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Pupner running

April 7, 2011

My way hip, way great husband Matthew gave me the most funnest, bestest toy—a Wacom Cintiq 12WX. It’s basically a touch-screen tablet for drawing digitally. I’ve put the training wheels on and, of course, my first sketch is a pupper on the run. I’m still not sure it can replace the feel of good ol’ pencil and paper, but it sure is a way cool, way useful tool.

Illustration Friday—Duet

April 6, 2011


Two bear meet two fish and all I can imagine is that they will break out in a joyous “duet“… make that a joyous double “duet.” I can pretend.

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Wizards of Shoes

March 30, 2011

A top secret birthday event called for a top secret illustration, so mum’s the word.

Just ideas on paper related to a fashionista kitty, a hip gal of tin, a crazy bird that scares, and a country bumpkin’s quest for precious slippers…

Then again in the words of Forest Gump, “Mama always said you could tell an awful lot about a person by the kind of shoes they wear.”

Illustration Friday—Toy

March 25, 2011

I read such sad news the other day: Knut, the polar bear born in captivity at the Berlin Zoological Garden in 2006, who had been rejected by his mother at birth but raised by zookeepers, had died unexpectedly. Great controversy surrounded this guy but I always saw footage of him happily playing with some sort of “toy.” It is with a heavy heart that I post this, but with the hope he was happy here  but even happier now—swimming in waters cold, traveling on icebergs large, and finding fish abundant.

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Otters Orchestrating…

March 7, 2011

orange-bellied orioles…

A study of otters for “Tangle” — I wasn’t thrilled with the movement in the first sketch, so I tried something else. I’m happier with these guys, now I just need to incorporate oxen, owls, and octopi… challenging is good.

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Illustration Friday—Warning

March 6, 2011



Old map makers used to always put a “warning” on their maps stating that beyond the end of the world there lived dragons. And it’s true, there are dragons there…

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March 1, 2011

A comment on last week’s post “Illustration Friday—Swarm” asked if it was part of an alphabet project with the letter “B”. It wasn’t, but what a fun challenge, so today’s post is a sketch dedicated to “O” with the collective noun “tangle” as a verb and the only non-“O” word used… Busy, busy, busy!

Overzealous otters orchestrating orange orioles ordering obliging oxen on outstaring owls overseeing octopi “tangle-ing…


February 27, 2011

Today’s post is for Lisa and Dan’s dog Koty. A few days ago he cheated death—mauled by a vicious dog who went for the jugular and came within an 1/8th of an inch of the unthinkable. After two hospitals, emergency surgery, and a fighting spirit, he’s doing great—wagging, eating, and pooping… Yey puppner!

Readers all, send him lots of dogs’ pawz & tailz—dog speak for love!

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Illustration Friday—Swarm

February 25, 2011

When one thinks of “swarm,” doesn’t everyone think:

Black bear boosting blue butterflies battling basking bass before beautiful birds bothered by bumble bees “swarm-ing”?

Thought so. Happy Friday!

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The Fish Knew…

February 24, 2011

More character studies for another Aesop’s fable, “The Bear and The Fox.”

As the Fox laughed at the Bear’s hypocrisy, the Bear flashed an arrogant smile, and the Fish, though unmentioned in the original story, but vital to this interpretation, frowned. Hypocrite or not, there was no doubt the Fish knew, knew what the Bear was having for dinner.

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Casting Call

February 23, 2011

I’m exploring ideas for another series of illustrations and I keep revisiting Aesop’s Fables. Though “The Tortoise and The Hare” has been done over and over, I still found myself doing tortoise and hare character studies last night. Sketching is thinking out loud for me, so I’ll keep thinking about ideas for a new twist on these ancient stories.

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Poodle Prep

February 19, 2011

As always, the Westminster Dog Show draws much attention and with all the hype I saw a picture of Sparkle, a Standard Poodle, with her fur bound and bundled to protect from water and food damage. How do you not laugh? And how do I not make Sparkle a subject?

And a big ol’ yey goes out to the hound group with this year’s “Best In Show” awarded to Hickory, the Scottish Deerhound.

