Six snockered seagulls

It’s February and this is my first post here at The Gretchen Show in 2013. What can I say? I was busier than I could keep up with in the weeks leading up to Christmas and then I pretty much crashed and burned for several weeks after. January used to be a depressing month to me, but now I cherish it because it is a dormant time: all of the frenetic holiday activity is over and the weather is usually cold and appropriately dreary. Okay, so here in Texas it’s just as likely to be sunny and warm in January, but we do get lovely spells of fire-burning, blanket-snuggling days, perfect for spending all day on the couch with books, movies and wine, which is exactly what I did. Maybe for a week or two longer than I should have…

I also have been working on a new creative project: an illustrated memoir of a thwarted love. It’s a very personal work of art, intended to be viewed as it progresses, so the blog platform is ideal. I have a few more tweaks to make on it, but hope to share it with you in the next week or so.

In the meantime, here is a little visual bon mot from the art giveaway game we played on The Gretchen Show over on FB during Christmas.


I called it A Sketchbook Christmas. The idea was to rewrite The Twelve Days of Christmas using images from my sketchbook as inspiration. I invited followers to suggest lines to accompany the sketches and then created more polished B&W drawings for the winning selections. We only got through the first six days – we’ll finish the second half next Christmas – but it was a lot of fun and there were some great submissions. One of my favorites was the winning line for the sixth day, Six Snockered Seagulls.

This is the beginning sketch:


You can all of the sketches and submitted lines in the Sketchbook Christmas album. This is a look at the progress as of The Fifth Day of Christmas:



Tempted by the fruits

I am happy to present my annual Halloween artwork on the first day of October, one of the most glorious months here in Texas. October diminishes, at least a little, the misery of August. Especially the recently past August of 2011. But back to the art. This year’s offering, Tempted by the Fruits, is a one page illustrated story.

“The temptation of proffered fruits trumped caution of feathered familiars.”


Prints for purchase available here.  Previous years Halloween illustrations: The Witching Hour  and Wicked Halloween.

When worlds collide: introducing Art to Go by the Gretchen Show

Okay, not so much colliding as coming together. My professional worlds – as a set decorator and art director in film production and as an artist/illustrator – have occasionally swerved into each other’s paths. I’ve created original art many times for sets I’ve been working on and as a film professional I know the importance and value of cleared art. For many years I’ve thought, “Why not make my art available for other set decorators, art directors, stylists, etc…?” As I maintain the ownership and copyright for almost all of my work, I can easily give clearance for specific usage. It’s taken me long enough to get ’round to it, but now it’s official: Art to Go by the Gretchen Show. I’ll be adding to my inventory on a continuing basis. But for now, let’s get started! Art prints available for production rental can be seen here and original art, framed and/or on canvas or other substrate, available for production rental can be viewed here.  Feel free to pass it on! Man, I like that blackbird…

Babes in the Wood

Little snippet from the art for Theatre Britain’s 2010 panto. Theatre Britain brings a little English (non)sensibility to the Dallas area every Christmas season. Performances November through December. Go see it! And go see the full image of these precious babes in the wood by clicking here.

Love bird

A little love bird who makes an appearance or two in Douglas has a Dilemma and Douglas has a Dream (see links on the right side of the page). Douglas has a Dream has had a very long gestation period but illustrations are now well under way. I’m posting them as I go instead of waiting till they are all finished, with the thought that it might light a fire under my ample derriere.

Revisions to “Douglas has a Dilemma”

She loved books, birds and B movies

As I wrote parts 2 and 3 of the Douglas & Annie trilogy, it became clear to me that two pages in part 1, “Douglas has a Dilemma”, needed to be changed. I liked the words and images, but they did not really tell anything about Annie that wasn’t already obvious.  Click here to read the story with new images. And please do leave a comment if you are so inclined. I enjoy the feedback. I hope to have part 2, Douglas has a Dream, illustrated in the next month. :-/ There now, I’ve said it in print.

Who’s in the catbird seat?

I’ve been revisiting mixed media and loving it. For some reason cats and birds keep popping up. This is a wood substrate that I “painted on” colored tissue paper with an acrylic medium with a little paint mixed in. I painted on top of that with acrylic and a touch of watercolor, thinned down to get a transparent quality, which is one of the things I like so much about watercolor. Line is ever-present in my work, as it is here – I particularly like the negative space line created around the nose and eyes by the underlying tissue paper surface.