Thursday, February 25, 2010

snow in new york

Snow Storm in New York, Robert Henry 1902

We are in the midst of another snow storm in New York.

I wonder how they maneuvered with horse and buggy and long billowy skirts.
No four wheel drive, no cell phone to call ahead to tell them of your delay.
I would love to go back in time to wear a muff, and travel in horse and buggy and paint with the Ashcan School of Painters during this snowy day in New York.

life support

"Family Life" William Glackens 1912
Each week, I meet with a group of ladies to knit, to taste and to talk of life. I really truly feel that they provide some sort of life support. The issues we face are there for each of us, as we grapple with juggling life, fashion, finances, interiors, knitting, children, husbands, teens, illness, politics, education, exercise and love. (Mind you not in any order.)
John French Sloan, "Women drying their hair - Ashcan Group of Painters
I began this group a few years ago out of wanting a dedicated time to create, to knit and to come together with other ladies. Each of us are unique individuals bringing a richness to our tapestry with a variety of yarns and tales. The stories we share, the challenges we face, be it aid in deciding the next family meal or next new book or hair style, we thrive in all the seasons. When a storm hits we take shelter and each feel the neglect of nourishment that we garner as a group.
John French Sloan Studio (and friends)- Ashcan school of painters 1900's
All of this leads me to wanting to lead a tutorial of sorts for other ladies (and gentlemen) with some sort of inspiration to design a sort of group or creative passion that can add support to your life. Would you pay for tutorials or a series of classes on line to aid you to take steps toward fulfilling your dreams of perhaps a creative endeavor. Lately, I am in awe of my readers and the many e-mails that I receive on wanting to begin a creative venue and need to know where to begin. Tell me if you would be interested in an on line class and what would you like to learn to add support to give you the encouragement to start something new.
What are you waiting for to live the life you deserve and want?

Grateful to each of you and your comments and your support.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

sharp palms

"Sharp Palms" -pve design photos from Florida 2010
While I was down in Florida, I snapped these sophisticated palm trees. The graphic black and white quality certainly did not really remind me of typical sunny tropical temps, however from an artistic point of view I found it very soothing and sharp at the same time. I think Florida is not all about coral and starfish anymore.
I plan on working on a series of palm drawings as I was inspired by their vivid silhouette along with these walls at the W Hotel in the Foyer and Bar of Steak. Thinking of doing this on a hallway in my home. No it is not wallpaper, it was done with a Sharpie. My daughter loved it too.
This was the other wall. They gave me the name of the french artist who did it in 3 weeks. I tried finding him on-line to no avail.
What do you think?

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

house guest

I like to think of each house illustration that I am commissioned to do as a "house guest!"
pve design house illustration commission 2010
I imagine how happy a house guest would be to arrive and find a sweet little four legged friend to greet them. Can you see the little darling dog in the grass? The art was framed and delivered a few weeks ago, ready to give to the man of the house and to hang for all house guests to admire!

Monday, February 22, 2010

mad hungry

Yesterday, my family was re-united after each other's respective vacations. My twin sons were in Utah (skiing) with their dear Auntie and we hopped down to Florida for a little warmth with our girl and then back for a weekend of ski racing. I arrived home to a bulging mailbox, laundry and to some mad hungry men & boys. Good thing that the above cookbook arrived in the mail from "Allie von Summer is a verb." She knew that my sons were celebrating a birthday and that I - their mother would need "Recipes, Strategies & Survival Techniques" which is a definite must for any family with men & boys.

So as I continue to sooth the savage beast with guy gastronomical feasts, as well as calm my inner crank with some green tea and wade through the laundry, I give thanks for appetites and a blog that feeds my creative soul. I cannot even begin to tell you how thankful I am for each of you, your generosity, humor and saving me from going completely and utterly mad while I keep all the balls in the air. My job entails raising a family, building my business, surviving a looming renovation and being the grown-up and tell my man that "Let's not go out, Let's eat at home!"

There is truly nothing like the Family Meal to keep a family from going mad hungry!
Cheers for family meals. Do you eat as a family or on the fly?

wild and cranky

When I have a certain face on, "my people" automatically say, "Ah oh, somebody sure is cranky!" Even if I am not *cranky, the comments are enough to send me in a tail spin and drive me wild.

I began to think that there can be something good to being cranky, something in a sort of glamourous way, a spunky sort of way. Do you feel that we all just have to be smiling and sweet all the time or is it ok to let our inner crank come out to play? Do you ever let your cranky side come out? (To those of you that are giving up sugar for Lent, I can understand how you might be cranky.) Excuse me while I work on my glamorous cranky wardrobe and replenish the mascara and false eye-lashes. Care to join me on a wild and cranky bend?

*My crankyness is due to the fact that Winter Break - Vacation is over and (today) we are back to school, back to work and a busy routine ! The break was so nice.

Friday, February 19, 2010


I am gathering images for my artist studio addition.