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Illustration Friday—Layer

February 18, 2011

Today’s post presents a “layer” cake to Susan in honor of her birthday. Happy Birthday, Susan! I gave her this card years ago, so it doesn’t really count, but it does count for “layer” —  IF’s theme this week.

It also honors the birth or introduction of Huckleberry Finn to the world. On this day in 1885, Mark Twain published his famous — and famously controversial then and now — novel The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. I’m reading it now and it truly is a page turner, a true work of art. Read it! And don’t be reading no altered version! Twain would have had something to say about it.

Happy Every Day

February 17, 2011

I tried to get this sketch finished for February 14th, and we all know what day that is, but alas, I did not. But today is World Human Spirit Day, and Michael Levy, a professional optimist, celebrates it on his blog. I, on the other hand, am a Chicken Little the-sky-is-falling type of girl, though I do want for world peace & harmony, so Happy World Human Spirit Day to all.

Illustration Friday—Sweater

February 12, 2011


After much arguing amongst the flock, they finally understood Shep when he exclaimed, “I know wool and that wolf ain’t wearin’ no ‘sweater.’ He’s wearing Frank.”

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A Mismatch

February 9, 2011



Despite their differences — consider it artistic license the mismatching of animal sizes — and to the surprise of the giant baby zebra, the miniature baby elephant offered his heart hoping for her love in return…

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Illustration Friday—Tree

February 8, 2011

I’m trying to get back into sketching after a long break… this is an old one, but seems to pair well with IF’s theme this week: Tree.

Secrets and Promises
“Secrets are for keeping,”
whispered leopard to elephant. “And so are promises,” added elephant. “I promise never to hunt you down,” uttered leopard, while sheepishly showing elephant a Valentine. “I promise never to trample you,” trumpeted elephant, while silently passing leopard  sunflowers.

Secrets and promises are for keeping.

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Illustration Friday—Reverse

February 6, 2011

When you have a cat on your tail, the best course of action is straight ahead … to “reverse” would most definitely mean a reversal of fortune for both parties.

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Carrots and Shadows

February 3, 2011

According to The Washington Post: At 7:25 AM ET on Wednesday, February 2, 2011 Punxsutawney Phil did NOT see his his shadow — predicting an early spring!

Early spring? I don’t believe it. Wake a groundhog midwinter, give him a carrot and shoot a bunch of photos, do you really think he’s looking for his shadow? He’s also 125 years old.

Saturday’s forecast: more snow.

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Wisdom and Virtue

February 2, 2011

As the manipulative wolf tried to outwit the wise horse, there was a moment, a moment when evil intentions appeared to win over good gestures. But as Aesop tells the story, moss does not grow on the wise, and the horse truly does see through the less than virtuous wolf.

Click on Aesop’s Fables The Wolf and The Horse to read the tale.

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Pay It Forward III

January 30, 2011

While searching for images of unusual animal scenarios I came across photos of three cheetah brothers “playing” with a young impala then miraculously letting it go. Makes for a fun “Pay It Forward” illustration—the ultimate random act of kindness.

Hard to believe, I know, but click on this link to the UK’s Daily Mail for the article and photos.

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Illustration Friday—Surrender

January 28, 2011

How do you not “surrender” to this face? You don’t. Ellie Mae is the most spoiled hound…she knows it, we know it, everyone knows it.

Happy Friday!

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Pay It Forwar II

January 27, 2011

Second “Pay It Forward” sketch. My thought with this one is one croc, generous of heart, helps a young zebra at a river crossing while other crocs watch, and wait for a stumble…

Though there were no takers in the “Pay it Back” challenge, I’m going to keep working on it.

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Pay It Forward

January 26, 2011


I stumbled on this blog laundryontheline where the blogger’s posted a “Pay it Forward” challenge and I thought the idea was wonderful and would also make a fun series of illustrations.

Here’s the concept: “Pay it forward” is the idea that random acts of kindness are given without expecting anything in return. It’s passing on a kindness hoping that your recipients will do the same, and forming a never-ending chain of goodwill, that’s what this is about. But it isn’t only kindness, it is also a means to connect and share instead of just keeping it to ourselves.

Here’s how it works: You’ll have to comment on this post and the first three people who comment will receive an original “Pay it Forward” illustration from me within the next few months. But those three people will also have to post the idea on their blog and commit to creating something for the first three people who comment and so on and so forth.

