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


Wild and Wondrous: Fawn

The next request for this year's Wild and Wondrous series is a gentle fawn:

I used a different style for this shy babe because I didn't feel the recent direction of the previous creatures was appropriate, and I really like how it turned out. Also, the ferns help frame it, so I'll be doing that on my future pieces in the series.

Just a reminder: this weekend, you can find my art at the Salt & Honey Market at the Gateway in SLC! It is an amazing space with lots of talented local vendors. Come by for a visit and to find something special for your own mountain mama!


Setting Up Shop

Around here, we're working feverishly to make sure the Feather & Fir booth at the upcoming Salt & Honey Market is on point and more lovely than ever!

Come check out all the local wares from crafters and artisans of all sorts during the preview night tomorrow before booths open for realsies the following day:

How cool is that? Sweet deals, good company, and awesome products! I love that they are having this Meet the Makers Party and would love to see you there!


Wild and Wondrous: Wolf

The next request in the Wild and Wondrous illustration series is a wolf:

He looks a little fearsome I think. Steer clear of this fella!


Wild and Wondrous: Cougar

Here is how that cougar turned out in the end:

Here's a fun little fact: mountain lions, pumas, and cougars are all different names for the same creature. And speaking of cougars, I met one on a night hike with my sister this week! I still have my face and a healthy fear for wild creatures, but what an experience! I shall have to share more about that one!


Color This Bear Coloring Contest!

I'm hosting a coloring contest right now on Instagram, and I'd love you to join in! Coloring pages for grownups are a great way to customize your own piece of artwork perfectly for your space, and you can color this grolar bear however you'd like:

Here are the details:

1. Download the bear coloring page for an amazing introductory rate before it goes up to full price April 15. Pricing rewards for loyalty, guys. That's how I roll.
2. Print it up and color like there's no tomorrow! I have some fun treatments to show you and can't wait to see what you can come up with too.
3. Post your creation all over Instagram using #colorthisbear.
4. You get a bonus entry for each post using the hashtag #colorthisbear and for each person you tag in those posts!
5. A winner will be randomly picked from the entries. Will you be the lucky person?
6. If you win, you get to pick your favorite animal to be turned into a similarly-styled coloring page! How neat is that?

This contest runs through March and into April. A winner will be selected April 15. Coloring takes time, right? I can't wait to see what lovely things you have in store for this little guy!


Cougar Illustration Process Shot

It's not very often I have a piece that shows all the process steps at one time, but here's a quick look at what steps I went through to create this cougar illustration as part of my Wild and Wondrous series:

1) Sketch in pencil
2) Trace in pen (erase pencil)
3) Step out pattern placement
4) Fill in pattern
5) Finish and define outline


Wild and Wondrous: Monkey

Here's the next in the Wild and Wondrous series:

This silly little monkey has been up to mischief, I'm pretty sure. You can see the previous illustrations from this year-long series here and here. There are some additions in the works, too!


Wild and Wondrous: Lion

Here's the next wild beast I've been working on as part of my Wild and Wondrous illustration series:

His puffy hairdo is a fitting crown. You can see the first illustration here. I've been asking my loved ones what their favorite wild beast is, and I've been surprised at the variety. I can't wait to share more as they are completed.


Wild and Wondrous: Grolar Bear

I'm working on an illustration series this year of wild beasts. I'm calling it my Wild and Wondrous series and you can see more throughout the year on my Instagram account. The first one I finished this year was this crazy grolar bear, a mix between a polar and a grizzly:

This one seems serious, but don't be fooled by the calm expression. The fierceness is just under the surface. I'm pretty happy about how it turned out, and I'm looking forward to adding more to this series. It's such a fun illustration style!


Snowflake Mini Series Part II

Here are the last four of last month's Winter Wonder illustration mini series:

I think I finally found my groove with the last few. I think the open black spaces and sharper contrast make the snowflakes look much cleaner and less sketchy. The first group was more experimental in style and color choice. That just proves to me that I probably need to have at least 10-12 in a series to really nail down the style and get over the experimental phase.


Snowflake Mini Series Part I

For the month of January, I created a series of colorful snowflake illustrations to celebrate winter. Here are the first four of the series:

There are so many fun things to do during winter, like snowshoeing, sledding, creating snow sculptures and snow paintings, going on frozen lake adventures, and of course visiting the pristine forests. It's hard to pick a favorite, but I'm going to ask anyway: what's your favorite winter activity?


It's a Good Day for Nature!

I love nature so much, but sometimes I feel like I come across like this to most other people.

I can't help myself, but hopefully I can keep finding good ways to share the enthusiasm without all the factual inaccuracies. How neat is that?


Days of Wildlife Illustration Series and Free Baby Giraffe Printable

Last month I worked on a series of animal sketches from friends' Instagram requests, which was one of my favorite illustration series so far! I was delighted at the variety of animals people picked and it was a fun challenge. And here they all are in one place:

I made some tweaks to the baby giraffe and turned it into a free printable, which can be found in my store:

You can find it here as a thanks for visiting this corner. Feel free to print this little guy up to add to your home and let's all continue sharing the wonder of nature together!


Word of the Year 2016

A practice that has added more meaning to my life and that I would suggest for anyone who thrives on improving is to adopt a word of the year. Picking a word of the year (or WOTY, as I like to call it) is invigorating and helps me lead an intentional life all year long.

I'm not one for new year's resolutions because I don't believe in waiting for an excuse to change if I know things need to. I'm constantly making new goals and reevaluating my footing on life's hilly hiking trail. However, I do like to set aside certain times to focus in-depth on one thing. One of those things is a word that I explore all year long.

I look for a space in my life that may need adjusting, usually an aspect of myself that is thirsty for attention, and pick a word that can help me explore multiple facets of that value. Every month I ponder a different application of the word, and by the end of the year, the word is ingrained in my heart.

When I first started this annual tradition, I wasn't sure whether or not the new words would replace the past words or if they would all work together. For me, at least, I was surprised to discover how the words accrued and got all cozy with one another. I haven't lost the depth I was able to uncover with the previous years. What an exciting revelation! Now I get excited at the start of a new year to tuck the old word away safely in my soul where it is there to stay, and welcome a new member to my personal little WOTY family.

Past WOTY:
2011 Change
2012 Savor
2013 Fresh
2014 Peace
2015 Do

I'm happy to tuck away Do where it can keep working and welcome Grace for the 2016 year. There are so many characteristics that I'm looking forward to learning more about: carrying oneself with grace and dignity, accepting the grace our Savior offers to all who seek it, offering grace and forgiveness to others, encouraging gratitude, appreciating gracefulness and graciousness, and finding the moments of grace in everyday living.

Guys, this year is going to be good! I can feel it in my bones!

If you haven't yet tried this practice, I invite you to give it a spin this year! If you need any tips or suggestions on how to make this yearly tradition work in a good way for you, give me a little shout and I'd be happy to discuss it more with you. These are the kinds of important things we can do to improve and broaden perspectives. This is how we live with intention.


Mess Ups

Guys, I'm not always proud of the art I create. Sometimes I make big errors where nothing can salvage the art, so I usually chuck them in the trash and don't post such nonsense. Then from my frustration I find the energy to keep moving forward, whether it be in the form of another project or taking a second (or third or forth!) stab at a piece of art until I like where it lands. It's a matter of resiliency. Lest you think art always comes easy to me, ta-da:

I think the moose has such a sad look on his face because he knew I would mess up royally on the watercolor after spending too long on the stipple illustration detail. Sorry, big fella! #momentoftruth #shechosepoorly