I immediately fell in love with this wonderful space. The light is wonderful and I feel as if all the pieces work. Can you just see Ms.O'Keefe painting here at Ghost Ranch. I already have a wall planned for pure inspiration and the other for light. Most artists covet northern light.
Give me light, it makes me happy.

Congratulations to Kelley from drawworm. Kelley won the J.McLaughlin giveaway!
She does portraits in pencil.
What does or would your artist studio look like?
What would you need for the perfect studio?

Thursday, February 18, 2010

The Shoppers

The Shoppers 1912, Artist, William Glackens
While I was away down south, we went to The Museum of Art in Fort Lauderdale and there I met the most wonderful work of William Glackens. Why had I never heard of his work? I was drawn to the images of everyday life that he captured in illustrations and in paintings. I fell in love with his work, as well as these lovely shoppers. These fine ladies are all decked out in such wonderful winter layers, yet I imagine them looking at fine textiles and pondering the hope of the Spring season.

After having been able to shed a few layers of winter and enjoy a little warmth, my thoughts turn to spring, seeds, bulbs and textiles. When I was a young gal, I would ride my bike to the local fabric shoppe and select something to entice me as I would be so anxious for the coming season.

Quickly, I am jolted back to the Winter, the snow is covering the ground and the fire has been lit to take the chill out of the house. My thoughts turn to shopping which brings warmth to my world. Please leave a comment to enter the sunny giveaway that I posted on Tuesday.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

devoted servant

I love these handsome "attendants in indigo" by Katie Ridder. Just look at the flowers they are bringing and the gloriously whimsical head gear! It will be available here. Rumor has it that in the new "Sex in the City" movie, there will be some fun designs by Katie.
If I had this charming pattern, I would be servant-less no more.
Please enter the sunny giveaway from tuesday's post! Winner announced on Friday!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

sunny give-away

pve design illustration for jmclaughlin

There is something about the sun that makes me feel happy (along with nearly 400 followers!). In honor of the sun, and a few days reprieve from the snow I am hosting a wonderful give-away from my first sponsor, J.McLaughlin. For many years I have been illustrating for them and they graciously have offered a give-away.

Ladies and Gentlemen, you are invited to go to the J.McLaughlin site and look at new arrivals. Select the favorite item you would love to win.\The winner will be announced on friday. (Randomly selected!)

Winner is Kelley from drawworm!

(posted friday 2-19-2010)

(Just wanted to share this fun facebook discount for J.Mclaughlin. Enter facebook10 at checkout if you feel the need to shop. )

What would make your day a little warmer? Leave a sunny comment and become a pve follower if you are not following already!


Make a wall of words. Write down all the things that can make your day one step closer to your destiny. What word or words would be on your wall?

Monday, February 15, 2010

breakfast nook

How about a sweet little spot like this to sip your morning coffee and read the paper. I love the artwork, simply framed in all white mattes and frames. I am thinking of having a series of work framed like this to sell. Do you have a nook that needs a fresh new look?

Sunday, February 14, 2010

je t'aime

image from Billy Reid
Happy Valentine's Day.
Je t'aime.
Valentine's Day is dedicated to "je t'aime" - and to sharing how we profess our love. Perhaps chocolate or flowers are on your mind, but just showing you love someone with a sign or a handwritten note truly goes straight to the heart.

How will you show your love?

Do you have special plans for your love?

Saturday, February 13, 2010


image - Hermes "life as a tale"
Taking a little blog hiatus. Nothing like a little rest for my head. I promise to be back in a jiffy.
I am headed to a little sun and sand. Not that I mind the snow, but I am looking forward to the warmth. Excuse me while I thaw myself out. Not to worry - I shall be bringing my sketch pad and watercolours so rest assured, I will come back with lots of goodies.

Friday, February 12, 2010


Just look at this, out my front door. My garland is down now, but I love the way the snow can blanket everything. I had to share this shot. Gotta love old man Winter.

good deeds

"How far that little candle throws his beams!
So shines a good deed in a naughty world."
-The Merchant of Venice, ActV, scene i

Each and every day, I am so enamored by the kindness of individuals that I have not yet met.
I feel a total brightness of light radiating from the notes and the wonderful connection to so many.

A dear friend told me that when you have another child, it is like lighting a candle, the flame gets brighter. Friends are like that too. Just last night a friend called to tell me how much she enjoys a small bowl that I had painted for her. I had to think for a moment as the memory of that bowl was just a faint flicker.

I have been busy making and giving soups and dinners for a friend who has cancer. Just yesterday, she called to tell me she had a "Clean" MRI.
All the giving in return for such good news of hope.

Care to share any good deeds that you have done in this naughty world?
Feel free to leave a comment or post on your own blog!
Let's all throw on our high beams and shine a good deed.

Thursday, February 11, 2010


yellow still life, Fairfield Porter
Jane and Elizabeth, Fairfield Porter
Under the elms, Fairfield Porter
Satisfaction comes in many forms. I think one of the most satisfying aspects of being an artist is to adequately fulfill your goal. One such artist who I have great admiration for is "Fairfield Porter" - the realist in him merely wanted to make beautiful things.

