A House in Ireland

My husband and I made a memorable visit to Ireland last August – we traveled around that beautiful country from Dublin to Kilkenny, Killarney and Galway, ending in County Roscommon, where my mother was born and lived until she came to the US as a child.

There, by the generosity and hospitality of some newly-met Irish friends, we were able to visit the place where my mother lived with her parents and four siblings. In the 1920s it was probably more a cottage than a house, but it has been lovingly cared for and renovated by a new family, and they were quite kind to us when we visited completely on the fly. I painted this watercolor of the home and sent it to our friends for a Christmas gift, and I just heard from them that it finally made it around the world (my tracking slip said it went first to NYC then to Japan, and from there to Europe). So now that the surprise is over, I’ll post it!

Wedding Prayer Watercolor

After seeing my illumination of the Lord’s Prayer a few months ago, an acquaintance commissioned me to illuminate a quote from scripture as a wedding gift for an engaged couple in their family. They asked for the traditional First Corinthians quote about love, weddingscroll_parshalland a floral border. The couple met at, and will be married in, the lovely St. James Episcopal Church in Collegeville, PA, so I thought I’d do a little painting of the church too.

I started with a pencil sketch. I told my clients right off the bat that I am not a calligrapher, but that I could set the type through my printer and print it on the art, which they were fine with. They found out that the bride likes the colors blue and red, so I planned on a red rose border with some forget-me-nots and one blue hydrangea at the top. They could not get any information on the specific flowers in the bride’s bouquet, or else I would have put in those particular flowers. As it turned out, the bride-to-be told me later that the hydrangea reminded her of Chestertown, MD, where she had lived, and so was a lovely memory.

I went onto a color sketch, done just with colored pencils.  I showed the sketch to my clients and they approved.

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I thought I better practice the flowers in watercolor, since that’s how I planned to do the finish.  I practiced half of the design on some bristol paper, which was all I had around at the time.

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Then I bought some 90 lb. Arches cold press watercolor paper – great paper for painting, but thin and flexible enough to easily go through my home printer. I cut the paper to size and printed the scripture quote onto the center; then carefully covered the type, so no water would get near it, transferred the drawing and painted the border and church. I bought a nice mat and frame, and the piece all came together for a meaningful keepsake for the couple.

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A Painting a Day: Farm in Prince Edward Island

Day 3 of posting a Painting a Day: I painted this watercolor for friends who have a lovely farm in Crapaud, PEI, which we visited years ago. The roads really are red there, just like L.M. Montgomery wrote about in Anne of Green Gables.

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Watercolor of a Farm in Prince Edward Island

Years ago I painted this scene of the Roberts Farm in the little town of Crapaud in PEI, Canada. We visited friends in this idyllic spot, the island setting of the wonderful children’s book series Anne of Green Gables, with our children and fell in love with the red clay roads and friendly people, and I remember marveling at the low clouds casting close shadows on the green hills.

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Peaceful zen pond watercolor

rockringpondtealwpI painted this little study quickly for a client who had a lovely little pond in her backyard. I’ve never been into the ‘zen’ lifestyle, but the client was, very much so, and this little environment she designed was indeed charming and peaceful. I’m usually pretty tightly controlled with my illustration work, so it was nice to experiment with watercolors this way, using some quick strokes and then some slower, rounder organic blobs, letting the color bleed into accidental textures.

I’ll make it available as a notecard on my Store soon.

Detail of a Patriotic Hamster

usahamsterwpEvery year a local art supply store has an exhibit of little artworks – only 5″ x 7″ drawings, paintings, illustrations, etc.  Today I took a pencil sketch I had of a little hamster & started adding clothes to him, and it just got more and more patriotic on me, perhaps because we just had a beautiful 4th of July here in Pennsylvania.  For this illustration I used watercolor on illustration board, over the prisma pencil drawing – there is more to him, but I’ll wait to show the whole character after that show happens in a few weeks.