Saturday, January 2, 2016

Illustration Friday~Moon

The Mystery Of The Moon
by Mary Lou Rosato-Caine

The mystery of the moon, he beckons me this night.
Round, and full, enchanting, there’s magic in his light.
I walk the streets in silence, I gaze upon his face.
Contemplate his power, influence and grace.
The stars shine bright in reverence, whenever he is near.
Like beacons of the night, easing all your fear.
It is said that strange things happen, whenever he’s around

Could this be a myth, simply to astound?

Monday, December 28, 2015


Since Illustration Fridays word of the week didn't change from last week it gave me a chance to post a pic. This was mainly done using photoshop except for the line drawing of the ship and martians.

This piece was really fun to do using the PS effects.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Illustration Friday~Wet

I'm cheating today. Just too many things to do before going to work. 

I am reposting this art with only some slight changes made in photoshop. Originally I used it in December of 2011 for the IF word of the week sink. Apparently we were having a lot of rain that year. Here's what it looked like before the changes.

I hope everyone has a good week. And I will try to do better this coming Friday. 

PS I did a very nice illo for a friend at work this last two weeks and I am so happy with the results. I will be posting that soon :)

Saturday, November 28, 2015


Since they haven't taken Illustration Friday's word of the week City down from last Friday. Here's a quick one to sneak in before the new word comes out. This is called Angel Play.

Saturday, November 14, 2015


It's good to be back to posting my art, even though this piece is not newly created sometimes just getting back in a groove counts. I've been trying to get another piece accomplished these last few weeks. It's a piece for a friend and one of my kid's room pictures. It's really not a hard piece to do, I just have to finish it! But life has been a bit chaotic as of late. First preparing for a craft fair, which by the way was a total bust! I don't think I will give anymore energy to that venue. On the other hand it was a great motivator, I got to spend time with 2 of my cousins and I got all my art in order! Plus since doing that event it motivated me to send out 2 submission. So it wasn't really a waste, I  just didn't make any bucks! But a couple friends ventured out to support me (thanks Bethany and Nance) and it's that kind of things that just makes it a bit more worthwhile.
Then last Friday my husband went in for rotator cuff surgery. He's doing really well,  yet it was a challenging week! He'll be off of work for a couple of months, and I will continue picking up extra work on my job as long as it's offered. The holiday season 
is here!

The piece I am showing today is part of a series of illustrations that I created for a poem. I have thoughts of making a book of my children's poems and maybe when I get some of my other work completed I will do just that. As of right now I have two things on the table and first things first. I'm still holding out hope of participating  in the SCBWI's Tomie dePaola Award, but time is 
getting tight!
So for today I give you these two animals for Illustration Friday's word of the week!

Wishing you all a lovely Thanksgiving! 

And for all my friends near and  far "Peace"to you!

Saturday, November 7, 2015

IF Whimsical

 These are my gals that represent my "In the Land of Whimsy header" I originally did this sketch for another IF word of the week, and then changed it up to the piece below.
This illustration is titled Catherine and Viola, the middle names of my two sister in law's. I realize once this piece was done just how much they resemble the girls. 
This piece was done in pen and ink with a bit of colored pencil and then enhanced in photoshop.

Sunday, November 1, 2015


This is a piece that's close to my heart. Creating it was quite enjoyable. It's a piece that adds both my love of children's art and love of drawing trees!  This was done a couple of years ago for  SCBWI's Tomie dePaola Award. Since the trees are flowery and it feels like spring I thought it a good choice for Illustration Friday's word of the week. 

Here's the link to the 2016 Award. I think it's time to give it another go!

