Magical Winter Wishes!

Life's Been Busy!

Needless to say being a new teacher is very intense. I really love it even though I'm busier than ever keeping up with all the stuff that goes along with daily teaching. It will get easier and then I'll be able to once again blog and create artwork for me.

We are going into my favorite season of Autumn. I love the way you can see and smell the changes in the air. I especially love the early mornings. The wee bit of crisp in the air is heaven. The turning leaves (which may be soon) are breathtaking on my street. I'm sure I will enjoy numerous mornings walking to work through their loveliness.

My garden has all but expired due to drought and inattention these past few weeks. Ah well, there is always next year. The above chestnut photo was taken last year in my front yard. I would like to tell you we've enjoyed a few of these great nuts, but we haven't been able to harvest any nuts before our squirrel population does. And who could blame them? We have, in addition to the chestnut tree, pecan, walnut and hickory nut trees. These are mixed in with several very old white oaks. Squirrel heaven around here.

I wanted to touch base with everyone. I am still here. Still creating, although currently, for a different purpose. Life is good.

Until later - Happy Mornings to All of You!


New Career Move!

I've been challenged with re-designing the Fulton Falcon look. Fulton has changed to the Academy format, so a new look would help. This is just one idea. This will most likely become a class project. Any Fulton grads are welcome to offer ideas.

Egads! It has been way too long since my last post. But the good news is it has all been for a good reason. I am now a teacher at my old alma mater, Fulton High School. I will be teaching Graphic Design. I am very excited about this new venture. I have always loved teaching and love what I do as an artist, so why not both? Although lately I've been too busy to be very creative and am starting to feel the itch to get something new started.

Summer is a bad time for me to try to get very many indoor projects accomplished or to focus on much more than just working in the yard, gardening and basic chores. I seem to overextend on a regular basis and should never attempt anything else this time of year.

Autumn is my season. I seem to come alive as the leaves begin to change. I love the call of the cicadas. I love the change in the air. The bright blueness of the sky. I have a murder of crows living in a tall pine in my front yard and they caw more in it!

I even love going back to school! Which this year I will be walking the halls of my former high school and striving to make a difference. I hope my students will be as excited about art, design, illustration and all that goes with those disciplines as I am.

So bear with me while I get my footing in my newest challenge. This will be the only post about my teaching position. I will (at some point) have a teacher web page on the official school site. So I won't be posting anything concerned with the school except there.

Yay! Go Falcons!


Poster Art ala Indy

Above is a birthday present for one of my sons. After grilling him on what he would like for his birthday and getting the "nothing" reply, I had an "Eureka!" moment and decided to make him an Indy-esque poster where he is the star. His birthday was the day before the movie open. He desperately wanted to attend, but couldn't go for a few days. He has always been a big fan of the Indy movies (so have I). The finished poster is 20x30 and framed which gives it a nice authentic feel. All the elements of the poster have personal meaning for him and his wife. Even the Mayan ruins.


Children's Reading Festival

I had a great time with fellow illustrators, Tuesday Mourning and Adam Parsons among others at Knox County Public Library's Children's Reading Festival. Thanks to everyone who stopped and let us know how we're touching and entertaining you. Always good to hear from you.

Pics on Tuesday Mourning
Thanks for posting these. I think they are terrific. Tuesday Mourning was superb! As well as Adam Parsons.


Spring Chores

Dandelions - My favorite flower. Many times I received chubby handfuls of these from my sons

I can't believe it has been so long since I last blogged. I've been so busy just trying to keep up with Spring chores. And - whew-boy!...Spring has Sprung. I have been mowing (since hubby took a spill on the riding mower a couple of weeks ago - he's okay - now) and weeding and planting our vegetable garden. It has been a chore.

