Saturday, December 26, 2015

Holiday Hike

My beautiful niece, Paige and I decided on a 5 mile Christmas morning hike up and down Thunderbird Mountain. She runs marathons so it was my job to keep up with her as we passed most of the other holiday hikers. She gave her Aunt Jen a good workout and I survived to sketch from the one photo we took as we ran by all the other hikers and decorated scrubby trees at the top.
Happy Holidays everyone.
#Arizona #Christmasday #familytime

Monday, December 21, 2015

Jackie—She's 90

My mom is a fifth generation Californian, born and raised in San Francisco. She was married to my dad for 64 years and they lived in the same house for 59 years where they raised three kids. 
She is still going strong and happily lives in Arizona enjoying the warm desert climate. She walks around the block or exercise class everyday though she would rather just read, migrating from couch to couch immersed in 10 books a week. She likes to sneak around without wearing her hearing aids…

Friday, December 18, 2015

Arizona Holidays

I saw this on my run today through the wild west suburbs of Phoenix Arizona and thought it gives a whole new meaning to the words "Christmas Cactus".
‪#‎Arizona‬ ‪#‎Christmas‬ ‪#‎familytime‬

Monday, November 23, 2015

"Little Angels"

A friend asked if I could paint his granddaughters as Christmas presents for his kids. After much angst and haggling I agreed on oils and he on a price. I got out the pliers, twisted open the paint tubes and started to paint. I had such a wonderful time with the buttery feel of the oils and the colors in the fleshtones that I couldn't resist giving them wings. After all its that time of year.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Thank you L.L.Bean

30 years ago a small company in Freeport Maine based on an iconic Maine Hunting Shoe gave this creative girl from California an amazing opportunity when they hired me as an art director. That began my 20 year career at L.L.Bean. 

Sadly, Leon Gorman, who transformed his grandfather's small business L.L.Bean into a premier American brand and global retailer, died recently of cancer at 80. Leon's vision, unwavering commitment to quality and a 100% guarantee on every product sold, along with his love of Maine and the outdoors made him an inspiration to all of us who were honored to work beside him, everyday. 

Thank you Leon, for all you gave to us.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Late summer in Maine

Summer in Maine is so beautiful, but way too short. Grabbed a coffee and my favorite Energy Muffin from Scratch after my run for a sketch before the rest of a warm sunny day indoors at the gallery. Late summer rose hips ripen and the leaves start to turn yellow...and of course there are always seagulls...

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Doodle dogs...everywhere...

Stopped in at Scratch for coffee and a bagel on my way back from my run on the beach. There were "doodles" of every shape and size bounding up and down the beach in "doodle dog heaven". A beautiful summer day in Maine and I am inside working....

Monday, June 8, 2015


Lawrence and Winston—proof that owners and their dogs do look alike.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Every Day in May #30 and Catching Up

Every Day in May #30—a bird feeder
I continue to feed and enjoy my birds, but have developed a system that works for all of us. The feeder stays empty for a few days while we all take a break. When it is finally refilled they are back. Fascinating and hungry as ever...and they are everywhere.

Every Day in May—Catching Up 
Falling behind, I managed to fill a page of challenges last night after recovering on the couch from a long one year anniversary 15 mile Camino walk around Portland. 
With sketch book on my lap looking around the living room:
#10 Something I turn on and off 
#17 Something used for measuring 
#21 A place I sit to read 
#22 Something attached to a wall in my home  
#23 An interesting detail of a building (still on couch)....and of course my BIRDS!!!!

Friday, May 22, 2015

Every Day in May #20—my wallet

I decided to buy a bird feeder a few days ago not knowing I would end up feeding the neighborhood. So many beautiful colorful birds, fascinating to watch and they are very hungry. I realized I was filling the feeder every other day so now a 40 pound bag of bird seed is taking up valuable closet space...
Several days behind, again...

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Every Day in May #19

Every Day in May #19—a cupcake
Delicious Gluten-Free chocolate coconut cupcakes for my wonderful Gluten-Free friend Elizabeth from the delectable Gluten-Free Bam Bam Bakery in Portland Maine.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Every Day in May—#14, #15 & #18

Every Day in May #18—Lipstick
I never leave the house without wearing lipstick. I even brought lipstick on the 500 mile "Camino de Santiago" walk across Spain. Every morning, for 32 days, I would pull on my boots, hoist a pack on my back, apply my bright red lipstick and set forth on another days adventure. It truly was a Buen Camino!

