Thursday, October 14, 2010

Living Far From "Home"

I'm just back from a short trip to Rhode Island for my mom's 60th birthday. My mom really enjoyed her birthday and it was such a gift to be there in person for the event.

My little family and I have been in Austin, Texas for 4 years now, and whenever we return from one of our many Rhode Island trips I ask my daughter if she's glad to be back in Texas, I never ask if she's glad to be home. This was the first trip where she answered in the affirmative.

My spirit often feels divided in two living far from my east coast family and friends, but it's most difficult before and after a trip there. Here is that feeling in abstract form.I wonder if giving birth in Texas will change any of that?

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

34" of Belly

My friend who gave birth to twins noticed that at some point in her pregnancy the circumference of her belly was equal to her height. I have about 2.5 months left before my due date and my belly is now 34" around. Here it is in the abstract.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Weighed Down

After a night without much sleep and a morning with many to dos in front of me, I often spend some portion of the day feeling like I don't measure up. In this illustration I tried to illustrate the feeling. I'm the black bar on the bottom, with loved ones that I feel some responsibility for above me. What a blessing it is to have done this illustration and see that later that same day, I'm just fine, and everything that needed doing got done.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Scatter Brained

When I was young I was often labeled a "day dreamer" and "scatter brained." Today I felt like my mind was wondering all over, and it was healing to illustrate the feeling, that so often brought me shame as a youngster.

This illustration is my fuzzy chow chow who's been under the weather in the middle, me and my pregnant belly on the outside, and dots for all friends and family that I think about most often.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Abstract Monday "Sunday Afternoon with Annalee"

I was quite tired this weekend, and needed lots of rest. I have 3 months left till the end of the pregnancy and it seems that I can't get a night of uninterrupted sleep. I have trouble being kind to myself when I need rest. There was one moment on Sunday when I sat down and painted with my daughter. I felt great joy to be with her, painting with her. I felt calm and hopeful. I had some lingering sadness over my tired state, so I drew some of the rainbow above the smile and some below. I explained the painting to my daughter. Later that day she painted one more painting, of her smile and mine, with rainbows all around. It was awesome.

Monday, August 23, 2010

First Day of Kindergarten

I dropped my daughter off for her first day of kindergarten this morning. Texas is full day kindergarten (7:45-2:45 my goodness). It has been an emotional day for me and many of my friends. There is a beautiful Dar Williams song called "End of Summer," one line that I keep thinking of today: "It's the end of summer, when you send your children to the moon..."

As I shopped for school clothes for my daughter that seemed unnecessary because in Texas it's still 100 degrees and summer clothes will do just fine, I thought of the many trips to the outlets with my mom, sister, best friend Stacy, and her mom, picking out every color Levi's cords they had and sweaters lots of sweaters, readying for the cold RI fall to come.

The older my daughter gets the more I appreciate and understand all that my parents did for me growing up. My mom could walk and drive then, I'm grateful for the memory of her as young and independent.

I had a lovely end of summer, one trip to the California mountains and one to Rhode Island, both with family. This is my "Abstract Monday" for this first day of kindergarten, the end of summer.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Tired as All Getout

Sometimes, when I'm super tired and have things that need doing, it feels like my happy parts and doing parts are being held down by something heavy. A nap is usually the answer, even if for a mere 2 minutes, and occasionally some tea.

Girl or Boy

We found out yesterday that we are having a girl. I had a little guessing contest on facebook for a free abstract to one right guesser. My friend Ly Ann won.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Sequoia Lake, Sequoia National Park, CA

We are just back from a week at YMCA Family Camp Sequoia with my husband's side of the family. It was lovely and fun, and it's hard to be back in the Texas summer heat.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Late vs. Early

Diamonds as Best Friends

"Diamonds are a girl's best friend" wiki says, "The song was listed as the 12th most important movie song of all time by the American Film Institute."

Monday, July 26, 2010

Friday, July 23, 2010

Austin Train Bridge, Big Texas, Little Painting

I went to the little beach yesterday morning and painted two more tiny paintings. This one is 2" x 4." There were red ants all over one part of the beach, the part I sat on the first time, so I moved slightly to the right and just in front of the tree they were busy with. That seemed to do the trick. The tree I sat under weeps and drops acorns, the cicadas were making their electronic music, and it was hot, but a little cooler by the lake. My husband brought me some cold water.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The Monarch, Train Bridge, and Lady Bird Lake, Austin, Texas

The train bridge in Austin, where it crosses the Lake is quite a site. I set out today hoping to get a good painting in from beneath the bridge, I aimed for my usual spot and found it completely filled in with all manner of vegetation. I searched around just a bit and found what felt like my own private one person beach, which I will call Kimma Beach. I sat down on my towel on the sand with lake waves lapping up next to me and painted this 20 x 20" painting for 2.5 hours. It was the first time in all these free days that I didn't feel rushed. The train came by twice, so I was able to place it in the painting. The Monarch Condo across the way is beautiful but a complete pain to paint.