2016 Tomie dePaola Award Prompt

Friday, July 24, 2015

Illustration Friday~Nature

To me nature is my church, whether it be a walk in the woods, sitting in the sand by the ocean or floating down stream in a canoe, that's where I feel most in touch.  Even as a small child I remember my aunt had a small patch of woods in her backyard, I can remember taking my dolls there and quietly playing.  I loved the silence.  I still do. I need silence in my life.  As a teenager I took long walks around the apartment complex where I lived.  I felt the closest to God on those walks.  I sometimes think I said my best prayers on those walks.  I never really felt alone.  Maybe it was all those moments that helped me when I needed it the most in my life. When drinking too much, and drugging too much were becoming the norm. I remember vividly the moment  I ask God to help me, waking from a dead sleep as the words formed in my mind, "please help me" it was a quiet thought and maybe a little desperate. Nothing horrible had happened, it was more a series of events that needed to stop, a lifestyle that needed to change. There's a saying, "when the student is ready the teacher will appear." I believe in those words. You can have all the interventions you want, and yes maybe it pushes you down the right course, but you need to be ready to make that choice, sometimes over and over again.

I wasn't planning on talking about these moments in my life when I started to write this today, sometimes I just let the words flow as they will, and thoughts of nature have always mingled in my mind with thoughts of God and spirituality.

Maybe it's the reason I draw so many trees or make kids art,  it just make me feel more in touch, happy. Drawing was another way that brought me back, when I struggled not to pick up a drink or smoke the joint, instead I picked up a pen.

The art I'm featuring today was started as a practice piece. It was sitting in my studio for over a year, and every now and then I would pick away at it. I never intended it to be a piece that I would frame and show. I even lopped a chunk of it off in the corner because it was too dark. A small cave with eyes peaking out.

Last week I put up a display at the Willoughby Library to feature staff art. It was a lot of fun designing it and lots of hard work!  As I was setting up I noticed most of the comments where directed at this piece of art and how much they liked it. I like it too.

I was also able to hang my daughter's photos ( she also works for the library) and that made me very proud. I love her nature photos and a her quirky style.

Here's more pics from the show.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Illustration Friday~Airborne

I thought this to be the perfect illustration for the word of the week "Airborne" This is not the first time I've posted this art, and for some reason folks like to click on this one according to my stats in the blogger settings. I guess there's quite the fun factor about children being shot out of magical castles through rainbows?

When I made this illo I was preparing for an art fest. I remember one of my friends laughing at me for "cooking" my artwork! Since the frame was made of Sculpey, there was no way around it. There were a couple of blunders along the way, but all in all I got pretty good at it.

Currently I am preparing for the Art Walk in downtown Willoughby.  I will be the guess artist for the Willoughby Library--Thanks Deb! So if any of my friends want to stop by, Deb will be promoting the WE-Libraries and I will be promoting my children's art and my tree spirits.

Wishing you all a great week!


Friday, May 1, 2015


The word of the week is Wiggle…So what comes to mind?

Well, when I was a kid we would drive to my grandparents house in Cleveland. It wasn't a long drive, although when you're 10 or 12 it felt longer than the actual half hour or so that it was. On one of these drives I decided to let my pencil wiggle about my paper on the drive home, just to amuse myself I guess. I remember just relaxing the pencil on the paper and letting the road do the drawing. It looked something like this
It was more jaggedy than wiggly. Looking back I think it was an experiment in self control--could I keep the pencil on the paper the whole way home? And also the curiosity to see the final outcome. Nerdy artist even back then.

As I think about this word, and look over my art, it seems that my art is just filled with wiggles…

I have wiggly castles, and wiggly trees.

...and more wiggly trees, along with strange rooster creatures and wiggly haired cave women.

And here is one of my favorite wiggles, this cute little snake basking in the sun. I could go on and on with my wiggle art.

Doing fun kids art makes me happy. I go into a zone that I really like. It brings memories back of days that felt lighter and simpler. Days when you would play outside with friends until the street lights would come on. Days of chalk on sidewalk, or whirling finger paint onto large sheets of paper, just for the joy of how it felt and the colors it made. Warm summer nights filled with catching lightning bugs, or piling into a station wagon to go to the drive-in-movie.

