Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Motown Watercolor Illustration Poster

Motown was created by Berry Gordy, Jr. in 1959, Detroit, Michigan. I grew up listening to all of the Motown great performers because my Dad loved it. We had an old reel-to-reel system set up in the living room on a low coffee table. We had "a lot" of fun parties when I was younger. They would fire up the fondue pot, serve chips -n- dips in metal stacking bowls from the 60's and turned up the volume. The room swelled, glasses clinked and the sounds of Motown became a deep part of my soul. A wonderful memory that I'll always have of my Dad who has now passed on. It makes me a little sad sometimes, but mostly I'm grateful and happy to have this great music as a memory. I created this poster of his favorites and mine in his honor. The original was created in watercolor and a bit of gouache.

Performers illustrated in the poster from top left to right:
Stevie Wonder, Smokey Robinson, Diana Ross
Bottom left to right:
Marvin Gaye, Michael Jackson, Aretha Franklin "The Queen of Soul"

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Ruby-Throated Hummingbirds Watercolor Illustration

Just in time for Spring and the arrival of the Ruby-Throated hummingbirds back from their migration journey. To me hummingbirds are one of the most amazing creatures we have on this planet. I'm always amazed at the super-sonic speed of their little wings and their intrepid force to retrieve the nectar, dive-bombing the other hummingbirds to feast. These little birds are voracious when it comes to the luscious red nectar! Oh how I love watching them, so beautiful, so tiny...
nature is brilliant!

My original piece was created in watercolor. Prints are now available in my Etsy shop.

Thursday, April 09, 2015

Artichoke & Olive Tapenade Recipe Illustration

13x19" Print

I love to cook and I've been wanting to work on more food-related illustrations. Here's a new piece that was just finished today. It was created in watercolor and colored pencil on a thick, textured drawing paper. Later I scanned each individual piece, did some path work in Photoshop and then brought all of the pieces into my layout program InDesign to create how the final illustration would come together for prints. I would say, it's more of a visual recipe illustration, meaning you will not get ingredient and preparation details. Instead I wanted a cleaner, modern look with less words and more white space, which I think makes it perfect for framing in a kitchen or maybe even a restaurant.

If you're interested in making the actual recipe see below:

Artichoke & Olive Tapenade - Bon Appetit

1 13 3/4-ounce can artichoke hearts
1/4 cup toasted walnuts
8 large brined-cure green olives, pitted
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon peel
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

Finely chop the first five ingredients in food processor. Add 1 tablespoon parsley and oil; puree until coarse paste forms, Season with salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon parsley. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover, chill.)

Prints are now available in two sizes (11x14 and 13x19) in my Etsy shop.

close-up detail of illustration

Saturday, January 31, 2015

It was really meant to BEE...

My Grandma was an avid flower and vegetable gardener. Thinking back that's one of the many things, that I loved so much about her and her home. She always had the most beautiful flowers and eating a fresh garden salad when everything was home grown, well there's nothing like it. When my husband and I got married and settled into our new life together one of our biggest and most proud accomplishments that we've done together is making our backyard into a beautiful, park-like setting (as my husband likes to call it) to enjoy in the Summer. This meant digging up a lot of old vine-like, and prickly things and cultivating it over the years (it's still a work in progress) into a beautiful flower garden, with brick pathways, gardens and a patio.

One of the things that I've noticed through the years while gardening are the bees. The bees are happily doing their pollen dance amongst all of the blooms while we are nearby. We can even be eating at the table that is less than a foot away and they don't bother us. So we don't bother them either. We just observe. I used to think, "oh those pesky bees" and wanted no part of them. That has all changed. I read a wonderful article last year about bees and how important they are to our environment. Now I have an even greater appreciation for the little buzzers.

Ever since then, I've been thinking about those bees. This time of the year, when I'm so tired of minimal sunshine, and the lack of color outdoors, I like to look back at the photos that I've taken from the Summer. I'm always in awe at how amazing nature can be, especially the breath-taking colors and even the tiny details in each shape, petal and stem of each flower. It still amazes me how in just a few months, a tiny seedling turns into a awe-inspiring flower and just keeps getting bigger and stronger and more beautiful as the Summer marches on.

I've been compelled to do an illustration with bees ever since I read that article last Summer -- but I just wasn't sure how I wanted to take the project. It sat in my notes in my sketchbook, "do something for the bees" until this week. On a daily basis, I'm inspired by so many things. Right now I love scientific style illustrations and charts, which of course fits into the nostalgic nature of most of my work. I'll let you in on a few interesting tidbits that I believe motivated this piece of work. We recently just redesigned our bathroom and many of the decor items that I've chosen for our bathroom have by chance (or is it?), have had the honeycomb pattern. I also commissioned a local artist and friend, Genna Cowsert to do a beautiful, digital illustration piece for our bathroom with the pattern too! Lastly, over the holidays I spied and purchased some earrings for myself (which I told myself I wouldn't shop for myself because it was Christmas but I did it anyway), at the Detroit Urban Craft Fair where I was a vendor, that again also have the honeycomb pattern. Then just yesterday around the time I was going to post my bee illustration. Ka-winky-dink? Nah, I don't think so. I think the bees are calling to me and obviously I'm drawn to them too. So you see this really meant to BEE! :)

I'm going to offer this piece in two sizes. 11x14 and 13x19. The tiny details just are not suited for a smaller 8x10 print. That being said, I'm going to offer cards (singles + sets) without the scientific information on them.

 I'm not a soapbox kinda gal, but I promise you one thing if you plant some flowers this year, you'll be so proud of your yard, even if it's just a few pots of flowers, and you'll be doing a small part to help our with our environment and our friends the bees.

Monday, December 08, 2014

After the Detroit Urban Craft Fair...

I had "the best time" being a vendor at the Detroit Urban Craft Fair. Around 4pm, on Saturday, I remember standing there and it was almost like everything stopped for a split second and I had this overwhelming feeling of gratitude come over me. I'm so beyond grateful for all of the hard work that Handmade Detroit puts into the show so that it was an amazing success yet again this year. I'm so grateful that all of my hard work paid off leading up to the show and that I have a husband that supports what I'm doing and a Mom who is always there by my side and is able to lend a hand whenever she can. I enjoyed chatting with all of the lovely people that attended the show and all of their amazing comments about my work. My heart is overwhelming full... and I cannot think of a better way to start the holiday season and the new year! Happy Holidays and thank you so much from the bottom of my heart to everyone! xo xo xo

Thursday, December 04, 2014

Vernor Ginger Ale Watercolor Illustration Print

Vernors Ginger Ale was originally created by James Vernor, a clerk who worked at a Detroit, Michigan drugstore. James Vernor was called off to war in 1892, so he sealed up his "secret ingredients" in an oak cask, and upon his return he found out that something "deliciously different" (also the company tagline), happened in the aging process. In 1880, sales of the Vernors Ginger Ale became public in the drugstore that James Vernor opened, soon bottling and distribution began and later he opened a soda fountain.

Archival quality prints are now available in my Etsy shop of this Detroit classic soda!


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