Spring Inspiration

Spring Inspiration

Let Yourself Bloom

I never lose the desire to draw flowers and plants. Spring simply changes the color story of the designs. I find myself seeking out the hues of early blooming sages and lavenders that thrive in my garden, along with the irridescent head of a hummingbird when it catches the sunlight. Life is present, loud and colorful. I feel gratitude just being an observer.

This month I painted “Let Yourself Bloom” in honor of spring. I usually have an application for the art work in mind before starting.  This was designed as the cover of a journal.  The ideas came to me that words written and art made kept in a special place can be part of the process of letting yourself bloom and becoming new by those very words and artistic expressions. The art journal is like your own secret garden.

Then I used the painting as inspiration for a pattern design suitable for fabric or a gift bag or wrapping paper.

In translating the design idea from a painting to illustration, I had to make changes and re-draw each flower, stem, leaf and the collection of dots. It’s an opportunity to add new elements to the design and remove those I’m not as pleased with. With illustration and repeat patterns you have to be able to place each element exactly where you want it, and rearrange if it doesn’t balance correctly. It’s also a great time to try out a completely different color story, so I did.

The first design below is the original illustration.  The next 4 squares are differing color stories of the same design. Now I can offer it as part of a collection of surface patterns and with variations that a manufacturer of products might prefer.

Any ideas? A Kleenex box? A gift or tote bag? A “green” shopping bag for groceries? Wrapping paper for a baby shower? Colorful pillows for your bed?

I’d love to hear your suggestions. Please comment here or on Facebook and let me know which color scheme you prefer or what kind of product you could visualize this on. Hope you are having a glorious spring!

The painting “Let Yourself Bloom” is a a available as a framed print, phone cover, pillow and more at my store at Society 6. Click on the Society 6 image at the top of the page to take you there.






It’s Not About The Eggs, Or Is It?

It’s Not About The Eggs, Or Is It?


I painted this a year ago and never completed the idea. Sure, it was a cute illustration but then I put it away.  It had no words, just the little girl, the garden, the eggs and all the animals. Typical Easter greeting, but no greeting.

I always had ambivalent feelings about Easter.  For most of the world it’s a children’s holiday and fun time for hiding and seeking eggs, eating “Peeps,” getting an Easter basket filled with hidden eggs in green colored “straw.” I have some fond memories of our family tradition.  We wouldn’t go to church but we would spend the day traveling somewhere to have a picnic, often to the local deserts where the flowers might be in bloom if we’d gotten any rain. The true meaning of Easter was lost on me until much later when I chose to invite Jesus into my life. Juxtaposed with bunnies, chocolates and eggs, it was kind of weird to celebrate Easter that way until I began to see the symbolism of seeking after some delightful treasure. That’s what delights the hearts of children at Easter and I’m still excited about the foil-covered chocolate eggs hidden in  plastic grass!

Now I can reconcile the way we celebrate Easter. Maybe it originated as a pagan holiday but it takes on new meaning when one realizes the incredible treasure that comes from such an unbearable gift, given by a Savior who demonstrates absolute love.

So I took another look at this painting and decided it was about seeking hidden meaning, hidden treasures. Jesus said in Luke 11:9 “. . . Ask and it shall be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.”  Now the painting is complete, the words making it clear to me. Hope you enjoy it,

I Love Melanie Seale

I Love Melanie Seale


Most artists create with tools we learned about as children . . . crayons, paint, pens, paper, clay.  But I so admire artists who can use materials I’m unfamiliar with in such an expressive way. Yeah, OK, there’s a bit of bias perhaps when I’m talking about family . . . but my wonderful sister Melanie is an artist with flowers and arrangements.  She creates gorgeous wedding bouquets and arrangements for all occasions. I’ve watched her work over the years and it just delights me to see how she manipulates these delicate materials with such skill and beauty.  I would have broken them into a million pieces in the first 5 minutes.  My hands are not meant to use plants and flowers as art unless I’m drawing or painting them. She actually arranges them into art and it’s awesome to behold.

Check out her website and you will enjoy the beauty of a tour through her portfolio of designs. The testimonials speak for themselves!


Mad Men Inspired Art

Mad Men Inspired Art


I’ve been binge-watching Mad Men being aired at 3 am each week so i’ll be ready for the last season coming in April.  (Of course I’m not getting up at 3 am!) It’s so fun to look at the art in the office buildings, the fabrics and styles, the decor and designs that come from that period which people as old as I am lived through, hopefully unscathed.

Maybe that’s what inspired this pattern – I’m calling it Flower Power since that’s the storyline Mad Men is airing at the moment. Don Draper marries a younger woman and is dealing with his daughter Sally soon to be a teenager and becoming a crazy Beatle’s fan.

Oh I remember those days when I saw the Beatles at their only concert in San Diego. My mom made my older brother take me and he just hated each and every second of it! Even with binoculars I couldn’t see them on the stage nearly a mile away in Balboa Stadium. Wish I still had those ticket stubs – they’d be a valuable memento today. Wonder what happened to them?

Here are more samples of the same pattern with different color palettes. Which one do you like best – pink, green or brown? And what surface could you picture it on – wrapping paper? A phone case? A pillow? A shopping bag? Here’s to your own “flower power” since spring is now finally upon us!  Enjoy.

FlowerPower2 FlowerPower3 FlowerPower4

Chalkboard Flowers and BIG SALE!

Chalkboard Flowers and BIG SALE!


I’m loving all the wonderful chalkboard artists I see doing fantastic work. When I was teaching school we didn’t have these fabulous colored chalks to work with. Besides, they made me cough a lot. But there’s something about chalk, the rough trail it leads behind, that just speaks to me. I think it started at Trader Joe’s with their artistic signs and quirky humor making me smile.  Love going to Trader Joe’s ‘ – it’s such an artsy experience for my eyes and my palette!

This week I began working on some flowers and foliage that reminded me of the Trader Joe’s chalkboard art.  I used some Illustrator pen and charcoal brushes, and even some of my own original Illustrator brushes.  Then I chose a limited color scheme, using paler chalkboard colors. Reducing the amount of colors helps me focus on the art itself and kind of “contains” all the pieces.

This is a repeat pattern to be used as smart phone covers, pillows, tote bags, scrapbook art . . . and I created some different color schemes to try out.  check these out:



LAST BUT NOT LEAST . . . there’s a huge sale going on at my store through Society 6. Each day 20% off on selected items each day, through midnight on Saturday. Phone cases, totes and pillows have been on sale and each day something new is added.  So check it out here!