Creativity is for Everyone!

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Watercolor Cardinal

I decided to try and paint another bird. We watched the cardinals all winter, so it was an obvious choice. I placed the cardinal in our birch, which has a pinkish tone. I had a lot of fun painting very wet, letting things happen without a lot of control.

Watercolor cardinal

I started by painting the background, which is what I did when I painted the Blue Jay. Painting the background first is very different for me. It was a fun project and I am happy with the results.

cardinal1 cardinal2




Progress on my acrylic Gerbera Daisy

I stole an hour this morning, before the craziness of running around with the kids, to work on my latest painting. I really like how it is coming out! I had a great sense of accomplishment that stayed with me throughout the day.

My latest progress:

gerber this morning

The dark areas really make the flower pop and I didn’t even add any paint to the petals. I plan on continuing to work on the leaves in the background before working on the flower.

The starting point this morning:


my Gerbera

Previous stages:

gerberaacrylic1 gerberaacrylic2 gerberaacrylic2b gerberaacrylic3


Blue Jay Watercolor

I went out on a limb with this painting. ha ha. Seriously, this was a bit of an experiment and I was hesitant to share it with you. Quite frankly, it didn’t come out great, but I’m on a creative journey (dare I say artistic) and trying new things and growing is part of it.

This painting was inspired by two other blogs. Blogging has been great for me, because it motivates me and holds me accountable. The unexpected positive about blogging is the encouragement I’ve received from others – from total strangers! I have even made a few connections that have motivated and inspired me. The bird was inspired by SweetAfternoons. Alisa (of Sweet Afternoons) has taken the time to offer encouragement and tips, which I’m so grateful for. She motivated me to take another stab at painting Gerbera Daisies. And the second time around, I felt I made real progress.

The background (which I painted first), came from a video tutorial that was posted on inkophile. After watching the video, I realized I needed to use these resources to continue to learn and grow.


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Back to Acrylics

It has been about 2 weeks since I painted with acrylics. It feels like forever. Lately I’ve been playing with watercolor. Today, I was determined to paint with acrylics, but it took a while for me to get to work. I took a half hour to clean my palette because I ended up scrubbing the whole slop sink!

I wasn’t in the mood to work on my jellyfish painting, even though I think I’m close to finishing. I had a couple of ideas for new paintings and plenty of fresh canvases! Here is my list:

  • Donut with strawberry icing and sprinkles (yum!)
  • Gerbera daisy (I came across a photo I took 10 years ago!)
  • Ocean
  • Sunrise through the trees

I didn’t know which one to work on, and it probably wasn’t the best plan, but I decided to start all of them and see which one pulled me in. It was so fun playing! There is something exciting about starting new projects. It’s the finishing that’s hard – lol! In the end, I only started two of the paintings. It seemed like too much to start going in four different directions!

The background for “Sunrise through the trees” was a lot of fun, even though I ended up doing something different than I originally intended. I’m loving the colors! Notice I’m using bright colors, some directly from the tubes. I love it! It’s feels very springy. I just plopped the paint on with a foam brush. I plan on adding paint to blend the colors after this base coat is dry. (I hope that isn’t a mistake.)


Of the two projects, the Gerbera daisy painting was really tugging at me, so I worked on that one the most. I think I got a really good start! It is amazing how “just starting” changes your whole perspective. Here is the photo and my progress:

gerberaphotogerberaacrylic gerberaacrylic1 gerberaacrylic2 gerberaacrylic2b gerberaacrylic3


Watercolor Gerbera Daisies

Today, I was barely awake, and making my first cup of coffee when I decided to set up the watercolors. There were plenty of things I should have been doing – cleaning the kitchen, laundry, the list goes on. But I decided to ignore all of that stuff and start painting. I decided to try painting my favorite flower the gerbera daisy again. I painted one a few days ago and immediately saw what was wrong with it. But I did get some nice feedback on it (thank you!), which motivated me to try again.

Not quite awake, I almost took a swig of the dirty water, mistaking it for my coffee! But I got into a groove and as I worked, I felt more and more satisfied. It was hard to stop putting finishing touches on them! But finally I said, they are done. I had that “Mom! Look what I made!” feeling. What a great way to start the day. The orange one is my favorite.

orangegerbera pinkgerbera


Watercolor Flowers – Happy Spring!

Lately, I can’t stop painting flowers. I think I’m just very happy Spring is here! Before flowers, I was painting fruit. lol! In the past I was intimidated by flowers. Now, I am getting into it. My first (recent) attempts were more graphic, less realistic.


Today, I worked hard to get the flower to look like the actual flower. I’ve been loving working in watercolor again!


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My Claddagh Fairy illustration made into a doll!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! I am so happy today (in honor of St. Patrick’s Day) to bring you the doll version of my Claddagh Fairy. All thanks to my niece, Ryan, my illustration has come to life – in doll form! Thank you Ryan!

claddagh fairy doll 2 back irish fairy doll flying irish fairy doll

See more illustrations from the Claddagh Fairy and my journey to develop a children’s book illustration style.


The Claddagh Fairy is copyrighted. Unauthorized use of this blog’s content, text and artwork is prohibited. Re-blogging and/or sharing links is allowed provided that is credited and a direct link to the original content is included. Thank you.


Intimidated by painting flowers – I decided to let the brush do the work.

Before today, I’ve shied away from paintings flowers. I was intimidated by them, especially roses. Here is my one and only flower painting. (From our Dogwood tree.)

dogwood watercolor

Today, as I was setting up my watercolors, The Company Store catalog caught my eye. I love all the bright patterns in that catalog. On the cover was a graphic flower pattern. It inspired me and I decided to paint flowers. I was probably less intimated because the pattern wasn’t realistic looking flowers.

I really enjoy “warming up” with watercolor (as I like to call it). On my days off, once the lunches are packed, I setup. Once the kids are gone and the house is quiet, I sit and paint with my cup of coffee. More than once I’ve accidentally cleaned my brush in my coffee!

my watercolor setup

Today, as I sat to paint flowers, I decided I’d let the brush do the work. Instead of painting the petal, I just touched the brush to the paper and pulled it up, or in some cases swiped a little. I guess I was channeling that “one stroke flower” painting technique. I even tried having one end of the brush wetter than the other, so the petal was a little different on each end. I was getting the hang of it. It was so fun. Later, when I came home from running errands, I sat and painted more flowers.

flowers2 flowers3

flowers on pink and green

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Patience and Painting

By nature I am not a patient person. The other day as I was painting in my sketchpad, I got annoyed when the painting wasn’t going quickly and easily. This gave me reason to pause and think, “Am I too impatient to ever be a great artist?”

Later that same day, I was back at work on my acrylic jellyfish painting. I had finally gone out and bought some bright colors for the background. (As much as I tried, I was unable to mix a color that popped the way the photo did.) I was working a blend, of these bright colors, into my water background when I thought to myself, “This painting is really hard. It’s taking forever.”

This brought me back to my earlier thought, “Am I too impatient to ever be a great artist?” But, I continued working on the background, getting into a zone. I hit a point where I wished I could “undo” everything I had done that day. I thought I had ruined the painting. My daughter walked by and admired it (and the colors) and I looked at it again and thought, “Maybe I haven’t ruined it.”

jellylast jellyfish new

The jellyfish painting is getting there. I can’t say for sure how long it will take me to get there. I do know, it is on the top of my list for my next painting session. Impatient nature or not, I will continue to persevere.