Afternoon Hike

It’s been over a month since I’ve been on the hiking trails! Life can get busy at times, and I forget to stop, take a deep breath and listen to the quiet in the woods.


IMG_2471It always feels good to step away from the computer, get some exercise and breath in the fresh air. Often times, I end up doing a little treasure hunt, looking for a variety of colors, shapes, textures and patterns.

IMG_2490 IMG_2481 IMG_2483

IMG_2476It was just the mental pick-me-up I needed for a Monday afternoon! Happy hiking!


From My Sketchbook: Fresh Cut Inspiration

One of my latest favorite sketchbooks prompts for the year is to use my weekly bouquet of fresh-cut flowers for inspiration.

These new sketchbook pages were inspired by pom daisies, carnations, alstromeria, and roses from recent bouquets. Then I filled the page with a dramatic spray of leaves and a few of the swirls I love to draw. Next up, I plan to turn these illustrations into new surface patterns, so stay tuned!

sketchbook page daisy and leavessketchbook page carnations and leavessketchbook page alstromeria and leaves

sketchbook page rose and leavesIn order to fill up more sketchbooks this year, which is on my bucket list for 2015, I’ve been trying to sketch more lately. I’m hoping to fill up more sketchbook pages like these with flowers, leaves, flourishes, and other nature-inspired images I see out my window this spring.


Inspiration Wednesday: From My Sketchbook

I’ve been enjoying making more time lately to experiment in my mixed-media sketchbook. As usual, once I get going, I realize how much I miss this creative freedom to just experiment, paint, draw and doodle with different media.

In order to fill up more sketchbooks, which is on my bucket list for 2015, I have been coming up with lots of drawing prompts. One thing I’m doing is a monthly calendar. But instead of using it like a diary, I’m using it to do a daily doodle.

sketchbook page for january 2015 doodles

It’s a great way to get started with my drawing projects for the day. I’m hoping to have a theme for each month’s doodles. It’s growing to be one of my new favorite things to do!


Inspiration Wednesday: From My Sketchbook

This week’s topic for my Make Art That Sells course with Lilla Rogers is home decor, so our first exercise is to draw suzani-inspired motifs, which are embroidered and decorative textiles.

sketchbook medallion motifs sketchbook medallion motifs

I’ve been having fun drawing a variety of center floral shapes and medallions with decorative corner motifs in my sketchbook. I do love to draw swirls and flourishes!

sketchbook medallion motifs sketchbook medallion motifs sketchbook medallion motifs sketchbook medallion motifs

I’m not sure which design is my favorite so it’s nice to have a variety to work with. The next step is to scan these pages and play with them in Illustrator. Then I’m going to turn them into a collection of ceramic plates for this week’s challenge!

Hope you’re on the look-out for things that inspire you and challenge you!


Inspiration Wednesday: From My Sketchbook

I’m immersed in Lilla Rogers’ course Make Art That Sells right now, so it’s great fun to have assignments to work on in my sketchbook.

sketchbook painting root vegetables

The first assignment has to do with root vegetables so I bought a variety for in-person drawing reference. I really wanted vegetables that still had the stalks and leaves on them because some of the leaves are so beautiful.

sketchbook root vegetables - carrots

sketchbook root vegetables - beetssketchbook root vegetables - radishessketchbook root vegetables -parsnip

sketchbook root vegetables - sweet potato and turnip

One of the many things I’m learning is to pay closer attention to my own process and how I work when doing illustration. That is helping me figure out what I like, what my style is and what I like about other artists I admire.

1. First I do research, learn about the subject matter, make a word list, find photo reference and live examples if possible.

root vegetables reference

2. Then I do a couple quick, rough doodles with a ball point pen, sort of like an outline.

sketchbook root vegetables word list3. Then I do a detailed drawing with pencil and loosely go over it with a Micron pen.

4. Then I might try to do a realistic rendering, which I go over with a Micron pen so I can scan it later for digital work.

5. Then I go back to drawing my own interpretation of the object, sort of realistic, sort of stylized.

Similar to most illustrators and artists, I really want to have my own unique style, so it’s important to me to also understand and develop my own process. I love drawing with pencil and then Micron pens, so I enjoy this process of illustrating. I also like using my travel watercolor paints, but I love the digital process so I’m excited for the next step in this assignment.

Now I’m looking forward to baking roasted root vegetables!

Hope you’re on the look–out for things that inspire you.


Inspiration Wednesday: From My Sketchbook

I’m continuing my quest to manage my time so I can keep sketching and drawing ideas in my sketchbook while keeping up with my licensed art projects and graphic design clients. I have quite a collection of sketches, so I’ve been busy inking and digitizing them to further turn them into marketable work. Here are a few recent illustrations from my sketchbook pages, along with some reference photos that inspired me.

sketchbook secret garden gate

sketchbook page wood nymph butterfly

I love the eyespots on Common Wood Nymph butterflies and on some birch trees!

olbrich birch forestbirch eye

sketchbook page birch eyes

I’m continuing my quest to Make More Work on advice from established designers and illustrators. Make so much work that you can’t be ignored. I love to draw so it’s a great challenge to draw more, to draw all the time, to continue to develop my unique illustration style.

Hope you’re on the look–out for things that inspire you.


Photo of the Week

I recently spent a day at Olbrich Botanical Gardens, soaking up lots of sunshine, plants and color. There was such a wonderful variety of trees, shrubs, flowers, statues, and structures to admire so I took lots of photos. This photo is one of my favorites.

The flower is called a Celosia Intenz, thanks to my mom for helping identify it for me.

I especially love the color but also the shape of the flower stem. It normally grows in zone 10 climate. Since I live in zone 4-5, this is an annual, which grows well in full sun and adds great height and texture to containers.


Friday Quote No. 18/2014

Happy Friday! I’m sharing my latest quote postcard with you today to send you into the weekend with a bit of inspiration.

This quote is a great reminder to do what you love and don’t worry about what others are doing.

Hope you are inspired by something or someone this week. Enjoy your weekend!


Pattern created by me, inspired by my brick patio.
Font used: KG Les Bouquinistes de Paris