Dad and I took a trip to one of our local Seed/Plant/Tree retailers. We came home with far too many tomato plants again. Every year we plan to do just enough to eat. That lasts until we see the rows of varieties. "Let's have some of these." "Oh, we like Big Boys." "I need some Roma." etc and so forth until we have more than we can eat or I can prepare in dishes. So I suppose I'll be cooking up batches of spaghetti sauce, pizza sauce, canned tomatoes, and other delicacies for winter enjoyment.

A couple of year's ago I made a huge batch of Chow-Chow. My neighbor swears it is the best he's ever eaten. I've had friends asked for more, but hey, it may never turn out the same again. I took my recipe from memory. It was one my grandmother used to make. My dad's mom canned and froze vegetables and fruits from their large garden every year. They always had the staple foods and strawberries and rhubarb among others. My grandfather had chickens and I have some wonderful footage of my sons collecting eggs with him the spring before he passed away at 96 years of age. They had pigs when I was younger, but as they aged, they gave up the larger animals.

And because I can't do anything without doing some kind of art I made labels for my Chow-Chow and my Jalapeno Peppers. Man were they good!


Magenta Speckled Shamrocks?

Discovered these in my front lawn. Anyone know what they are? I haven't looked them up in any of my gardening/weed books. I think they are beautiful!


A Trillium?

Another find in my yard. I believe this is a trillium. I found a few species online that sort of look like this one, but nothing definitive yet. I have someone looking at it for me to determine yay or nay. The morel was identified as a Yellow Morel. I would not let my husband mow the rest of the yard yesterday until I've combed it for more fabulous flora. He was not heartbroken over not mowing. Dad came over today to help and I had to give him detailed instructions on where he could mow.

These guys, bless them for helping, but they love to mow things down! Pretty or not. Weed or not. I transplanted an old growth hydrangea from an abandoned farmhouse (yes, I had permission) a couple of years ago. I have yet to see it bloom. Everyone goes out of their way to mow them down. I've tried wire cages. One of the boys moved it to mow thinking it had been misplaced from the veg garden.

Tomorrow rain is forecast. I won't be in the gardens or lawn, so it's back to painting, drawing and work! It is just too hard to stay indoors on these first beautiful days of Spring!


Morels in My Yard

Yesterday I discovered we have morel mushrooms growing in my yard. I am awaiting the answer on which type of morel these are. They were such an exciting find. More later.


Photo for a Rainy Day

Sometimes I get lucky. I shot this image as one of many for a poster I was working on for a theatre client. The production was - you guessed it - "Singing in the Rain". I once again roped one of my sons into modeling. We did this shoot in the backyard. The poster concept was a hit. The production never made it to stage (a long story), but this photo did get to enjoy some limelight.

One day my brother stopped by to visit. He was drinking a Jones Soda in the bottle He mentioned to me that the images on the bottles were sent in by consumers. Regular Joes. I grabbed it and sure'nuf I could upload my images for consideration. The best part is they are chosen by other consumers voting on them until they get into the top ten or so and then they are judged by the folks at Jones Soda. Only 1 percent of all entries make it to a bottle. Guess what? The above image made it. So for his fifteen minutes of fame my son was smiling his fabulous smile at the fine consumers of soda from store shelves across America. We found a few bottles locally. Disc Exchange seemed to have the most locally.

So get out there and photograph something. There are lots of contests to enter with photos. It is a great boost to your spirit to know you've captured something everyone enjoys.

Have a great art day!


Faux Magazine Covers ala "Men In Black"

One wonderfully bright autumn day in 2002 I rallied the troops and asked (translation:begged) them to get dressed in their black suits. The light and colors were incredible that day and I wanted to get some shots of my sons outdoors. I wanted to juxtapose their dressed-up figures against the less formal landscape.

I wasn't sure what I wanted to do with the final shots, but hey, it was spontaneous and everyone agreed it was lots of fun. The twins got dressed-up, but my oldest refused to get "dressed-up for no reason", but allowed us to use his car in the shoot. He's great, but doesn't always allow me to cajole him into my silly whims. I admire his tenacity in this matter. I did manage to sneak a photo of him in anyway(inset in top mag).

