Lover of nature, color, art, life, adventure. Choosing to find beauty. I hope you can find inspiration and joy while you're here.


Tiny Feather Canvases

Some of my favorite recent art pieces are these tiny 2" x 2" canvases, which are just large enough to add a small design to but still leave a big impact:

I added some simple feather trios to these little guys because, dang it, feathers are the best. These, along with other mini canvas designs, are going to be available at the upcoming Beehive Bazaar, from May 7-9 at the Feather & Fir booth! It's coming up quickly!


Feather Contour and Watercolor

I've been fiddling about a lot lately with watercolors and contour illustrations, and tried a new way of combining the two:

I wanted to try out a new watercolor approach that wasn't as layered or detailed, and a little more abstract and free flowing. I really like the way it all turned out! I'm definitely going to be doing this some more!

What new things have you tried lately?


Mountain Mother Handlettering Variations

One of my favorite pieces I've made for the the Beehive Bazaar is this 5x7 Mountain Mother handlettering piece in three different colors:

I based these off of a green one I made for my own living room, but I liked the way it looked in other cool colors as well. Which color do you like best?


Tracing How-To

If you liked the columbine contour drawing from the last post, fret not. It's not the only one available...I made a few more! Then I also made some variations in gold (and white!) on black:

While each piece of art is slightly different, all of my art is original because I'm crazy like that. So, how do I make so many pieces of the same design on paper that is too thick or dark for a lightboard? Guys. It's due to little miracles called tracings.

It takes a long time to illustrate something from scratch. I sketch and correct my lines, and keep sketching until I get the design in a place I like. To save on time, as soon as I have a design I like, I make a tracing of it. Then, to make the transfer process as seamless as possible, I take 5 steps.

//Step 1//
Cover the back of the tracing with graphite:

//Step 2//
Tape that sucker down to the final paper so it doesn't slide around:

//Step 3//
Begin tracing the lovely illustration:

//Step 4//
Check traced lines and double check placement by lifting occasionally (thank you, tape!):

//Step 5//
Keep tracing until piece is finished:

After that, I carefully remove the tracing, trace the final piece with my media of choice and then erase the pencil lines. Ta-dum! (There is a lot of tracing, which is why it's called what it is.) It can be tedious, but it ends up being much quicker than starting an illustration from scratch every time.

Have you tried this before? Do you have any favorite tips or tricks to make multiple originals?


Columbine Contour in Lavender and Yellow

I've been working my little buns off getting things ready for the upcoming Beehive Bazaar, and one of my favorite pieces so far is this columbine contour:

Columbines are one of the most delicate and delightful mountain flowers, and I wanted the illustration and colors to reflect that. Luckily, one of these should be up for grabs on Instagram @beehivebazaar! Make sure to follow them and keep your eye open for it to win your own for free!


Watercolor- Barn Owl

One of my favorite wondrous moments happened many years ago with my brother. We were wandering around an old abandoned farm and discovered a pile of owl pellets next to a silo. We think owl pellets are pretty fun to look through and after we explored the contents and marveled at the tiny bones, we continued our expedition into the silo and startled a barn owl from her roost.

I will never forget the way my heart jumped or the silent way she sailed, or her beautiful silhouette against a bright blue sky. After she flew to safer grounds, my brother and I just looked at each other and didn't say a word because neither of us wanted to break the spell. It was amazing!

As I was reminiscing on that experience, I decided it would be nice to just paint a reminder instead:

I loved sharing that moment with my brother, and what made it even better is that a barn owl is pretty much my favorite bird ever. I think they are so powerful, gorgeous, and regal. Do you have a favorite animal or bird that you find fascinating or beautiful? What is it?


Valley of Fire

The Valley of Fire just outside of Overton, Nevada, is one of my favorite places in the world! We had a chance to explore and enjoy the red rocks and blue sky:

Every time I go there, I'm impressed at the hardiness of the ancient desert dwellers who carved beautiful petroglyphs in the rock. Everything in the desert exudes resilience and patience from the rock formations carved over time to the little plants anchoring themselves on a rocky cliff. All the desert people I know, too, are full of fortitude and see life realistically yet enjoy it nonetheless without feeling the need to be showy. I feel very comfortable and at home in the desert.

Desert beauty isn't for everyone, I understand, but have you experienced anything breathtaking in a desert lately? What does the desert remind you of?


Patterns Round-up

One of my favorite creative explorations this last year was playing around with patterns. Here is a sampling of what I've done:

Some of these will be available at the Beehive Bazaar in just a few short weeks. Is there anything that you'd like to see more of?


Hidden Canyon Trail

During our recent trip to Zion National Park, we took an adventurous hike along the Hidden Canyon trail:

It was challenging in the beginning, but the views and adventures were totally worth it! We ended up holding onto chains bolted in the sides of cliffs, hopping over natural cisterns carved into the rock, scrambling and bouldering over obstacles, and taking a peaceful stroll through a shady slot canyon!

I love it when hard work pays off like that! After I successfully complete something challenging, I usually end up thinking about how many people in the whole existence of the world have done the exact thing I just accomplished. It makes me feel awesome knowing that I'm maybe one in only thousands of people in the whole world who have shared that experience. It's both humbling and empowering.

Have you had experiences that are both humbling and empowering? Or what do you do to maintain a fresh perspective?