Grateful Dead lyrics can be so beautiful, mysterious and with lovely nature references. The piece below was inspired by the song, Ripple, written by Robert Hunter and Jerry Garcia. Here are some of the lyrics:
“If my words did glow with the gold of sunshine
And my tunes were played on the harp unstrung
Would you hear my voice come through the music
Would you hold it near as it were your own?…
Ripple in still water
When there is no pebble tossed
Nor wind to blow
Reach out your hand if your cup be empty
If your cup is full may it be again…”
Often, I’ll digitally alter my art to create a few different color versions for prints. The original hand cut paper collage was light green and white, but I really like how the red and light blue one turned out. (Sometimes I like the digitally colored versions better than the original!)
Prints are available in my shop. All prints are archival, printed with ink on 100% cotton fine art paper. They are open edition because they are giclee prints AND it would suck if my favorite musicians only released 200 copies of their songs. I would never do that to you. 🙂
On one of my trips to Wisconsin I laid on a hammock and looked up at many dragonflies zipping around at a fast pace to catch insects. I see them on ponds and watched them gliding over the water and resting on lily pads while canoeing in northern Wisconsin.
The dragonfly is a symbol of changing direction in your life. This piece was commissioned by someone who’s mother was going through a major life change. Here is the finished commission piece I completed in 2015.
Clients responded to this piece so much that I went on to edit it and change the colors and composition digitally to create two more pieces:
Black and White Dragonfly, Digitally Altered Collage Print, 2015
You know that I can do collage, but did you know that I can also paint? My degree is a BFA with a concentration in painting and drawing. Here are some examples of new and old paintings:
Above is a large scale mural I did for my sister. It went from floor to ceiling on their high, Victorian era home walls, and wrapped around half the room.
Below is a commission for a cute holiday festival poster I did for a Waldorf school using gouache paint. Gouache paint is lovely because it can be thinned to a watercolor consistency or used without much water, like acrylics.
This is an oil portrait painting I did using a photograph that I took of my grandma. She meant a lot to me and shared her love of plants and gardening.
Below is an owl illustration commission, painted on a puzzle. This was done for a pastor’s church sermon. Everyone got a piece of the puzzle to assemble as a group.
If you are interested in commissioning a painting, mural or a portrait, please contact me.
In 2015 I was asked to create a bighorn sheep collage for a baby boy’s nursery room by my cousin who grew up in Colorado. We took many trips to Colorado in the summers to visit and I never saw a bighorn sheep. My family was huge on spending time outside and visiting National and State Parks growing up. Even on those trips, I never saw a bighorn.
Finally, in May of 2016, I went on a trip to South Dakota with two friends. We saw so much wildlife at Custer State Park, but no sheep. Every time we ventured out from the hotel, we saw a sign that read “Bighorn Sheep Crossing,” but no herds were to be seen.
On the last day of the trip, we went to the Badlands on our way home. Our plan was to go hiking through the hills. We drove around a bit and that’s when we stopped to see an overlook. There on the steep cliffs were the sheep, soaking up the sun! It was so exciting to see some in nature after studying them for the collage art. It was spring so they didn’t have the horns yet, however. Next time I want to visit in the fall to see the beautiful horns!
Watching the sheep.
Sign near Hill City, South Dakota.
Visit my shop to purchase prints of the sheep and see other woodland and mountain animal art.
I also have a digitally altered color set of prints too.
Objects that we create seem to have some of our own inner magic infused. I wish you could see this flower still life in person because you can feel how magical it is with 15 flowers made by the cutest preschoolers in Aurora, Illinois (and 2 by their teachers). Here is one of them: It was so much fun talking to the kids about art and the shapes they saw in the flowers. They cut out shapes and used some of the shapes I provided too. Then, used gloss medium with paintbrushes to create their flowers with minimal direction.
When I first took the flowers to my studio after working with the kids in their classroom, I was a little nervous about how I was going to make the collage look like a cohesive design. All the flowers looked so different, and some were so abstract it was hard to make out a flower shape, which I loved about them, but also felt challenged. Something else that I love about the flowers is that they are unpredictable, beautifully textured and layered.
I didn’t want to add too much to the kids’ flowers for a few reasons. 1.) I wanted them to recognize their flower art and be proud of it. 2.) I feel like changing someone’s art may make them feel as if their art/they aren’t good enough. In the end, I did add to a few of them for design and composition purposes to make a more cohesive piece that may draw more money for the auction. They are all so beautiful!
Here is the finished piece:
If you are interested in a flower collage workshop for kids or adults, please contact me. See more of my work here.
The mid century modern style flower artworks I did for my sister are deeply meaningful. I loved discovering that flowers are a secret language. My sister and I don’t always get along, but it was so nice to create these pieces as a way to offer peace and strength to her. Here are some of the meanings for the flowers I used below:
Reeds symbolize music
Garlic symbolizes courage and strength
Star of Bethlehem symbolizes atonement
Periwinkle symbolizes sweet memories
The image on the left shows the original collage colors. On the right, you can see that I like to play around with color on the computer too. Changing the color gives the pieces a whole different feeling.