The photo-shoot took place around the time of the release of the "Men In Black" movies. Since we all really enjoyed the movies, I thought it would be fun to take a couple of shots with the boys in their sunglasses posed like the MIB characters. Having myself grown up in the Cold War Era with spies and espionage tv shows and movies like 007 and lesser known offerings, such as Dean Martin's "Matt Helm" movies, I decided to do some faux magazine covers. I had a lot of fun putting these together.


Ahh... the Perils of March

Fungi in my front yard

March is such a fickle month here in the south. One day she gifts us with a beautiful warm spring day only to take it away the next. This morning, when I let the dog out, it was sort of all grayish outside. There was a fairly heavy frost covering the ground and a misty fog lingering in the trees. I love misty foggy mornings (I suppose it is the Celt in me).

My garden shed is awaiting spring cleaning and new supplies. My gardens are calling. And my camera finger is itching to get out there and record all the simple and lovely things hiding in the grass, under fallen branches, tucked against the stone wall. I hope the weather holds out on one of the few days I can allot to outdoor fun. I'm jonesing for some sun and those tired, sore muscles that say "I accomplished good things today".

Enjoy your day whatever the weather!


Stories of Another Pig

More Pig sketches for other illustrations.

The little guy looking to the right near the top reminds me of the time we went with one of my brothers to pick up a pig he had bought. The most beautiful pig I've ever seen. He had green eyes and he was a fast (did I say fast?) runner. I wish I had video footage of my sons, my dad, my brother and me chasing that little porker down. He was covered entirely in red (and I mean red) Georgia clay dust. Along with the dog and everything else that Georgia farmer owned - and us when we were finished. I've never seen anything like it. If you have never seen red Georgia clay, then you cannot imagine the vibrancy of the scene. I'll never forget it. We did capture him finally. Hauled him to my brother's where he later broke out and ran away. Did I mention he was fast?


Always Something Else

While I'm getting the finishing touches on a client's project I don't have time to finish my newest projects or drawings. So I go back to the sketchbooks for content.

This one is from around 1997-98. These are random drawings that I do when I'm bored or stuck or lacking motivation. ANYTHING - to get you back on track or to take up time until your phone rings.

The daily stuff - dishes, laundry, vacuuming, dusting, etc and so forth - that consumes a lot of our time is an irritant. I opine that the reason there seem to be more men artists than women is because of these daily chores. Sorry men. We still do the lioness' share. What most women need are good "wives" to take care of the trash, the wiping of faces, the dinners. This would allow them to work without interruption or break the flow of the muse.

Sometimes working at home is not the best place to think and ponder; we need places to escape. People have suggested a room. Pish. Rooms have doors that can be banged on over and over again. What artists really need are retreats. Either a place they can go to a few times a year or a building unattached from the house. I have dreams of such a place. I call it "Woman Hut". I wanted to give it a more unique name. Something artsier. Something biting. But while I've been searching for the perfect label "Woman Hut" has caught on with family and friends.

"Woman Hut" will be built from found materials. I have collected bricks from contractor friends, stopped on the road to get discarded building materials, accosted demolition crews to glean a few rafters or 2x4s, etc. My brother had all his windows replaced and gave me some of the old ones. I have bought unique materials at thrift stores for a song. My daughter-in-law gave me a wonderful book - "Great Backyard Cottages" that covers a lot of ideas and styles. She is an architect and I'm hoping at some point I can persuade her to help with the design "Woman Hut". (I have three sons - no daughters - so it would be lovely to have a place where my new daughter and the girlfriends can congregate for gal-fests) I borrowed my son's copy of "A Place of One's Own" and I've also bought "Woodstock Handmade Houses" which is filled with unique abodes. Plus all the periodicals I read and peruse for ideas. So "Woman Hut" has a good start. In theory and in my mind.

