Friday, February 27, 2009

Spring is thinking about sprunging!

Sun, sun, sun! A lovely spring day. The wooden birds can come out from under the flowers, and I notice in the garden all the trees are tight emerging blossom and buds that look like butterfly cocoons. This is another panel from my 'California' series. It is a dog faced butterfly - which is the state butterfly for California, and of course, california poppies - the state flower.

The Morris rabbits are taking shape and are in the kiln for their first firing.

Thursday, February 26, 2009


A good friend surprised me with some beautiful flowers. They are in a vase in my fruit bowl (since there isn't much fruit in it!) and two little wooden birds are using the open lilies as umbrellas, since today is showers.

Meanwhile, today I will start to paint the bunnies to life in the 'Morris' style stained glass panel I am making.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The magic hat!

Never mind the magic bag, there must be a magic hat around here somewhere. This morning, when I looked into the yard I saw a large gray rabbit!

As with all peculiar adventures, The rabbit led to other rabbits. I realized I am drinking cardamon tea from a Peter Rabbit mug (whilst looking at the rabbit in the yard) and I am about to make a rabbit panel, of which I will post the cartoon.

It just so happened I purchased carrots last night, so I couldn't resist but throw him one. He seemed very pleased with it, and ate it immediately!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Back to the bag

The rain is back again. Pouring, soaking, saturating the mountains, and running off in little streams towards the reservoir. I don't mind, as it is very needed, and makes me feel hopeful about the water supplies for the months ahead.

But it's back to the magic bag for me, making sure the top is zipped, and that it won't flood, so I can stay dry. And from the warmth and comfort of the bag, I was able to do a painting with an idea that I had whilst on vacation in oregon. I enjoyed the style of it, and plan to do more with the same feel, so I shall post those too, as they come to life!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Sunny day stroll

Another sunny day! So I'll take a detour on my creative wanderings and go to the beautiful hills above Los Gatos to D'Orsa Winery. Every corner turned reveals another scene or vista from renaissance Italy. I Wind up the mountain roadways through the grape vines, and pause at the statue of St Francis of Assisi, to whom the Vineyard is dedicated.

At D'Orsa, they have recently built a new Artist's studio, the theme being 'Sister Moon' from the canticle of St Francis. So here is the round window I made for it. I have included three pictures, as the glass is irridised from the outside, and slumped, so I think it looks lovely from the outside. One is a picture of the finished window, and the best picture, I think, is the one of the light cast by the window as I was installing it.

The sunlight was so strong that afternoon, I think the installation was around 2-3pm, and it cast amazing shapes and colors onto the surrounding ledge!

Oh, and finally one picture of the Artist studio, to put the window in context with the building and the vineyard.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Out of the bag!

The rain has been so heavy over the last few days, that I have pretty much been holed up in the magic bag.

Today the sun had come out, and I can continue my journey!

Yesterday's pictures of hummingbirds made me think about just how many birds, trees and butterflies have featured in my work over the years. I guess all artists have a subject matter they return to often - and those are mine.

The sun today makes me think of spring, and hiking in the California open spaces. Todays picture is of a California quail and California poppies. The image is again based on Sunol (same as the 'secret tree' window before (Infact - the trees and shadows on the horizon are are based on the same imagery).

Sunol is such a wonderful place to walk, and I was inspired by the 'California' theme when I moved to America. It made me examine the different flora and fauna here, which was interesting.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Hummingbird drawing

This is a detail of a hummingbird drawing I did for another window. It has a yellow clematis and the vine stretches and curls over eight panels. There are two hummingbirds in the whole window.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Butterflies and birds

More butterflies and birds!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Icons and memories.

At the moment when I'm not on my adventures, I'm painting my house. I took a picture of my icon wall, as I needed to take them down, and wanted to remember where they went - for when I put them back up. i thought this picture was fun, and in the winged heart is a picture of our beloved Ruby, who became a memory two years ago now. We still miss her.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

So many inspirations!

I have been browsing blogs, and adding a few to the list that I follow. I never cease from being astounded at the talent out there! and at how prolific some artists are. It scares, humbles and excites me in equal measures. Today I've seen some wonderful imagery, and it makes me want to paint.

