Pattern Design: Plein Air Field Notes

August 11, 2015 / no comments

I wanted to share a behind the scenes look at the process of creating my latest pattern. Plein Air Field Notes is made up of pencil drawings from my sketchbook and loose watercolor sketches on larger paper. The watercolors came first – before I even thought of making my sketches into a pattern. I recently started painting on weekend mornings (we’re talking 8 am here) with my 2 year old and 9 year old. I have found that when I paint with them for “fun”, my painting loosens up a lot!


Family paint session. Time stamp: 8 am

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Keep Going: Cone Flowers Block Print

July 17, 2015 / no comments

This post is a look at how I am pushing myself to see my sketchbook less as a precious collection and more as a safe place to experiment, rework and ultimately to grow. Earlier this year I started to work with vintage, hand-carved woodblock stamps. With no real plan in mind I set out more to experiment with a new tool rather than make anything specific. I used block printing inks and acrylic to fill my sketchbook with pages of background color, then I’d go back over each page with the stamps, sometimes layering or filling in the negative spaces with more color.


Satisfied with the designs, I began the process of scanning and working them to be repeat patterns. (Turning everything into a pattern seems to be my m.o. lately!)


They are lovely on their own but more than anything they felt like backgrounds that needed to be filled.  Continue Reading…

Continuing The Color Conversation

January 9, 2015 / no comments

I carved out some time this week to work on a new series of patterns based on the transparency lessons of Josef Albers that I wrote about last month. This time instead of using Illustrator, I worked with watercolor to explore the ‘illusion of transparence’; a medium well-suited for the task. I created 4 variations on the theme.


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Remembering Norm Ives

January 5, 2015

In December, just before the holidays, I received a call that Norm Ives had passed. Norm was my ‘Kewpie client’, the director at Kewpie Corp. responsible for re-energizing the brand and absolutely one of the best people to work with. One of the things I liked most about Norm was that he always picked up the phone and called whenever he had anything to discuss. And to say that he was a nice person would be an understatement, whenever we spoke he asked about my life and family. He spoke fondly of his father who was an artist, and Norm’s appreciation for my work was enough to make me blush.


This was one of Norm’s favorite Kewpie poses


My biggest regret is that we never met in person – a common occurrence when files and direction are emailed. I felt the sting of regret especially strong as it had not been 24 hours since I had told my husband that after the holidays I was going to make a special trip to New York to have lunch with Norm. Instead, that night we lit a candle to remember Norm. A candle not unlike the one I had sent to Norm as a holiday gift, one he would not open.

My wish in writing this is to share how nice of a person Norm Ives was and also to remind everyone to BE NICE to each other, and that phone calls are a nice way to connect with people in your life.

Thank you Norm! I loved working with you!


2015’s ‘Marsala’ Time Travels To 1890’s Paris

December 11, 2014

Weeks before Pantone announced Marsala as 2015’s color of the year, I highlighted the wine colored swatch in a post about the Illusion of Transparence. I didn’t use a crystal ball to make any predictions and Pantone’s proclamation didn’t come as a total surprise; Marsala had been short-listed as one of the top 10 trend colors for Women’s fashion Spring ‘15. (If you were going to place bets, this would have been a good pool to choose from.) In my post, I set up color combinations that create the illusion of overlap and transparency. The design paired Marsala with the Pantone colors: Toasted Almond, Strawberry Ice and Tangerine, all from the Spring ‘15 collection.

On the heels of Pantone’s announcement, yesterday I found myself in a gallery full of famous turn of the 19th century lithographs that looked as though they could have been the sole inspiration for Pantone’s ‘Marsala’ and its secondary support palettes.

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Harmonies, Aversions & Taste

December 3, 2014

Most of us have a favorite color or group of colors. I go for blues. And yes, I have noticed a tendency in my work to use blue more than any other color. Conversely, I am averse to purples. I don’t have a good explanation as to why, they contain a good amount of blue, but they just don’t sit well with me. So this week as I continue to explore Josef Albers’ ‘Interaction of Color’, I chose the lesson Color juxtaposition – harmony – quantity, and forced myself to lean a wee bit closer to purples.

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My Interaction With Color

November 21, 2014

I am deep into the much referenced, Josef Albers ‘Interaction of Color’. I had decided to make this a year of focusing on color; really working on color combinations in my work, keeping track of color trends, making successful and applicable palettes. At this point, this exercise will most likely continue long into the new year. In this post I share some color exercises I’ve created integrating Pantone’s 2015 Spring | Top 10 colors for Women.

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