December 9, 2007

Holiday Season on the Promenade

A lovely night scene of the famous Santa Monica 3rd Street Promenade. It's quite festive. This is mostly gouache (I started with a base of watercolor) on some random illustration board I had laying around the house.

Buy prints of this piece here!

December 4, 2007

Birds of Marina del Rey

Birds of Marina del Rey, 5" x 7", pen + watercolor

When you take a sailboat out of Marina del Rey, you happen upon a "breaker" of sorts (forgive me for not knowing proper jargon, I'm not a sea-person). This breaker is a mound of rocks COVERED in birds. It's quite a spectacle. So I drew it.

Buy prints of this piece here!

November 14, 2007


Madeline, 2"x3"

Madeline, 4"x6"

A friend at work commissioned me to do some drawings for her to frame and give as gifts. The little darling is Madeline, the gifts are for mommy and grandma.

Let me know if you are interested in commissioning anything for your loved ones this Holiday season!

November 12, 2007

Louisville Magazine

Here is the illustration I did for the special education issue of Louisville Magazine, out now. The article covered the possibility of a couple of public schools in Louisville going to a same-sex format. Some say that separating the sexes eliminate hormone-related distractions and creates a learning environment that can cater to the learning differences between males and females (females are more abstract, literary thinkers, while males are more competitive and mathematical in their learning habits). The other school of thought believes the disctractions present in adolescent co-educational environments are something children need to cope with in order to survive the real world. In my illustration, I have the teacher standing divided between boys & girls, confused as to how to teach both in one environment when they learn so differently.

October 29, 2007

Nature Lady

This is the special project I have referred to several times. I volunteered my services to a company called Terressentials, a wonderful USDA certified organic and all natural body care product company. I learned a lot working with the kind people there - they are SO PASSIONATE about having products that are healthy for the soul, body, and environment. Diana, one of the founders, believes so strongly in her products that she ATE some of their body cream to prove to the government that their product was deserving of the elusive USDA certification for organic goods. I encourage you to go to the Terressentials website to read a bit more about them.

Unfortunately, the packaging-redesign project was put on hold, so they are unsure if they will be using my art (originally intended for shampoo, which I hear is to die for - I am ordering a couple bottles myself). But it was still a really cool project and I was very lucky to be able to learn a lot about organic products from these super cool people. And I get a lot of great body care products to boot - you have to try their body oils! They leave your skin silky, smooth, and subtly scented all day long.

October 24, 2007

La Fin du Monde

My brother asked me to send him a test mail piece because he doesn't think his mail is working. I decided to personalize a postcard with a little sketch of his favorite beer, La Fin du Monde, made by the same folks at Unibroque who make Don de Dieu. Sharpie on MOMA postcard (Francis Picabia's La Source ("The Spring"))

self portrait

I started a self portrait in my oil painting class last night. I hate self portraits - I always look like I am surprised, pissed off, and/or really REALLY tired. I guess that's what I always look like when I concentrate.

This is about one and a half hours of painting. Now that I have it hanging out in my living room, all I can think of is the things that need some serious fixing. Improvements will be made in the next class. The good news is that I am finally learning how to oil paint the "right way." This is 16"x20."

Working on 2 more beer paintings right now - Stella and "Spotted Cow" - a Sconnie* brew. Plus I have another illustration for Louisville Magazine I should be able to post soon, and potentially the other special project that I have been alluding to for months now... Just keeping you on your toes.

*Sconnie = Wisconscin, so I hear

October 17, 2007

Heine Brothers centerpiece

Relaxing at the Frankfort Ave Heine Brothers when I was back in Louisville a few weeks ago. They had lovely centerpieces... a creative way to recycle an old glass bottle. If you are ever in Louisville, spend some time on Frankfort Ave - great restaurants, shopping, and fair-trade coffee at Heine Bros.

Rainy Silver Bay Day

This is something I sketched from a snapshot my dad sent me. On rainy days in Silver Bay, NY, you get out the board games, books, and puzzles and settle down in the lobby of the Inn. Nowadays they have a Wi-Fi connection so you see a lot more laptops than you used to.

