Nancy Lemon studio


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I want a vacation like this…

Bear vacation with books

A reading vacation would be nice.

I can’t figure out what this summer reading lover needs.  More trees?  It feels as if I’ve created a scene where there are only two trees in a vast, open space.  I would love any feedback on this.  Should more shadows be added, or is this too overdone?  I can’t help but feel that something is missing.  Comments are both welcomed and appreciated.


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The unicorns are inadvertently found…

God's hand causes a commotion in the water. Illustration by Nancy Lemon

Click the image to enlarge the view.

We are coming to the end of the unicorn book…can you tell what will happen next?  I bet you can, you brilliant readers.


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Fun commissioned artwork

It has been a while, and I’ve been busy.  I wanted to share two fun pieces I was commissioned to do.  It was gratifying that they trusted me so much and like my style.  They gave me a few activities they enjoy and told me to run with it, using whatever characters I came up with (animal, people, mineral…)  The themes were gardening and dining with friends.  These are 9″x12″ watercolor and pencil on watercolor paper.  A big THANK YOU to Dusti and Jonathan.


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Ahoy hoy. Sorry I’ve been away…UNICORN update!

God asks where his unicorns are.

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Hello all, it’s been a while, and for that I do apologize.  I got a bit caught up in some other projects, and let the unicorns idle for a bit.  Well, here is the newest installment, and I’m hard at work on finishing up the rest so I can just schedule them for posts.  The next step is to pick the strongest and fully illustrate in color, as publishers like to get a taste of what the illustrations will look like in their final garb.


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#100daysof…

Hello all, I am taking a post off from unicorns to tell about a fun project I’ve found through Elle Luna and The Great Discontent. It’s called the #100dayproject and you can participate (on Instagram).  I found it today, and even though the official start was yesterday, anyone can jump in at any time.  You can pick anything to do for 100 days.  Since I’ve started creating Little Adventures during my lunch break, I thought I’d use that as my project.  I hope you will join me.

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Diving Unicorns

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Click the image to enlarge view

Now that I look at this page, I think it may need a redesign.  I will probably say that about the entire book once I finish this!

What will happen to these deep-diving unicorns?  Stay tuned…


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The Unicorns are in too deep

Unicorns of God miss Noah's ark - art by Nancy Lemon ©2015

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Uh oh, unicorns, what did you do?  Will you miss curfew?  We are continuing on with the story of Noah and God’s lost unicorns.  It is getting stormy for Driggs and Bridger.  What will happen?  Stay tuned for more…


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Literary Soccer Cats by Nancy Lemon

 

literary cats, orange cat, tuxedo cat, siamese, gray, fluffy

Click the image for a closer look

A friend and colleague commissioned me to create a painting of their four cats for his wife’s birthday, which I thought was a very nice gift.  (Although I may be a bit biased…)  Their names are Faulkner, Whitman, Beckford (aka Baby Monkey), and Titus Bramble.  Two literary, two soccer (or football) players.  His and hers, if you will.  If you like this, feel free to check out my Etsy shop for more animal watercolor paintings and you can also request custom pieces there. Or check out the INPRNT store I have set up for prints.  As always, thank you for following along on my illustrated journey!  Have a marvelous weekend.


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Noah gathers the animals…almost

 

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Click image to get a better view.

Noah continues on…gathering the animals is an arduous task, and you have to count on them to stay in line.  Pesky, free-spirited unicorns!  I still feel I could have drawn even more animals in this spread, but I also needed to fit in, what are they called…oh, words!  As I post all of these, it let’s me view them from afar.  I’m sure after I’ve finished this posting spree of Noah book, I will make some changes to the drawings.  It is a journey, isn’t it?

Feel free to comment and share.  Thank you for following along!

