Doodles into Fashion!

Doodles into Fashion!

There’s nothing more satisfying than doodling something on paper, making a design out of it, and then bringing it to the marketplace as a product.  I think I was born to do this and so grateful each day that I am able to!

Leggings lg eco decay


Well, here they are! Finally I got this new design into my Society 6 store and now it’s become leggings and overall printed T shirts, and more. It’s great that Society 6 is now offering overall printed T shirts rather than just the image printed in the center. My art just didn’t translate well to that so I didn’t like offering them. But these new T-shirts printed with an overall pattern are great! Check out the one below, and I’ll be offering more, now that they’re available. Questions and comments are welcome. Hope you enjoy this new design from my Summer School Challenge class. Now I’m gonna go do some more!  Happy summer y’all.

eco decay tshirt lg

My Summer Design Challenge Is On!

My Summer Design Challenge Is On!

Last summer one of my patterns was included in the Make It In Design Look Book of surface patterns published by MOYO magazine.  This important publication is reviewed by thousands of Art directors and manufacturers from around the globe, so it was a great honor to have one of my designs included.  Hope I can do it again this year!

Because this year’s challenge really took me outside my comfort zone, I thought I’d show you from beginning to end how I thought through the process and how it all came together.

My group’s design challenge was to create an organic pattern with an appearance of decay and degeneration.  The end result would have elements of camouflage or animal print. This is an important fashion trend. However, It’s like nothing I’ve ever done before. I was baffled by the whole thing!  This girl is used to drawing actual images like trees and plants and animals.  Oh well, that’s why it’s called a challenge.

My first step was to take an inspiration trip to Nordstom Rack to take photo examples of this trend in fabric design.

Here’s a few samples of what I found. (Can you imagine the sales people wondering why I was cruising the isles snapping photos with my camera phone?)










If you know my style, this certainly isn’t it.  But we were charged with injecting our own styles into it.  Wow . . . I was totally stumped. Nothing came to mind. I had no idea where to begin.

I decided to start experimenting with all kind of stuff, just taking a stab in the dark. That’s how design happens – you just consider everything a possibility.  I took this textured blue painting I created awhile back for a handmade journal, scanned it and worked with it in Photoshop until I had an interesting look. I even made a Photoshop brush out of it.




Photoshop brush


background made with layers

But that wasn’t enough.  So I started drawing and drawing and drawing.  Below are the raw vectors I drew in InkPad and completed in Adobe Illustrator.  They were inspired by photos of lichen attached to rotting old trees, and some frayed fabric that looked interesting.  Kind of crude, aren’t they?  Which ones will I use in the final design? Keep reading to find out.


After selecting a few of the drawings I began coloring them, then began experimenting with various Photoshop and Illustrator filters and special effects. I can’t describe how much fun this is and how much time I spent doing it!  I was captivated with each possible outcome. Here’s how a few of the drawings above turned out:


Next I had to try to put it all together. But how? Everything was disjointed.  So I made some of my own interesting brushes in Illustrator. Making brushes is so much fun and very necessary when trying to do original designs. Thousands of free brushes are available on the internet but everybody uses them. That’s why they become cliches. Original work requires original elements from beginning to end.

I chose a neutral color palette for a Fall/Winter collection, as if the pattern would end up on fabric. I named the colors Blizzard, Espresso, Chinchilla and Bark because names help tell the story of the design.

OK, ready to see how it all came together?  You can help me decide if this meets the design challenge well enough to turn in as my final piece in this category. Thanks for sticking with me for this long long, blog post.  Hope you enjoyed the process. I’d love to hear what you think so feel free to leave a comment below or on Facebook.

I kind of visualize this on a trendy jacket or on leggings.  I have a feeling this is going to become some pillow fabric, a laptop sleeve, or leggings at my Society6 store, some time after the Summer School challenge ends.


Each Day There Is Enough

Each Day There Is Enough


Last month I watched in amazement at this giant red yucca flower stalk suddenly appeared overnight. It rose up about 15 feet and slowly after a week or so the flowers formed and opened. It hadn’t bloomed in many years and I thought it never would again, but there it was. It was such a surprise.

Not long after it revealed itself, the hummingbirds found it. These voracious little creatures fought over it all day long.  Then the orioles arrived and the war was on.  Suddenly the hummers banded together in a tribe to fight off the orioles from taking over their territory.

