Art for a new year

Symbolism plays a big part in my life and my art (yes, I’ve got a little of that hippie thing going). Celebrating a new year is in itself a form of symbolism. It represents new beginnings and hope for a better future. Life is constant renewal and we have the opportunity to renew and reinvent ourselves every day.  So, in this piece to mark the beginning of 2012, I incorporated some of my favorite icons to express that idea. Butterflies are symbols of metamorphosis, renewal, reincarnation, Psyche and the soul. The moon represents the feminine spirit, resurrection and the cyclical nature of all things. The fish is a masculine symbol and stands for the life-giving properties of water as well creativity. Circles have no beginning or end and therefore symbolize eternity and the infinite. I threw in the alchemical symbol for mercury to represent myself.  I won’t elaborate on that. ; ) Prints are available here. 

May you have a creative and abundant new year.


Latte Lounge

Yes, Melissa, there IS a Latte Lounge!  This commissioned piece has a great story behind it. As I love my art to be narrative, it was a joy to create.

My client and his wife met online several years ago. After a few emails and phone conversations, they agreed to meet for coffee at a central location, as they lived in cities about 30 miles apart. D. looked up coffee houses in the mid-city, picked the Latte Lounge and sent the info to M. The appointed time came and passed. M. was desperately driving up and down and around the given address but no Latte Lounge, as was D. After multiple, harried cell phone calls, they finally met (for the first time!) at a corner gas station and went on the hunt together. Alas, the mysterious Latte Lounge was never found but Cupid’s shot was straight. The story has become part of D & M’s family lore and I was honored to put it on paper.

I like incorporating arcane details in my illustrations and paintings; there are several in the Latte Lounge, including Spike, the lizard with the mutated tail. Watercolor, gouache, colored pencil and ink on hot press Arches paper. 16″ x 12″.


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.

It’s a dog’s life

Meet Ella, a pampered pooch with a penchant for sneaking a drink from your glass when your head is turned. She isn’t really that spoiled, but it was fun painting her in the classic reclining odalisque pose. She enjoys the finer things in life, just like her owner. Prints available in my Etsy shop.  Salud, Ella!

Mary, Mary, quite contrary

How does your garden grow?

I scribbled a little sketch ages ago that eventually bloomed into this pop arty illustration. It wasn’t my intention at all, but as the painting progressed it became reminiscent to me of another Mary: Mary Quant (anyone remember her?!) That was an interesting development. Contrary Mary is available as an 8″ x 10″ print and 5″ x 7″ greeting card through my Etsy shop. I like her so much I’m considering having her printed in a larger format. Let me know if you have any interest in that.

As I mentioned a couple of months ago, I’m going to submit Contrary Mary as a t-shirt design to Threadless. (8.20.11 update: design was accepted and is up for scoring for 6 more days; see and score here!) The process will be fun. And speaking of process, I’ve been wanting to make a stop-motion video of my art for quite a long time. So  yesterday and this morning, as I painted, I also climbed up and down my two-step about a hundred times snapping photos from the first brush stroke to the last ink line. I have absolutely no idea how to do it, but when I put it together I’ll be posting it ’cause it sure took a long time to take all those pics. Renewed admiration for those nutty claymation folks.

Douglas’s Dilemma continues

My short illustrated story for adults, Douglas has a Dilemma, has evolved since it was first conceived of as an entry into the 2009  McKinney Avenue Contemporary’s (the MAC) annual membership show. I’ll write more about that later but for now I just want to introduce a bit more of Douglas’s story. It’s been on the back burner – and sometimes the front burner, but on simmer – for quite a while. But isn’t that the way it often is with complicated love stories? You can read the first part of his story here and the first part of the second part (! I know!) here. 

Feed your imagination

Read a book and feed your imagination.

My second bookish illustration in as many weeks – I’ve books on the brain, as I often do! This one evolved from a quick sketch I did some time ago. I love iconography, symbols and pictographs so I created some of my own to symbolize the reader’s imagination alight with imagery and ideas she gleaned from books. Some of them do represent actual stories, books, characters or myths and some are just figments of my own over-active imagination!

Watercolor and ink on hot press Arches watercolor paper. Want one for yourself? Prints may be purchased here.