Every day in May #15—Something I would give/throw away
I bought these shoes for an event a year ago. I keep them because the are so darn cute, but frankly I can’t even get beyond the front door. Extremely high heel, extremely pointy toe and extremely painful.
I have been dragging this bracelet around since sometime in the nineties. Big gaudy rhinestones on a big fake gold band. Did I really wear this…
They are both—OUT!

Every Day in May #14—Something I use everyday
My keys with the "carabiner organizing system" that makes perfect me...

Friday, May 15, 2015

Every Day in May #9, #11 and #13

Every Day in May #13—The last thing I bought
Beautiful bracelets handmade in Maine by "The Ropes".
Colorful and fun to wear especially with my grandmother's gold chain bracelet. Each piece is made from elements of the working waterfront—authentic marine ropes, dock line and hardware. I love them!!!

Every Day in May #11—A hat, cap or headgear

This fabric scrunchie is "running headgear". It is made from brightly colored 1/2" fabric strips knotted onto an elastic band which took hours to make. I twist it around my hair and wear it when I run.

Every Day in May #9—something with an interesting label
Neighbors Meghan Tippit Gaven and her husband own the The Honey Exchange in Portland Maine. Their business is like a “ Honey Bee Hub” supporting local beekeepers who sell their honey, beeswax products, and other products of the hive and educating all of us about the importance of honey bees for the planet. We have hives here in Willard Beach tucked into fruitful “ bee friendly” backyards around the hood. I was given a precious jar of “Ocean Breeze Honey Bees” honey. Raw and unfiltered it crystallized in my honey bear container, but as the jars says, just heat it up and it is delicious!!!

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Every Day in May #7—an envelope

It is not easy keeping up with a daily challenge even though there is a list. What about when you can’t figure out how to draw the seemingly uninteresting subject for that day…

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Every Day in May #6—something with bristles

This designer travel version of my beloved Sonic electric toothbrush goes with me when ever I leave home. It went with me to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro and the 500 miles across Spain on the Camino de Santiago. I'm pretty sure I was one of the only ones with an electric tooth brush on both adventures.

Every Day in May #5—something hot

My sister, niece and I love these rose scented candles. They are inexpensive so we have them burning in all the rooms—Love them!!!

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Every Day in May #4—bottles of herbs or spices

Bottled and herbal, my favorite Coconut infused Balsamic Vinegar from Le Roux kitchen. I love going in and sampling the olive oils and vinegars—delish!

Monday, May 4, 2015

Every Day in May #2 & #3

Every Day in May #3—Curtains
I've gotten behind...stumped by curtains. I mentioned this to a friend and she suggested prayer flags. I happened to have and hung them on my shutters. 
Day #4...I'm on it...

Every Day in May #2—draw a tree
Sometimes things just turn out a mess…like this Magnolia tree and Forsythia which are pretty much the only things blooming in Maine. But it’s a sketch a day and as Scarlett O’Hara said "After all, tomorrow is another day” ...and another sketch.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Every Day in May #1—Favorite Food

Every year, I attempt the "Every Day in May” sketch challenge except last year when my challenge was to walk every day in May across Spain… 
It is clearly a challenge to draw and post everyday, but the list makes it easier because the drawing subject is already decided. It's great fun to be part of a daily worldwide drawing community as I sit here in Maine watching spring finally unfold.
So here I go again. Every Day in May #1—Favorite Food
Now what tree should I draw tomorrow...

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

"Tucson Desert Museum"

A few weeks ago, I spent a warm weekend drawing in the Saguaro National Park with my good friend the talented Donna Campbell McMenamin. Now I am back in Maine where we can’t seem to shake the grips of winter. Still cold and I'm wearing a parka. Remembering those lovely warm desert days.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

A pilgrim friend

There are many reasons for walking the Camino de Santiago, yet I don’t completely understand the one real reason or its meaning and impact on one's life. That is the question I continue to discuss with a Canadian pilgrim friend I met on the Camino, almost a year later.
Maybe someday I will figure it out…

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Tools of my new trade

I have temporarily given up my drawing and painting tools for hammers, screwdrivers and drills as my sister and I have been proudly using the garage full of tools we inherited from our beloved late father to do renovations on our mom’s new home. My sister and I looked at each other and said "we can do this” and we have. 
We have installed all new light fixtures, dimmer switches, all new door handles, towel bars and the largest, heaviest TV on the planet onto a wall after finding the studs and screwing in the giant 3” bolts with the longest drill bit I have ever seen…and then we started on the unfriendly Arizona landscape…ouch!
Maybe someday I will draw again…

"The Donna McMenamin Collection"

After a day out in the desert, we spent the evening in Donna's studio drawing, painting and wandering through her extensive art library. A perfect day for two sketching friends.
Donna has more pens and brushes that anyone...