 


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In which the Unicorns are introduced…

Besides humans, God's favorite creatures were his two unicorns.  ©Nancy Lemon 2015

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…and we see how God plays favorites.  Well…you have to admit, unicorns are pretty special creatures.  I like this book because it reminds me of Rudyard Kipling’s Just So Stories.  You know the ones…”How the Elephant Got his Trunk” and “How the Leopard Got his Spots”.  More to come on the unicorns.  Stay tuned…

As always, I welcome your comments or if you feel like sharing, just push the social media button of your choice…

Also, a HUGE “Thank you” to those of you who preordered my sloth tshirt at Cotton Bureau.  The requisite 12 have been ordered so they will now be available.  Now I just need to sell 13 more to make a profit…


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A Cotton Bureau design and Promo Code for Nancy Lemon art

We interrupt your regularly scheduled program to bring you these announcements….

© 2015 Nancy Lemon, sloth life tshirt for cotton bureau

Idle Vice is a lifestyle choice.

The first design I submitted to Cotton Bureau got picked up to possibly print and is available for purchase.  If you have an inner sloth (I know I do) please place an order for one (or two, or five…teehee).  Once 12 are ordered, then they can go to press.  Twelve shirts sold covers the cost of printing, once you sell 25, then you make a profit.  That’s the way the Cotton Bureau works, for now.  If you don’t want a tshirt or sweatshirt, I totally get it.  Please share this post with someone, if you have the time.  I appreciate that you’ve read this far!

Also….

FreeShipping

FREE Shipping WORLDWIDE through March 8th

Free shipping on many lovely things in the Nancy Lemon Society6 store.  Click the image above to use the promo code for free shipping.

Promotion expires March 8, 2015 at Midnight Pacific Time. *Free Shipping offer excludes Framed Art Prints, Stretched Canvases, Wall Clocks and Rugs

As usual, I am so appreciative that you all read my blog and take the time to look at my art.  It really makes my heart happy.  I will return soon with the ongoing saga of Noah and the Unicorns. :)


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Noah proceeds with the plan from God

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The saga continues…

A note on character design: designing God was a challenge.  I didn’t want to create a bearded man in the sky.  There is a part of the Old Testament where God is described as a column of fire at night and a pillar of cloud by day.  I like the clouds idea, and the giant arms in the sky make me smile.


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Noah’s doubters and God’s plan

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(Click on the image to enlarge the picture.)

A note on the type: in these dummies, I believe that it’s good to not get fancy or cute with your choice of type.  So I have chosen to use Century Schoolbook.  It’s a personal preference.  Some people tend towards Comic Sans, but that’s against my religion as a Designistrator. ;)  I am thinking I may have to redraw the left hand page, as my Noahs look a little different from the first page to the second.  One of the most important thing about illustrating a book is that the character design remains consistent from page to page.

I realize that I said I would post on Tuesday/Thursday, but life happens–perhaps it’s safer to say I will post twice a week!

As usual, feel free to leave questions, comments or words of insight in the comments section below.  Have a great weekend!


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How to create a dummy book for children’s publishing

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Hello, dear viewers.  It has been a while since I’ve posted, and for that, I do apologize.  I’ve had a new idea for a series of posts, which I hope you will enjoy.  A couple of (gulp) years ago, my dear friend Jess presented me with a children’s story she had written and asked me if I would illustrate it.  Now, people ask this of me once they find out I am an illustrator, and usually I tell them it is easier to get published by simply sending a manuscript out with a great cover letter to publishers.  (i.e. Illustrations are not necessary to the children’s story submissions process, unless of course, you are an author/illustrator.)

The reason I tell them this is that usually publishers like to pair their illustrators and writers.  If you send a manuscript with a sheaf of drawings, you will most likely be chucked into the dreaded “slush pile.”  However, if you take the time and effort to create a dummy book, you may luck out and get your book picked up by a publisher. I love my friend Jess, and because her story is really great, I said “yes” to creating a dummy with her.  She sweetly said for me to take my time and design it how I wanted.  

Oh Jess, you may have wanted to set up deadlines with me—unlimited time means I take a looong time.  Anyway, she has agreed that I can share the process here on the blog if it helps me finish the dummy book.  Today I have a picture of some storyboards I created in the beginning to get the flow of the story just right, along with an actual book I created to craft how the pictures would fit with the type.

