Tag Archives: painting

Celebrating Progress

Eight years ago, I was still in Germany, sewing and knitting for my baby and myself. I started doing surface patterns and illustrations every now and again for knitting magazines. I still carted around all my art supplies with the thought I'd get back to that dream of illustrating children's books one day.

Five years ago, I still had zero books published, and was recently re-emigrated to the U.S. I was picking myself back up after missing my community and friends I'd made in Germany. I decided to dust off my paintbrushes and started painting whatever was in my head and start taking my art seriously. I started an art collective and together we worked on getting better at our craft.

But, goodness I was rusty! My first paintings were rough, but I needed to get through making a bunch of my 'okay' work to get to where I am today!

Then three years ago, I illustrated my first picture book! To me, it was a proof of concept. I could be a children's book illustrator. Look, here's the proof! That made me work even harder at refining my own stories.

And in a few weeks, my first book as author and illustrator will be hitting bookshelves near you!

When you hear 'progress not perfection' I hope you'll think of my journey. Every action you take toward your dreams is progress. Every painting you finish. Every drawing you refine. It's all progress.

image from ABUELITA AND I MAKE FLAN, Anita helps find ingredients
snippet from my upcoming book, ABUELITA AND I MAKE FLAN, Charlesbridge 2022

Summer & June Gloom

My Summer Finch for the Finch & Foxglove site!

Did you know about June Gloom in Southern California? I just learned about it at the end of last month. I actually really like it!

So what is it? It's this weather phenomenon where clouds form over the ocean along the coast and the winds move these clouds onto land creating a foggy, cool atmosphere. I LOVE the cool mornings!

All this talk of beach and clouds and such has me all in a tizzy making artwork about fish and water! Did you see my new summer finch up top? It's now live on the Finch & Foxglove homepage, too.

Thinking about the beach...

And the water...

And I've been sewing too, I just haven't had the chance to photograph the garments I've made for my son and me. I participated again in MeMadeMay but again didn't post photographs. I wore lots of me-made clothing for Surtex in fact! I must do a sewing recap post soon.

Butternut Squash Soup Recipe

Don't know what to cook tonight?  How about Butternut Squash Soup!
This is the latest illustration I completed for They Draw & Cook .  If you're looking for inspiration on what to cook or need an illustrator, there are tons of food illustrators there including me!

If you do want to make the soup, it's really simple...

Chicken Picnic

This is my final piece from the Make Art That Sells Course (Part B).  It was a revelation for me to just do what I do in response to a brief, and use my icons that were created on a whim earlier this year and then put it all together.  It's a revelation to just be in a flow and making work.

I asked my teammates from Finch & Foxglove for feedback and adjusted accordingly.  It's been really nice to be able to get into a groove and feel like you had a place to turn for a dialogue about your work.

As for process, at the end of the summer I painted these chickens in watercolor and gouache.  This past week I drew most of the rest in marker, brush-pen, watercolor pencil, and gouache.  The textures I've been collecting all year, and I made some more.  I shared some of my textures recently on a live Periscope broadcast too!

I thoroughly enjoyed MATS B as it seems the topics suited me better.  In addition, though, it looks like I've grown some confidence between MATS A in March and MATS B in October.  Cheers to vast improvements and self-confidence!

Also, I'd like to invite you all to follow along with our Finch & Foxglove Advent Calendar starting December 1st.  Watch the advent calendar page here!

Poster for the Global Art Gathering in Brighton

I decided to get painterly again!

And it was fun.

For those process-lovers...

I started out with marker and quick-sketched lots of different concepts.  Here are my faves:

At first, I started drawing in Illustrator, but most people in the MATS Bootcamp were going digital right away, and I couldn't get the kind of texture in the marks that I wanted.  And I felt like I couldn't really get that kind of energy using just vector imaging.  So, I went painterly.  I was so happy to get painting!  I adjoined 4 square canvases and painted them as if they were one.  I used paper, paint, ink, fabric, and all kinds of pens. 

See the seams where the canvases met?
Then, I sliced them apart with an exacto blade and scanned them individual at a very high resolution.  I then took it to Photoshop where I painted and patched the seams, collaged some more, and then added the text.  And there you have it!

So what's the poster about?  Well, it's a real event happening in Brighton, and I'm super excited to be going!  It includes speakers and networking, and best of all... it's in Brighton!  I cannot wait to visit the city.  I've heard such great things, and can't wait to see for myself! You can find out more information about the Global Art Gathering here.

Art Day

For Christmas Paul and I got the girls painting sets modeled after the Great Masters’ most iconic works.  They’re called “Master Kitz”, and each one includes some information about the artist and his work, plus instructions to make your very own version.
Emily got Hokusai’s “The Great Wave”, Neve got Van Gogh’s “Starry Night” (thanks to a very soft spot for a certain Doctor Who episode featuring said artist), and Oona got Monet’s “Water Lilies”.

Today the younger girls decided they wanted to break out their kits and work on them for school (Emily was deep into The Joy Luck Club and I wasn’t going to complain).


Thankfully Oona’s kit used chalk pastels instead of paint.  Less mess for me to worry about!



Oona had fun shading with her fingers and tracing the water lily stencil.


Her finished product!


Neve’s project looked like a lot of fun.




Neve’s Starry Night!

They had A LOT of fun making these.  Each kit came with two heavy pieces of paper along with all the paint/pastels and stencils you need, plus super instructions.

No, I am not getting paid by Master Kitz!  I just love how much fun they are!

Tagged: Homeschooling

A New Space To Create

You may or may not know that recently Paul started a new job.  He has been commuting to work every day and is traveling only rarely now.  It’s not bee as big an adjustment for us as I was originally worried it would be, and the kids are certainly benefiting from more papa time during the week.

The other side benefit?  Since he is working every day out of a regular office at a regular 9 – 5 (ish) job, he no longer had any use for the home office.  Since we bought this house the room that had been designated by the builder as “Living Room” has been Paul’s office.  It’s far too small to be a living room, and since the room with the fireplace next to both the dining room and kitchen (labeled “family room”) was much bigger, we had a living room already.

But this smaller room is in a primo spot: in front of the house with floor to ceiling windows and nice french doors. In other words, I’d been eying it for years.

Well, I no longer have to wish.  Paul gave it up for me now that his office is at work.  I spent the last week cleaning it out, painting it, and moving all of my stuff (Including a massive desk that should never be moved by anyone).

It took two tries to get the color just right, but now I am glad I went back.  I love this colonial blue.

I painted around and behind Paul’s post – surgery chair and the server rack.  It took FOREVER to get all of that stuff organized and moved out.

Before Paul could get all of his stuff out I began moving mine in. I couldn’t wait!

Everyone got excited when we moved the big comfy chair from the bedroom in.  It’s a favorite spot to nap and read.  I spent the first two months of Oona’s life sleeping in this chair.  Very comfortable.

Now that the room is complete you can see a good reason for the comfy chair in here – the flat screen tv Paul mounted to the wall above my desk (the monitor on top of my desk are the cameras outside – these will be important once the animals come home).

Everything fits quite nicely.  I kind of want to spend all my time in here.

I have a room surrounded by things I love, that is all me.  It has already become the center of family activity – Paul likes to sit in the big chair and relax while I work on creative things, and the kids like to watch me and the tv.  Even the dogs are in on the action.

I may have to make use of those french doors before too long.




Tagged: Knitting, Pets, Sewing

In Progress

So much to blog about, but so little time left to prepare for the opening day of the farmers market!

I give you a poorly lit picture of display in progress. Stay tuned for more original creations!