It made me think of butterflies...

and birds - but thats another journey!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Walking with Nana

After a nice rest under a shady tree with a sleepy dog, it's time to start my journey again. Dolly jumps back into the magic bag, and out jumps Nana!

'Walking with Nana' is a (as yet - unpublished) book written by my good friend Robin Hanahan.

She asked me if I would be interested in doing some illustrations for the text, and I was very happy to do so. The story is about a little girl spending time with her Grandma, and they take a journey to the local store.
I loved drawing for this, as the images the text evokes, feels warm and loving. They are watercolor paint on watercolor paper, indented marks, and colored pencil. These are the completed drawings, and the rest of the drawings are - at this point - just a storyboard, until hopefully a publisher takes interest.

I couldn't resist adding a little dog to the illustrations, even though there wasn't one in the story! But I don't think it looks out of place. It's kind of a cross between Cookie and Dolly (my dogs!)

Dolly was the sleepy one, and I'll have to post a picture of Cookie (known as 'The Crazy One')

Monday, February 9, 2009

Under a shady tree

Time to pause from adventures, and rest under that shady tree. I open up the magic bag and spy Dolly resting - silver gray face where a black and white one used to be.

It reminded me of this painting I did a couple years ago - when her face was graying - but not as much as now.

Secret things window

Found a better picture of the finished panel.
Found a detail pic

Here is a picture of the finished window I mentioned - maybe you can see the hands?

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Follow the trial and find the snail...

Well - find Pixie actually - but she walks so slowly, and is so small - she might as well be a snail!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Secret things

Secret 'things' are something I love to include in my work. Thinking about Jane's Garden panels led me down a winding trail towards another window I made with secret things in it.

The window was for a family with two children, and I decided to put the families' hand prints (among other things) into the design of the window, so only they would know they were there. There are four prints - some are easier to see than others. The painting was part of the preparation for the window, and depicts a critical evolution in the design.

I went hiking to Sunol Regional Park - for inspiration, and to find the 'perfect tree' for this project. I had nearly finished my walk, without much luck (artistically) when I sat down for a rest and saw this scene before me. Two great trees on a hill opposite, with the sun behind them, casting fantastic shadows onto the ground. It was the spark I had been looking for, so I went home and did this painting, before translating it into a cartoon for Stained Glass.

I will post a picture of the glass another time.

Jane's garden

Laura's panel: piano?

The Family panel

Ed's panel: is that a trumpet?

Graham's panel: I spy a gull!

Jane's cat

A note from a friend reminded me today of a wonderful project I did a few years back - Stained glass panels influenced by children's book illustrations. Each family member has their own panel, and each panel has 'secret' images in it - that reflect the character of the person. This is the cartoon (pattern) for 'Jane's' panel. She wanted a cat - but in the tabby fur of the cat are all sorts of hidden things, like mushrooms and honeycomb and a boy! each image has many hidden things to find.

Looking towards spring

Thinking of gardens makes me think of Spring. As I packed my furry boots and sweaters neatly into the magic bag, I reflected on Christmas, and the illustration I did for this years card. I had the most fun designing Lady Christmas's clothes. And the dove (or Holy Spirit) is a nod to the true meaning of Christmas.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Magic bag!

I realised almost as soon as I'd set off that I did, in fact, need slightly more than clean underwear and a teacup. For starters - a teapot and some teabags. So decided to start again, and this time take a magic bag, as well as my shoes, so now I should have everything I really need for an adventure.

This is an illustration I have recently finished, and it is for my neice - Manon. I always promised to make some stained glass for her, but was inspired to paint this for her instead.

Acrylic on canvas board, stamped letters, Painted and stained frame.

The beginning

Well - it's happened - I have a blog. It seems that this will be my first peculiar adventure.

As I pack up a teacup and some clean underwear into a knotted handcherchief on the end of a wooden pole, it's impossible to guess whether this is an 'outing' sort of adventure, or a 'life's journey' adventure filled with excitement and peril!

The only thing to do is to face the horizon, and place one foot infront of the other.

Lucky I wore my magic boots!