For reference on how to create a dummy book I highly recommend Uri Shulevitz’s Writing with Pictures: How to Write and Illustrate Children’s Books.  Published in 1985, it is still the greatest resource I have found on creating a book for submission from start to finish.

I love questions and comments!  Fell free to leave feedback or queries in the comments section of this post, if you feel so inclined.


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Mildred and Lucille

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Although I like the idea, the execution of this piece is not my favorite. I’ve been playing with line and experimenting with different mediums, in the search for improving my style.  As always, there are peaks and gutters.  It’s hard, when there are so many great artists and styles out there, to stay true to your own way, and not “acclimate” someone else’s artistic vision.  For instance, I love the simplicity and line style of Serge Bloch, and I love the dreamy world of Isabelle Arsenault.

So the search for my own truthiness of style continues.  I’m not totally happy with this one, but a teacher once told me that if you are struggling with your art, that means a breakthrough is nigh.  (The sheep in fishnets is pretty hilarious, if I do say so myself.)

I always love to hear your thoughts and comments on my art or thoughts here.  Is style something you struggle with in your own art?

 


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Nan the shoe fanatic

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Sometimes it’s hard to decide on the right pair…

The original is available (9″x12″, watercolor, gouache, pencil & ink on paper – unframed)

Or, find prints and things in the Society6 store. (FREE worldwide shipping ends tomorrow.)


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William the Horse

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William is such a trend-setter; or maybe he’s just trendy…in this one I used more of the paint to create than ink and pencil.  I found a great dry-brush technique to play around with on this piece.

This original painting is available (9″x12″ watercolor & gouache on paper, unframed)

Or, find prints here.


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Matthew the Tiger

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Matthew the Tiger is the latest in the line of animals and fashion.  Nothing says, “cool” quite like a tiger in a sweater vest.  (Or maybe I just need more sleep.)

The original is 9″x12″ (pencil, ink, watercolor and gouache on paper) and is available for purchase.

Or, prints and other items are available.


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Edward the Rabbity Argyle Enthusiast

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Edward is so very right; argyle is the way to go if you must wear socks.  Thus continues the thread of animals and clothes…or, fashionable animals.

The original is available (9″x12″ gouache, pen and ink on watercolor paper).

Prints can be found here, along with shirts and things.


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Jerry the Deer, and a late Happy New Year

 

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Here is the continuation of the “animals and fashion” thread.  I hope poor Jerry made it…deer season is over, for now.

Watercolor, pen and ink on watercolor paper 9″x12″

The original painting is now available in the Lemon’s Tree Art store, and prints are available at Society 6, as well as t-shirts.  At Society6, use this link to get FREE Worldwide Shipping through midnight, January 11th.

I hope you all have a Happy New Year!


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Her udder bag matches her shoes…

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Well who doesn’t feel stylish in new boots? I for some reason Googled “goats and fashion” and came up with some very inspiring photographs.  An artist colleague suggested that I create “collections” of images, so my first collection of the impending new year will be animals and clothes.  Although I could probably do a whole collection of just goats and fashion.  I don’t know what it is about these silly ruminants that I find so endearing…perhaps it is because my grandfather always liked to keep them around, at least while they were kids.  They are usually pretty jovial creatures, especially when they are little: http://youtu.be/S49-jh8JkgA

The original is 7″x7″ and is available in my Lemon’s Tree Art Shop or grab a print here!


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Holiday Greeting

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It is so fun when I get to use illustration in my day job.  Maybe one day this will be my job.  At the moment, I am grateful that I have a little time to do this, and a workplace that appreciates creativity.

I scanned a drawing in and used some new gouache brushes from Kyle T. Webster.  His brushes are the best for digital painting.

Happy Holidays to all!


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So cool to send art across the globe!

This is a quick post to say “Thank You” to WeTransfer for using one of my art pieces for their wallpaper.

Visit WeTransfer to transfer your files anywhere; it’s free and you get to see beautiful wallpapers while you transfer.