September 27, 2007

September 25, 2007

Rachel reading

I sketched my good friend and co-worker Rachel while she read on our break today. This is in the moleskin. At first I just used a hi-tec C pen (sepia, which turns purple-ish when wet), but tonight I added some acrylic to it. I think I liked it better before the paint, but what are you going to do? That's why this is a sketchbook and not a final illo.

Rachel is an excellent graphic designer, a devout yogi, a generous carpooler, and one of the wisest people I have ever met. I'm very lucky to be 3 feet from her 9 hours a day.

September 24, 2007


I am taking an oil painting class at UCLA this fall. My college instructor was an excellent painter and taught me what a good painting is supposed to look like, but he failed to teach me the mechanics of oil painting. One summer he handed me some old brushes and oil paints and said "go." I would slap thick paint down on the canvas and never work on them after one session because I didn't really know what to do. After one quick "sylabus day" I learned about 8 things I have been doing wrong with oil paints so far.

I sketched this view of some easels with an HB pencil in my trusty moleskin.

September 22, 2007

White Castle mug

My faithful White Castle mug. This mug does several things for me in the morning. First and foremost, it provides me with caffeine that perks me up and makes the morning tolerable (I am a night owl - mornings are rough for me). Second, it allows me a chance to not waste a paper cup when I have said caffeine, thus making my day a bit greener. And finally, it reminds me of my old stomping grounds, Louisville, Ky, where the White Castle on the corner of Chenoweth Lane and Shelbyville Road held so many fond memories of tiny hamburgers and Big Red sodas. That White Castle is no longer with us.... *tear

This is done with a regular old "Pen-I-use-at-work" with the "Lick-Your-FInger-and-Smear-the-ink-around" technique. Patent pending.

September 18, 2007

Blue Moon

What's this? 2 posts in one night?

Here is the glorious Blue Moon, the 2nd in my series of beer paintings... yeah, I know, it took a while to take off. Patience, grasshoppers. I have a lot of delicious beers in my fridge that I need to paint before i can drink - how's that for incentive? I even started a new blog just for this project because I am so excited about it!

I'm back!

Finally, I got back to my sketchbook. It's easy to get out of the habit. Here is a sketch of David sitting at my computer loading up his Shuffle with some new rockin' music. I sure do love that .25 hi-tec C....

And that chic hanging out at the top is a woman waiting in line at Starbucks yesterday.

September 2, 2007

Dave Brubeck

I saw Dave Brubeck, jazz pianist extraordinaire, at the Hollywood Bowl last week. It was fantastic. He's this cute little old man who sits down at the piano with his cute little old men quartet friends and they ROCK OUT like they're 20. It was so fun to watch them play.

It's too F*ing hot in Los Angeles to be inside without air conditioning - my apartment is currently 85 degrees inside. Hence, no beer painting yet.

August 20, 2007


This is from a photograph I snapped while in Silver Bay. When I was younger, my brother and I used to fish off this same dock. The dock holds the "Silver Spray," a boat that takes visitors on an intimate guided tour around Lake George.

I tried out these new artist pens I got recently - Faber-Castell PITT artist pen; the landscape set. Only 6 colors. Pretty fun to work with - towards the end I was getting a bit more confident with my mark making. My next attempt will hopefully be a bit better.

More in the beer series to come soon - Hope to do one tomorrow night.

August 16, 2007


I have been a slacker lately. The project I referred to below came to fruition in full force resulting in some very focused art-making and very little sleep. Once I was finished recovering from that, i went on a fabulous vacation to Silver Bay. While on vacation, I found myself moving about a lot and did not have much time for drawing. I took lots of photos that I plan to work from in the future, but I sadly did no drawing from life. Since my return, I have been playing catch-up on sleep, e-mails, laundry, and all the other joys of life. This is a quick sketch I did one afternoon of my favorite lotion from the Body Shop.

