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


July SVS challenge: Independence

I’ve been taking some courses through Society of Visual Storytelling, and each month they have an art challenge. July was “independence” so I came up with some ideas, and this story idea finally came to me, about a little marionette who is freed when her strings break. She eventually comes back and frees her friends.

Here are the initial sketches as I worked out the idea and character design.

The final sketch
Color studies

After some feedback, I moved the scissors to the rabbit’s belt, to help make the narrative more clear.


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.


Princess Ka’iulani


princess ka'iulani

Victoria Ka’iulani, heir to the throne of the Kingdom of Hawaii, fought to restore her nation’s independence after the overthrown of the monarchy on January 17, 1893.  She traveled the States, arguing against annexation.  She met with President Grover Cleveland, who was impressed with her and brought her case before the Congress.

“Seventy years ago, Christian America sent over Christian men and women to give religion and civilization to Hawaii. Today, three of the sons of those missionaries are at your capitol asking you to undo their father’s work. Who sent them? Who gave them the authority to break the Constitution which they swore they would uphold? Today, I, a poor weak girl with not one of my people with me and all these ‘Hawaiian’ statesmen against me, have strength to stand up for the rights of my people. Even now I can hear their wail in my heart and it gives me strength and courage and I am strong – strong in the faith of God, strong in the knowledge that I am right, strong in the strength of seventy million people who in this free land will hear my cry and will refuse to let their flag cover dishonor to mine!”

Despite her efforts, in 1894 the Republic of Hawaii was established, and on August 12, 1898 Hawaii was annexed by the United States.

“When the news of Annexation came it was bitterer than death to me,” Princess Kaʻiulani, told the San Francisco Chronicle. “It was bad enough to lose the throne, but infinitely worse to have the flag go down…”

In 1898, she was caught in a storm while horseback riding, and came down with pneumonia. She died at the age of 23.  Her father said that since Hawaii was gone, it was fitting for her to go as well.


Sliding down your slide and finding yourself in a new world


Once upon a time, mommy and daddy needed to go on a date. So they called Aunt Megan to come over and babysit.  Suddenly, while Aunt Megan and the boy where playing in their room, climbing up the ladder and going down the slide, a bright blue light appeared at the bottom of the slide.  Before they could blink *whooosh* they had slid down the slide and through the portal.

Suddenly, they found themselves in a strange new place….

My best friend got to make a suggestion for a painting, and this is the result.

You may note, that she was quite upset to find out that she was missing the adventure just to see a movie.  I told her not to worry, I’m sure upon returning from their date and finding the children missing and a strange blue portal, SURELY they could investigate….

Owl-squirrel griffin concept

squirel-owlI wanted to come up with another other griffin-like animal combination.  We have some large pine trees just outside our bedroom window.  And the squirrels often wake me up in the morning, running up and down and up and down and up and down, making their strange little squirrel sounds.

I wondered, what kind of bird would logically blend well with a squirrel? An owl of course!

What do you call an owl-squirrel? Owrel? Anyways, I imagine it would rather snack on small mice and other small creatures rather than crunch nuts.

ArtRage, about 2 hours. 5×7.