I only want one room. Granted a fairly large one. I want to fit it out with a velvet sofa and brick floors. Peeling paint and washed-pickled surfaces. Crocheted scarves and oil lamps. A nice sized area for doing my paintings with a place to relax and have tea or for a model to stand/sit. My dad has a potbellied woodstove for those crisp days. Rustic meets 19th century old-money-New York. Naturally, it would need to be varmint proofed since we have lots of squirrels, raccoons and possums.

I want to hang interesting works both 2D and 3D pieces for conversation and mulling over. I want shelves for books and a small porch area - screened for summer sittin' with a hammock on one end. I would love to have a small glass-enclosed end to begin new plants and grow exotic ones during the warmer months. I don't want electricity. I want to escape there during the daylight hours. Walk out my door in the morning with coffee and lunch in tow, wave bye to hubby, and go into the woods to create until twilight.



The Best Contortionist in This Circus

We've all been there. Those times when you feel like you're the only one that can get things done. And as women we multi-task better and more than most of our male counterparts. We are the finders of lost toys, the keepers of the stuff, the tradition keepers, the memory keepers, the art curators.

I have a lot of these "poem/illustrations" that I used to doodle into my sketchbooks during times when I'm feeling too rushed. I could work through the "woe is me". It helped me to see that I am important and cherished on many different levels even if at the time I felt pressured, unappreciated and tightly wound.

I usually do my best work under pressure, but I can also get overwhelmed when faced with too many projects, chores, deadlines, etc. That is when I have to vent some of the pressure off by getting those feelings down into paper and pen elements. There they are contained. I am safe for a moment and can continue in the crazy whirlagig world we exist. I'm working on several projects now and am beginning to feel the need to draw out my monsters.

This is not very much different from the Chasing Out the Monster illustrations I used to do for the boys. Get them down and tell them to go away. Everything will be calm and peaceful after the banishment.

How do you handle your monsters? How do you see yourself in the dynamics of family, work, art, business? Are you also a contortionist? Send your comments below. I'll post them for everyone to enjoy.


Unhappy Models

When my sons were young I would ask them to pose for me. At first they were very happy to do so. They were too young to sit still for very long at that time so I don't have any finished sketches from those early sittings. Later, they would finally submit, but as you can see from the two top sketches, they didn't have to like it.

These usually only took about 30 minutes, but felt like an eternity to them. I really wanted to draw from life instead of photos, so I would beg, conjole, bribe whatever it took to get them to sit for me. I would draw what was there. I have lots of pouty sons scattered in many sketchbooks.

Below the two grouchy sons is my eldest son. This one is unique because, of my three sons, he most disliked dressing-up and posing. He never got into the theatrical aspects of it all. He was a baseball player and a scholarly sort. But I caught him in a good mood one day and he dressed up for some studies of "Rip Van Winkle". Here he is as Rip doing what Rip did best - daydreaming.

I also took some photographs of him in the get-up to use for reference later. He took it all in stride, but asked me not to show them to his friends. I believe this was his first year of high school. I kept my promise and did not show them to his friends. I don't think he'll mind if I share them now.

Now everyone is too busy to pose. I've resorted to occasionally setting-up photo shoots with as many of them as I can get in costume. I now try to get the wife and girlfriends involved. I have a really great idea currently brewing in my head that I want to get reference photos for soon.

One day I'll get all the paintings finished that I've taken these photos/sketches for. It is always good to have a large reference library of photos you've taken yourself. If there is time while you're doing the shoot, sketch out a few ideas and file those away. They will come in handy at some point. And even grumpy subjects are good for sketching.

Get out a sketch something. Paint something. Just Draw! I'm headed to my canvas now.


Chasing the Monsters Away

My sons were like every child in the universe; they were occasionally visited by monsters who disrupted their slumber (not to mention the parents much needed sleep). Sometimes these creepy night visitors had no face, no descriptive form, just the power to scare the willies out of a little boy. Occasionally they did have form, and having a mom that could draw came in handy.

