About Me, My Cats, and My Art Work

I live in a 100-year old house on the Long Island Sound with a husband and four cats. And when I say “four cats”, I mean “eight cats”. But you can’t just blurt out that you have EIGHT cats or else people will think you’re a Crazy Cat Lady. Ew.

So I start off telling about these four cats of mine, and once I know you well enough, I add on the four that also live in the house. But I feel like you and I are friends and that I can be truthful:

And the truth is, I have a herd of eight cats.

And when I say “eight cats”, I mean 12.

Plus 2.

I recently cut my hair. So now I  mostly look like this:

DGB Author pic

Here is a completely random sampler of my work:

wwctr 6 Summer

More sample art work

January scene

All-is-calm-all-is-bright.1

P1000063

Croissants-1

pain-3

painful-1

Scan-6

P1130432-450x575

 

If you want to watch me paint, all you have to do is look for blog posts under the category Watercolor Tutorials.

12 Comments, RSS

  1. Pingback/Trackback

    March 11, 2013 @ 9:18 am Reply

  2. LINDA JUNE May 4, 2016 @ 1:28 am

    Great to see you again tonight at Wide World Books! Your presentation was very well done–you are a natural when public speaking–but I already knew that! Glad you got to experience our nice weather–and tea at the Sorrento. What bliss, huh? Enjoy your time in Portland and Cannon Beach.

  3. Patricia May 5, 2016 @ 10:16 am

    I am very sorry to have missed you in Seattle. Thanks to Wide World Books, I was able to leave my book for signature. Loved the note inside!
    We’re off to Vienna, Prague to Berlin via riverboat shortly (that’s why we’re cramming a month of theater into two weeks). Any wonderful gardens I should look for? Favorite brew pubs?

  4. Nancy S May 6, 2016 @ 9:31 am

    Wow, wasn’t sure how to leave a comment, but I finally figured it out. Duh! Anyway, thanks so much for your tutorial on teacups. Loved it! Keep them coming!

  5. Karen May 7, 2016 @ 8:35 pm

    I love your book “When Wanderer’s Cease to Roam! I have Nancy Pearl’s podcast to thank for finding it. I have a copy for myself, and I sent my sister a copy in New Orleans. I know she will like your other books also. Your artwork is beautiful, and you have a great attitude about life. I am going to share the book at work I think it will be great for a co-worker who has lost her brother and her dad in the same last few months of 2015. I really want her to focus on the beauty that is still available in life, and I think your book will help.

    I can’t believe I just missed you in Seattle a few days ago 🙁 I so would have gone to that. I hope you are working on more books.

    Karen Horvath

  6. Michael May 13, 2016 @ 1:31 pm

    Being a wanderer myself I intend to purchase When Wanderers cease to roam to read during my wanderings around the Scotish west coast.
    I loved the photo of yourself and Topcat 🙂 on the beach with a sunset backdrop near where they made the movie Local hero, my claim to fame is I
    Had the privilege to have taken that photo 🙂 I was that hero.
    enjoy your blog, Happy wandering.

  7. d May 24, 2016 @ 12:34 am

    Dear Vivian,
    I am so awed and inspired by your work.

    With your permission I will share parts of the paintings you do in your blog with my grade 3 students. I have been teaching them how to do the technique ‘aquarelle’ in the form of postcards which we’ll be sending to the many grandparents that have visited our class.

    I still have a watercolour book of trees that my parents bought me when I was in grade 4. I still use it though it’s gotten a bit tattered over the years.

    Merci mille fois!

    D.

  8. Nicole Coudoux Staudenmayer May 24, 2016 @ 9:03 pm

    Hi, I just discovered watercolor painting a few month ago… quite late in life, but love it even if not good at it. Discovered your site a few days ago, and I cannot believe how beautiful your artwork is. The Giverny garden, the café in Paris, the croissants. Just want to say thank you, and I will keep watching.
    PS I have 4 cats and a HUGE dog, all shelter animals, some just walked in the backyard. I think someone killed the possum I was going to adopt this last spring.
    Have a wonderful MD week-end.
    Nicole

  9. Karen May 29, 2016 @ 2:17 pm

    Where have you been all my life? I just discovered your delightful books and am slowly devouring “When Travelers Cease to Roam.” Delights on every page. Love your beautiful painting, your hand-lettering, and your great attitude. And the embroidery! Do you still do it?

    Sorry I didn’t know about you before your Portland trip, as I’m just down the road in Corvallis. I hope you come back soon!

    P.S. Also love all the b/w cats – I have tuxedo siblings, boy and girl, and they are the best!

  10. Paige Swift June 2, 2016 @ 2:07 pm

    A friend sent me an article about your books… because my daughter is also named Vivian Swift! She is 16 and will be in NY/Brooklyn this summer doing an internship for Mary Howard Studios in Red Hook. I will be there also.

  11. Jill Elizabeth Baron July 21, 2016 @ 10:24 am

    Just read your review of garden books in the Guardian and I am your new big fan! Thanks for the recommendations. Just bought your books for our university library. And gave a 5-star review on Amazon. Can’t wait for your books to arrive.

  12. Scott Stiefvater July 21, 2016 @ 12:40 pm

    Hi Stranger! Always thinking about you, but never seem to have time to catch up!!!! How are you? Miss your daily works of art, and sweet commentary! I hope life is treating you well, hugs from Marilyn and me!

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