Wednesday, March 11, 2015


Fact:  Wisconsin winters are long.

So, when a beautiful, sunny, 60 degree day comes along in early March, it's time to buy some flowers!  A few days ago I set out to find a bouquet to remind me of the long summer days to come.  They may not be from my own garden, but I'll gladly fill a vase with a bouquet of store bought, humble sunflowers!  

The perfect way to spend the rest of a sunny spring-like day - time in my art room surrounded by paints and brushes with a little Michael Buble' filling the air with some oldies!

Both the original and prints of the original are available in my Etsy shop.  
Click here to go to my original painting on Etsy.
Click here to go to prints of "Sunflowers" on Etsy.
(prints are available in 4 sizes)

8 x 10 inch
original oil on canvas board

(professional print in 4 standard sizes - ready for your mat and frame)

Saturday, March 7, 2015


Two of my favorite artists are Cezanne and Degas - all of their work is just beautiful in my eyes.  And imitation is the greatest compliment, right?  I try to get the feel of their style by doing much of my own work with one of them in mind.

A couple weeks ago, two of my favorite paintings were sold and now reside in Virginia.  They were both done with the style of Cezanne in mind.  While I was sad to see two of my favorites go out the door, I was thrilled to receive such a sweet note from the buyer.  Notes like this make it a little easier to let go of a painting you've worked hard on! 

"Greetings, Nan and great thanks for the gorgeous paintings- which just arrived and are super!  You are very talented.  They look like Cezanne's!   Plus- you are an artist in every way- I liked your presentation, wrapping and key, too!  All best to you"

Now, THAT is the beginning of a wonderful Saturday!

Thanks for looking!

8 x 8 inch oil


8 x 10 oil

Wednesday, March 4, 2015


A few days ago, I ordered a print of my original watercolor "Anticipation".  It arrived today and, once again, I am thrilled with the quality of prints from Imagekind.  The paper is thick and heavy with a matte finish and a narrow white border.  The original watercolor is only about 7 x 7 inches, and shown below is the 16 x 16 inch enlargement.  I placed a pen on the print to show a better perspective of the size.  

Both watercolor prints and wrapped canvas are available in three sizes - 
8" x 8",  11" x 11", and 16" x 16"

Shown below as it would appear in your mat and frame:
 And below as a deep, wrapped canvas print that needs no frame!  

Professionally printed - usually ships in 3-5 days.
All in my Etsy shop, GILLYFLOWER COTTAGE

Thanks for looking!


Friday, February 27, 2015


 It was a cooler day on the Gulf Coast - a perfect day for reading and painting.  
Today, more inspiration from Degas.  

Approximately 6" x 6"
original watercolor

And, for fun, a super enlarged print of "Blue Ballet" in a pretty, blue room!

Thanks for looking!

Thursday, February 26, 2015


A few months ago I found this book on the shelves at Barnes and Noble.  It's filled with exercises designed to get you thinking about Edgar Degas' style and trying your hand at it.  It's a beautiful little book and, as the cover suggests, speaks to the use of pastels.  However, pastels aren't a direction I want to go right now.
So, I used my watercolors instead and went forward 
with three ballerinas wearing saucy, rosy-red tutus. 
Available in my Etsy shop here.

Below, I cropped out the watercolor to make a square image, 
ready for matting and framing as an enlarged print of the original.

Thanks for looking!


 Both views have beauty, but a change of view can also be exhilarating!

From yards and sidewalks covered with snow, 
to a beautiful turquoise sea.
From the snow capped seedpods poking up in my garden, 
to bougainvillea and hibiscus in full bloom.
From the moan of bitter winds howling around our windows,
to the constant, rhythmic crash of the surf.

Toss trusty paints and brushes into the mix, an artist that 
never fails to inspire, and the gift of time.

A new watercolor in the shop - shown here as it would look in a mat and frame . . .
And showcased as a more modern piece - a large print.

 The original or a print - now in my shop!  Just click the photo above to go to Etsy.

Saturday, February 21, 2015


What a fun way to cap off what was already a fantastic day.  Two of my favorite Cezanne-like paintings sold today and will soon be on their way to Virginia!

8 x 8 oil on deep 1 1/2 inch gallery wrapped canvas

"Pomegranate, Peach, and Pear"
8 x 10 oil

Makes a girl want to paint!  
No oils along with me - it's a little complicated traveling with oil paints - but
I do have my favorite watercolors, pens, and plenty of good paper!

Thursday, February 19, 2015


It's kind of comical to hear the weather forecasters warn of being prepared before braving the elements today.   Yes, it's a little cold by Florida standards, but still paradise for these Wisconsinites!  
And now it's time to pull out my sketchbook, pens, and watercolors, which have started to get a little dusty since the flurry at Christmastime.

Being in Florida always reminds me of my parents who moved here upon retirement.  They're no longer here but the memories of them are everywhere and I think that's one reason I love it so much.  And, it doesn't hurt that this is the perfect place to get away from the cold and snowy winters of the upper midwest!