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Nola the Rhino

Daily sketches 2015—
Sketched Nola, one of the few Northern White Rhinos left on the planet in between working on another portrait illustration for a commercial client. I can't seem to get the latest headshot right, so the are many reversions of initial sketches blanketing the floor around my desk...

Sunday, February 22, 2015

"For the love of dogs"

I started drawing the Westminster dog show last week...then winter got in the way. I picked it up to work on it today between other stuff, but it had been awhile. I think that cute French Bulldog with the polka dots should have won...
Dog drawing so donated to Best Friends Animal Society whose mission is to save them all.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Thank you Danny Gregory

Snowed in again—but look what landed on my doorstep.
After many years of a career in advertising, I knew there was something missing in the feeding and caring of my creative spirit. So in 2007, I bought a sketchpad and a pen and started to draw—I was terrible!!! Looking for some guidance and inspiration I walked out of a local bookstore with “The Creative License” by Danny Gregory and read it cover to cover that day. He inspired me to make daily drawing part of my life. Thank you Danny Gregory for inspiring this “everyday life sketcher”.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

More snow and another blizzard...

I have been back in Maine for 3 weeks and we have had about 6 feet of snow. They are predicting more snow this weekend—possibly 12-18 inches and bitter cold—I’m so over this!!! 
Between shoveling and working I try to sketch, but I find I am very distracted. So next to my project, I put a piece of paper and sketched things laying around on my work table. 
That's it...except for more shoveling...

Sunday, February 8, 2015

"Un-Dogly Socks Rock"

Mom returned the silly boots that made we walk funny and freeze in my tracks and replaced them with these stripy gripper socks. After a first failed attempt when they ended up strewn along the sidewalk, mom secured them with her hairbands and now they work great. I can walk and run along without limping from the pain infused into my paws by this “un-dogly" cold weather. 
We are so over winter...and white Gouache!!!
We missed a few—time to donate to Best Friends Animal Society whose mission is to save them all.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

“Zen and the Art of Shoveling & Mitten Mudra"

Daily Sketches 2015   “Zen and the Art of Shoveling"

Zen is mindfulness and making the most of any given moment. Any task done with mindfulness and care is infused with quality. 
It has snowed 4 feet with frigid temperatures since I arrived back in Maine two weeks ago. I have shoveled a lot of snow applying to the best of my knowledge a Zen-like mindfulness as I embrace the situation. After bundling up, I pull on my “mitten/gloves”, do a Gyan Mudra for courage, wisdom and creativity and I jump off the front porch into the snow. 

Monday, February 2, 2015

"Snowing sideways...AGAIN"

Daily Skethes 2015—“Snowing sideways…AGAIN!!!"

This morning I found mom standing in front of the TV, staring at the weather report. She started suiting us up for our walk muttering “are you kidding me”!!! Snowing sideways and they are predicting we will get 12"-14”. It is 5° but with winds blowing at 20-30 miles per hour it feels like it’s -13°.
After mom took me for a walk she decided my boots are being returned to the store because she has to pull me sliding along on the snow—"Heck, I’m scared"! She then made me pose in front of the mirror for this “selfie”. She says there is nothing else to draw in the house and we are clearly stuck inside until the shoveling begins....AGAIN. (So, what's she smiling about?)

Friday, January 30, 2015

How humiliating!!!

Daily Sketches 2015—“Snowing…AGAIN”
After I got groomed yesterday mom got fixated on getting me doggy snow boots after she noticed me hopping around on three legs on the frozen/salted ground. I made it as difficult as possible for her to get them on me, but in the end she and the salesperson…and the treats prevailed. I stood my ground, frozen in place until she tugged at the leash and I managed an undignified “prancing, goose step, kick out walk" out the front door…so embarrassing...