Monday, July 19, 2010

The Secret to Happiness

It's abstract Monday again, and here is my abstract piece of art for the day. It's called "The Secret to Happiness." I'm personally happiest when I live in the now. What you are seeing: one line of music, the infinity sign, the "you are here" dot from maps, and the repeat sign. Happiness, done.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

360 Condo, Seaholm, Frost, Austin, Texas

I made some time to paint today. I sat by the Lamar bridge in the Austin summer sun, heat index 105, for one hour, and managed one larger painting 20 x 20 of the scene I've been studying in the smaller paintings.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Sun Rainbow Repeat

My daughter includes a rainbow in all her art and they always look great. So I'm following her lead.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Austin, Texas, Skyline from Lamar Bridge

This is a watercolor of the Austin skyline. Watercolors ad their own atmosphere to a painting, but when you mess up there is little you can do to fix it.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Pregnant Lady Good Day

Here's a bit of news, I'm 11 weeks pregnant and due on 1/1/11. Here is a little abstract painting based on that. The baby is 5.4cm and already has arms, legs, and a whole bunch of other stuff. Most importantly the doctor said, "A little butt and big head. " Funny.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Abstract Monday, Calm Confrontation

Monday is such a strange day, that I will post my abstracts on Monday. This one is called calm confrontation. It's the visual for how one might feel when trying stay calm during a disagreement.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Austin, Texas 360 Condo from Auditorium Shores, Mini Painting

Here is the other mini painting I worked on from Thursday's outing at Auditorium shores. These mini paintings are so small that they are more fun in person.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Austin, Texas from Auditorium Shores, Mini Painting

I found the cutest tiny canvases on Wednesday and painted two of them with my tiniest brush yesterday morning. I found a new spot, under the blue gazebo at Auditorium Shores. Nice and shady, with a great view of the condos and the water. One squirrel was a bit friendlier than expected, but I survived. This canvas is 2" x 3". My husband says I should market these tiny paintings as cubicle desk paintings. He may be right, because I like seeing them on my desk.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

360 Condo, Austin, Texas, Close Up

Here is another painting from yesterday's outing. I will head out later this morning to work on some others. I bought these tiny little 1" canvases, I'm dying to see if I can actually get a painting on them.
I'm also working on my Etsy store, so it should be simpler soon to buy any paintings you may fancy.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

360 Condo Austin Texas Stage Left

Yesterday was my second day with a chunk of free time in the morning. I grabbed my paints and set a goal: 3 paintings. I started at 9am. It was already so hot at 9 and by 11 when I finished I was ready for cold water and AC. This is the first of my paintings. I sat on the stone steps off the Lamar Bridge.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

View from Lamar Foot Bridge, Lady Bird Lake, Train Bridge, Austin, Texas

My daughter has summer camp mornings 5 days a week. I work 3 days a week. Yesterday, I had my first morning off from mommy work and work work, in 5 years. I grabbed my paints and sat on a bench on the Lamar Foot Bridge and did a little painting. I miss the ocean and RI more in the summer, so it was nice to spend some time staring at the lake.

Monday, May 17, 2010


My husband's first love was the little girl he would meet for a swing after Captain Kangaroo. Here's to the happiness of swings, friends, summer, and free time.

1997 NYC Times Square Mother and Daughter Braving a Storm

If only there were blogs in '97 when my husband and I painted and wrote about Times Square for a year. Although, it is fun to blog about it now.

1997 NYC Times Square 42nd Street Subway Entrance

NYC is the place for such highlights and shadows.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

1995 Me with my Head Shaved

My senior year at Parsons I shaved my head in reaction to being dumped by someone who loved my long hair (curious behavior, I know). I didn't shave my head in NYC where I was living. I went "home" to RI and had my Dad's barber, Mario, do it.

It physically pained Mario to shave my head and he gave me every chance to change my mind. Slowly, he cut my long hair shorter and shorter, asking at every stage if "maybe this was enough." I finally insisted he get out the clippers and do the thing.

Much to my surprise my mom and nonnie liked me with a shaved head, they said it reminded them of when I was a baby. The lesson: when you do something in anger, you look like a baby. The most enjoyable thing about having no hair was looking the same when going to bed, waking up, and after showering.

Friday, April 30, 2010

1997 Times Square Man Before a Storm

Here is another from my 1997 Times Square series. This was a stormy night, I had an old-fashioned camera with film and had terrible fear of people. I would quickly snap all these photos while trying to be invisible and later develop them to paint from.

1997 Times Square Man Resting in the Shade

This is the second painting I ever sold, to my creative director at Travel and Leisure, who I loved working for.

I got news today, that will use a piece that I painted with my daughter in an upcoming issue of their magazine to illustrate the term 'properly."

I think it's a little funny because in the painting we are playing some serious kick ball in the house, which is not quite proper.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

1997 Me in Blue

I painted this in 15 minutes while living in our apartment on Bergen Street in Brooklyn. As I dashed off to work I almost tore it to pieces because I was so frustrated by the end result. Luckily, I simply tossed it on the floor. When Harold got home he found it on the floor and called me at work to tell me it was my best work yet. Later a work colleague offered to buy it and it was my first sale. A note to artists, it's sometimes better to judge one's work after some time has passed. It's acrylic paint on blue paper.

