Monday, March 30, 2009

Barn Cats

I was inspired by Laurie's blog (you can check out her blog from my followers section) to post Barn Cats. This post is part of a series where I painted the same Cow skull into four different paintings. Some of you may be thinking...skulls how morbid. But I'm sure all of you find dinosaur bones quite interesting, right? This painting is one of my cherished and framed pieces, that's why the image has a flash mark in the middle. I know what your thinking. It's cherished because I was unable to sell it! But I can happily report that I sold one of my series of four. I have the perfect photo to accompany this painting. Look for that on thursday.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Backyard Jungle

This is my Reflections entry. See the post below this one for further details and photos. This painting is a scan from a color copy. Whew...complicated! Plus the original scan had a hard time with the metallic paints I used. So I guess my point is the quality is a little removed from my original. The poem that was the basis of the illustration told the story of a boy dreaming and having far flung adventures. All from the safety of his own backyard.


Reflections is the title of a poetry and illustration competition sponsored by the MCBA and the MNSCBWI. The show will be on display until May 3 at the Open Book in Minneapolis. The photo of the Sendero Nuboso sign was the inspiration for my entry. (a cool jungle hike in Costa Rica's cloud forest) That's me standing by my painting at the opening of the show. I didn't win, but my friends Nina Crittenden and Barb Bjornson both received honorable mentions.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Hope card

The Australia SCBWI (Society of Children's Books Writers and Illustrators) asked each regional chapter here in the states to submitt a Hope card Illustration. To show our support to the many families there. I'm sure there will be many submissions and mine may or may not be chosen. I'll be sending it in today. I chose to paint some typical yet cuddly Australian animals. The Kangaroo is holding a young tree to symbolize new growth and of course rainbows always symbolize hope.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Orosi Lodge in Costa Rica

This is a view of the town of Orosi from our deck at the Orosi lodge. You also get a peak of the Irazu volcano in the distance. What you don't see is the beautiful lake that will turn up in pictures later on. Sometimes it's the simpliest things on vacations that hold such fond memories. And my favorite time was breakfast. The Orosi lodge had great coffee grown at nearby Cafe Christina. But my favorite thing about breakfast here was watching a mother humingbird on her nest. She had bravely attached her nest to the electrical wire leading into our coffee shop. Another fun memory was from the local pizza place. We didn't see any wine or beer on the menu. But we ordered a couple Imperials anyway. What the heck, right? Meanwhile we notice our waitress leave the restaurant. And when she returns she has Four Imperials from the grocery store. I guess she wanted to be prepared in case we wanted two more. That just makes me smile!

Monday, March 16, 2009


I chose this particular piece of art today because of a photo I plan to post later this week. One of my favorite things to paint is rustic wood and interesting architecture with stucco and terra cotta tiles. One of my better pieces sold at Edina's fall into the arts festival. And was one of my biggest sales to date. I wish I could say there were many "big" sales. But alas... I have many framed pieces similar to this one hanging in my basement. This one I did not frame and hang on my wall. You can probably guess that means it is not one of my favorites. But I do love the way the tiles appear in the lower corner of the piece.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Sun in Costa Rica

I wondered how to segue from Cats and Moons. Well...Sun seemed to fit the bill. This sunrise was viewed at Playa Montezuma on the Nicoya Peninsula. Every morning we would get up to watch the sunrise at Amor de mar. They would be baking bread in the kitchen and it smelled so good. The next stop was definately breakfast. Montezuma is a colorful and funky little town. Imagine this typical Montezuma momment. At night the local Artisans would set up shop on the side of streets and on sidewalks. Selling all kinds of hippie necklaces and the like. One night an artist (in the midddle of setting up shop) gets distracted. He leaves his table in the middle of the road for like an hour. No problem, cars just navigate around it. That's pretty cool.

Monday, March 9, 2009


Some of you may want to cover your eyes. And please don't read any further if you don't have a funny bone. My friend Amy Vasterling played a little birthday joke on me, and got me this whimsical pencil sharpener. And when you sharpen your pencil the poor little kitty meows! I've been known to paint a few moons on some of my kittys. (like the one to the left) And I had someone buy one of my paintings once, simply because of know!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

I love frogs!

I painted this frog before I'd ever traveled to places like Costa Rica where I could actually see them in the jungle. And to be honest I still haven't seen this particularly beautiful little guy. I saw many of the green and brown variety. And of course the Blue Jeans frog. Last year on a night hike I saw a white frog that was almost see through. Usually when I paint something I feel that I haven't captured it's true beauty like a photo can. But I'm very proud of this frog. He's actually part of a bigger painting. But he's definately the best part.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Blue Jeans frog in Costa Rica

Although I'm unsure if that is the official name of this colorful little frog. That is what our guide at the Tirimbina nature preserve called him on our night hike. He also picked him up even though the little guy is toxic. And said that in his younger days he and his friends would touch them with their tongues! We got completely drenched in a downpour during this spooky hike. We crossed a long hanging bridge over the Sarapiqui river and couldn't see a thing. But when we got to the other side we discovered that the scariest things were lurking on leaves and hanging on webs. Like this not so little fuzzy friend. I say friend because he stayed glued to this leaf and not attached to my face. O.K.... maybe I've seen too many movies!