Friday, November 28, 2008

sweet swap

Sweet on barters, sweets for illustrations, (pve design artwork)
for blogger, decorator-"High-Heeled Foot in the Door"
Yes, I promised to share my sweets with you and here they are!  We were so delighted with all the sweets on Thanksgiving day.  Our meal lingered for hours and finally after "some"- caught some shut-eye in front of the crackling fire and "some" went for a walk, I prepared the kitchen table with a banquet of sweets for all to get a "sweet on!"

a table of sweets to share
Home-made brownies, bars, fruit, apple pie with sour cream, pumpkin pie with chestnut puree and of course, the delightful Hagen dasz Ice Cream.  Thanks to this lovely gal over here, she sent me boxes and boxes of yummy treats for an illustration, a sweet swap!

I am so sweet on barters.  My very own father loves to tell the story of his Mother -"bartering" when he was born, she gave the Doctor a fresh farm chicken for delivering her son.  
Sharing sweets with one another and giving thanks~

Thursday, November 27, 2008


Today, I am thankful for you.  I am grateful for the tall oak trees "giving us nature, beauty, strength, life and wisdom"- the above oak leaf and acorns bring Joy to my table.  They set the "Perfect-Beginning" for this day full of grace.  Joy sent these to me.
Here is my table that I had so much fun setting.  

For the place cards, I cut oak leaf, and leaf shapes and painted gold on the edge, then tied them to small pumpkins with bias binding.
Today we have two tables set for a bountiful feast, Turkey and all the trimmings!
This table is for the "grown-ups" but truth be told, I will never grow up!
Outside on my back porch, the beverages are chilling and ready for a thirsty bunch.  Cheers to each of you who brighten my day with your comments, your e-mails and your energy!  Break bread, say grace and raise your glass to one another and give thanks!  Chin Chin!  I have some very special desserts which I shall share with you friday.   To those of you that are unable to be with family, I will think of you too.  Happy Thanksgiving today.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

belt it

I designed these needlepoint belts and they are still going strong over here.  We have a saying around my place- when we need to save a little or lose a little, we say "tighten the belt - dear!" Well, with Thanksgiving upon us and the current state of the economy, times seem to indicate a little saving is in order, tighten that belt or loosen it, whichever suits you or yours.  

I especially loved designing the bottom one, a fire breathing dragon for my Knight.  Life is all about choices, which one would you belt?  

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

will power

Painting by my sister Liz Coomes
"The Queen of Seattle"
I have been after my sister to "start her blog" and she would say, "I will"- when I am ready. At last, she got the "will power" and joined the fun over here.   I am thrilled to share with you her talents as well as her ability to always look for the light. She radiates such a positive energy and always looks to share her love of paint as well as joy for life with others. 

As my eldest sister, we have so enjoyed one another's company for many years. She dedicates her life to many a cause and she provided such support when my son came home from the hospital back in September, as did many others.  She actually drove "by herself" from Kentucky to and from, now if that is not will power then what is?   Her willingness to help, to be there, to always spread such cheer is infectious all in the midst of her own family dramas.

Landscape painting by Liz Coomes
We always enjoy comparing notes about our family, the many splendid gifts that our Mother shared along with talented Aunts.  At an early age, we baked, sewed, crafted, made, did and were never ever bored.  We still scratch our heads at how our Mother raised seven of us to find passion in doing a variety of things, dancing, sports, art, music etc.  

pve design of the "love shack" - illustrated for my sister and her husband circa 79 

Welcome my sister with a comment or if you need a painting of some land or somebody, she is the one who will rise to meet your special need.  Just consider how fortunate I am to be born with a strong, sweet and powerful sister.  Welcome Liz today over here.  She will be so glad you did.

Monday, November 24, 2008

cat's meow

The cat's meow or purr in this case, is all about being able to enjoy the moment.  If you have a pet, you will know how an animal can stop time.  All they want is love and a little attention.
This is one of the first of a "sketch" in the works, asking for attention. Purr.

Friday, November 21, 2008


I have a lot of "housework" today, many homes to illustrate and the one thing that I really try to capture is to make one want to feel the soul of the house.  I often wonder what kind of life must be going on inside, what is cooking on the stove, what needs to be folded or washed, and all the love that it takes to make a house work for it's inhabitants.  If there was one thing that you would say that your home needs to work, what would that be?  

Thursday, November 20, 2008

good mattes

Time permitting, I love to ship my art finished in a good matte, one that finishes off the work and protects it too.  Framing may also be added on my end or yours.  The above illustration was sent with a generous five inch matte, a double cut, gray and white.

The client added the black matte inside and the simple chic frame.  Ready to hang in your very own gallery!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

party people

pve design - "cocktails" illustration
Apologies for the not so great photo of my "party people" illustration.  This happened to be from a wedding that I was booked to illustrate for and it all made my heart beat a bit faster. The party season is approaching like a freight train and I think for fun gifts, I will bring along my sketch pad and draw, new meaning to "working the crowd" - right!   Sounds like a good plan to avoid gaining any holiday excess or to avoid being tempted!  What are your favorite memories of parties that you have given or attended?

