July 14, 2006

Illustration Friday: Skyline

This entry is technically late, since the topic was posted last week, but at least it is done. This scene is from somewhere in's a scene from the movie A River Runs Through It.


March 26, 2006

I-Fri: Monster

Many people consider large dogs to be "monsters." Especially when their four-year-olds are involved. Thank goodness my mom didn't. :-)


I may come back and do the face at a later point, but I've already scratched it off once. I hate faces, even though that's one of the best parts of this picture.


This is me with Sherman, my grandparents' Landseer Newfoundland. Sherman was HUGE. He was actually named "Fisherman," but somehow "Sherman Tank" usually seemed more appropriate. He was the peacemaker. if any two beings were fighting, he simply got between them. Who was to argue with that? I don't have any personal memories of the experiences, but apparently it was something to see a dog or two bounce off of Shermie's body as though they had just hit a brick wall.

March 17, 2006

I-Fri: Feet


Last summer we were at a Great Dane party with some friends I met at the Walk for Animals. One of the puppies there was Karl (Carl?), one of the biggest black Great Danes ever. And Karl's mommies weren't there, so he was a little ansty. Which means that he sits on laps. I love this picture of his four Great Dane feet and Robin's two people feet.


January 20, 2006

Illustration Friday--Cat

I'm finally able to post another I-Fri painting. This (coming) week's topic is "Cat." And not only do I have two paintings, but I even have them in on the first day!


This is mom's Annie-cat. She's somewhere in the neighborhood of 21-24 years old now; we've had her since 1987, and she was 2-4 years old when we got her then. At first, we never saw her. The food and water were gone, and we'd have to clean the litterbox, but the cat was essentially a ghost. Eventually she'd come out for us, but no one else. She did get to the point with us where she'd sit on the kitchen table (the top picture) and yell at us if we didn't give her some of the milk from our cereal.

Now, Annie isn't afraid of anything. She'll hiss and swat at dogs who come to close, but she'll stay out for company, even complete strangers. She's not doing too well health-wise, but when you figure how old she is, she's pretty darn amazing.

October 2, 2005

I-Friday: Float

Pulling from the Sanibel notebook.... I do have some original ideas, but I'll never get them done before next week's topic arrives, so for now, here are Float 1 and 2.



September 29, 2005

Illustration Friday: Depth

I actually did finish an I-Friday picture. It's just that this was the topic from two weeks ago. I still have "escape" and "fresh" to do. I have ideas for both, but whether I can render them to my satisfaction remains to be seen.


The idea in my mind for "depth" was better than the execution. I was going for the double image of depth of water and depth of color, but I wasn't able to get what I wanted. One of the difficulties with watercolor is how easy it is to overwork the illustration. Such was the case here. I painted the water so many times that the paper stopped holding paint and the color started fading. Then I couldn't get the fishes and critters to my liking, so I finally gave up. Oh well. At least with art everything is an exercise at the very least.

August 24, 2005

Illustration Friday: Reflection

Here are two versions of my daily visitors. I think I prefer the version where the birds are not outlined, though the electronic copy is now the only one that looks like that since I went ahead and outlined on the original.



It's interesting how male and female birds are often not reflections of each other. I wonder if they are kind of like people, though, who become more alike over the years. I like thinking of the occasional mirror images I do get on my thistle feeder with these lovely little goldfinches, but I thought it would be more fun to paint a male and female (not?) reflecting each other.

August 9, 2005

Illustration Friday: Empty


I would really like to develop a "cartoon dog" style, but right now I'm still going a little too realistic. Anyway, these were two of the first ideas that popped into my head for this's an issue we face here on a daily basis. Everyone who knows us knows that we're starving our dogs, because the dogs tell them so. :-)

August 3, 2005

Illustration Friday: Aging


This is Chloe, an old dane who recently went to the Rainbow Bridge. Read more about Chloe, and see the photographic inspiration, at Ginnie Saunders' DaDane.

July 14, 2005

Illustration Friday: Metropolitan

Just in under the wire. It's way too hot here for drawing right now, so this isn't nearly up to the standards I'd like, but I've been away from I-Fri for too long (not that I haven't had the ideas, mind you), so I just wanted to get something up.


June 4, 2005

Illustration Friday: Digital


I've actually had a million ideas for this topic running through my mind, so I may add more. This is Sony's Aibo with one very confused puppy. The model is my friend Linda's charming little rottie girl, Auslese. I'm not happy with the shading, because the light sources were from two different directions in the two pictures I used, and I really need to figure out how to do some "infill" without ruining the subject (the picture looked better without the rug, but the dogs were just floating.

June 1, 2005

Illustration Friday: Envy 2

I originally had this concept for "Ambition," but couldn't quite get there. It seemed appropriate for "envy," too, though I don't know if the flying birds envy the swimming birds or the other way around.... Click on the link below the picture for a larger version.


Larger Version

May 28, 2005

Illustration Friday: Envy


I initially didn't think "envy" would be something I could render, but then I remembered how happy my kids are when they get to go in the car. I just imagine the other dogs watching with envy as we go by.

see more at Illustration Friday

May 25, 2005

Illustration Friday: Aquatic Two

water trial 1.jpg

Newfs are the ultimate aquatic dogs...this is a watercolor pencil (poor scan, color distinction) of a water "rescue." Many newf owners claim that they can't go swimming because their dogs will rescue them. :-)

Illustration Friday: Aquatic

Two more of my Sanibel paintings...


