Sunday, July 31, 2005

Illustration Friday: Aging

The theme for this week's Illustration Friday is "Aging". I chose to illustrate the aging process through seasons. (click here to see larger image) Youth and young adulthood are the spring and summer of our lives and middle age and old age are the fall and winter. Aging is inevitable, but if we can learn to embrace every season of our lives, we can and will find the unique beauty each season has to offer.

"To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven." Ecclesiastes 3:1

Friday, July 29, 2005

Birdie Swap with Holli

Oh what fun! I participated in Holli's Birdie Swap, and we both had a great time creating goodies for one another. Here is the birdie-related artwork that I made for Holli. I painted this on a pre-fab framed cork board with acrylics. I then embellished with bits of ribbon, ric rac, buttons, sharpie pen and colored pencil. It was great fun to do! Here's a close-up of the detail...

In return for the Birdie art, Holli made me this oh-so-cute "Bunny Bouncer"! I was so touched that she took the time to search out my affinities, and discovered that I was a big bunny lover. How sweet of you Holli to make me something so personal and wonderful! She's a great addition to my bunny collection.

In fact, my studio bunnies gathered to officially welcome her to the neighborhood. She's already feeling right at home. Thanks again Holli for the fun swap!

By the way, I encourage you to visit Holli's site, and please do yourself a favor if you're an aspiring illustrator (or an aspiring anything for that matter) - read Holli's great article called "Becoming an Illustrator". It is full of inspiration and practical wisdom for illustrators who long to break into the field. It was Holli's article that encouraged me to start a Blog, get hooked up with Illustration Friday, and approach this adventure with professionalism and fun. I owe you many thanks Holli! Bunny and Birdie Blessings to you!

Monday, July 25, 2005

Studio Friday: Prize Possession

This week's theme for Studio Friday is "Prize Possession." I have so many things tucked away here and there that are very dear to me (photos, momentos, etc) but in my studio there is a book that means a lot to me for many reasons. It's Mary Engelbreit's Home Companion - her very first decorating book. My dear co-workers bought it for me in 1994 as a going away present. I was leaving my design job of 8 years to strike off on my own in the big art world. These dear gals wrote the most wonderful things in this book about how they "knew me when" and "I would be signing books someday", etc. I did have a lot of dreams in my head to be sure. But life has a way of taking you places you hadn't planned. I never became a self-supporting artist. I became first a realtor and then a trainer in high tech. But I really have no regrets. I feel that every lesson I have learned and every person I have met on this journey which is my life made me a richer person - not in material things, but in matters of the heart and spirit. And now, 11 years later, I am facing another crossroads in my life. I am getting closer to launching off again into the big art world. But this time, my dreams are tempered with age and some measure of maturity. I have no allusions. But, I do have hope. And no matter what, I know if I remain open to always learn and stay humble, I will be richer still.

Oh, I said the book was special to me for several reasons. 4 years after my friends gave it to me and signed it with their blessings, I took it to a book signing in Denver. Mary Engelbreit was at a local ME store signing ME merchandise - so I carried my precious book to the signing and there, side by side with my friend's well wishes was the signature of the one artist who has had the most influence in my artistic life - Ms. Mary Engelbreit. I remember that she told me that she liked the necklace I was wearing - it doesn't get much better than that. :o)

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Golden Magazine Illustrations, Part 1

Recently I found some great Golden Magazines for children at a flea market and I said then that I would share some of the illustration contents. I'll share these in bits over the next few days. For today I want to share the contents page from August of 1968. Each magazine's content page has a border with a theme - this issue's content page theme is state fair.

The charming border is made up of little watercolor washes with pen and ink depicting things at a state fair. Beneath that are kids on a train ride. I really like the breezy, simple style of these pictures. Next is a close up of one of the kids on the train - you can see how minimalist the color and detail are, yet they truly convey the feeling and spirit of the fun of the fair. At the bottom is my meager attempt to emulate this much looser style - it certainly was quick!

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Illustration Friday: Tranquility

The theme for this week's Illustration Friday is Tranquility. This is a first for me, but I'm using a piece of artwork I already had that I think fits the bill. This was a concept for a greeting card that never really went anywhere, so I'm happy that it's finding a new purpose here. Many times, tranquility is best savored and appreciated when it follows on the footsteps of adversity.

