Pattern design explorations

I’m working on a pattern based on my mouse dinner party painting. Probably taking on too much again. Currently I’m “focusing” on building my illustration portfolio. Taking online classes for illustration. Working on two commissions. Oh ya, and feeding two small humans (like every single day), doing laundry, vacuuming… hmmm. No wonder I feel slightly dazed all the time. And no wonder I don’t have the energy to exercise and garden


What would grandma do?

Happy Friday everyone. I finished up this painting last night. I wish you all could have meet my Grandma Burke. She was an amazing woman and I was very close to her. She was an adventure at heart and loved everyone. She never shied away from challenges and would have them with a creative spirit and heart of adventure. She made friends with strangers and people she’d never met in person. A great letter writer, and writer of stories. When life throws me a curve ball and I find myself drowning in stress and worry, this is a question I ask myself, fix myself a cup of tea and sandwich, and then I pretend that I am as awesome as she.

Dino love

So I’ve been struggling with frustration with my art lately, comparing myself to other artists, to other creative mom, and drowning in feeling like I’m not accomplishing enough, not good enough etc. I realized I need to just focus on where I am, and focus on just making art. I’m going to try and show up at the blank page every day without expectation and just have fun.


The Summer Garden

In the beginning of May, I took a look at my courtyard, and thought, “You look sad. This is not all all what I want you to look like.”  This happens to me every year around this time.  I get a driving desire to convert my courtyard “garden” into a lovely oasis of flowers and color. And for the last several years…it ends in a bunch of sad dead plants.  Did you know that plants need to be WATERED regularly in order to survive?

Spring was just about over, and I realized that I might have really missed my chance to do some serious planting before the summer heat rolled around.  But I was determined. And this time, I was going to do it right. And by right, I mean make sure they got the water they needed.

This was how the courtyard look at the beginning of May. Not bad, but sooo boring.  Before I did any planting, I installed a simple drip system.  I put off doing this for years, because I thought 1) it was hard to do, and 2) that it would cost too much money. Well, in actually, it cost me about $20, and took an afternoon to install. Seriously. Why did I wait so long?!?

I decided to add to extra flower bed to the half circle, but didn’t want to dig up the cement. So I just built them right on top (well, currently, only one flower bed is in place). I got some free bricks to form the walls, put down some landscaping fabric, and put in the dirt.

Since I didn’t really have very much money to spend on this, I bought a lot of seeds, and only bought a couple full grown plants.  Seeds are less expensive, but take LOOONGER to grow. I’m all about instant gratification, so this was a big deal for me.  But, I took my seeds, filled a couple of planters, sat back and waited.

I also wanted to be able to actually sit out in the garden and enjoy it. I had nothing out there, so I decided to try my hand at making furniture.  I took a couple of old pallets I snagged from work, and cobbled together a rustic table. Painted it, roughed it up, and it was perfect for sitting and enjoying tea.

I kept watering, and weeding, and mothering.  I knew I had achieved something special, when Clint walked out one day, looked around and said, “Wow. So…all this time, all that was missing was…watering?” Um, ya. Plants need water to grow! Who knew.

And now, its is the beginning of September. Technically summer is over. You wouldn’t know it by the heat.  But ever morning I get to walk out into my little secret patio garden, sit down and enjoy a moment of Zen. Fitting considering my word for this year is Peace…

And here is a explosion of picture for you. Remember those seeds that I thought would take FOREVER to grow?