Sunday, September 20, 2009

Jane Austen

I must start reading Pride and Prejudice today! And why haven't I read it sooner?

Thursday, September 3, 2009

'The First Christmas Stocking' by Vicki Lindley Reece

Finished! - as you can see, I changed the arrangement of coins.

Vicki is SO WONDERFUL because she had no idea what anguish I went through getting the coins the way I wanted them - and she told me they were her favorite part! Success!

What I ended up using to get the sharpness I wanted was use an 18 kt. Gold leafing pen by Krylon - it worked right over the pastels! The metalic-ness of the coins shows a lot more and I felt pretty happy in the end.

Although the book and dvd are not for sale yet, email me and I can get you in contact with Vicki if you're interested. This is what Vicki wrote:

"The First Christmas Stocking is based on one of earliest
legends of St. Nicholas, where he saves three girls who
were destitute. Nicholas hears of their plight, and under
the cover of night drops a bag of gold through the window.
Legend has it that it fell into a stocking hanging to
dry. Yes, that is the source of our tradition of hanging
stockings at Christmas!
I took the few paragraphs from "The Golden Legend" and
made up a storyline...and an evil character who steals
their money. Then I did alot of research about the
historical Nicholas, and did my best to stay close to who
he was and what scriptures about giving would have shaped
a young man who later became a priest and bishop and
developed an amazing reputation for giving.
This summer we recorded the voiceovers, and then children
from the town of Jesup, Iowa drew pictures ! We had guidelines
for the characters so that there was continuity from page
to page...with 30 illustrators!
We even found some pictures that my daughters (the
original illustrators) had drawn 10 years ago and
surprised them by including them in the DVD. All the
illustrations are with markers.
Of course I was so thankful that my best friend, and
favorite artist Mary Telfer Holden illustrated the
cover--even on short notice! :) Oh to be so talented!!
I am currently editing a short book to accompany the
story...which is all about giving. The discussions will
be be geared to memories about Christmas, giving, our
hopes, fears and feelings about money and giving.
Included are brief scriptures and prayers, written to
gently transform our hearts as we allow Spirit to work
within us. I believe there will be healing and
generousity released through this project.
I've bought the domain
and hope to launch the story there...
not sure of a timeline yet!
It would be fun if others listen to the story, and create
pictures too!
By the way, I was pregnant when I wrote the story, and
named my daughter after the heroine in the story!"



I blended the colors and values together, imagining the light coming from the left.

Now take a look at changing the composition of the coins.

the Stocking

I then chose a dark, rich red for the stocking. I knew she didn't want it 'too Christmassy' but it seemed like the right color - red and green are complimenary colors, Christmas or not! I added a few values and white to show form.

The composition of where the coins fall bothers me.

Started with the background

So, I used 140# Richeson watercolor paper and Unison pastels.

I started with the background because then the foreground can literally lay over the background to show a little depth. I was thinking neutrals. I like the foresty green because it's subtle, but suggests it's laying outside. And the stone wall has to be there, but not overpower the stocking and pouch.

A commissioned pastel - with not much time

A week ago my best friend, Vicki, who wrote a story called 'The first Christmas Stocking' called me and said she needed the cover artwork for the dvd - in two days! She would never have thrown this on me without much notice without a very good reason.

The reason was her producer said 'I need the artwork by Wednesday night.' and Vicki's response was 'What artwork?' - that's what friends are for! I was coming back into town so basically I had less than one day to do this - but she is worth it!

She wanted a stocking (not too Christmassy) and a pouch with gold coins. She wanted the stocking draped - but she didn't know what it should be draped on.

I had to use my imagination and combine Vicki's vision with my vision and hope for the best since there was no time.

Here's my pencil sketch.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Macha Tea House in Madison, Wisconsin

I went to Madison Wisconsin last weekend to see my daughters and we went to Macha, this amazing tea house. There is original art on all of the walls, the owners are friendly and helpful and the tea and fresh baked food is excellent. If you're in that area, check out Macha!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Crayola Markers

Last weekend I was lucky enough to watch a demonstration by artist, Sigrid Wonsil. Using crayola markers she did portraits of people in bars, when she was in college, to earn spending money. She was very good and very fast. I tried a few of my own here and I have to say it was fun, immediate, and satisfying.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

another w/c crayon flower

Here's the last one that was in my car!
Check out my website if you haven't:

Friday, August 7, 2009

Watercolor Crayons

We used Watercolor Crayons in my classes last week and I did some very quick ones here to show how fast you can work with them. Each took me about five - ten minutes. They're small, 5 x 7 inches. I scribbled in the crayons dry, then brushed them with a wet brush to smooth, and blend the color. It is incredibly fun - a great thing to try if you 're frustrated with traditional watercolor and want a bit more control. I have one more I may post later that I left in my car.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Family Reunion in Joliet, IL

Yesterday was the family reunion. I had soooo much fun! My cousins are nothing less than hilarious!!!
the Girl cousins - Lori, Debbie, Me, and Tammy (Pam couldn't make it this year, Hi Pam!)
And Debbie showing us her new dance steps - for some reason it won't let me upload the video! Darn - I have 'Turn the beat Around' still stuck in my head - she's only been dancing since September! I would so take lessons with you, Deb, if I lived closer!!!
I will post more when my brother, Bill sends me the big group photo.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Step 6

Then I added the medium tones and a little bit of pure white, and pure, unblended pastel.