Friday, July 22, 2005

Illustration Friday: Karma (well, not quite)

This week's theme (or should I say last week's theme - I'm late) for Illustration Friday is karma. I have to be honest and say that I don't believe in reincarnation, or karma. That said, I do believe in the biblical principle of sowing and reaping. I chose to illustrate that with the scripture about the Fruit of the Spirit. Sowing this good fruit in one's life will yield a beautiful harvest.

"But the Fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace,
patience, kindness, goodness,
faithfulness, gentleness,
and self-control."

Galatians 5:22-23

There is a GREAT online study available on the Fruit of the Spirit by Beth Moore called "Living Beyond Yourself". I highly recommend it. It's incredible!

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Latest Issue of Overflow

As you may or may not know, I work with a team of writers to publish a bi-weekly devotional e-zine called Overflow. I just posted the latest issue today: From this jumping off page (or from here), you can read the Overflow Devotional (A Red-Shoes Day), the Rinse Cycle (Burrito Blunder), and Women at the Watercooler (It's Not About Me). I wrote the editorial introduction and created the Scripture Inspiration Graphic (seen here). I took the photo used for the illustration at a Pampered Princess Party we had for our gals this Spring. (but that's another story...however, if you want to read about why a princess party - here's a devotional I wrote about it recently) I love seeing women having fun being girly. We're not all very comfortable with it frankly, and that was part of why we did it. Anyway, this little publication has been a real blessing for all of us. It gives us ordinary girls a creative outlet to share what the Lord is doing in our lives, in big and small ways. I hope it blesses you...

Tuesday, July 19, 2005


I glanced up from my desk at home and noticed that my bunny-planter with ivy that I put in the window to get some sun, had curiously begun to look quite like someone longing...longing to go out, longing to escape, longing to get out from behind the glass, longing to stretch her legs and try her wings in the big bright world. I tried to tell her that it was 102 degrees outside and that she was better off inside with the air conditioning, but she would have none of it. She is still standing there, full of dreams beyond her circumstances...dreams of freedom. I wish her the best.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Studio Friday: Favorite Book

The theme for this week's Studio Friday is "Favorite Book". That's a tough one - but if I go by how often I've read a book, the hands-down winner would have to be "The Voyage of the Dawn Treader" by C.S.Lewis. It is third in a series of 7 children's books that Lewis wrote called the "Chronicles of Narnia". Truly fabulous, beautiful reading. I've read them over and over again year after year since I was first introduced to them by my 6th grade Sunday shool teacher. I am so excited that the first book in the series, "The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe" is being made into a major live action film coming out on December 9th of this year. You can see the internet trailer here. Also be sure and check out the official Disney Narnia website - absolutely beautiful - great Flash animation!! I pray that they are able to make all 7 books into films...I will look forward to the "Dawn Treader" the most - you'll just have to read it for yourself to understand why. And why the stuffed lion in the photo you ask...why, Aslan of course!

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Photo Friday: Candid

The theme for Photo Friday this week is "Candid". I'm getting this one in just under the wire. I caught my brother in a pensive mood when he was visiting us some time ago. The water of Lake Loveland, sparkling with the setting sun, provided such a beautiful backdrop for his contemplation. I call this picture "Reflections" for those reasons.

Magical Day at CBA

Well, no weigh in Wednesday this week, becuse my dear friend and I were attending the CBA (Christian Booksellers Association) Convention in Denver all day Wednesday...and what a day it was! The CBA show is the number one trade show for the Christian book, music and gift market. Christian retailers come from all over the world to buy for their stores. The exhibitors are all the biggest as well a many smaller names in Christian publishing, music and gifts. We were like kids in a candy store. My friend is an author, and we went first to the book side of the exhibit hall. It was such a blast to be there as "Industry Professionals" (that's what our badges said). We could just look and look and look. We had numerous wonderful conversations with representatives from a host of great publishers. And I was able to give out quite a few copies of my portfolio on CD - check out these little guys that I made up for the show. They are little business card CDs called Neato HandiCD from Fellowes. The kit had software for printing labels so I made up a label with my logo and contact info, and put together a .pdf portfolio of several of my best pieces along with an MS Word cover letter with my bio and burned those onto the mini-disc. I got a lot of great reactions from these. Hopefully what's inside the disc will get equally great reactions - at least they might be just a bit more apt to look. One of the highlights of the whole day was getting to meet Beth Moore. She's an internationally known and loved Bible teacher and speaker, and a personal hero of mine. She gave us each a big hug, and we got to tell her that we led a large women's ministry (200+) that featured her video Bible studies. It was so great to meet her - she is so genuine!!

