Friday, December 20, 2013


Excuse the poor picture quality. My scanner is packed deep in a 20' trailer.

All below have linked reference photos.

I like beautiful things, and delving deep in the blogosphere guarantees an onslaught of eye candy. Blogs and websites without appealing photos don't do well - especially food websites. Consider SLIM PALATE. The kid's photos and recipes are great, but his writing is terrible (granted, he is a teenager). Shouldn't a blog that has horrible text not get much attention? No, because we're a VISUAL SPECIES. There's plenty of data to support this and that VIDEO TRUMPS STAGNANT PHOTOS for audience engagement and attention. In fact, if I really wanted people to come to my blog I should post videos of me painting like MAJA WRONSKA and AGNES CECILE (I recommend muting sound while watching this one. Weird C-movie soundtrack music).

This all makes me think that people are actually more interested in the process of creative work than the creation itself. We marvel at the ability and secretly wonder if we could do the same. This is why Pinterest is so popular and why everyone is obsessed with DIY. You don't need a skilled artisan anymore. You can create ALL THE THINGS! This is also why PINSTROSITY is so pathetically funny.

So it's kind of horrendous and self-defeating that I'm even putting such horrible picture quality on here.


Sharon Montrose REFERENCE


Sharon Montrose REFERENCE

Saturday, December 14, 2013


Another example of how Sharon Montrose's photos really take the cake as watercolor reference. I recently saw on Instagram someone else doing the same, which made me smile. In hindsight, I should have saved the image.

Reference original HERE. I changed the eye color in order to make it less intimidating.

Friday, December 13, 2013


I've been very impressed with a selection of gorgeous DIY wreaths around the web this holiday season. THIS is my favorite one so far: simplicity at its best. Since we're moving during Christmas this year it is not possible to decorate our own home, so I paint it instead:

Happy Holidays from Austin,


Wednesday, December 11, 2013


A quick post!

We just found a place to live in downtown Austin, which is very exciting! I'm going bananas over what furniture I'd like to have and what we can actually do. It's such a tiny place so we have to maximize space. I can't wait to get back to a desk and a proper workstation setup.

These two pay homage to my love of classical sculpture.


I love Athena because she's a badass. It's not a male God that gets Odysseus home: it's a warrior lady who frequently disguises herself as a man, old and young. Shakespearean, no?

watercolor on 140lbs, "Athena"

I like David because he's beautiful. That is all.

watercolor on 140lbs, "David"


Sunday, December 1, 2013


Last week I was feeling claustrophobic in the city of Phoenix as a whole. Driving between 3-14 hours every weekend while living in New Mexico has permanently imprinted wanderlust into my biological rhythms. I miss traveling to small, tiny mountain towns in the desert. So I'm excited about our drive to Austin for the stops in-between, especially Riudoso, NM.

I was researching the ETYMOLOGY OF WANDERLUST. It originally means, in German, "hike-lover." Appropriate!

Side note:

Nick and I went to the San Diego Zoo with his family the day after Thanksgiving. It was just slightly chilly, overcast (perfect for photos), and I had a good time being clowns with my in-laws (That is not a sarcastic statement! I love them!). I think the best part about the San Diego zoo is the scheduled zookeeper talks. We went to the MANED WOLF talk. It was fascinating hearing about the animals (especially the evolutionary bits), but even more interesting was hearing about the keeper's career and how she ended up in her position. I expected her to have a BS in some sort of life science field, but in reality there are relatively few zookeepers that have degrees (although it's becoming more common). The reality of a zookeeper's daily work is a majority of manual labour and a minority of face to face animal time. Sounds like public school teaching.

Being at the zoo makes me want to read LIFE OF PI again - and go to Disney World, because most high-end theme parks just get better as you get older.

Nick and I checking out the manatees.
Photo by my brother-in-law's delightful girlfriend Leticia.


Friday, November 29, 2013


After packing up all of our stuff and being in San Diego for a week, I'm going a little stir-crazy for my workstation at home...which no longer exists. The following was an older practice, again using Sharon Montrose's WORK  as a reference. This was the first one I did of her work, and remains my favorite. Bison remind me of Christmas in New Mexico near the Jemez mountains, which is always a good memory.

Happy Thanksgiving.