Porter once wrote: "The realist thinks he knows ahead of time what reality is, and the abstract artist what art is, but it is in its formality that realist art excels, and the best abstract art communicates an overwhelming sense of reality." Porter was Harvard educated although it was his "self-taught" nature that brought his paintings to reality.

As an artist, it is so important to me to satisfy each day by making things more beautiful, to look and to see what I see and then to get it all out and down on paper or canvas. Nothing beats the satisfaction of knowing when it is right.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

pretty white stuff

pretty pencils from Olive Manna
I like pretty things. Last night before I went to bed, I decided to keep a pencil and a pretty journal near my bed in order to record all of my dreams.
If I should wake, I would hop over here, jot down all of my dreams (under the light of this pretty white lamp found here) which began to look like this.

I had a dream last night about pretty white stuff. I dreamt I woke up here under this pretty canopy of white.
I stumbled out of bed into this pretty white bathroom, and took a lovely shower. I loved the stack of fresh towels at the ready. It sure beat having to holler for a "towel, please!" The fresh white flowers were a nice touch too.
Then I dressed in all white and went to this dreamy kitchen to prepare myself an all white feast of french toast with powdered sugar, white cocoa and a plate of bananas, fresh yogurt and blueberries. How does that sound to you, pretty, right.
My all white keyboard was calling out to me to come and check my blog for comments as well as e-mails and then to get to work.
This space is too pretty to show only once. I have twins, so that is my excuse.
(Pretty Double entendre )
The design meeting would take place in a studio like this, lots of light, a large table to view designs, lots of chairs, kid friendly chairs too - should my client need to bring a wee one along.
Moms understand Moms. Candles would be lit to clear the air in the fragance of "White Fir."

A large inspiration board full of images at the ready. Some fresh white tea would be offered and some heaping plates of biscuits (and gravy) too. ( No a white tin of biscotti silly.)
Right around the corner would be a slightly more "cluttered" think tank where the work would really happen. All this juxtaposed by a pretty corner couch and chaise and a wall of art with stories. I crave a bit of ordered clutter in my day as well as my dream. I like to call my style "vintage modern"- I guess I just cannot help myself, I need to look back but push forward.
I suddenly woke up to a squeal as I looked out the window at pretty white stuff, white snow, bright snow and realized my dream of pretty white stuff was real. I had been blanketed in white. I did have a little "premeditated" help with this dream, as school had been cancelled yesterday before the snow gods had even begun to shower us with pretty white stuff.

Can you blame a gal for creating a pretty white dream? Do you dream in color?
I am hopping back into bed for a little reading and some more dreaming.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

tell all tuesdays

What an honor and a privilege to be part of "tell all tuesdays" over here. Thank-you Char!
Hop over and see the fabulous art they create, from the bonds of friendships as artists, moms, and bloggers. Thanks!

Monday, February 08, 2010

creative collections - part II

In the course of a month, papers, and little pebbles of life can accumulate. I have always admired those that can arrange a collage out of the bits of life in one central station. The art of saving snippets, photos, tickets, bills has a casual yet elegant aura to it. Inside of a bookshelf, I spotted this over at New York Social Diary (Benjamin Bradley) and thought this might inspire you too.

formula un

"F1" - Formula One Car designed by JP van Essche (son of pve)
Last Summer, my sons attended a summer program, "Great Books" on the grounds of Amherst College and had the opportunity to see what campus life is like. The 2 week program was wonderful for them to meet college graduates, to attend a variety of lectures and to have free time to play music, create or toss a frisbee.
The above car was designed and made by my son from cardboard, and a mix of garbage, caps, wire and then painted. Ever since he was a little boy, he has taken great pleasure in building with legos, putting puzzles together and a whiz at engineering. He can figure out most anything, take it apart and put it all back together. I love how we are programmed with a formula at such a young age and that love or passion if nurtured can grow.

Do you have one formula that has stayed with you from childhood or a creative passion that has evolved over time? A little "formula fun" at any age is truly special.

Sunday, February 07, 2010

sunday shelf - calendar of art

pve design illustration for calendar
A few years ago, I illustrated a calendar for this fun gal. She was looking for a gift to thank her clients and wanted something for them to remember her by each month. It was such a fun project for me. When I took on the project I asked if she could provide some images by month and she gave me so much information, it was a pleasure to capture each image for the 12 months.
If you are looking for a special gift, and have shelved the thought, why not give art.
The gift of art is everlasting.

Saturday, February 06, 2010

on ice

Take a look at these amazing ice sculptures here.
Truly works of art.

small change

Saving small change or the ability to be consistent with a small change on a regular basis is key to setting up not only good habits but to produce results. Setting up a system in order to see results by focusing on small changes in our behavior.

It is so crucial to teaching wee ones the importance of saving. Do you save change or have a "piggy bank?" A weekly trek to the bank with "small change" can add up over time. How many of you involve a wee one around you in the art of saving for a rainy day? Were you taught that pennies make dollars or are you waiting for pennies from heaven?

Image -flickr