The boys would come to me describing the bad beast(s) that lurked in the shadows of their dreams. It was my job to get those ugly demons down on paper for all to see. Somehow, just seeing it on paper in the light of day rendered the boogeyman useless.

I remember when Drew dictated this beast to me. He was very young and we kept revising this monster until it was definitely the one chasing him. If an outsider had been looking in, they would have likened the scene to a police artist with a prime witness; "Yes, he had great long teeth that were like a saber-tooth tiger's", "No. His nose was longer with bumps all down it", "He had eyes like a snake!', "He was completely bald with red spots on his head." So he talked it out while I drew it and voila! monster banished. As far a I know this guy never plagued Drew again.

We all have monsters. What are yours?

They come in a variety of form with a plethora of malevolence directed our way. Some are childhood creations, just like the one above. Others from young adulthood, or even adult fears. In one of my theatre courses we were given the task of writing down our monsters. We were to describe them, not draw them, just as my son did for me. Then we were asked to give our descriptions to another student who would then render in 3D the habitat/terrain our monster may live in.

It is a great way to get your imaginations going and to help bring to life the fears that plague us. It was a fantastic class. And we were all amazed by the creations placed before us a couple of weeks later.

So banish your demons. Draw them out! Say a bit to them face to face. Tell them you no longer fear them since they are just doodles on a piece of paper. If you feel the need either shred or burn the paper that your beast now lives on, do it!

What are your Monsters?


The Bride and Groom

The very lovely Bride and her handsome Groom!
I'm so proud. Again, thanks John V. for these amazing photos.


Mage Two-Sketchbook

The second wizard/mage/healer concept.
Rendered on regular copy paper using a Papermate stick pen.


Current Work

I scanned this from my sketchbook this morning. I've been working on a series of mage/wizard/sorcerer/healer images.

While I have always doodled the wonderful magical characters, I owe this stream of creativity to my baby brother. He asked me to design a wizard - complete with castle and moat and other medieval accoutrements - for a tattoo.

This image is perhaps too complicated for a tattoo, but I can distill it down a bit. My best work is stippling pen and ink which isn't far from the method used to tattoo. So, if he likes this one I'll develop it for him. I have a couple more...I'll post in the next two posts.
As always have a magical day!



I just had to share these wonderful photographs from my eldest son's wedding. The photographer, John Valentine, is a professional photographer in K-Town. He is also a good friend. I cannot thank him enough for helping a mother of three grown sons look better than real life! I will share photos of the lovely bride as soon as I get her permission.
Please note: I have altered the quality from the originals so they don't take up too much space. The originals are marvelous. Crisp and clear. If you need a photographer and you are from this area, John is your man.
I'm currently working on several projects that will show up here soon. I'm also still working on imagery for my Cafepress shop. It has been a busy winter, which is good for me, but not so good for blogging. And most of my client work I cannot post. So hang with me, we'll get more new stuff up soon.


Gestural Thumbnails on a Bumpy Ride

A few drawings from my sketchbook. These were done a very long time ago during a bus trip to Alabama's Space Museum. I don't remember the names of these handsome boys. They are now grown. Each one asked me to draw him while they tried to sit still as the other boys teased and joked. It was also a bumpy ride.

Even though my concentration in college was declared as watercolor ( I chose watercolor because it is the hardest and most unforgiving of the media), drawing was always my first love. Hope you enjoy these.


Alchemy Box & Book

Sorry I have not updated in a few days. I've been working on a very interesting project and as soon as I can I'll try to share it with you. My client has to make his presentation first and then I need permission to use the images here.
For now, a photo from my archives:
Another image from my altered book series from several years ago.


Pigg Politics

I was going through some of my older sketch books the other day and came across several pages of pig sketches. I had a commission for a "pig painting" and did a lot of research on pigs. During this time my sons were young. They were also unorganized. Very unorganized at times.