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

handy door knocker

A dear friend spotted my door to door post yesterday and sent this wonderful "door knocker" which she took a photo of while in France.  Don't you love the the color of the door and that door knocker truly must come in handy!  

Monday, November 17, 2008

door to door

"The Blue Door" of a client's cottage for the Holiday Card~
In a matter of days, many of us will be opening our doors, embracing guests for Thanksgiving Day or the Holidays which shall descend upon us swiftly.   I shall be posting a series of doors from around the world.  Knock Knock, who's there, do you hang a wreath or have something wonderful to share?  Ding dong, it's me, here to see your door!

Friday, November 14, 2008

memories of a dress

You know the one, the dress that brings back all the memories of the day when you heard those words, "for better or worse."  Well, a new painting like the above is being "given away" by this talented artist.  Not only can Diane Bronstein wield a brush, but she has an amazing photo safari class that she teaches as well as several blogs (Inspiration by Design) that she keeps.
Without a doubt, my wedding dress has to be my favorite dress.   My very own design, created from a heavy double face silk which I literally could have worn it inside out sewn by one of the most amazing seamstresses who took pride in her work.  Inside around my waist, I wore a nude grosgrain ribbon from which to bustle the back and cleverly attach to the ribbon.  I felt very elegant, not fussy and I would wear it again today as well as marry the same man.  Memories of a dress, from that day forward for better or worse.   The best memory is that it also cost very little to make.  Fashion cents comes in hand every now and again.

Some other dresses that seem to be calling my name are from the Bottega Veneta Collection.
Chic Sheath dresses for day to dinner.  Post the above painting and tout about your favorite dress today.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

honor tree

The intent of my visit to my parents was to help them both, to make them both feel better, but in all fairness, my visit was to honor them.  I witnessed my parents, still very much in love with one another, in sickness and in health.  When we honor the ones we love, we find new meaning in our own life.  As the holidays are upon us, one way to honor your parents or a family you love is to make a simple family tree, an "honor tree."  The above tree is so simple from Martha, just a pretty colored paper and a white pen, write the names to form a tree of honor and simply frame.  What a lovely hostess gift!

How do you honor those that you love?

Friday, November 07, 2008

time out

Time-out for me.  I am taking a little time out to fly down to Kentucky and see my Mom who is not well.  In the midst of providing comfort as well as comic relief, I am taking a blogging break to focus on my Mom and some work that is piling up too.  I just love this photo of Lucy, now that's what I call, "Grace under Pressure."

Hope this time-out will be just the thing to cure my Mom and get my act in line too.  Back in a week! 

Thursday, November 06, 2008

my friend with the camera

It is with great pleasure that I announce the work of my dear friend with the camera.  Photographic Artist, Elizabeth Belliveau is participating in the "Rooms with a View" at the Southport Congregation, in Fairfield, Connecticut this evening.  The body of work that she will be showing is titled-
"Le Ballet dans le Jardin"

pve design painting, photograph by photographic artist Elizabeth Belliveau
Our friendship began many years ago, before husbands, before children, even before the camera.  I had saved some magazine tear sheets for my friend, and she began to set up the shoot and we both jumped at the chance to do this.  We only had a few hours to accomplish all this which seemed like an easy thing to do given our fabulous children were at school and the husbands were toiling away.  I keep encouraging her to form her very own web-site or get a blog.  She has an amazing way with the camera.  Trust me her work is incredible,  Please leave her a comment, to add fuel to the fire to motivate her to join the blog world.  I am happy to give her contact to you should you be interested in your very own photographs.  

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

The day after

A new day dawns, congratulations to President Obama and family.  
I think I need a J.Crew Cardigan and a new flag too.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Monday, November 03, 2008

hole card

I have never been a card player, however one "hole card" that is no longer a secret with me, I would like to share with you.  I learned this trick from an incredible teacher that I took art lessons from way back while in High School here.  If we were painting from a photograph, one tool that we learned to use was to simply "hole punch" a card and place it over the color that you were trying to see and "voila" you would somehow have a sort of "gps" to find the color.
Try it and you will readily see the color that you need, a hole-in-one of sorts.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

draw the line

pve sketch, micron pen
My work begins with a series of what I like to refer to as notes, lines and editing in order to capture the image on paper.  I spend an inordinate amount of time looking and then making "jabs" or lines to capture what I see.  Once I feel that the piece is ready for color, I begin by formulating a color palette.  

Often - I use a simple card with a hole punch to locate the true color, especially if I am working from a photo.  Often I am surprised by the color that I see in the hole.  This simple exercise helps me to see the dark and the light, giving me a "road map" or what I like to call a to the final art.  

pve color illustration
Laying in the color, with a brush and a fast pace of "pulling and pushing" in order to give the work dimension and to draw one in.  A limited palette is also easy on the eye and accentuating the focus of the work makes one want to step inside.  If similar colors are next to one another -then the hue of that color pops when different, for example the gray blue roof next to the aqua sky.   Note the cobalt blue pots pop against the yellow. 

Hope this post inspires you to draw the line!