What would you do if you knew you couldn’t fail?

(Ok, maybe not this, although it’s tempting sometimes…)

Whimsical pen illustration of "couch potato" by Joana Miranda

Facing a bit of a creative wall today, I decided to tackle my drawing from a different angle; this illustration was done freehand using only watercolor brushes and watercolor paint.  I was pleasantly surprised with the result.

Watercolor painting of girl in black hat and red camisole by Joana Miranda


We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act but a habit.


    • Thanks, Helen! I’m posting another all-watercolor drawing today. Andy likes it…I think I’m going in the right direction.

      It’s hot here and our AC is feeble. How are you doing?

      🙂 Joana

      • Helen Reich says:

        It’s plenty hot here, and luckily, my AC is functioning. I’ve been making a lot of new stuff, and tomorrow I’m going to start on some fall kanzashi from vintage kimono silk that Jason’s aunt gave me! I’m very excited about this….they seem to mostly be in fall colors, so August is the right time to post them.

        • Hi Helen,

          Glad to know that you are keeping cool! Your new kanzashi fall collection sounds really nice. Let me know when you’ll start posting!

          Our balcony is crawling with men, dust and large power tools. The drilling/cutting noise is absolutely deafening. The building is doing extensive renovations on every balcony so we’re not allowed out there until all the balconies are finished. The odd thing is that they’ve made our balcony look significantly worse so far (chopped out chunks of concrete, cut the railings, etc.) The work on the other side of the building balconies a year later is STILL not finished. Argh!

          Ciao for now!

  1. Joana says:

    Hi Helen,

    I like all three – thanks for sending me the links! The pics are great and your work looks so neat and professional. Will you be photographing these new flowers on a hair model?

    By the way, I also like the new avatar picture on your Etsy shop. Where was that taken?

    Ciao –

  2. Helen Reich says:

    Oh, the picture was taken at the first ever Make Music Chicago festival, at which I had the honor of performing on a 90 degree day. This on June 21st, the first day of summer. It was a toughie, and also a freebie, but we got to say that we did it. Also, there was a live broadcast of about a minute of what we did, for what that’s worth. really just bragging rights, but we met a few people who might help us out someday.

    I haven’t been using models for a long time. It doesn’t seem to make much difference (which surprises me), and it’s a scheduling issue.

    • Outdoor concerts are NOT my favorite thing (to play). At least you got some publicity, a nice avatar picture and possible contacts as payment for suffering in the heat! We were lucky in Saratoga this summer. There have been horror stories of the playing conditions (weather-wise), but the heat and bugs really seemed to stay away this year. I like to think it was because I was there;-)

      Ciao –

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