Odd cat call

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catcallWP

 

I have been hard at work on a custom painting project, and have not been able to post as much as I’d like.  Once the paintings are finished (and approved) I will post them here.

This sketch was done late night, under the influence of a lot of coffee and looking at Sir John Tenniel pen & ink illustrations.

I don’t know why the lady cat looks like a saucy nude model, and I don’t know why she’s calling a goat guy.  Pan?

When I have more time for drawing, I believe I will explore this pen & ink vein a little more.


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Fun and Fancy-ish Cats

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The inspiration for this fine feline trio was from a bit of the invitation I created for my daughter’s first birthday party in October.  I wanted to make a little print just so I could upload a fun design for iPhone cases and mugs and such at Society6.  They are running specials everyday this month it seems…today is free shipping worldwide.

Have a wonderful weekend!


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Pegasus Has Landed Illustration

pegasusHasLandedWP  I have been working (very slowly) on a project about unicorns, and in my character designs I sketched this little guy.  His story may be that his wings are still growing, or that he is much like the unfortunate emu; the wings are all show, no function.  I like using a limited palette.  I am attempting to simplify my “style” where I can.  This piece is a bit of a Photoshop sketch, scanned directly from the sketchbook.

 


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Squashy chair

I am thankful for this comfy, squashy chair in our living room, which will be perfect to come home and collapse into after our egregious amount of holiday feasting.

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Happy Thanksgiving to all fellow Americans.  To all my international friends, I am thankful for you.  Have a great week, everyone!


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I usually don’t believe in Christmas before Thanksgiving…

santa2014wp

…but they got me to make a flyer at work.  Yay, kids’ illustration at the day job–I love it when that happens!

I had to remove some of the information in order to use it on my blog, but the image still looks pretty nice.  Drawn by hand in pencil, scanned and spruced up in Photoshop.  The holidays are looming…hold on to your mistletoe.


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Sketchety sketch sketch

I’ve been battling a cold and have finally made the turn…thought I’d share a crazy sketchbook spread here.  Maybe the influence of all the cold medicine made this, or I associated the cat with fish.  Also, I am headed to the aquarium this evening for an event, so perhaps I will sketch more fish…and people drinking wine.  But mostly fish.

sketchbookFish

Click image to enlarge picture.


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Who needs a hug?

 

snuggleCatWP

Click the Picture to Enlarge the view.

Nothing like snuggling with an enormous house cat to get a good 16 hour nap!  This was scanned right out of my little 5″x5″ hand book sketchbook and made me feel a little bit better as I fight a horrible cold.  Happy warm fuzzies to you this November.  Now I want to go curl up with my two big dogs on the couch…or hug a giant teddy bear.


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Published online and some more goats…

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Guess what I did this weekend?  That’s right…I made a painting.  Here are Queen Esmerelda and King Steve of Capricorn.  They are available as a print or stretched canvas in the store.

Also, I am published in Alexandria Quarterly,  (front page!) a new online magazine.  Publish or perish, right?  Also, I have a little secret project going on, and will unveil to all soon…

Be well and happy!


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Caprine King and Queen

kingandqueenGoatsWP

Here is a color study for a finished piece I am working on.  Today I am thankful for great friends who send me lots of pictures of goats.  (I’m lookin’ at you, Bec M.)  This was drawn into my little 5-1/2″ square sketchbook while gazing at these fine specimens in my iPhone.  Thank goodness for friends who visit zoos!

ALSO, click the orange link to get FREE WORLDWIDE SHIPPING and $5.oo off in my Society6 shop through November 9th!


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Simple things: November 4th

giraffeTeaPotWP

I actually painted this last night at the kitchen table, with a cup of chamomile. It was a nice realization that hit me there at the 11th hour…today is election day, and I haven’t seen many election campaign commercials at all.  Why is this?  This is due to painting and drawing at the end of the day rather than watching television.  (Also, when we watch tv, it is often pre-recorded, so we zip past all the annoying commercials.)  But really, I haven’t been taking in a lot of the idiot box lately.  (I have been staring a bit too much at the idiot screen I carry with me at all times…iDiot?)