We later moved over to the gift side of the exhibit hall, and I was able to pass my portfolio cards out to several more folks. The last gal I talked to was the president of her gift/card company and she took the CD and asked if I had anything I could show her right then - luckily I had thrown a small version of my printed portfolio in my bag, and we were able to have a portfolio review right then and there. I think/hope it went well - we'll see. But what a great opportunity!

We ended the day with a concert/worship service/teaching from Michael W. Smith and Max Lucado! It doesn't get any better than that! SO, it was a great day at CBA. The convention is supposed to be in Denver again next year, so I'll be there agian for sure.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Illustration Friday: Metropolitan

This week's theme for Illustration Friday is "Metropolitan".
Definition: Of, relating to, or characteristic of a major city
I perhaps made a bit of a stretch with my take on the metropolitan theme this week. I wanted to "zoom in" a bit down to the more intimate level of the big city - so I did images from a sidewalk cafe. This is a favorite setting for dessert and coffee with friends after a hard day of shopping in the city. I also went digital this week using Painter to get the desired, more loose look and the cut-out layered effect of the picture elements. (click here to see larger image). Although I was initially quite stumped as to how to proceed with this week's theme, I really enjoyed the process once I settled on my idea.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Weigh-in Wednesday

Yeah!! Its Weigh-in Wednesday and I am so excited!! I lost 1.9 lbs. this week (and that with the July 4th holiday, time off from work, etc). My total is now 11.7 lbs! I'm so grateful that I have hope of this actually working. In case anyone is wondering - I'm on Weight Watchers. But really what I'm ultimately doing I hope, is changing my lifestyle for good.

Monday, July 04, 2005

A Different Style

In thinking about my recent teacup purchase (see here), I thought it'd be fun to show you a painting I did a few years ago that had one of the original teacups in it. The painting style is quite different than my illustration work - and yet I used almost exactly the same materials (watercolor and colored pencils). You can see the teacup and saucer on the right.

Sunday, July 03, 2005

Flea Market Score

On my day off Friday I was able to do one of my favorite things - I went shopping at a local flea market. I really wasn't in much of a buying mood (mostly because I already have so much stuff), until I happened upon these teacups. They are modest little teacups - BUT, they are 3 of 4 missing pieces from my china set that I inherited from my grandmother! I've never see them anywhere until now...I've shopped E-bay, etc - no luck. So, now I just need one more of these to have a complete 8 piece teacup and saucer set to go with the ret of the china. Yeah! And at only $1.50 cents each, they were quite a steal to boot.
Once I picked these up, I was suddenly in the mood to buy more stuff, so here are a few other goodies I found:
I was in a pastel mood apparently - except for the brown velvet quilt heart.
The little prayer books were so sweet (from a gentler time - the 50's and the 30's) - and the old-fashioned illustrations are wonderful.
I bought two old cookbooks from the 50's - I love their cover color schemes. And the photos inside are great fun. When I'm a bit less lazy I'll scan some in and share. I also found a couple of old postcards - I've been gathering a decent collection of these over the past months. I hope to make e-cards from them soon. The last thing I found were these great Golden Children's magazines from the 60s. They are chock full of great children's illustrations - lots of inspiration there. I really will scan some of the great art for show and tell soon. They were just 50 cents each. What treasures!

Studio Friday: Mascot

This week's theme for Studio Friday is "Mascot":

Without a doubt, bunnies are my official studio mascot. I've been a bunny collector for forever, and these winsome creatures grace almost every square inch of my space. They inspire me and make me smile. You can read a few more of my thoughts about bunnies here in a devotional I wrote earlier this year.

Illustration Friday: Sport

This week's Illustration Friday theme is "Sport":

(Click here for larger image)

At first I wasn't sure what in the world I was going to do for this week's theme - but then I started thinking of sports from a fan's perspective. That led me to perhaps the biggest sports fan of all - good old mom. I definitely know several gals who pour their heart and souls into their kid's sports activities, and they are always at every game or event, cheering the kids on. So, hats off to our biggest fans - no matter what we do - our moms.