How to Paint an Entire Fall Landscape in One Single Leaf

My criteria for the Perfect Fall Leaf is that it contain every color of the season in one feuille. Obviously, as soon as I laid eyes on this beauty I knew I’d found perfection for this year’s Annual Fall Leaf Painting Tutorial (2013).

If in previous years you’ve followed my Annual Fall Leaf Painting Tutorial, you [...]

Nothing Rhymes With Orange

We love Pumpkin Time here on the shores of the Long Island Sound.

I detect a slight flaw in the Pumpkin Placement Plan here.

Pumpkin Time is a good time to remember the most lonely word in the English language: Orange. The color gets a bad rap for being garish and unfriendly but some of my [...]

How to Paint a Secret Garden

This is why I am illustrating my Damn Garden Book instead of photographing it:

This (above) is the entrance to the Secret Garden belonging to my neighbor (and most excellent Chilled Wine Cocktail On The Patio Hostess). You have to walk through the wooden doorway to get to this:

Now, if I were a mere photographer I [...]

Here Kitty, Kitty: How to Paint a Cat Part Three

So first, we drew le chat reduced to its lumpy, adorable snowman-like proportions:

Then I found an image of a really cuuuuute kitty on the internets:

She is of course la Lizzie Cosette of the marmeladegypsy blog.  I drew Lizzie in snowman-esq style, just to rough out her shape:

I filled in a few shadows, to familiarize [...]

How To [Not] Paint a Cat, Part Deux

So, it’s Friday evening and I’ve poured myself a nice cold of  Pinot G., and I’ve met my deadlines for the week (yes, Dear Readers, sometimes people actually pay me to write, even if it’s a fraction of what freelance writing used to be able to command back before blogging cheapened the value of the [...]

How to Paint a Cat Part One

Last Sunday Top Cat took me into a magical woods on the southern shore of the Long Island Sound…

…otherwise known as The Gold Coast of Ye Olde Long Island…

…where Ye Olde Money of yore transplanted ancient yew trees from the Olde Worlde to make Instant Stately Homes (now gone to ruin)…

…and where the haunted forest [...]

How to Paint a Waterfall

As a writer/illustrator who doesn’t want to bore my dear blog readers I tend to focus on the illustrating party of my work because if I wrote about writing all you’d see is …

… yeah, that: Me sitting around thinking.

For the record, I have never ever chewed on a pen, pencil, quill, or crayon. Ew. Ew. Ewwwwwwwwww. [...]

In The Way Back Machine

It is December, 1966. I am ten years old and in sixth grade at North Willow Grove Elementary School. In a parallel universe there is a girl my age with perfect hair walking to school with her little sister:

In this parallel universe this girl’s name is Elizabeth Terry (although it appears that we use the [...]

When Bad Ideas Happen to Good People

I had a really bad idea last week.

But first, a quick digression: Check out this window of W H Smith, the largest English bookstore in Paris, on the Rue de Rivoli (did I mention that it’s in PARIS? As in PARIS, FRANCE?):

Thank you, Carol Gillot of Paris Breakfasts for sending this spiffy photo.

As I [...]

Writing room

Date night, July, Manhattan:

Last Friday evening Top Cat swept me off to the Big City.

Fun Time Wedding Shower Takes to the Streets: The Bachelorette-of-Honor posing with New York’s Finest.

It was a beautiful time of day to be in the East Village.

I remember when I had a boyfriend who in the East Village it was [...]