I actually had to find a different manatee picture online because all of mine were of gray blobs floating in the water. But it was pretty darn cool nonetheless.


If I remember correctly, this was actually the same dolphin, but I painted it in two different jumps as it followed our boat. Or, maybe I found this picture on the internet as well. :-)

May 15, 2005

Exhibition at a Dogpark: I-Fri - Nourishment

May 18 Edit: I've decided to make this entry my Illustration Friday entry for this week as well. Not only is the dog park nourishing for my kids, but it's also the best place I can go to relieve any stress or negativity I may have. It truly nourishes my soul.

Now back to your regularly scheduled May 15th entry:

I've been taking my camera to the dog parks recently. Someone in the Twin Cities had posted a flyer advertising their dog park painting. Rather than buying someone else's version, I thought I'd try one of my own; hence, taking the camera. I've gotten some really cute pictures of dogs interacting at the park to work from. The best part is that we actually know a lot of these dogs. I don't yet have a canvas big enough to do what I want with it, but here are some previews of what could be included. The link under each painting will take you to the original photo.


Zoe in the water dish


Remy and Wilbur


Moe and dachshund


Angel, Dove, Wendell and border collie

May 12, 2005

I-Fri: Mischief 3


Well, I had to do a companion piece to my second I-Fri entry. I couldn't just let the kitty get away with harassing the dog. And you know that the puppy in this picture is probably not going to choose the ball as his preferred toy, don't you?

** I'm not happy with the scans on these illustrations...there really are more colors than what you see here. But I guess that's what I get for not drawing on the computer. Maybe someday I'll have the time to learn, and get a cool drawing toy like several people have mentioned. The Wacom tablet, I believe is one of those cool toys.

May 9, 2005

I-Fri: Mischief 2


This poor dog is on such a nice sit-stay, and you just know what that mischievous kitten is up to. I might just have to sketch a companion piece for vengeance for dogs everywhere.

I kind of liked the look of leaving my sketchbook spirals in the picture, as well. This one was fun, and I think the sketchbook quality works for the ideas I had. Again, traditional colored pencil. The only computer processes involved scanning and resizing for the web.

May 8, 2005

Illustration Friday: Mischief


Topic Date: Friday, May 6, 2005
The raven on top of the pole didn't turn out how I wanted, since he had to be smaller for scale purposes. Ravens are one of the original tricksters...what better symbol of mischief?

May 2, 2005

Illustration Friday: Ambition


Last week's topic was "Daring," and I didn't have any good ideas. But somehow, I think this illustration fits both categories....

April 19, 2005

Illustration Friday: Reinvent (2)


Having children is one way, it seems, to attempt to reinvent oneself. And this picture has an additional level of meaning as well: it is a picture of my good friend Linda and her son Aidan as she "reinvented" herself for her new (at the time) faculty position in New York.

Illustration Friday: Reinvent


I was having a lot of trouble getting into this topic, until I found these two postcards:




So no, my idea isn't exactly original, but that's the whole point behind "reinvent," isn't it?

April 14, 2005

Illustration Friday: (Not) Alone


Of course you knew that these were part of a set. I really just wanted to do a "not alone" part...nothing is ever really alone, even the squirrel who chases away the birds. There's always someone nearby scolding.

Illustration Friday: Alone 2


Then there are the squirrels. They just love the birdseed, after chasing away all of the birds. But they're still cute, especially the fluffy gray ones we have around here. We also have a black one that I've recently seen in the yard.

Illustration Friday: Alone 1


Next to chickadees and sparrows, cardinals are probably the most common visitors to our neighborhood. They start singing at 5am and stop around 8 or 9pm. I've been struck recently by the splash of brilliant red against the bright green of the new leaves.

April 3, 2005

Illustration Friday: Travel


Every Great Dane owner has heard more than once, "Do you ever put a saddle on that thing and ride him?" So I thought I'd see what it would look like. Not too bad, I guess. :-)

March 31, 2005

Illustration Friday: Crowded


I barely managed this week. Actually, I didn't even really find my muse until this afternoon, in the most unlikely of spots: Ginnie Saunders' DaDane. Usually the photo and story are about Danes; recently, they've been about her travels in the Far East. And lo and behold, there was a beautiful picture of tortoises sharing a mudpuddle. We saw a pile of turtles at Corkscrew Swamp in Florida, but they're too far away in my picture to do anything with them. But this one expresses the idea just fine, and in a way that I can paint.

March 18, 2005

Illustration Friday: Bloom

Aha! I'm going to get this week's entry up before the entries close!

Can you tell where I wish I still was? This is one of the hibiscus plants that was growing by our condo in Sanibel. In addition to the hot pink variety, we also saw bright red and yellow hibiscus flowers.


The medium is again watercolor.

Illustration Friday: Fragile

My first entry in Illustration Friday. I started doing some watercolors in Sanibel, and I love it. I had so much fun, that I'm still remembering our beach time at home.


Sand dollars are incredibly fragile. We were lucky enough to find several, including a live one which we returned to the water.