What registered with me is that every day, this flower stalk provides nectar for a neighborhood of birds. Each day there seems to be enough for all of them because they keep coming back and the war over it continues. To them it’s life or death. This flower stalk is like the manna n the desert God puts out for them to gather each day and every day more of it magically appears.

When I get discouraged I have to remember this valuable truth. Each day God provides just enough to make me keep coming back to Him. If He poured out a feast I would be undisciplined and gorge myself, then probably fall into a stupor of lethargy. But “just enough” forces me to return day after day to refresh myself with more of His life-giving holy gifts. He never stops providing. I am assured that when I return to Him, there’s always more.

God Always Provides . . .

God Always Provides . . .
A Place to Land

“A Place To Land” by Darlene Seale           13 x 19 giclee print

As usual, this new painting started in my “Painting Brave” technique. (See Painting Brave)  When I start I have no idea what will happen next. I’m just waiting to be surprised.

At the same time I’m watching out the window at some activity in the yard. Two baby bunnies have made their appearance. They see me and scurry back to a place of safety under a large Aeonium succulent plant. I hear a clattering sound. When I investigate I see an oriole has landed on the long flower spike of a red yucca.  Hummingbirds are not happy this oriole has infiltrated their territory so they’re creating a ruckus and the oriole is scolding back at them, unintimidated. Who’s going to possess this flower stock?

Bees are all over the Cleveland sages in full flower. Crows fly in for a drink from the pool. Lizards chase each other and do pushups to impress a potential mate or assert their territory, I’m not sure which. It’s a wild wild yard and each of these creatures has a place to land or perch or be protected from predators.

Now my painting is starting to come together and have a theme. I’m seeing what God is trying to show me.

We all need a place to dwell in safety and comfort.  It’s a requirement for living that, for some, is difficult to find.  Daily we’re confronted with the reality of such disparity in this world. War never ends, hunger prevails, safety is elusive. Even in my own yard a daily battle exists over food, territory, safety and relationships.

When I need a rest it is God who provides the place to be comforted and protected. In all my busyness I need a place to land.  He provides it, and it’s beautiful.

“…The Lord will protect me, and my God will shelter me.” – Psalm 94:22. I take comfort in knowing that no matter what is going on in my life, God will provide a place for me to land.

Challenge: see if you can count the number of creatures found in the painting!

This print is available as a hand-signed giclee from my products. It’s also available at Society 6 and Fine Art America.

Painting Brave

Painting Brave

I Love Who You Are

“I Love Who You Are,” is my newest painting.  It started as intuition, then formed into something more tangible. I call this style of painting: Painting Brave – because I allow The painting to inform me, not the other way around. (And yes, I know it should be written “painting bravely,” but I’m not getting all grammatical because that would spoil my point!)

Why is this brave? It tends to reveal things I need to know about who I am and what I’m doing here. It informs me from my chosen perspective which is the truth of the Bible as a follower of Jesus Christ.

The painting process is pretty simple. I make a few decisions about color and start filling the “canvas” (my iPad) with those colors. I blend them using different kinds of brushes. Then objects start to form. A leaf. A blossom. Lines. Marks. Scribbles. A flower. An animal. A little girl. I never know. I get to try things, erase things, even paint over things.

A blob of purple color became a flower blossom; a swirl of yellow became the sun. A flower garden was formed, and finally a lizard and a bird together, facing each other.

Suddenly ideas crystalize. Words come. The point of it emerges. It’s about enjoying and loving the differences between people – even becoming friends against all odds. Jesus taught in allegories. I’ve discovered my heart sees and hears best that way.

This is certainly not how I was taught to paint, which is to begin with a subject and plan the details before starting. In Painting Brave, I get to enjoy being an observer and learning something new. It’s as if I’m on a train going north and I don’t know what town we’re coming to next. I get all excited about disembarking there and exploring unknown territory.

Painting this way informs my soul and provides wisdom from what some may call their “the inner voice,” which for me is The Holy Spirit.

Hope you enjoy it.  If you would like a hand-signed giclee print, you may order it from me directly here.

I turned it into a greeting card you can send to a dear friend, or other prints at FineArt America.