Speaking of the super secret project, I have been asked not to show the artwork until the end of September, so all of my faithful readers will have to be patient. It turned out pretty cool (despite the fact that I spilled neon green ink ALL OVER IT at midnight the night before it was due). I can't wait to share it with you all.

New postcards featuring the Fertility piece are going in the mail tomorrow. If you aren't already on my mailing list and would like to be, e-mail me with your snail mail address and I'll add you.

August 3, 2007

In Progress:

Here is a preliminary sketch/study for the project I'm working on. Is it obvious I had a Botticelli book open on my desk while I did this?

I'll be re-drawing and adding a lot to this drawing before it's finished and ready to transfer to board. Stay tuned.

August 1, 2007


* update 8.3.07 - replaced photo with scan *

A small, quick, oil painting of a delicious beer. I had an oil paint-filled summer in 2002, but I didn't have the patience for it, so I quickly gave up. Now, 5 years later, I am starting slowly (and small) and will figure things out as I go. It's great fun! Of course, it sort of sucks not being able to scan it right away - this is just a crappy snapshot.

This is the first in a series of beer paintings which will be for sale. This one is not, however - I am trading it for the delicious cupcakes painted by Ms. Sarah Fox. I just got a really cool assignment that will keep me busy up until early next week, so the beer series will continue after that. If you have any requests, let me know and I'll make it happen!

July 23, 2007

Orange Blossom

This is the illustration I spoke of. This is a special gift for my dear friend Leigh Ann and her husband, Jeff. I don't want to get into the gory details, but I will tell you that the orange blossom is a symbol of fertility, love, and togetherness. The bee is fertilizing the flower. So it's sort of a good luck charm for them.

July 22, 2007

Venice Beach

I thought it would be a good idea to bring along my little travel watercolor set and my little watercolor moleskin sketchbook to do some plein air painting at Venice Beach. I did a fun ink drawing with a sepia Hi-tec C, and started laying down watercolor. Then everything fell apart. I knew the pen would bleed a bit, but I did not know it would turn purple. I had about a teaspoon of water to mix with so all my colors became muddy. Sand was in my paints, my water, and in my paintbrushes. So I sort of gave up, but there's still something I like about it - I captured my day in this little watercolor. I look at it and am flooded by the experiences of the day, even if it included a failed attempt at plein air watercoloring.

July 19, 2007


I took a break from my other illustration project and did a quick sketch from a snapshot of Heather Heckel, my roommate at the Illustration Academy last summer. Then I started putting acrylic down and just played with the paint a little bit.

July 15, 2007

New office view

I have to boast - my company recently moved to a new office building in Santa Monica. This is a view from my desk. We're on the 16th floor in a building that is quite literally across the street from the beach. It's incredible. (click to enlarge)

Self portrait with Nike shirt

This is a quick self portrait in my favorite old thrift store Nike shirt. This was done with a Crayola marker so old, the color's name has rubbed off. Doodles, writing, and gouache were added on other days.

I have been working on my next "illustration" - which is defined by the use of tracing paper and illustration board, as opposed to quick "get it down" line drawings that I cover with a wash of paint. It's a non-figurative piece that's a bit of an experiment. I hope to finish it this week.

July 10, 2007

my new apartment

A little something for the Girls Who Draw assignment (from a few weeks ago) - Where I Live. I have finally gotten settled in my new apartment in West LA so I'm trying to catch up on some art making. Unfortunately, my new apartment only has one (small) bedroom, so instead of a 2nd bedroom office/studio, I share space with the dining room table. I guess since I'm only making art at night now, it will do!

July 9, 2007

red saucony's

A little sketch of my favorite shoes, my red Saucony's. Pen with Acrylic in my moleskin.

July 6, 2007


A gift for my brother, Phil. This is his favorite condiment. Excellent on frozen pizza.

This is pen & gouache in my moleskin watercolor sketchbook.