Here is another flower collage using some of the same flowers:
Reeds symbolize music
Garlic symbolizes courage and strength
White Tulips mean forgiveness
If you’d like your own flower painting or mixed media art to give as a meaningful custom art gift, please contact me. If you’d like to buy a print of one of the flower collages above, please visit my shop.
Happy Valentine’s Day! Here is my latest, silliest collage based on Pheobe’s, of the show Friends, lobster love idea. Pheobe says to Ross regarding Rachel when he gets sad about her possibly dating another guy: “She’s your lobster…. It’s a known fact that lobsters fall in love and mate for life. You know you can actually see old lobster couples walking around their tank and holding claws!” Aw, Friends.
This collage was made for two musicians in Milwaukee, Michael Clobes of Cold Sweat and The Brew City Horns, and Chrissy Dzioba of The Whiskeybelles (I’m a huge fan!). My good friend, Chrissy, commissioned the illustration art as a Valentine’s Day gift and wanted to represent the cities where they are from in the collage. Santiago, Chile is on the left and Milwaukee is on the right. Michael plays an Edwards trombone and the guitar in the art is Chrissy’s custom Gibson SJ-200 Bob Dylan Player’s Edition. They are just two cute lobster musicians floating around in their row boat, and so in love.
If you’d like a custom collage with your lobster for an anniversary gift (paper year, perhaps?), engagement present, or any other occasion, please contact me. And, don’t worry if you haven’t found your lobster yet. I never thought I’d find mine, but it happened. Love to you all!
My husband, Tony, is a HUGE Phish fan. He’s been to over 100 shows and counting. Luckily, when I met him Phish was on a break. (I think he was bored, since his favorite band wasn’t touring.) I soon found out that this music is very important to him. Don’t get me wrong, I love music, but didn’t understand the deep connection he had with this band and their concerts.
When Phish got back together, we went to some shows together and I was hooked. The energy of the crowd was incredible… the lights… the moments when the music takes your heart and aligns it with the beat of the universe… I wish we could afford to tour or go to more shows together as it was such a bonding experience (ahem: buy my art please), especially, since I’m starting to learn when to throw the glow sticks!
(The piece above is a digitally altered version of the first Fishman donut wearing owl I did in 2014. I wanted this owl print to look happier, with more harmonious colors.)
(The middle image below is a version of one of my ram collage prints that I digitally altered with Fishman doughnuts. A couple of Phish fans in New Jersey decorated their baby girl’s nursery with one of the Phish owl prints and wanted something else to match it.)
Bighorn Sheep Illustration with Wildflowers
(Below is the first Fishman owl I did in 2014.)
So, it’s a good thing I am now a Phish fan. I’m not sure we would be married right now if I’d decided that I didn’t like this band, right Tony? Lol. We are even raising a cute, little Phish fan together now.
If you want me to add Fishman donuts to one of my existing designs or want to purchase a print please visit my shop. If you are interested in licensing one of my images (The happy baby owl would look so cute on a kids’ shirt, wouldn’t it?) please contact me.
At the Alley Art Festival in Aurora, Illinois in August of 2016, I met the new Executive Director of the Aurora Regional Fire Museum, Brian Failing. He asked me to do a project for the museum – a series of prints to sell in the museum shop.
I started doing research at the Aurora Historical Society, digging up old photos of Aurora. It was really amazing to see what Aurora looked like in the 1800’s and early 1900’s. Seeing the photos of the beautiful buildings and crowded streets made me appreciate the city where I live more. I’m so thankful for that.
Next, I went to the museum to do more research on the fire history and vintage fire trucks. Their library was so nicely organized. I collected a lot of material, including photographs of their fully restored fire trucks. Then I went to work creating three original collages, which will be for sale in the Aurora Regional Fire Museum until the end of 2017. (Prints are for sale in the museum store.)
This museum is a unique gem in Aurora. The architecture is beautiful. If you have kids they have a very nice play area within the museum, including books, a fire house, fire gear to wear, and lots of toy firetrucks.
I am so grateful to have been able to help a non-profit in my community. If you would like me to do a project for your non-profit, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. View more of my work here.
Thank you to all of the firefighters in Aurora and everywhere!!
A child loves their parent, a teen pushes them away, and an adult… well, I can look back on it all. Sometimes I wonder what my Dad was thinking and sometimes I look back, smile and think, “Wow! He taught me that.” Story telling and jokes are some of the areas where my dad excelled. He has a way of bringing his stories to life, especially the ones about animals.
One of the stories my dad told us growing up was about a man who got his toe bitten off by a musky while fishing in Wisconsin. It’s partially a true story, although his toe didn’t get bitten off completely. It was good enough to scare my sister and I. We swam in a musky fishing lake daily in the summer, living only a block away from Pewaukee Lake in Wisconsin. Sometimes when I would swim, I would wonder about the big fish with teeth swimming around in the lake next to, or below me. In reality, they were scared of me, but the story was always in the back of my mind. This print is based on that story and the beautiful sunsets we would see that seemed to turn the lake and the sky completely orange.
The muskellunge is very large compared to the small fishing boat. It reminds me of going fishing and wondering if I’d catch that huge fish this time.
Thank you, Dad, for your story telling, exaggerating, and teaching me about the great outdoors!
To buy a print of this hunter orange musky fishing art illustration, please visit my shop.