From My Sketchbook – Week 43

It’s been a good week to be traveling around the city.  There have been tons of happy tourists visiting for the holiday weekend, and the mood (and outfits) have been festive.

Although not the traditional holiday wear, this young woman wearing a pretty head scarf caught my eye…

Sketch of woman with head scarf

As did this young lady in her knit cap.

Sketch of woman in knit cap

At Maison Kayser, the mood was also lively today.  And with such delectable pastries, breads and cakes on the menu, it’s not a surprise!

Sketch at Eric Kayser

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Filed under art, drawing, drawing faces, illustration, ink sketches, New work, New York, pen and ink, Pen Sketch, practicing drawing, Quick Sketch, sketchbook, subway sketches

Joana Miranda Studio 2016 Calendar Now Available!

2016 Calendar Cover for EtsyI’m delighted to announce that the 2016 Joana Miranda Studio Calendar is now available in my shop at Etsy.

The calendar features 13 brand new illustrations.  Each illustration is whimsically stylish and fun.  Here’s a snap-shot of what you’ll find inside:

Jan Feb March

April May June

July August September.jpg

Oct Nov December

At only $18 (shipping and tax – where applicable – not included) you can buy one as a gift and pick up another for yourself!  Just saying…

Click here to purchase!


Filed under art, marker and ink illustration, Uncategorized, watercolor and ink illustration

Friday’s Thought – Reflections

New York City reflection

“The world is a looking glass and gives back to every man the reflection of his own face.”

(William Makepeace Thackeray)

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Filed under Influences, New York, New York City, photography, wisdom, wise quotes

From My Sketchbook – Week 42

Happy Thanksgiving!

Today I’m thankful for…

  • Having had the opportunity to fly around the world to see Sydney, Australia
  • Having survived the longest flights I’ve ever experienced
  • Having my mother here to celebrate Thanksgiving with me (we’re dining on TINY Cornish Game Hens)
  • Having a husband who adores me, even if he’s still halfway around the world
  • Having the support of all of you readers and fans

Lastly, I’m thankful for the cooler weather.  Believe me, after 100 degree weather in Sydney, the temperatures in the 40s and 50s in New York City over the past two days have been blissful.  I even pulled out my skinny cords…

And here’s what other’s around me were wearing:

sketch of woman reading on the subway

Sketch of woman bundled up against the cold


Filed under Aquash pen, art, drawing, fashion illustration, fashion sketches, From My Sketchbook, illustration, Influences, inspiration, New work, New York City, pen and ink, Pen Sketch, Quick Sketch, sketchbook, subway sketches

My Favorite Things – The Wonderful Illustrated World of Izak Zenou

I’ve been a fan of Izak Zenou’s illustrations ever since I moved to the Big Apple.  His work is an inspiration to me for its chic, yet cheerful and fun vibe.  The illustrations look effortless and always capture lively movement.  And I love that his girls are often in recognizable New York settings.

Henri Bendel Holidays by Izak Zenou

Lately, I’ve even taken my hero worship a step further and have tried my hand at creating my drawings, a lá Izak, with ink and a bamboo reed pen.

Portrait of Pina Ferlisi Henri Bendel creative director portrait with Izak_LR

The beauty of drawing in ink and with a somewhat unpredictable implement like a bamboo reed is that each illustration is unique.  Furthermore, imperfections can become inspiration for the direction the illustration takes.  (Needless to say, no two illustrators will use the pens the same way!)

Portrait of Pina Ferlisi, Henri Bendel creative director from Retrospective opening night

As a “cyber disciple” of Izak’s, I was super excited to learn that this year’s Henri Bendel holiday windows not only feature Izak’s work – a collaboration that has spanned 20 years – but that the entire store has been fashioned as a retrospective of his work.  Even better, Bendel’s is hosting “A Very Henri Holiday Sweepstakes” this year.  You can enter to win the Grand Prize :

  • Win a trip to NYC for an exclusive portrait session with Izak Zenou, a one-of-a-kind Henri Bendel handbag hand-painted by Izak and a $1,500 shopping spree at Henri Bendel

And Two Runner Up prizes:

  • Two runners up will each win a one-of-a-kind Henri Bendel handbag hand-painted by Izak.

(Maybe Bendel’s will also create a prize specially for me so that I can just be a fly on the wall and watch Izak draw!)  

In any case, if you like Izak’s work as much as I do, you can enter the sweepstakes online at or in-store at any Henri Bendel store. The contest ends at 11:59pm ET on 12/24/15.


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Filed under art, My Favorite Things, support the arts, techniques, Tool Box, Uncategorized

My Favorite Things (Day 4) – Sydney’s Taronga Zoo

The temperature in Sydney dropped 30 degrees overnight (a welcome change from the 100-degree oven that was yesterday!) so my husband and I made our way across the harbor today to enjoy the Taronga Zoo.

We were welcomed by a noisy fur seal and two sea lions…

two seals and a fur seal

And from there ambled on to visit one of my favorites – the gorillas!  

Momma and baby gorilla

(The little one seemed intent on exploring.)

Baby gorilla goes sleuthing

Curious baby gorilla

curious george

Meanwhile, in a small pond nearby, this large beaked pelican was busy with some personal hygiene.


It was lunch time for the koalas…

Two Koalas

Koala eating leaves

And the chimps were returning home after a long day’s work…

Chimps coming home from work

Comparing the price of carrots…

Chimps comparing carrots

And seeing what was left in the pantry…

Chimp eating corn flakes

Big and little chimps eating lunch

Before they pooled their resources and had a family picnic.

family picnic

We moved on to the lemurs…


And to the giraffes.  Quite the view they have, isn’t it?!

Giraffe with view to the Sydney Opera House

Giraffe chewing on stick

We passed by one solitary elephant…

Elephant at the Sydney Zoo

A colorful rooter…

rooster walking away

colorful rooster

A turkey…




And a proud peacock…

Peacock portrait

(Who squawked at me for taking so many close-ups.)

Squawking peacock

In the Australian Walkabout section of the zoo, we came face-t0-face (no fence here, folks!) with kangaroos…

kangaroo sitting against the fence

Kangaroo looking to the side

Sleeping Kangaroo

A wallaby…


And a few emus.

Emu and friend


From there we made our way to see the meerkats…

Two Meerkats

Standing Meerkat

Meerkat standing in profile



And a rather restless sun bear.

sun bear standing up

sun bear

The Himalayan Tahrs were ready to call it a day…

Himalayan Tahr

And so were we, but I made one last detour to see the baby gorilla.

baby gorilla




Filed under Influences, My Favorite Things, photography, travel, travel photography

Friday’s Thought – On Love, Light and Hope

pink peonies

(No quote today, just the video below.)

In my eyes, the most poignant expression of love, light and hope I’ve seen in the aftermath of the Paris attacks…

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Filed under Influences, inspiration, photography, Uncategorized, wisdom