Sunday, November 20, 2011

Angels and Cowboys- why not?

Hello to the season of serious feasting, frivolity and merriment that begins around now and continues through New Year. This illustration appears in Gulfshore Life Magazine's November issue, with the Here & Now monthly column. It's always fun trying to combine several seemingly unrelated events and activities that are happening on Florida's lovely gulf shores (where they really know how to celebrate), and end up with an image that makes both sense and non-sense, if that makes any sense! Here we have the Ritz-y Angel Ball, the Bootstrap Boogie Barn Dance, and Florida Blues Festival all happening simultaneously in my digital parallel universe. Illustration is so much fun :)

Among the many things I have to be thankful for this turkey day, there's having something I love to do, and someone willing to pay me to do it. This is actually J.K. Rowling's recipe for happiness, and I couldn't agree more. Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011


Today I'm sending out a batch of new postcards I had printed at This image is another from The New Quotable Woman book, illustrating a quote by Margot Fonteyn (whom I actually SAW dancing with Rudolf Nureyev in NYC at the very end of their careers):
"The one important thing I have learned over the years is the difference between taking one's work seriously and taking one's self seriously. The first is imperative and the second is disastrous."
The ballet "Coppelia" lept :) to mind. It's about a doll that comes to life with some silly robotic choreography that makes it a fun ballet to take children to, but for the dancers, it's no less serious work than "Swan Lake".
Back to the postcards- it's not often I see my work in print and it looks better than I hoped it would. A lot better. I ordered 60 using 6 different designs. Now I have to find 60 people to send them to... preferably people who hire illustrators.
Suggestions gratefully accepted!

Monday, July 11, 2011


Announcing THE NEW QUOTABLE WOMAN mini edition, coming soon to a book or gift shop near you!
This is a tiny book with pithy quotes from lots of wise women who have lived large enough lives for their words to rate being collected in a book like this. For me, it will be a nice portable portfolio since each and every illustration in it is mine, and most feature my "ladies".
The cover art is from feminist journalist Rebecca West's quote, "Life ought to be a struggle of desire toward adventures whose nobility will fertilize the soul." I immediately visualized riding an elephant through India, as that is my idea of having a grand adventure.

My very favorite quote didn't make this book, however, as the author is precluded by gender:
"Be yourself; everyone else is already taken." Oscar Wilde

What else are you going to do?

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


My first post since Val's day! I've been (happily, gratefully) busy assembling 20+ images for my latest illustrated book, The New Quotable Woman, published by Running Press and due out in September. It was my pleasure to create images as true as I could conceive them to honor the likes of Frida Kahlo, Margaret Mead, Indira Gandhi, Margot Fonteyn, Anais Nin, among other wise women who had much to say, succinctly. Brevity is, indeed, the soul of wit, as Polonius pointed out in Hamlet.

As for Frida, she expressed her soul and wit, love and pain in her paintings, mostly portraits. "I leave you my portrait so that you will have my presence all the days and nights that I am away from you." In my image, Frida is released from her bed, her broken body mended, free floating, at peace. Alas, she's one among many in the arts for whom an early tragic death was a solid career move.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Birdy love

Happy "Bird's Wedding Day", a.k.a St. Valentine's Day! It recently came to my attention that once upon a time in Sussex, England, February 14 marked the first day of Spring when birds flew about and chose their mates. Chaucer wrote a poem about it, "Parlement of Foulys" (middle English...Lit majors, you know who you are). This sounds like a lovely custom, worthy of celebrating with a loved one, preferably over a glass of something with bubbles. Forever more, my Val's Day will be all about Bird Love- so long, Hallmark and FTD. Come 2/14, I'll be bird watching to see if they really are flocking together two by two, filling the sky with the music of their mating calls. Love is literally "in the air". And it's a LOVELY excuse to welcome Spring a few weeks early.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

New Year bluebird

The new year seems to be in a much greater hurry to get on with it than I am. Already mid-January and I'm still getting organized. I love the New Year holiday for it's hopefulness. That first day or two, it feels like a major transformation is really possible, that the New Year Elf will come in the night and take away the old me and leave a changeling me who is all the things I'm often not - organized, productive, efficient, prolific, articulate, precise, inspiring, energetic. I would call her "Julia". Lots of new possibilities are in the 2011 works, so no reason to be anything but hopeful. If I don't wake up one day soon as the changeling me who gets things done pronto, maybe I'll wake up as the me who takes some time over morning coffee, thinks about the big picture of my little life, tries to be kind to people and is always open to the miracle of an idea. May the bluebird of happiness visit you and me (or Julia, as the case may be) often in 2011.