I look at this tea pot on the stove all the time and I’ve never painted it.  It’s done in my sketchbook with a variety of materials.  Thank you, mom, for the wonderfully friendly tea pot.


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Happy Halloween!

happyhalloweenWP

 

Happy Halloween, everyone!  I can’t believe it’s the last day of my favorite month already.  I found a vintage poster of this creepy character and adapted it for my own purposes.  Have a safe, Happy All Hallows Eve, and I will see you in November.


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Classic Wolfman

wolfmanWP

I have never seen this movie, but I’ve always loved werewolves.  Continuing the love of October, this was quickly done on spare watercolor paper using a variety of materials!  I think I’ll go hunt this DVD down in the library, or see if Turner Classic Movies will be showing it sometime this week for Halloween…


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Leaves are the hand prints of trees.

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October is almost over, but autumn is just starting to creep on here in the South. I love the changing leaves; they have lines in them like the palm of a hand. I collected a few from the yard to study artistically.


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My love for October includes apples.

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I’m not used to posting from the WordPress app, so please bear with me.
Have you ever tried to carve an apple like a jack o lantern? I haven’t, but I tried to carve a spaghetti squash one year when the stores ran out of pumpkins. True story. (It did not work.) Anyway, I thought it’d be funny to try it with something else, but as a drawing. Hope you enjoy the result.


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We were made for each other…

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Now that Halloween is only about a week away, I thought I would draw some more Halloween-themed things.  Although I am very fond of October and Halloween, I am not a fan of horror or really scary stuff.  (Walking Dead gives me cold sweat night terrors.)  I love Halloween and I love humor, so my movies tend towards Young Frankenstein, The Lost Boys, and It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.  (Seriously, I am an eternal child–ask my husband.)  Classic horror films are also ok by me.  Here is the original power couple from Bride of Frankenstein.  This is a combo of hand drawn, real watercolor and Photoshop.  It makes me giggle.


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Pizza Monsters

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Today I was asked to make a quick card at work, so I grabbed a fine-tipped Sharpie and did a quick coloring in Photoshop.  We threw a small pizza sendoff for a work study student who was leaving our office.  Being October, naturally I needed some monsters.

I have been known to be a pizza monster from time to time…nom nom nom. :)


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Spooky cat on a fence in the night

catONfenceWP

Cat on a fence, under a crescent moon…

This is what I would draw when I thought about Halloween as a kid…the arched-back black cat under the moon…and on a fence. ;-)

October is a grand month, albeit a busy one for us this year.  Hope you all are enjoying it.


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The Good Witches

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Soldiering on through lovely October, I give you some friendly witches.  This was doodled on notebook paper (probably during a meeting).  Ha.  I then cleaned up and colored in good ‘ole Photoshop.  I like these quick, creative briefs I’ve given myself; it fuels the fire for more, “finished” pieces.  The October experiment!


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“Owl see you in October”

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I am really liking what’s happening here, if I do say so myself…and there, I just did. ;D

Onward and upward with the love of October, and owls…and punkins.  I think I may put these two in the Store, where there is a FREE SHIPPING promotion going on now through October 12, 2014.  I am loving my October experiment–and I’m learning stuff, too.


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Harvest Geese

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A continuation on my love for October, this piece was inspired by the honking of geese and the appearance of apples in season and on sale.  This is a bit of a departure from my “set style”; I let the watercolor sit and make its own lines.  The actual drawing is a bit child-like.  It’s an October experiment.


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Surfer Witch

surferWitchWP

To continue my love letter to October, here is a “surfer witch”.  I used a picture of a girl surfing as a “model” for this little painting.  Originally I was hoping to post a picture a day for October, but life has a funny habit of getting in the way of best laid plans.  Therefore, I will be posting October-themed art this month, as much as I can on a schedule such as mine!  I hope you enjoy my “love letter to October.”  It’s a great feeling time of year!

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