So, to start out my vacation sketches . . . my mom's geranium.

Friday, January 16, 2015


Supplies are gathered.  No paintbrushes.  No pens.  Today is a day for a wren!

A favorite textile artist, Abby Glassenberg, has made available some patterns for her own version of the beautiful little wren.  So, today, a friend and I will be doing our own version of this bird using vintage handkerchiefs - just in time for Valentine's Day.

Abby Glassenberg Design

 It's only January, but I'm looking forward to spring and the return of birds to our frozen state.  
There are so many great children's books and poems written about birds.  I think maybe the wren could be great inspiration for a children's story . . .

Just one little sampling of good, old-fashioned children's poetry involving birds:

There was an Old Man with a Beard

There was an Old Man with a beard,
Who said, "It is just as I feared!—
Two Owls and a Hen, four Larks and a Wren,
Have all built their nests in my beard.

I would love to see some children's illustrations for this one!

Thanks for looking today!

Tuesday, January 13, 2015


We're almost halfway through January and this is my first post of 2015!  I think I got pretty burned out from the pre-Christmas painting/drawing frenzy and needed a little break.

  So today, with a fresh dusting of fluffy snow on the ground and really cold temperatures again, I'm staying home ALL DAY LONG.  Time to get ready for a Valentine's Day craft night with these ideas from Pinterest.

And on my own . . . some paper mache/hand painted teacups using a pattern from one of my favorite folk artists, Ann Wood. 

Ann Wood

Wednesday, December 31, 2014


Farewell to 2014.
It was a wonderful year and I learned so much!

Now we're balancing on the last petal of 2014 and in just a few hours a brand new year will be opening up right before our eyes.  I have no doubt that it will be a beautiful one, filled with new opportunities, new experiences, and new challenges.  

May we all go into the new year with a smile on our face and a 
sense of adventure in our heart for all that it may bring.


New in my shop . . . "Word Paintings" - large scale art with a message.

24 x 24 inch acrylic/paper 
on canvas

acrylic/paper on canvas
30 x 40 x 1 1/2 inch 

Thanks for visiting 
Happy New Year!

Monday, December 22, 2014


There are four new paintings and prints looking quite at home 
among the beautiful home furnishings and clothing at
The Village Boutique Clothier 
in Wauwatosa.  
The whole shop is decked out for Christmas and
filled to the brim with beautiful things!

 "Resting in Pink"
(An 8 x 10 print, matted and framed to 16 x 20")

"At The Barre"
(30 x 40 inches on deep canvas)

"Blue Poppy"
(16 x 20 inch print in wood frame)

"Dancers in Blue"
(8 x 10 inch acrylic in heavy, ornate frame.  Finished size approx. 14 x 16 inches)

I hope you'll stop in to see them!

Thursday, December 18, 2014


Today is 
This is an annual, one-day event held in mid-December, designed to make your last minute Christmas shopping a little bit easier (and less expensive)!

Click on any of the items below to be led to my Etsy shop, Gillyflower Cottage.

Thursday, December 11, 2014


Christmas is right around the corner!
I'm especially busy these next few days working on commissions for Christmas gift giving.  If you are interested in commissioning a home portrait, tea cup tale, a print of one of my paintings, or a copy of my children's book, "O is for the Big Oak Tree", now is the time to order!  I can guarantee your order reaching your doorstep by Christmas if purchased by Friday, December 12th.  Click on the photos below to place an order,  or go directly to my Etsy shop to see what's available. 

 Pen and Ink Home Portraits in two sizes.

Your favorite tea cup set upon your own "story".

            My ABC book, O is for the BIG OAK TREE, (for ages 2-7)
and a personalization option for grandparents.

Prints of my botanicals.

Paper prints and gallery wrapped canvas prints of my oil and acrylic paintings.

Check out my shop for all listings, or click on the photo above for those specific listings.

Thanks so much for looking today!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014


Tomorrow, my husband and I are spending the day in Chicago!  That means seeing all the window displays, the street musicians, lunch in the Walnut Room to see the big tree, and all the lights and bustle of Chicago at Christmas. 

It also means a visit to one of my favorite home decor stores with a few paintings.  Here are two of the paintings we're bringing along, with one more in the works.

 "At The Barre"
Using a Degas sketch for inspiration, this is a large painting (24 x 30) on a deep gallery wrapped canvas.   Minimal use of color makes this painting all about the dancer and her dress.  

"Purple Posies and Chartreuse II"
Another larger scale painting, (24 x 24) this is a second version of a painting I sold a few years ago.   The colors are vibrant and happy, and the flowers are full of papery texture due to the use of "fiber paste".

And, last but not least, some in-shop photos from 
The Village Boutique Clothiers 
in Wauwatosa.  
Barb has placed my paintings among her beautiful clothing, scarves, 
and home decor with color in mind, and the shop looks beautiful!  There is so much to look at - walk slowly through this pretty shop so you don't miss a thing.  Thank you, Barb!

Thanks for looking today!



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