Geeky Fish

I decided to participate in Illustration Friday for the first time in over a year. Just another excuse to create something in my sketchbook. The topic this week was "Geeky" and it made me think of the benefits of being a non-conformist. After some clever googling, I found an interesting tidbit about male guppies: Most have plain old spots, but some have brilliant color and design to them. These guppies have an advnatage over others: Not only do they attract the females better, but predators seem to overlook them. It's good to be different.

This is pen and gouache in my Moleskin sketchbook. The "geek" glasses were one of those last minute additions... why do we all think "glasses" when we think "geek?" I couldn't resist it.

July 2, 2007


A drawing of my co-worker Katy. She is a very skilled photographer and designer - she LOVES designing invitations, greeting cards, announcements... that sort of thing. She just started a blog - check it out!

June 28, 2007

Silver Bay

For my Girls Who Draw assignment, "favorite place", I chose Silver Bay, a small YMCA conference center on Lake George in upstate New York. My grandmother started working at this YMCA camp when she was in her 20's (maybe teens?) and returned year after year. Eventually, she and my grandfather bought a small cottage on the mountainside right off campus. Ever since I was zero years old (in my mother's tummy) I have gone to Silver Bay for vacation in the summer. It's rustic (take a canoe out to the middle of the lake if you want to get cell phone service), beautiful, outdoorsy, peaceful... all things that have made it a very special place to me. For three summers in college, I worked at Silver Bay - 2 summers as a Sterling Silver jewelry making instructor, one summer as a conference set-up crew (and the last 2 summers, I was an RA for the dorms, too). I made a lot of long lasting friendships and I look forward to going back there every summer, if I can. So, it is definitely my favorite place in the whole world.

Technique: Another teeny watercolor, this one 4"x6". I need to learn some techniques because this could have been a lot cooler probably. Still learning!

June 26, 2007


I have been slacking in the blogging department this week. I am moving TONIGHT into my new apartment, so my free time has been spent packing, cleaning, organizing, making piles for Goodwill, etc. My paintbrushes are packed in one of the gazillion boxes I packed this weekend, so I haven't finished my latest watercolor. But I have been doodling so I thought I would share a little collage of those.

The top left is a landscape drawn after seeing a beautiful shot of some castle in Italy on PBS (I wish I remember which one, but I had just turned the TV on). The man next to it is the host of "The Power of Art" which I caught a few minutes of last night, also on PBS. I sketched a quick outline while he was on screen and then just made the rest up. The man to the far right was a funny little man I shared an elevator with. I went back to my desk and tried to draw him from memory, a challenging thing to do, but oh-so-good for your mind. The bigger drawing is of David's coworker, Monica, playing some MarioCart on a Nintendo 64. Also a quick sketch - she moved her head like an owl while playing which made it difficult to capture her likeness! Then the birds were just randomly sketched from something I saw on TV.

I'm unpacking my first load of stuff tonight - hopefully I'll have a little bit of time to finish my little watercolor!

June 19, 2007


I woke up still feeling ill so I took the day off work. After sleeping most of the day and and consuming some chicken noodle soup, I was feeling well enough to finish my iguana painting. I got a little more bold with the watercolors and ended up with some interesting textures, some good and some bad (what my dad calls "oozles"). I'm definitely learning-by-doing, and it's fun.

By the way, these little watercolor experiments are about 4 1/2" x 7".

June 18, 2007

old painting

No new drawings today. I started a watercolor but I'm not feeling well and couldn't finish it - hopefully tomorrow. In the meantime, since I don't think I like that sketch of Asian-woman-David, I am going to post an old painting. This was like my "big deal" project in college - I won an award for Realism at an art show for it. It's 3' x 4' and took me for-ev-uh. I remember having an emotional breakdown halfway through it, and my painting teacher, Peter Gooch, totally didn't know how to handle a young, crying female. But, at that moment, he gave me some great advice: He told me my painting was in puberty, like an awkward 12 year old whose body is changing and adapting. It isn't fresh and new like a baby, but it also hasn't fully developed into the adult it will become. I think he mentioned acne and greasy hair. Sounds strange, I know, and it didn't stop the sobbing, but to this day when I feel stuck, I just tell myself it's in puberty and I just keep plugging away.

