer full of art and new ideas.  I was really excited to find a blog event created by Kristin over at Twinkle, Twinkle called Summer of Color that I'll be participating in.  So many wonderful artists are joining in, I can't wait to see what everyone will create!  Basically, each week Kristin will give us a color to work with (the first color is blue), and the task will be to create some sort of art project in any style, any medium to be posted by the following Monday.  Visit her blog to read more about it, anyone can join and it looks like its going to be a great way to get creative during the laziest months of the year.  

I haven't decided yet what I'll be working on, but I think I would love to get back into the mixed media spirit, since I've been doing a lot of oil painting lately.  I might work with journal pages, ATC's, little canvas boards, whatever strikes my fancy.  I love the idea of letting color inspire my pieces, this is going to be exciting!

Monday, May 23, 2011


8 1/2 x 11
Oil pastel on watercolor

Dusk whispers to mushrooms sprouting from her feathers.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Meeting under a roof of trees . . .

Another sketch related to my latest project.  Working working working.  

Saturday, May 7, 2011

New Project!

The first update on my newest painting project!  As I mentioned last week, this project is going to be made up of multiple paintings displayed together, so I've been sketching and planning to get things at least somewhat figured out before I start painting.     

I also decided to make my canvases by hand this time since I want a particular size and shape, so I've been in the woodshop every spare moment I could get.  It took me a while, but I think I'm finally starting to get the hang of all this wood-cutting and nailing (after many, many bent nails that is).  I made two 1 1/2 x 4 1/2 ft rectangular stretchers so far.

Here's one lovely stretcher sitting peacefully in the studio's storage space.

And here's the other one, all gessoed and ready to go!  
Can't wait to start painting tomorrow.