This was done from a photo a friend gave me. Although if I were to do it again I would probably make the main flower slightly bigger or bring it down slightly further.

Step 6

Going back to darks/brights.

Step 4

Starting to take shape.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

step 3

Not a good step... should have skipped that underpainting - trying to preserve some of the sketch was useless. It's like that middle stage, where you want to give up - like an adolescent... it started off nice, but now it just has to grow up to be beautiful again. : )

I gave it a try, but not so crazy about it... I don't really know what the point is. So, I added soft pastels, my favorite, and I think the original underpainting was kind of a waste.

pink pastel flowers

I tried something new. I've heard that using hard pastels as an underpainting is something some artists do. I gave it a try.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Sunset in Oceanside, CA

So, this is an 11" x 14" pastel I did with my unison pastels on 140# Richeson cold press watercolor paper - the last night I was in Oceanside visiting my cousin. That's him leaning against a rock - he called my cell while I was on another part of the beach to tell me I had to come over and see the sunset. I will mail it to him next week along with the pastel of Leo. It's a nice memory.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Good Day to be a Sox fan!!!

MARK BUEHRLE PERFECT GAME!!! There have been only 17 perfect games in professional baseball history and only one by the White Sox in 1922.

Today Mark Buehrle did it... and I was fortunate enough to remember to watch the game this afternoon. I LOVE IT!!!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Here it is, Kathy!

Per Kathy L.'s request in the last blog entry - she wanted more photos of Evie, my daughter Liz's greyhound.
Here is Evie with her new sister, Teresa! Can you see the love? They are both such sweet dogs. If anyone wants to know about how to adopt a greyhound, just let me know.

I think Leo is really finished now

I gave it a couple of days and decided the greens surrounding "Leo" were just too green and took away from him. I added some blues and purple, not too much, though. I'm happier with it now. I will look for a frame and send it off to San Diego!
I heard that Snoopy and the Red Baron song on my way home from ECC today... and I just love that song!!!
Also, if you live in Northern Illinois, I feel I should mention that The Colonial restaurant is having 50 cent cones for the whole month of July... I just found out today when I saw a giant ice cream cone on a pick up truck with a sign... the girls in my art class and I went there straight after class. I cannot say enough good things about the chocolate peanut butter... I HIGHLY recommend you go straight there right now!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Sox game Sunday

In contrast to the fashion show - I went to a Sox game yesterday! But really, don't you think the mascot "Southpaw" looks pretty cute in his uniform?
We (Amanda, me and Liz), felt like we had a brush with a real celebrity!!!
The Sox lost..... actually got killed, BUT so did Minnesota and Detroit so no need to worry. And it was the most gorgeous day to sit and eat two veggie dogs in the sun. We had great seats!

Midwest Fiber and Folk show

I had so much fun being one of the judges for the Garment Competition/Fashion Show at the Midwest Fiber and Folk show this weekend. The colorful shall worn as a skirt is called "Cornfields of DeKalb County" (first place) designed by Peggy Rauhut. I thought the creativity is outstanding!
The taupe colored shawl is called "Celtic Inspired Shawl" designed and handknit by Christie Jensen.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Leo completed

Here's Leo! But maybe I'll take another look at it later to see if I need to make any changes.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


I was in San Diego a couple of weeks ago to visit my cousin, Ronnie. I fell IN LOVE with his cat, Leo. He's only about a year old and gigantic. And you can pick him up and carry him around and he's so laid back... someone in my class today suggested it's because he's a California Cat, very easy going. Anyway, so my cousin doesn't know this yet, but I'm working on this pastel of Leo to give to him.

It's not finished - The criss-cross lines by his face are long blades of grass that he was laying in. I'm going out of my comfort zone and used water with the Unison pastels... also, I'm thinking of leaving the edges rough and fade them out instead of making the whole painting the same. I'll post a photo in a day or so to show the finished painting.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Animal Portrait Class this weekend... Fun!

I guess I lied when I said I'd write about my art and life daily.... small exageration... but here I am and trying to do better... to write more often!

I taught at the Art Expo in Lisle, IL this weekend - the people taking the classes were awesome. Thanks to all of you. I learn so much and have so much fun while doing it. The pet portrait class is always a favorite because the people in it love animals. This really is a good way to live!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Telfleur Benefit show for Crystal Lake Food Pantry

Last weekend was the fifth annual show in my studio. This one was a benefit for the Crystal Lake Food Pantry, a wonderful source of assistance for residents in need.
Let me know if you're interested in any of the artwork:
THANKS to all twenty-one artists and people who bought some of the work!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009


Another watercolor (Easter themed!) with a little bit of pastel pencil added after it dried. I hope you like it! Take a look at my website: to see more.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Yellow and pink rose

I haven't blogged in so long! So, this is a small rose that I recently painted in watercolor. There's a tiny bit of pastel added after it dried. It's 5" x 7".

Send me an email if you like it!