Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Hello Spring!

I'm feeling inspired to resurrect this long dormant blog.  I have ignored it for far too long and I am ready to recommit! And on that is a newer piece I did, and thought it would be a good place to start. After all spring is about new beginnings and rejuvenation!

Not long ago an artist friend of mine and I decided to do an art challenge. It was his idea, and it helped me to get back on track. (Thanks Doug!) The challenge was to only use 3 colors and you could do any subject and any medium you wanted. So once again, another tree! Welcome Spring!

This artwork was done using Prismacolor watercolor pencils. This is my first experience using these pencils and I can't get over how nicely the color lays down, I have to say it was pure joy! I know that's probably a geeky artist thing to say, but it really was. I have used another brand for years and although I like them, I truly did not know what I was missing until I tried Prismacolor. Although I should have known since I use Prismcolor in other mediums. If you have never tried these pencils give them a go!

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Illustration Friday-Tribal

Today I had to remind myself of the many accomplishments I've made on my artistic journey though the years. I have a bad habit of beating myself up when I am not following this imaginary internal clock, that seems to forever tick, and point a finger of guilt for "not keeping up." I then start to question my creditability. The voice continues…"You're not really an artist if you're not creating?" Or, "What gives you the right to call yourself an illustrator, when was the last time you illustrated?" It goes on an on hammering at me! I try to defend myself! I say "I've been working a lot of extra hours these past 2 months!" "I have way too many distractions at home!" "Didn't I just finish building that Jukebox in April, that was creative!" But it doesn't seem to appease the voice inside my head, my worst critic! And then there's the one that hits me at my core-- "You're not making money at it so where's your value?" This is how my internal struggle usually goes.  I've been going through this tug-of-war for the last 2 months, a self defeating pattern. So as I said I began to really look at my artistic journey though the years. I have all kinds of evidence of my worth. I go upstairs and I see the bulk of what I've created, I look at my computer files and see pieces that may no longer be here phyically but now resides in someone elses home. I see pieces I'm proud of and some that give me pure joy, work that have brought struggle and frustration, but in the end growth. I see value. I think of all the projects I've done, some paid and some not. All the art shows and exhibits, all the graphic projects I did. Invitations, business cards, promo pieces and so on. Then there was the six years of volunteer work for the Willoughby Historical Society, faithfully putting out a newsletter every 3 months. I think about all the artists and illustrators l've learned about and have come to admire, all the classes I've taken, and this blog that I began 7 years ago to help me stay in touch with my art. And I think of all the people I've connected with through being an artist.

I needed to write this post today, I needed to honor myself as an artist. To honor my value. It's so easy to beat ourselves up, to forget the accomplishments along the way. When we falter our mind really can be our worst enemy.

This piece above was created for a poster many moons ago for a local shop in my hometown. I thought it fitting for the word of the week, tribal.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

The making of a Jukebox

As I sat in at one of our committee meetings, we were actively discussing the Years of Service Awards for library staff that have achieved 5, 10 15, and more years of service at their job. It's a fun and creative committee and I do enjoy being a part of it. Last year we did an Italian theme. This year the talk was all about doing a 1950's theme using the books of Christine Wenger. All murder mysteries with food themes.

We called it "A Night of Culinary Intrique
We came up with a catchy invite
As we threw around ideas, I thought we can't have a 1950's diner theme without a Jukebox. Had I had known it would be around 30 or so hours of my life, I may have bit my tongue. Although at the time I envisioned a foam board standup with  colorful paper attached. Instead this is what developed over a period of time.                                                               

A simple platter from Dollar General
Tubing with battery operated lights
later tubing is colored in pink marker
Cardboard packaging material and
plastic mesh fencing painted gold
and a decorative from Dollar General

Phase one was put together with lots of  duct tape
contact paper and two large cardboard boxes.
The inside was covered in shiny paper.
These two pieces were held together by
a thin piece of cardboard that was inserted into
two slits that became the platform that held the
record player. 
All tubing was attached with zip ties. Wrapping
paper tubes were later covered in sparkly paper. 
Thanks to Jim (our page at Willoughby Hills Lib) for the 45's and
Mark (my co-worker) for the really cool battery operated plastic record player.
And Lisa (Willoughby Library and fellow committee member)
who found a jukebox label creator and created a playlist!
It all came together well with a little help from my friends!

And in the end this…
 And lots of pictures below of the Event. A special shout out to Sue on 35 years and Bernie for receiving The Board Award. Great job to all involved

Colleen's yummy meatloaf
Colleen, Sherry and Mollie setting up
Lisa pondering her lovely centerpieces that she made
as Ginny looks on.
Our victime Sharon being a good sport!

Contract Negation Team being honored

Sue cutting the cake
Sue being applauded for 35 years of service

Lisa and Colleen's beatiful table display
Kim, Sarah and Marybeth honorees

Colleen our organizing queen!
Bernie being honored for The Board Award!
Ann and Jim 15 years of Service!

Trish and Lori hanging with a Board member 
Vicky and Sharon hanging with the Yuko's
Karen gets an award! 

Sue and Barb having a chat

Rick and Eric our fearless leaders

Ruth, Jim and Bob
Holly and Amy chatting
Jim "The Coffee Addict"

Yay Kim!

Time to eat!

My buddy Ann

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.