Dream Big


Not every bride is considerate enough to present her mom with a gift on her wedding day.  (I know I didn’t think of it… sorry, Mom!  I wish I had!)

This sweet daughter has a one-of-a-kind mom who has always made her dreams come true.  When they were planning her wedding, they comfortably threw around idea after idea, each bigger and more impressive than the last.

The most off-the-wall idea was to put swans in the reflecting pool at the reception site: Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Oregon.  Swans became a running joke between them when it came to wedding planning, representing that pie-in-the-sky dream that seemed a little too far out. 

The bride sent me some photos of the reception site and asked me to illustrate the gardens with swans and lily pads in the reflecting pool.  What a dreamy vision.


This gift will symbolize the big dreams the daughter feels capable of reaching, thanks to her mom, who taught her to imagine them.  All the best wishes and lots of love to these two amazing women!


Real-time update: a guestbook in progress

I got the most exciting text this weekend!

I'd been asked to create a guestbook for Kristen and Drew's wedding on July 12.  To my surprise, my client sent me a picture of the guestbook under way!

This was such a treat, as I rarely get to see these guestbooks in action.  I loved seeing how they set up the station.  I liked how they included the sample thumbprint card on the table, to show guests what to do… good thinking!

Kristen was receiving this guestbook as a wedding gift from their best man, Eric.  She plans to frame this artwork in their living room, which has a lot of deep blue and green.  Kristen was so nice to work with on this project, guiding me in terms of color and wording.  She also sent me a digital copy of their wedding invitation so I could mimic their chosen fonts.

Some gratuitous watercolor close-ups… loooove that watercolor effect!

Thanks so much for the update, Eric!  You have no idea how excited I was to catch a glimpse of the wedding day!

A Proposal for Posterity


On April 11, 2013, a very special marriage proposal took place on the High Line in New York City.

The wise and thoughtful beau planned ahead and had a photographer capture the moment in secret.  She hid while the gentleman led his lady to a special location and got down on one knee to ask the big question.

She said yes!  And lucky for them, they have a set of beautiful photographs from the proposal to treasure for years.

The first photo I saw from the proposal was via Instagram:

They’re gorgeous, aren’t they?  A dear friend of the bride agreed, and contacted me about commemorating the event in a painting. 

The photographer, Caroline Frost, was very generous to send me the original photograph, unfiltered and uncropped.  It was a fantastic source photo.

Here are some more in-progress and detail shots of the painting:

I find it difficult to paint people’s likenesses so tiny like this, but I think this captures their spirit and excitement during that moment! 

I'm so pleased I was able to join in making this special gift for the couple!

Not Yo Poppa's Penguins

OK… I might need to hire someone to come up with blog post titles for me.  This one is a stretch.  The painting is of penguins… but they’re abstract… so I was thinking of Mr. Popper’s Penguins… and also that phrase “Not Yo Mama’s _____”… what do you think?  Does it work?  Hmm, let’s move on…

This project was so much fun!  The parameters were perfectly challenging and the painting was playful and looks GREAT – check it out!


This bedroom needed an impactful piece of artwork for the wall.   Here is a photo of the bedroom and the existing color scheme:


The bedroom is at the end of a long hallway, so the piece of art would be seen from down the hall.  It needed to have lots of colors and look abstract, at least from far away.


Knowing the occupant of this bedroom, I was aware of her love – nay – her passion for penguins.  This girl goes to a zoo and corrects the caretakers about the lives of the penguins.  It’s an interest she’s harbored her entire life, so I thought penguins would make a safe subject for this piece.


I loved the client’s color palette – it was warm and rich, a bit fall-ish but still happy.  They allowed me to keep a pillow from the bedroom while I worked in the studio, so I could keep some color tones fresh in my mind.

penguin colors

Up close, you can see that this piece is full of loosely rendered penguins with multicolored bellies.  They look playful and social and busy – sort of like the recipient of this piece!  But from afar, the piece provides a bright field of color that attracts your eye in both the room and down the hallway.