I'm partially to blame. I allowed them to be very creative. I let them leave giant wooden block towers until their vision was complete. Later we had amazing Lego creations. We walked around them in the den until they were rearranged and reconfigured to the satisfaction of the inventor. I believed the power of creation outweighed the desire to be always tidy.

However, there were limits. I can abide creative mess. How could I tell them they could not exercise this right when I was doing the same thing? But I cannot stand dirty mess. Dirty clothes, food in the bed rooms, etc. So I created this series of drawings based on pigs. Yes, yes...I know...pigs are not naturally dirty or filthy creatures. No, I never made these into posters or cards for the boys. They were stress relievers for me. I could get all my frustrations out by focusing my attention on drawing these characters before I went in to oversee my sons room cleaning.

In light of the present political circus...umm...campaigning I thought I would give you Philth D. Pigg. We know what he stands for. We know how he will make good on his promises. And we know he is the poster child for chaos everywhere. Enjoy. Go Pigg. A pig of the people, for the people...


Whatever Happened to February Snow?

It is still early to write off snow this year, but this photo was taken on February 26, 2004. Sigh...I remember even more snows from my youth. Heck, we even had snow for Christmas way back then in the dark ages.

I know. A lot of you hate snow, especially if it comes with regularity. Some of you even moved here to avoid those long snowy winters. I miss having those occasional white quiet days when the world seems to slow down enough to think.

So here's to snow. May we get at least one really great one this winter.


Banana, Pear, Apple

Today is going to be a busy one, but I wanted to post something. Next week I will be getting back to real business. The last few days my down time has been spent in much needed organizing, purging of stuff, musings and contemplation.

This is pastel on paper. I did this one to show students (high school) how to use pastel to achieve a sense of form. It isn't much, just a quick sketch, unfinished. The students got the idea and went off to do their own works. Which turned out amazing. I love teaching art.

Take time today to create your own amazing works. Even if it is just a doodle or a gestural sketch, put it down. Enjoy the act of creating. Savor the satisfaction of accomplishment. Get lost in the process. Magic happens while you are there. Allow it.

Wishing you Magic!



Nature's Beauty

I snapped this image last summer. Somehow this beautiful creature found its way into my kitchen. If anyone knows what this insect is, please leave me a comment.

I thought the colors were gorgeous and looked like something Rennie Mackintosh or Frank Lloyd Wright would appreciate. Art is all around us. Most days we just need to open our eyes to this wonder.

By the way, I carefully carried my little friend outside so he/she could continue its intended life.

Here's wishing all of you a safe and peaceful day!


Wynken, Blynken and Nod

From my private drawings and paintings. This was actually done for a class study years ago. Since I have three sons I always called them "Wynken, Blynken and Nod" and I adore the poem and read it to my boys often. The work is mixed pen and ink, watercolor inks, and gouache. The poem which inspired this work is written by Eugene Field. More information about the poem may be found on Wikipedia


North River, Tellico Tennessee

From my sketchbook. Colored Pencil.


"Community" An Altered Book Series

Another entry from my "Community" altered book. Jack was a wonderful person. He was kind and walked every day. Every where. He grew up with jazz. And he loved it until the day he died. He played in a jazz band as a young man. He told me he once "went out" with Patricia Neal. He was a avid Kentucky basketball fan and I miss him. I miss seeing him walking to the store with his fast-clipped gate. I miss hearing him reminsce about his youth and his parents. He was a good neighbor when I was a child and later he was always kind to my three sons.

Bees Knees Reads: Interview With the Author Marilyn Kallet

Bees Knees Reads: Interview With the Author Marilyn Kallet


Self Portrait Altered Book Series

Long before Altered Books became vogue I was using cast-off codexes to create art works. Some of my alterations/modifications added to the books' interior landscapes. I would paint over the text and then write a poem or paint a portrait, do a collage or draw a still-life, etc. On other books I would create pieces that were more sculptural. These books would either not open at all or would only open to one interior offering the viewer a new perspective into how books can inform us.

