Welcome the Year of the Rooster!

February 15th, 2017

January 28, 2017, began the Year of the Rooster!  If you search the internet you can find many examples of Chinese roosters but here is a little fellow that I painted a few years ago.  He’s affectionately named Spunky Nugget!  He seems to personify the characteristics of people who were born in the Year of the Rooster – honest, bright, ambitious, capable and independent.  It turns out that the Chinese character for ‘rooster’ can also mean chicken or bird in general and in fact in both Tibet and Nepal this year is called the Year of the Bird.  It’s the only year in the Chinese zodiac to have a bird as its animal.

Spunky Nugget!

In the last year I’ve been expanding both my painting and teaching.  In the teaching domain I’ve been exploring how to teach children to paint some of the local animals where they live, e.g. foxes, raccoons, owls, porcupines, etc., in the Midwest and orca whales, salmon, herons, etc., in the Pacific Northwest.  Here are some examples of student (fourth grade) efforts of woodland animals done in 2017.

Wisconsin fox

Rocky the Raccoon

Great Horned Owl

Prickly Porcupine




Welcome the Year of the Monkey!

January 21st, 2016

I can’t believe that it’s been a year since I posted anything here!  A lot has been happening.  But first I have to share with you one of the wonderful super simple sumi sheep that happened last year:

Super Simple Sumi Sheep

Super Simple Sumi Sheep

This year coming up is the Year of the Fire Monkey.  Right now I’m working on how to paint some simple monkeys.  My inspiration is Wang Yani, who, when she was a child, painted the most charming and playful monkeys imaginable. There are two books published about her and her art.  One is called Yani, The Brush of Innocence and the other one is A Young Painter.  They are still in print and available on Amazon.

And I’m teaching more classes in Minnesota.  In addition to school visits I’ll be teaching a class for the Families With Children from Asia and two classes, one for children and one for adults at Wet Paint Art in St Paul.  If you live in the Twin Cities check it out!