A Demurely Dotty Departure (My Latest Illustration Takes Shape)

Today’s illustration was a departure of sorts for me.  Inspired by Donna Mehalko’s wonderful illustrations in this book (currently on my Amazon wish-list), I decided to start from a style board and then imagine a character and pose for the clothes.

This was the style board I chose.

blue polka dot dress board


Because I’ve been feeling like I need a drawing refresher of sorts, I went back to this wonderful illustration tutorial by Alfredo Cabrera.  Following his step-by-step instructions, I first created a “skeleton” outline for the figure made up of mostly geometric shapes.

(Pardon the faint image!)

skeleton sketch for illustration


And after fleshing out the details, this is what emerged!

polka dotted dress and chihuaha for blog




Filed under art, illustration, marker and ink illustration, materials, motivation, New work

Back at the Drawing Board…Sort Of

I’m embarrassed to admit that I let two weeks go by without working on a single illustration.  Not good.  While I sort of have an excuse for the first week (playing 6 shows and 3 rehearsals in 5 days doesn’t leave much time for anything else), my only excuse for last week was that I was too busy eating gourmet meals, swimming and loon-watching at my mom’s lakeside cabin in NH.

Not surprisingly, today when I sat down at my drafting table, rusty is an understatement for how I felt.  As a result, I don’t have much I’m proud to post, but here at least is a sampling of what I attempted…
detail from cafe sketch


(Trust me when I say that you don’t need to see the rest of this composition!)



Filed under art, illustration, marker and ink illustration, materials, New work

Loons (and a Few Loonies, too!)

This morning the annual Loon Census on Goose Pond took place.   My mom and I set our alarms for the crack of dawn (7:45 a.m. is the crack of dawn in my book) and headed down the hill to our kayaks.

The dense fog pretty much obscured the lake at our launching point…

green kayak

into the fog

And made the neighbor’s dock appear to float in midair.

Alans dock

My mom waited patiently…

is that a loon

While I indulged in a selfie to commemorate the occasion.

Joana selfie

Although we were supposed to start our search in the direction of the dam…

house at the dam in the fog

We went towards the mountains instead.

off we go

Goose Pond in the fog

Just 10 minutes into our journey, my mom spotted a loon…

mom spots a loonAnd I got close enough to get these shots…

Loon swimming in the fog

loon in the fog

Loon preening

Before it spread its wings and took off!

taking off

The fog began to lift, but the water stayed calm.


And though we didn’t see any more REAL loons, this specimen might still qualify to be included in the census.

fun with the binoculars




Filed under photography

Friday’s Thought – How to Eat A Frog

green frog

“If it’s your job to eat a frog, it’s best to do it first thing in the morning. And If it’s your job to eat two frogs, it’s best to eat the biggest one first.”

(Mark Twain)

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Filed under Friday's Thought, Influences, photography, wisdom

My Favorite Things – After the Rain

As you can probably tell from these pictures, I’m not in the city but back in New Hampshire at my mom’s cottage by the lake.  The weather has been pretty magnificent for most of our vacation; and in a spot so beautiful, it’s hard not to enjoy even the occasional downpours!

After a soaking rain last night, here’s what our world looked like this morning…

yellow daylily with water drops

Lady's Mantle after the rain

pine tree after the rain

forest mushroom

daylily in the forest

daylilies and water drops

blueberries and rain drops

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Filed under Influences, My Favorite Things, photography

Friday’s Thought – Concrete Thinking


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July 11, 2014 · 5:24 pm

My Favorite Things – When the Stars Align

Outdoor concerts are NOT my thing.  I don’t really like attending them and I don’t particularly like performing them either.  But every once in a while the stars align – or, maybe more correctly, the weather cooperates – and I can’t think of a better way to spend the day.  Cap it off with an evening off for “date night” with my husband and I’m in heaven.

At 2 p.m. today in the pit at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center this was the task at hand.

In the NYCB pit

(And speaking of “hands”, my Bridge bid at intermission threw my partner for a curve!)

Bridge Hand

With the show concluded, my husband and I headed to Chianti for a romantic dinner à deux…

Dinner at Chianti

And then on to the local frozen yogurt hot spot for his and hers sundaes.

frozen yogurt at night

What could be more perfect?  Maybe only this…

lanterns and the moon



Filed under Influences, My Favorite Things, New York