Sunday, January 18, 2015

Moo. Tunes. Pigeons.

New stuff I'm excited about!

My new business cards:

Eh?!  I *heart* MOO...they did a fantastic job printing these mini-artworks/business card!
(Citrus print can be found here)

Am rocking out (a lot) to this tune by Celia Pavey.  It's very happy/pretty/fun...

I feel so bad for pigeons.  They are are the underdogs of the bird world, no?

Ah, Ellie Goulding...this new track is lover-ly...

I've also been immersed in some movies and shows this week:  Mr. Hausfrau and I went on a date to see "The Imitation Game" (SO good!), and I'm almost all the way through "The Bletchley Circle" series.  Last month, I finished the Campion/ Hunter collaboration "Top of the Lake" which was CRAZY good.  I recommend all of these if you were also completely addicted to the "Serial" podcast last year!!

Hope you have an inspired week, wherever you hang your hat.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Little Inspirations

I've been wanting for a while now to work together with the City Archives to find historical subjects to paint.  This is a reciprocal venture that I think will appeal to artists and history lovers alike.

The idea came to me when I was out on a walk on a beautiful day last year.  There are so many beautiful old homes near the studio - they all have a story!  Who lived there?  Was it renovated respectfully?  Is it in desperate need of renovation but still beautiful?

While I work on setting up a formal workshop where Archives and I can pay homage to some of the city's most beautiful old homes, I'll share a quick trial run we tried out in a recent class:

I snapped this picture when I was out for a walk last spring.  This house near the river yearned to be painted...

One interpretation.  We all spent less than an hour on these quick renderings.

...and another.  They turned out exquisitely...effortless and light...ready to be framed and hung!

I do love a quick little sketch in the afternoon.  They always seem to turn out best - unaffected and truthful.  I'm looking forward to leading a watercolour class in the springtime to work on more of these little 'house renderings'!

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Merry and Bright

We have had very full, very festive days as of late.

Here is some of my photo journal:

Do you feel ready for 2015?  What holiday foods rocked your world this year?  Does a new year excite or daunt you?

Sunday, November 30, 2014



Fave new band 'Austra'.  Got the tip from my sister-in-law...merci!  This one is my, THIS one...


We live on a hilltop - we get quite a bit of snow in the winter months.  This year, I'm adding "case of wine" to our list of emergency supplies in case we get stuck up here!  (Ok and I'm sure everyone in the world is already doing this, but I frequently spy on en trend restaurant wine lists for a top rated wine suggestion that isn't too mainstream yet.  This one, I found at this chic little tapas place on Charlotte Street in London.  Like having a personal sommolier!)


A street in Gastown in Vancouver.  We stopped for microbrew IPA beer and Peking duck pizzas
on this walk...


...over this drawing our seven year old Oliver recently made.  What's with the flying radish?!

What is inspiring you these days??

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Quiet Spirit - How I Paint Portraits

Recently, I have happily been selling sets of my portrait prints.  The most recent trio made their way to a brand new loft in Hoxton, a neighborhood in London.

I thought I'd take a few minutes to share my thoughts on portrait illustrating.

When I'm drawing someone's likeness, it's a very quiet, intimate exercise.  After all, I am trying to capture the spirit of someone.  As an artist and an introverted one at that, it's a therapeutic activity - to draw members of my community.  Discovery, or sometimes re-discovery, of one another is a veritable human tendency, necessity...instinct.  What we all have in common with one another is the desire to be seen; to have our lives recognized; our efforts noticed.

When I'm drawing someone's likeness, I can only describe myself as falling in love with the subject.  It isn't as creepy as it sounds, truly!  I learn to love their story - the one I'm seeing in their face.

I work on custom portraits regularly, but also keep "characters" in stock to be printed in a multitude of sizes, ready for you to frame!

Portrait Prints

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Container Couture

I'm most definitely weeks and weeks behind all the other Pacific Northwest gardeners, but I've finally tilled our patches and planted our spring bulbs.

...and I'm beyond thrilled (don't want to say I've been 'obsessed' with these for years ever since I read this article, but...) to have in my possession the most amazing collection of dwarf irises!  I procured them at the local garden shop,  which always carries comprehensive cargo, but have never had quite this selection of rare and coveted dwarf irises.

We are small-space dwellers, and container gardeners, so these littles are the perfect fit.  In my special collection are the following petite species:
  • - danfordiae
  • - katharine hodgkin
  • - j.s. dyt
  • - cantab
  • - natasha

I'm especially excited to have the brilliant plum-hued j.s. dyt and the superbly speckled katharine hodgkin. There are many others who share my enthusiasm for these petite irises;  groupies, unite!

The beautiful Katharine Hodgkin. (source)

I'd also love to plant a fragrance garden, a mono-chromatic planter, and a colour-wheel flower pot.  Maybe next season...

So excited for these to spring forth!

Friday, October 31, 2014

Happy Halloween!

We are suited up and ready to trick or treat!

I've found the perfect "dinner on the go" for Mr. Hausfrau while he chaperones our little werewolf and princess this year:  nicoise salad in a bun!  I can't think of anything nicer.

Tuna Nicoise Sandwich  (source)


  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons white-wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 2 cans oil-packed tuna (6 ounces each), drained
  • 1/4 English cucumber
  • 1/2 small red onion
  • 1 8-inch round loaf country-style bread
  • 3 tablespoons jarred olive tapenade
  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves
  • 2 large eggs, hard-cooked and sliced


  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together oil, vinegar, and mustard; season with salt and pepper. Transfer 2 tablespoons dressing to another bowl; toss with tuna. To remaining dressing, add cucumber and onion; toss to combine.
  2. Cut bread in half horizontally; remove most of soft interior crumb. Spread tapenade on bottom half. Top with basil leaves, then egg slices; season with salt and pepper. Top with tuna, then cucumber mixture; close sandwich.
  3. Wrap sandwich tightly in plastic and place between two baking sheets. Weight with a heavy skillet. Let stand 1 hour (or refrigerate, up to overnight). To serve, cut into quarters.

Happy Halloween!
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