I like this painting because it's like a moment captured in time. I'm wearing my favorite outfit of senior year (what ever happened to those boots?) I'm in the drawing studio where I spent a LOT of my time. I'm on the couch that we relaxed on during break, and occasionally our models would recline on (eww). The all-too-familiar drapery is tacked up on the wall, and our old metal easels cast shadows in the background. The pages on the ground are little mini Umbrella drawings - they were my big project in my drawing class. Here, why don't I attach one of those too. I was playing with texture and just messing around with pastels and matte medium.

Oh, and I had short red hair, which was fun. Off to try to get some rest...

June 17, 2007


This is like the 113th time I have drawn David in my sketchbook and I still can't draw him accurately. He looks like an Asian woman in this drawing. I used a couple of Derwent design pencils I had laying around. I'll admit, I had had a cocktail or two before the drawing ensued... we have learned that I do not draw well under the influence. It doesn't help that he hates it when I draw him, so he likes to shift around and make faces to make it more difficult.

I sketched him a while back, pre-illustration academy, with a pencil and an eraser, and it looked much better (as in, it actually looks like him). But I'm trying to stick with the George Pratt philosophy of just "get it down" - it won't look right but what matters is that you are looking and drawing. Here's the old drawing:

June 14, 2007


"Transportation" was this week's theme for Girls Who Draw. This is a sailboat I spotted right off shore in Marigot, St. Maarten when we went on our cruise last month.

This is my 2nd sincere attempt at watercolor. I rather like the technique. Maybe one day I'll get good enough to upgrade to real watercolor paper and paints - right now I'm working in the unintimidating Moleskin watercolor sketchbook with my little travel watercolor set and some crappy paintbrushes that are probably meant for acrylic or oil or something. I painted this while Marie Antoinette played on my DVD player. Weird movie. Probably better if I paid attention to it.

June 13, 2007

a REALLY old drawing

Please don't think this is me showing off my awesomeness. This is a drawing from February of '99 (I know, because I wrote the date in huge capital letters on the figure's ASS.) I would have been nearing the end of my senior year of high school. I took these special Saturday morning art classes put on by the Louisville Visual Art Association. (Tangent: I wasn't allowed to take art classes until I got my humanity classes out of the way, so by Junior and Senior year I was trying to get as much art education as possible to try to catch up with the other art students at my high school). This is an example of some of my first figure drawing ever. I was a little heavy handed with the charcoal, but you can see that my interest in shapes, like the curve on her back, had already started to develop. I still think women are WAY more fun to draw then men. So many fun curves (well, on normal women anyway!)

More highlighter art.

My day job involves designing brochures for big properties like hotels and office buildings for a real estate investment banking company. While sketching layout thumbnails at work, this girl magically appeared. Then the highlighters joined in the fun.

Not much sketching going on tonight - I'm feeling a little under the weather and I'm running around tying up loose ends of various projects. But I have a lot of fun stuff planned for tomorrow night!

June 10, 2007

Dwight Final(ly)

For my Vuillardenkornlish assignment.... from April. I finally finished. This one is a lot different from some of my older illustrations, I feel as though my technique might be shifting. I am excited to see what direction it is going.

See original sketch here.

The Raven

My Girls Who Draw assignment for "Literature." This is for Edgar Allen Poe's "The Raven".

June 5, 2007

June 3, 2007

wine + pen

I didn't learn my lesson. The other night I stayed up late, watched some Grey's Anatomy (I'm just now jumping on that bandwagon), drank some wine.... then grabbed my sketchbook and put the DVD on pause for a minute.

Then I had another glass of wine and did it again.

an old drawing

I did this plein air drawing my junior year in college. I think it was one of my first attempts at drawing with pen. My line work isn't top notch, but I really kind of dig it anyway.