Believe there is good

I heard a friend very enthusiastically talk about the Women’s March happening tomorrow. To me, it was exciting to listen and learn about people being so passionate about women’s rights and equality.  I am thankful for them because is passion like that, that moves mountains, and I hope that my art also brings good to this world.

I was flattered to receive a request for a commission on a bigger version of this design, as this piece framed is 6 x 6 inches.


The new one was to fit into a 16 x 20 opening.  That was a big circle to work with, I was glad I had documented the process before, so it made it easier to repeat it.




Here is the medium (16×20 matted) version, which is available.





I came across the thought

a greatful heart is a magnet for miracles

It made me remember something I did for a friend when she was leading a group of women. She wanted a visual reminder to put in her communications with them.

The illustration was nothing fancy, but just being asked made my day.  I am grateful for little moments like this that had helped me push forward and want to become better.  Better in art, in lettering, as a person.


Today I am also tickled that my friend’s, Cristina Borja, article is published.  I am looking forward to continue working with her.

What are you thankful for today?


being realistic

Last year I quickly wrote a quote on this board, thinking I would change the quote at least monthly.  One year later we needed something different to look at and something new to think about.


We chose this quote.  It is repetitive and writing it all out made it look wordy.   So, here is my attempt to keep the great message while making it a quicker read.


And a few process pictures of course!


Thanks, Hemingway! and Happy New Year to you all!

more love

It is supposed to snow here tomorrow, my family is beyond excited, so here is something to celebrate

First thing that came to my mind as I thought about this post

everybody, everybody wants to love
everybody, everybody wants to be loved
oh, oh, oh, just let the love, love, love begin
-Ingrid Michaelson Everybody

Remember the teacups from a while back, well, I drew a bunch and this one was calling to be painted. I borrowed the color palette from a piece of art I liked online and felt daring with the choices.  Taking risks pays off.


This week I discovered that masking fluid also works with gouache, I was afraid it would chip, but it came off just fine.


I have told you how great the illustration class I took was, it sure was.  But it was also emotionally hard as every Wednesday there was a review in which 250+ of us hoped to be in, but only a handful was picked.  That’s when my motivation was drained and self-doubt started kicking in.  I didn’t make it in any of the reviews, I felt I have failed.

I tried encouraging myself with the example of others, remember even Dr. Seuss wasn’t published in his first try.  So I kept plowing along and trying, trying, but I didn’t let myself feel the feelings fully.

A bumpy road to get back to thankfulness, but lots of blessings have come from dealing with disappointment.  The first one, this article:

I want to suggest that our disappointments are not only inevitable but even good. Yes good. They help us find balance and perspective. They bring variety (even adventure) to our lives. They are a source of learning and wisdom. And, perhaps most importantly, they help us develop character.  – Roger K Allen.

Then some friends that have shared of their talents generously with me asked me for small favors.  It feels so good to do something I enjoy so much for them.


So, to my disappointments I now say


for a chat and then please leave.

In working on this sign I pulled out some of the white paints I had around and here is the test, may be helpful some other time.  I used the acrylic craft paint as it was the most opaque.


be you

I just love the message of this simple play on words.
So, I had to use it again.


First was a pencil sketch, then came the color pencil in layers and layers.
It was fascinating to me to see the contrast in the colors enhancing their strength.


I forgot about the napkin and I hurriedly colored it expecting the same effect as the cup and saucer.  To my dismay the magic didn’t happen, then I noticed that my heart wasn’t there, my mind was somewhere else too, and it shows.  It is not easy to let you see it alone, but it was a good reminder to be present.






no rain, no flower

We really wouldn’t appreciate happiness if we didn’t feel the pain.

Here is my tea cup interpretation of itteacup-no-rain-no-flower

What was the process?  pencil drawing, masking the areas that look white now, painting with watercolors, pen pattern detail, little shading, taking pictures.

And the many hours in between figuring out color palette, interpretation, details, working and reworking some areas, pauses of life… the process is always a good learning journey.