SO, the first three people to comment here will get something by me, but you have to do this on your blog as well. I’ll be reading your blog to make sure that you have posted something about your “Pay it Forward.”

Ideas for illustrations are welcome! The bird cleaning the giraffe is my first…

Illustration Friday—Dusty

January 24, 2011

Running on a “dusty” road…

Haven’t had any epiphanies with ideas clever or outstanding for Illustration Friday’s theme of “Dusty.” So, it’s a quick sketch of a zebra running on one of Africa’s dusty routes…

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The Clothesline

January 18, 2011

A page from the “Sketchbook Project 2011” which I sent off today. The theme I chose  “jackets, blankets, and sheets” reminds me of clotheslines with crisp, clean white sheets, blue skies, and my first first-grade teacher Mrs. Mackillop who wore 1950’s cat eye glasses. Sadly, I don’t remember her fondly, though I’m certain she was probably a very lovely woman. Now, my second first-grade teacher Ms. Gardner, who was a blonde hippie, I remember with great joy.

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Octopus wearing lifejacket…

January 16, 2011

holding a blanket in sheets of water…

Sketch for the Sketchbook Project 2011—I chose the theme “jackets, blankets, and sheets.” Time has just about run out and sketchbooks need to be postmarked Tuesday so I’m finishing up some stray illustrations.

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To the Palace

January 10, 2011

… to see the Queen.

Proper attire required. For him: A cape of white cotton, a wreath of fragrant flowers and a crown of gold. For her: A dress, jacket, and hat all perfectly matched in tones of pinks, a necklace of white pearls and, to finished the look, slippers of red rubies…

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Walker of Dogs

January 9, 2011

When I think of NYC and dogs, images of mayhem—tangled leashes connecting yappy Chihuahuas, ball-crazed labs and neurotic poodles— immediately come to mind. And when I ponder frigid winter days and what’s involved with walking such a pack o’ pups in the Biggest of Apples, it’s just comedy…

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Illustration Friday—Déjà-vu

January 8, 2011

“Déjà-vu”... Haven’t we been here before? Haven’t we thrown that ball a gazillion times? For you, thrower of the ball, it’s the same ol’ same ol’But for Maggie, chaser-catcher of the ball, each throw is a new, amazing experience even though she’s done it a gazillion times. Some might call that “Déjà vu.”

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Ellie Mae Waits

January 4, 2011

Ellie Mae has a way of squeezing her 70+ pounds into very tight spaces, including her favorite chair where she strategically watches the kitchen, dining room, driveway and street.

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Illustration Friday—Resolutions

December 31, 2010

Amongst all the ephemeral New Year’s “Resolutions” we make, one that should never be broken and should always be on the list is “Follow Your Bliss!”

To all HAPPY NEW YEAR! And best of luck with all the “resolutions”!

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Illustration Friday—Winter

December 25, 2010

Growing up we spent most of our “winter” weekends and vacations skiing in New Hampshire, but before snowmaking there wasn’t always enough snow to ski, so we hit the ice for pond puck.


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Ellie Mae Leads the Team

December 23, 2010

And they’re doing test runs for Santa! Making sure all systems are go—tomorrow is tomorrow and tomorrow’s the 24th.

Happy day before the day before Christmas!

Sorry for the old Christmas image. Haven’t gotten to creating one. There’s still time.

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Winter Solstice

December 21, 2010



Happy Winter Solstice!

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Maybe Next Year…

December 20, 2010

“Maybe next year we’ll get the lights on the tree.”

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Stuck Again!

December 19, 2010

Christmas card from a few years ago—Ellie Mae’s always the star. Haven’t come up with an idea for this year’s card and, with only six more days until the 25th, looks like it will be a New Year’s, Epiphany or Chinese New Year illustration. Ideas? And remember the hound is always the star…

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Illustration Friday—Mail

December 18, 2010

And it’s a good sign that these errant critters, masquerading as another, were out to prove a point—Identity theft is ubiquitous. It doesn’t just happen through the “mail” anymore, but everywhere, even on the African savannas.

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December 17, 2010

“I told you, even with antlers, I can’t fly!”

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Ellie Mae

December 16, 2010

The Best Hound Ever!

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