1998 Harold in Quebec City

I was able to rescue zip disks full of old paintings this week, thanks to a very organized and generous friend. I think I'll post some of them on the blog.

Sometimes I forget that my art career didn't start with this blog. But thanks to it, maybe someday it will be an accurate archive of all my work.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Driving with Daddy in His Red Truck by the Sea

My goal this week: start sketching at least one spread based on the new Super Baby story board. I chose to start at the end of the book and with the big picture. As I went over the story board, I took notes on objects to research ie: old trucks, cool houses, basketball courts, the coast from above. For this sketch I mostly did old truck research. Luckily living in Austin I found examples everywhere. My daughter and I found an old blue Chevrolet and she was quite upset to see me color my truck red. The other elements are from my mind. The coast is a mix of Matunuck and and Narragansett Rhode Island. The hill is more from the west coast where my husband is from. Looks like the book will be set in the land of Texarhodefornia.

On a news note. The Bill Walsh book Hello Week that I illustrated and first published images of here in 2007, is going to become a children's book app. thanks to Touchoo Publishing. I designed it with tiny app size images years ago before apps. Psychic?

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

My Animal Kingdom

I'm working on my Super Baby children's book. And I am in the process of developing the characters and the scenery. I feel a bit like a director. These are some of the characters in my life that I know best.

Friday, March 26, 2010

The Life of a Watermelon

The only gardening experience I had growing up had to do with marigolds. It was sometimes my job to collect the dead flowers for the following years planting. My husband had more experience than that and thanks to him and my daughter we have a little garden going these past few years in Austin. My daughter's favorite food is watermelon, so we planted some seeds and have crossed our fingers. She saw this illustration and said, "Mama, I like your watermelon painting."

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Rainbow Wish

It has been said that your body actually gets sleepy when you say you are tired. That said, I'd like to take this opportunity tell you all how awake and youthful I feel.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Golfing with Friends

My husband and I love to surf together. We even took our surf boards to Hawaii with us when we married in 2000. I think its one of the reasons he agreed to date me (long story), I told him I was going surfing and that I could teach him. Austin has us so far from the ocean that we needed to find another outlet for the competitive sports component of our relationship. Enter golf! We are both close to terrible, and more importantly pretty equal. My dad got me golf lessons when I was a kid, after I gave up my pipe dream of becoming an olympic gymnast (even longer story). I have a great swing when I manage to hit the ball. My husband beat me last time we golfed, he watched some movies on line and totally improved his swing. We are too poor and occupied with our daughter to golf often, but if we can ever get out their regular don't you know I'm buying some cool golf outfit.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Texas Oil Derrick

This illustration just ran in Alcalde Magazine. I created it using illustrator and photoshop. My art director at UT Austin,Kevin Rathge, and I collaborated on the vision.

I had to work for many years as a lone designer, I don't recommend it. If you really want to grow as an artist it is best to have other artists by your side.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Chicago, LA, Scotland, South Africa, and Heaven

Someone contacted me through Daily Painters Gallery and asked me to do a personal "Visiting family at Christmas Time" illustration. I posted the original illustration in December based loosely on me and my family. I really enjoyed the process of learning where she and her family reside. Any mini geography lesson gets me longing to travel.

At a Table with Friends

I somehow landed at the head of a table and felt a little strange. This illustration is all of us as squares at our table, the colors are based loosely on our shirt colors.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Lucky 13

Here is another of my silly abstract illustrations. I think they would make beautiful large scale paintings. This one was done on the 13th of this month. I was born on Friday the 13th, and married on the 13th. Let's just say I'm a fan of the number. I had to do some historical research recently for a logo design and learned that our country also has close ties with the number 13. The Great Seal of the United States depicts an eagle with a bundle of 13 arrows in its left talon, (referring to the 13 original states), and an olive branch in its right talon.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Snowman in the Moon—Illustration 3

Snowman in the Moon—Illustration 2

Snowman in the Moon—Illustration 1

I had an idea about 10 years ago to write a book about a snowman in the moon. I teamed up with my husband and he wrote a great story. Starting today, I'll post some of the illustrations here.

UT Austin Holiday Card from the President

This card was designed for the President to send out for the holidays. The little bird on the tower got a foil treatment, and the stars a metallic ink. The card was printed on a dark blue over white duplex paper and the tower color was achieved with opaque white ink. Holiday cards have become more and more complicated as you cannot focus on any one holiday. I did not illustrate the tower, but the rest is mine.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010


A friend of mine once recommended that, since I'm a visual artist, I describe my feelings in a visual way. That was wise advice, today it got me out of my funk and left me with a new illustration.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Combing Mommy's Hair and a Tea Party

Here is another take on the favorite things painting. This time with brighter colors on a smaller canvas.