...Or times when you did funny things, like holding your pencil to your paper for an entire car ride just because.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015


For this weeks Illustration Friday I give you Jaxson's Room. Can you find the 2 windows in this illo?

pen and ink with watercolor pencil

This piece was first meant for the little guys mom, Bethany. She is a friend that I work with at the library. She has a thing for mushrooms and gnomes, and she seems to really like my artwork too. So I said I would draw her a gnome. She made me a quick little sketch (darn I wish I had it to show, but I left it at work) of a gnome reading a book, by a mushroom. Simple enough. And after all we both work for a library so a "reading gnome" seemed quite fitting. As it was, time got away from me, and no gnome to show for it. More time passed, and I learned Bethany was with child. (Jax--the little guy) I then decided to alter the piece and add in a little boy gnome and give it to her for her baby shower. --On a side note the name Jax comes from the show, Sons of Anarchy. It seems Bethany and Nick (Dad) are both fans.
Bethany, Jaxson, and Nick
I don't know why this piece hung me up so much, but I just couldn't seem to get it going. Sketch after sketch and nothing felt right. Then I lost interest in doing any art at all for over a year, one long dry spell. Needless to say the piece did not get done. Move ahead to Jax's first birthday, and I'm thinking I gotta get this going before the kid out grows gnomes! Although I know his mom won't outgrow them!  So last night I was finally able to give this long overdue picture to my friend! She was happy and I was soooo glad to get it off my plate!

I also wanted to share this book with you...

I took this out of the library and decided I needed to have a copy of my own ( I couldn't keep renewing it) It has really helped me to view time differently, and how I can make better use of it in order to create on a regular basis. It's funny how "out of shape" you can get when you're not practicing your craft. I know when I'm in the mode that even if there's a struggle the struggle isn't nearly as hard as when I'm not in practice. I guess that's pretty much true for many things.

There's been some interesting things that have been happening since my recommittment to my art...

1. The manager at the Willoughby library asked if I would like be their "guest artist" for the Art Walk in downtown Willoughby (All the stores have a guest artist that evening)

2. I sold 2 pieces of Artwork after a friend saw them on FB--Thank you Cindy :)

3. My cousin asked if I would like to hang my work in her fancy hair solon--Thanks Amber!! Looking forward to making new art for that. Thinking new Tree Spirits for her shop.

So it looks like I will be busy. Plus I have 2 more kid's room pics I need to make. Feels great to be working again!

And to close with on more Illustration Friday "Window"  I love this piece!!!

 "Cats in Windows" from my daughter Annie. She holds my heart  :)

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Illustration Friday~Sea

So here we are just 8 days before Christmas with a full work schedule ahead and barely a present to be had, and my creative juices decide to kick in full steam ahead! 

I have to say this last year I’ve had my doubts if art was still a part of my life. I have not had an ounce of desire to create anything, from pen to paper to tossing paint around, NOTHING! Not even a quick sketch on a napkin!  I’ve never had this long of a dry spell.

And then I took a moment to look back...

Dream come true
It's been a long busy year with movement and change and maybe even some growth? I've been pulled in many different directions and most of the changes have been good. Much of my creativity went into house and yard projects. And then there’s always extra hours at my library. Also my daughter got her drivers licence! Yay! Add in more house projects. Worked on losing lots of debt! Another Yay! My husband got his classic car he's always wanted So we cruised, him more than I.
And lot’s of time spent with friends…"Life stuff"

Container garden--and they got red!


I also took on a second job last April working for Saint Ann's Shrine. Although I no longer have that job it was a blessing to work there for the short time I did. Again looking back I believe it helped me to cope with the loss of my brother who just recently passed away. Mickey was diagnosed with colon cancer a little over a year ago. I was fortunate to have been able to spend a good amount of time with him this past year, whether it was just hanging out with him or taking him to his treatments, it was special to be able to have had that time. It also warmed my heart to see how many people were touched by his life. I can’t help but think that part of my muse kicking in has been a way of coping with this loss, or maybe it’s Mick giving me a little push. I think I’d like to believe that.

I guess I’ve been a binge artist long enough to not question the creative process, or lack of it too much. I’m just happy it’s back!

For Illustration Friday’s word of the week “Sea” let’s kick back to the days of the Yellow Submarine!

