Monday, December 19, 2011

Illustration Friday - sink

No time to produce a new piece but this fits well with "sink" - Jonah sinks down through the sea while the whale waits to catch him.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Family Christmas Card

This is the design I'm going to use. It's quite influenced by some of Tomie dePaola's illustrations but using the gouache and ink technique I've used before.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Christmas card idea

I'm playing with ideas for my family's Christmas card. I've usually done a collage but am thinking about a painting this year.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Illustration Friday - round

This is what came into my mind with the prompt "round". It strikes me as another image in search of a story like this one. Did the dog eat too much Thanksgiving dinner? Maybe they're trying out for the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade. What do you think?

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Party Pears recipe

I just submitted this recipe to the Eat Pretty contest they are having at They Draw and Cook for healthy holiday recipes. I made it the other night and it's wonderfully tasty. You would swear there has to be sugar in there but there isn't.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Illustration Friday - vanity

I'm not sure this really counts as vanity. A girl has to check how she looks before heading out!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Spring morning

What's this little girl's story? I know it's spring and that the day ahead of her is full of possibilities, but beyond that I'm not sure. She just appeared demanding to be painted at the open window of a house with a mansard roof. Maybe she'll show up again later with a bit more of her story.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Fire and Ice

Two paper collage landscapes. Sometimes it's fun just to play with color.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Illustration Friday - silent

I'm not sure why they have to be silent, but it's obviously important. I was experimenting with a slightly looser use of watercolor than my usual here.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Illustration Friday - stripes

Just in case anyone was worried about the little boy who was afraid of scary noises in the night (here) I decided to show him having woken in the morning with no more worries (and of course still wearing his striped pajamas).

Thursday, November 3, 2011

uTales launches

uTales, a children's online book store, just launched. My story, A Garden Tale, is available for download at and for the next two weeks you can have free unlimited access to the stories on the site when you sign up. Search for my story by the title. If you have an iPhone or an iPad you can download their free app and get stories your kids can read on the go.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Illustration Friday - fuel

You know what they say about heating with wood. It warms you three times - when you cut it, when you stack it and, finally, when you burn it.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Just in time for Halloween

This illustration was published in Stories for Children Magazine. A little girl can't sleep when two noisy ghosts start practicing for their band in her bedroom.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Monday, October 3, 2011

Two methods of coloring

This was an experiment comparing Photoshop with watercolor. The watercolor piece (on the right) also has a dip pen outline whereas the Photoshop one started with a sharpie outline before being scanned and colored in Photoshop. The watercolor one certainly looks more lively here but that may have as much to do with the line as the color.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Wednesday, September 28, 2011


I painted this one in gouache which still doesn't feel as natural as watercolor but does allow me to be bolder with the color.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Still Life

It's been ages since I've painted a still life. I did this one yesterday. The plums were in front of me but the background is imagined.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

A visitor

We have some exercise weights stored under our bed and this morning I found this little fellow watching me from behind them. He was just a baby and not very good at keeping himself hidden. I then got to watch him trying to negotiate the stairs, which given his size was not easy. I don't really want to share my house with mice, but he was totally adorable and I was glad the cat was out.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Illustration Friday - mesmerizing

The children found the puppet show mesmerizing. In fact it was all a bit too real for one little girl.

Fortunately many things can be made better with an ice cream cone and a balloon. I've posted this sequence before but it seemed to fit the word for this week's Illustration Friday.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Among the winners!

I just learned that my English Muffin Pizza Faces recipe was among the 6 winners of the competition for recipes for kids on They Draw and Cook. Here's the link. Very exciting!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Illustrated map

I just uploaded this map to Here's the exact link. I think artists on the site often illustrate favorite places that they like to go on vacation, but this is where I live (and lots of other people like to come here on vacation). Click on the map to see a larger version and all the details.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Kid-Friendly Recipe

They're having a competition of recipes for kids at and I just sent in this one. You can click on it to see a bigger version and read the details. The specific link is here.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Illustration Friday - mysterious

This summer we were fortunate enough to go to Prague. At the castle there is a row of tiny houses and one of them is decorated inside like an alchemist's workroom. These mysteriously shaped bottles were among the vessels included.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Thanksgiving card design

A new card design. It's a bit hard showing turkeys looking cute or decorative on a Thanksgiving card when you know the whole point is that we're going to eat them...

Tuesday, August 30, 2011


My little witch design that I posted on Thursday was made "design of the day" at Greeting Card Universe today.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Illustration Friday - disguise

I was already thinking of another Halloween card design when this week's Illustration Friday word was announced. These three little trick-or-treaters are enjoying being in disguise. I've been hurrying to get this up before we maybe lose power with the hurricane!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Back to School

This image is now available as a greeting card at my card shop here. I don't have anyone going back to school or college this fall for the first time in many years, but living in a college town I'm very aware of the rhythm of the school year.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Little Witch

A new greeting card design for Halloween. Once I upload it to my card site it will have to be approved, so it may be a week or two before it's available for sale.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Illustration Friday - influence

Could be that this is one of those times when example will have more influence than instruction...

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Patchwork Cat

There was no time to paint something new today - this is one of my greeting card designs which you can see here. I won't be able to post anything new for a couple of weeks as I'm off on vacation and won't have much access to computers let alone a scanner.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Illustration Friday - obsession

The animals knew that when Martha was in the throes of her housecleaning obsession, it was best to keep out of the way.
I think I rather overdid the perspective of the table on this one, but the subject was fun to paint.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Another summer activity

There wasn't much scope for this where I grew up, but yesterday evening beside a pond we watched a bunch of kids hunting for frogs - which they then let go.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011


It's such a milestone, not least for parents, when kids learn to pump themselves on a swing. A quick sketch, quickly colored, in honor of a great summer activity.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Change of medium

I almost always work in watercolor, but today I felt like painting in gouache. It's certainly easier to be bolder in a more opaque medium, but because I don't know it so well I can be surprised by the way the color changes as it dries.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Illustration Friday - perennial

This game is a perennial favorite. The words vary from place to place but it's not the words that the kids care about.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Work in progress

I'm working on this as my response to the Illustration Friday prompt "perennial". This game is a perennial favorite for kids.

Thursday, July 21, 2011


This week's illustration prompt at Watercolor Wednesdays was Baby's first... (fill in the blank). I had just seen some pictures on Facebook of a baby who was having a wonderful time exploring the natural world without his parents worrying unnecessarily about dirt and this is what came to me. I couldn't find the pictures again so I had to rely on memory and imagination to visualize him.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Taking inventory

I met this young lady last winter (hence the snow boots) in an art museum. Her parents had equipped her with clip board and pencil to keep her busy and feeling purposeful while they wandered the galleries together.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Illustration Friday - gesture

Everyone who has or ever had little kids knows (and loves) this gesture.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

After the fair

I felt we needed a happy ending after the somewhat traumatic incident with the spider puppet (here). Back to the mood of the start of the afternoon (here). Everything looks better with ice cream and a balloon.