One of the most personally successful alterations was a book on community. In this work I gessoed out all the page text, leaving just small bits of it poking through. Then I took the book around to neighbors, teachers and principals at the neigborhood middle-school, family members living close-by and asked them to write something about their lives. How did they come to this neighborhood? What favorite memory would they like to share within this context of community? How did they see their role within the neighborhood?

Then I would take photographs and do life sketches of them while they talked with me or while they were recording their stories. It was wonderful because it gave me a chance to visit with neighbors I had grown up with and find out interesting tidbits about their lives that I never knew before because I had never asked.

This altered-book remains one of my most cherished possessions. I never thought when I was creating this altered book that it would become so important. Several of my neighbors, who wrote down very dear and personal stories, have now passed on, including my mother.

I have other books and entries that I will share in the coming days and weeks. For now I offer you my self-portait from the "Community" book. I still live in the same neighborhood I grew up in. When I was young I always thought I would leave this town for a better...well anything, but life's circumstances kept me here and now I realize, just as Dorothy did, there is no place like home. We are so fortunate to live in such a temperate climate, with those beautiful mountains. I have been fortunate enough to travel all across our great nation and I have seen some amazing vistas and beautiful cities, but none compare to seeing those misty mountains that are so comforting and protective. And we have such a rich heritage from our ancestors who settled here. Why would we want to live anywhere else?

And speaking of ancestors, I have two fairly famous painters in the family. Their works grace the archives of the Smithsonian, as well as other famous collections. A few of their paintings have even made it to poster prints and can be found on More about them and their works later.

Investigate your community. Record your life there. Take a few moments to talk with those elderly neighbors and others. Get to know what they feel is important. Their answers will surprise you. Make your own community books. You'll be glad you did.


New Work for January

I just uploaded a new image to my CafePress store (Links: Van Winkle's Art). I have entitled it "I Have Loved Here". The work incorporates paintings and poetry from my altered books series, a couple of photographs from my archives and some of my illustrations.

The title comes from a line of poetry in my altered book, "Community". In the poem I'm reflecting on my neighborhood, my community and my place in it. I have juxtaposed this snippet of poetry with the other elements creating a darker, more mysterious landscape.

It is place where anything is possible. Where love can be found, life can be imbued with magic, and not everything is always as it seems. Love is there, fraught with mystery and maybe a bit of trepidation, but it finds you and wraps you in its amber warmth. The trepidation washes away, the symbolism becomes clear; the shadows (once ominous) are now comforting and offer protection from the outside world.

I have several more pieces currently in various stages of completion including some paintings. Please check back often for updates.

I hope you have found your way into a wonderfully mysterious world. And I hope you experience love's magic. Enjoy!


Illustration of the Day

A commemorative illustration created for the cast and crew of "Fiddler on the Roof" of the Clarence Brown Theatre.


A Christmas Poster: SteamPunk/Vampire Style

In addition to traditional rendering, illustration and painting, I also work as a graphic designer. I love "painting" and creating new worlds within Photoshop and Illustrator. I am mostly self-trained in these programs although I did take quite a few design classes when I was getting my fine art degree, but the technology was changing so rapidly we were still learning manual layouts with amberlith and layers of tracing paper with printers marks. So I learned the computer programs on my own.

The poster above was created for my son as a lagnaippe at Christmas. He asked for his large amount of film from his trip to Amsterdam and Germany to be developed. That was his only wish for a present. So I took the trip photos and a photo of him from a previous shoot and incorporated them into a poster. He loved it.

I am a fan of SteamPunk and really like the feel I've achieved with the images and the creation of frames, books, etc. My son enjoys Bram Stoker's "Dracula" and since some of the text of Jonathan Harker's Journal was fitting with his trip to Germany and the photos he shot of castles, I used that as the poster theme.


Happy New Year!

Photo-Illustration, Sandra Van Winkle 2008 Photoshop