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Daily Sketches —2015 “It's Over”

I survived “Winter Storm Juno” with the 24 hours of hurricane force blowing sideways snow. They say we got 24 inches, but what about the 10 foot snow drifts that are blocking my front door and my car. Maybe it will melt…

Let the shoveling begin.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

"The calm before the storm"

Daily Sketches—2015 "The calm before the storm”

I have been back in Maine for less than a week and so far we have had a 4” snow storm, below zero temperatures and now a blizzard called “Juno” with hurricane force winds and 1-3 feet of snow. I came back way to soon!!!
After all the media reports yesterday, I was sure we were all going to die so Sophie and I went for a walk to Scratch for a cup of coffee, a bagel and a dog treat...before all hell brakes loose...

Sunday, January 25, 2015

January 24—"Snowbound"

"Daily Sketches—2015"
"Home is where the heart is"...and the chew toys... 
Snowbound has me attacking my taxes and Sophie her beloved duck. Sophie is small and mighty and determined to rip the stuffing out of her toys so I buy the unstuffed variety. 
This year I decided when a dog appeared in one of my daily drawings I would donate a small gift to a shelter. I realized at the end of the day that I had forgotten to do that when I posted my sketch of Sophie yesterday. 
Today a small gift to Best Friends Animal Society.

Friday, January 23, 2015

"Daily Sketches—2015" Travel day and first day back home in Maine

I am in awe of anyone who can sketch at an airport or "are you kidding" on the plane. With good intention, I always lug a sketch kit with me, along with too many other things including my dog. Usually I get lost in a Jack Reacher or Myron Bolitar novel. This time I managed a quick sketch of a glass of wine and pretzels (my food for the day) before I read. I arrived home to dark, cold and wintery Maine, an empty refrigerator and fell into bed. 
When I awakened this morning, I was starving and it was a chilly °23....brrrrrrrrrrrrrr.....

For 12 years I have awakened with this face staring at me with that "time to go out" look. Feeling very frisky after a good night's sleep buried in the down comforter, Sophie, my little 13 lb rescue Bichon mix will try to take down some of the biggest dogs in the hood. It's embarrassing...
Every Day Matters #14—Draw what you see in the morning when you get up.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Daily Sketches 2015—EDM prompt #15 Draw a tree

"Daily Sketches—2015"
Arizona sunset last night from the back yard. It is hard to keep up with daily drawings with all that is going on with my mom and her new home. I do manage to get something on paper most days, but much of the time they are rushed and just terrible. At these times I take a moment and knit. We are all in this project together as we knit dog blankets for charity with all the leftover yarn from years and generations of family knitting. Knit one, purl two, breathe and then I will sketch.
Every Day Matters—#15 Draw a tree or trees

Saturday, January 17, 2015

The creature in the front yard

Daily Sketches 2015—“The creature in the front yard”
The Arizona sunrises and sunsets are colorful and dramatic over the unusual and sculptural vegetation of the desert landscape. Prickly, thorny, and seemingly unfriendly like this very large scary cactus that seems to have fallen over and growing sideways. Unfortunately its "creature-like" presence dominates our front yard. Possible solution is move it and park its butt up against the neighbors side yard…or it’s OUT!

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Daily Sketches 2015—Mom's hands

“Daily Sketches—2015”
These are my mom’s gnarly old hands complete with her big gold rings and holiday glitter nail polish. These hands cooked a lot of meals, did a lot of dishes, and raised three kids while keeping the the same house clean for 58 years. At 89 they now pretty much just hold a kindle or a book. When the manicurist was guaranteeing the glittery nail polish would stay on for three weeks, she gave him the "I don’t believe you face" and asked “even when I do dishes?” at which time I had to remind her that she didn’t do dishes anymore...
Every Day Matters—#10 draw a hand or hands.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Daily Sketches 2015—"Arty/Sketchy Chaos"

“Daily Sketches—2015”
For now, I am spread out all over the dining room table at my family’s new home in Arizona. Glass top and all I have pens, brushes, pencils, wads of wet paper towels, my palette, a jar of water and various plastic zip bags filled with stuff. No one seems to mind or notice all the water and paint spots on the glass…yet. Then they will be glad to see me and my chaotic "arty/sketchy” mess head back to frozen Maine.

Every Day Matters—#9 draw a bit of organized chaos
#sketch #art-supplies