Tag Archives: Illustration Friday


AmaterasuMy current series of works are inspired by various goddesses.  With each goddess, I’m researching their mythology and symbolism.  Then I’m devising a list of photo shoot ideas to explore with local models and a talented team that includes my husband, Brian, who photographs the shoot.

For this most recent Asian Goddess shoot, we had the  talented and beautiful local runway model, Mai Dang. She brought a full suitcase of various traditional Asian outfits.  Prior to the shoot, I had a brainstorming session with our hair/make-up artist,  Georgette Khaziran of Verdecia Salon, who came up with a complete list of hair styles and make-up combinations that would complement each goddess.

We also had our two friends, Michael and George, on site that provided tech support.  In addition, George was able to put his martial arts training to work by demonstrating marital art poses and forms for the model during the weapon shots that ranged from holding swords of all sizes and lengths to daggers and even an axe!

For my first Asian goddess painting I decided to paint Amaterasu, who is known in Japanese mythology as a sun goddess and the most important Shinto deity.  Her full name is Amaterasu-o-mi-kami (天照大神) which means “glorious goddess who shines in the heavens.”

In this soft pastel painting, I illustrated some of her symbols including the rising sun disc, which is also shown on the Japanese Flag. The sword or blade represents might and honor.  I also incorporated Japanese Kanji characters which, when translated into English, reads as “The Goddess of Sun”.

The goddess Amaterasu called out to me because of her diverse character.  As a sun goddess, she oversees the Japanese fields of rice.  She was also known as an accomplished weaver of stunning satins, silks, and brocades.  And for those of you interested in reading more about the myths written about Amaterasu, you can find more information at Goddess Gift, a site dedicated to “celebrate, to nurture, and to share understandings of the goddess in every woman.”

Her inner strength is part of her beauty, and thus, I thought it appropriate to include this work in this week’s theme at Illustration Friday, “Strong”.

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Little sparks of electricity

In my interpretation of this week’s theme at Illustration Friday, I decided to capture the little sparks of “electricity” that you can feel by reaching out and touching someone.

As C. J. Franks once said:

“Love and electricity are one in the same, my dear. If you do not feel the jolt in your soul every time a kiss is shared, a whisper is spoken, a touch is felt, then your not really in love at all.”

little sparks of electricity

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Challenge yourself to take artistic leaps

This week’s theme at Illustration Friday is “Leap”, which is the perfect opportunity to share this soft pastel painting I’ve been working on the past month.

It represents a leap into experimenting. The semi-nude woman appears in a half awake dream state. The wings gently hold her as she chases butterflies, creatures of transformation and renewal, while the deep red poppies are in full bloom alluding to endless possibilities.

We must continuous challenge ourselves to evolve, to experient. As Marcel Proust once stated:

The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes.

So if you find yourself emerged in creating from comfort, challenge yourself to try a different medium or style. These experiments in time will lead to inspiration, and possibly even a new direction with your artistic path.

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the Arrival

the Arrival
My latest soft pastel creation…a tribute to high heel boots! they can be a woman’s idea of paradise if you know what I mean…which is also the reason for submitting to this week’s theme at Illustration Friday – Paradise.

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Gravity pulls everything towards a point Buildings, geological formations, falling leaves, rain…

Metaphorically, gravity can pull on us and drag us down.

We feel situations pulling us in directions we may not want to go.

And yet, if we sometimes just let go, we find that navigating out life’s path can be as effortless as a vine growing towards the sun….

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Unlike most people, I don’t have the typical phobias of spiders or snakes. No, my phobias are a bit strange…birds for one due to haunting memories of being chased by birds as a young child. So I present my “phobia” for Illustration Friday. It’s a soft pastel sketch with a couple layers of photoshop filters.

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“Match”…created for this week’s theme at Illustration Friday…in dedication to my dear friend, Shannon, whom I always discuss about hanging out with, but it seems that the only time we hook up is when I show art or she plays with her band, The Seahorse Orchestra.

The common question that we always seem to get is an inquiry if we’re somewhat related. I guess two red heads that look bound and determined to take over the world aren’t always a normal commodity in most crowds. So I guess you could say we stick out…

So here’s to you, Shannon…may you always continue to embrace the world in all its shimmery glory…cheers!