Hope the fish like it!

This piece is a background for my fish tank. I do hope my fish appreciate the effort :)

Here is the process along with the whole image below.



Saturday, December 6, 2014


Decided to shed a bit of light on this blog that's been in the dark for way too long! Hope to get it up and running again. For Illustration Friday a pic I created the other day on my tablet using a fun little app.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Illustration Friday~Reflect

It's time to shake off the old and start fresh. Cleaning the studio and coming up with a new game plan to market my illustrations. I think I'll chew on it a bit :)
Illustration created for Stories For Children Magazine

Sunday, December 8, 2013

In memory of John...

This was originally posted March of 2012 as Illustration Friday's word of the week "Intention" It felt appropriate to repost it today.

In the beginning I struggled with this piece. The fear of the "white paper" had me in its grips. I wanted to create something really good; this was going to be my submission to the 2nd annual May Show at the community college. I knew I wanted it to be something that was true to who I am. A few roughs, and it still wasn't coming. I let myself go--I stopped thinking of it as a competitive piece. I just wanted something that I could be proud of. I let myself get into that frame of mind where it's all about the "feel," where your hands move effortlessly and your brain goes into a meditative state. And then a song starts playing in my mind, Imagine, by John Lennon. He is one of my favorites. One of the few that I shed tears over at his death. It was so senseless. I wonder how many other beautiful songs he would have sung if only...

This piece is called: "Thoughts of John" It's pen and ink, with a watercolor wash in the background; reminiscent of the psychedelic era of the 60's. What I found interesting, was at some point as I was creating this piece, I turned on the radio and guess what song was playing--yep, "Imagine"

How's this for a lovely Intention....

Imagine there's no countries
It isn't hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people living life in peace

~John Lennon

PS-It was not accepted in the May Show.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Illustration Friday~Underwater

I'm afraid I am cheating today and re-posting an IF from 2010. There's so much going on in my day today, but I haven't posted in a few weeks and I didn't want to miss out this week. Plus it was a good post, for a good cause and a good reminder to respect our environment.  So for IF Friday Underwater...I give you Ripples from June 16, 2010, after the big oil spill occurred.  Also I'm happy to say both of these small cards did sell, so that was $20.00 for the clean-up. 

And Kelly Light you are truly amazing for this effort that you accomplished and for the thousands that you raised with the help of all the artists that participated in this fundraiser!

Ripples--Illustration Friday

Thanks Kathi from Texas for the sale !!!

I created these two cards in an effort to help the cause that Kelly Light started. Please check this site to donate to the Gulf oil spill. The Ripple blog is

I really had no idea what I wanted to do with this theme until my son took a glance at what I was drawing and said “that looks like the Sunfish we did last year.” We did a report together for his 3rd grade class project, and we chose the “Sunfish”, also known as the “Mola Mola”. In any case that’s what it reminded him of.
Before he came into the room, I was playing with the idea of a gradation of sorts, from dark to light. Once he said “Sunfish” I kept repeating in my head, almost like a mantra “Out of darkness into light.” Then as it would happen, Kelly Light’s name came to mind and it all seemed rather fitting.

On another note I have no idea why I keep drawing the sun lately, yet this is my third post with a sun in it. I suppose I am just in the summer spirit!

Thanks Kelly for inspiring us all to join the cause—May God bless all our animals!!

Both of these cards are available for a $10 donation (each) to either The Institute for Marine Mammal Studies or The International Bird Rescue Research Center . When the cards sell, artists sign the back of the art with thanks and mail them to the buyer's address.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Illustration Friday~Totem


  1. 1.
    a natural object or animal believed by a particular society to have spiritual significance and adopted by it as an emblem.
    color pencil and pen & ink

Friday, August 30, 2013

Illustration Friday~Lush

One can never be too careful when entering their garden. There is usually one lush and overgrown flower that seeks attention and tends to be a bit too aggressive.
This colored pencil illustration is from a 32 page children's book
that I created for a contest given by Simon and Schuster.