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leaves at play

leaves at play

I was hanging out with some friends at the Undertow on St. Pete beach when I decided to sketch my intrepretation of this week’s theme at Illustration Friday. While traditional thoughts on play came to mind, I was in more of an abstract mood so I created a soft pastel sketch of leaves at play. And to give you a frame of reference, I was thinking of American Beauty’s lovely shot of leaves at play while I sketching.More shots of this weekend will be posted shortly once I finish re-arranging some things around the house today…

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Capture the Moment

Capture the Moment

This is an old collage I did a couple years ago that I never got around to framing until today. The actual collage is quite larger, but this is all that I could capture with my scanner. And within this section, I captured different ideas about love. From the idea that love is a game with the heart shape cut out of the Queen of Hearts to traditional romantic visions of love illustrated with the Eiffel-Tower in Paris.

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Much of my artwork is created from the soul as a way to transform feelings, thoughts, and emotion into a visual presentation. The interesting part is that my work is often interpreted in ways I never thought of or imagined myself so it often raises the question, “Are they reading too much into my art or did I subconsciously place that thought out there, not realizing it myself?”.

So with this particular recent piece, I actually started with one thought process…imagining that the piece represented the traditional idea of the masks we place upon ourselves either to hide our true intent from others or out of some fear of our true nature. However, in time, I started to realize that the piece had even more depth than I realized. That is, in life, we are also faced with the masks that people impose upon us. As the old saying goes, never judge a book by its cover. But it’s something that we all do out of human nature.


Let’s face it…we live in a world based on labels. If you’re able to afford the greater things in life, you might be viewed in many different lights depending on the individual. Some might think you’re a pretentious snob. Others might admire or even hate you for your achievements even if they were accomplished through hard work. Then there are others that might make assumptions that are completely off base. But the sad part is, when you start to place labels on people…you can in effect alter reality. That is, if your will is strong enough and you have the ability to influence this person…you can transform the mask you see into a reality.

Another issue with masks is the fear that we might not be able to escape them. As an example, I was always the class nerd growing up. Iwore thick and heavy glasses. I also had special shoes due to flat feet that were far from trendy…in fact, they looked like Grandma shoes. So I was picked on, and being a girlie girl that I am, I wasn’t the type to flight back. But in eight grade, we ended up moving to a completely different state so I got a fresh start. My parents finally got me contacts, and my doctors understanding the social implications of “nerdy shoes” said it was ok to wear something more fashionable with insoles. The funny part is that when I sent my eight grade class picture to friends back home…the change was so drastic to them…that some of them didn’t even believe it was me.

Throughout the years, I have evolved so much in my outward appearance that most people in my life think I look my best at 30, which is typically the age where most women to start to lie about their age. However because of those years of torment and abuse, I still have a hard time embracing the idea that I’m as “gorgeous” as everyone says. And in a way, it might be a good thing. Because many pretty girls often take their good looks for granted. And as such, when their beauty fades, they might face a mid life crisis not knowing what to do since that one special gift they had all those years is gone. So I guess in a way, masks are a double-edged sword. Sometimes they can help us, protect us even. But sometimes, they can also hold us back from living our true destiny. In which case, I would say a ritual is in order.

This particular ritual is inspired by a technique that one my yoga instructors would have us try ocassionally. And while you typically might think of yoga as a peaceful means to reach inner peace…the ritual is far from quiet and peaceful. However, it definitely helped us feel more energized and stress-free. And all it required was a clay pigeon and a flat cement wall.

But in context for this particular ritual in relations to masks, I would encourage you to either make a mask or buy an inexpensive one. And considering you’re only going to have one shot at this ritual…you’ll also need some old dishes or something along those lines that you don’t mind breaking to practice with. Then when you’re ready, find a quiet place with a flat cement wall that you don’t mind damaging, and practice the ritual…throw your practice “masks” with all your might and allow yourself to let go of those inner demons. It might take a couple tries to make it real…to get into the moment. But when you do, take your “real” mask and imagine with all your will that you are casting away that mask that hinders you from becoming the person you wish to be, the person you know you’re meant to be. No matter what the real issue is that is holding you back…if you put your heart, mind, and soul into it…anything is possible.

[Image available for sale upon request.]

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