School Murals; We The People mural. Basketball mural and Globe

Finished with Tetzlaff’s walls.  I’m actually going to miss some of those people.  I still have signs to do so I can get one last hug.


Scientific Mural; Microscope, DNA, Atom, and Robotic Arm

This is wall 2 of Tetzlaff Middle School.  It’s my NERD WALL.  Don’t get me wrong, I married a nerd.  Best ever!  They’re the people that keep this world going in the right direction.  Geeks RULE!

This was a lot of fun to paint. I got a little confused with the DNA strand but figured it out.   The silver paint on the robotic arm enhances the feel of metal and the bright colors on the DNA make the whole thing pop. 


Green Frog Mural. Tetzlaff School.

This is my current gig.  Tetzlaff Middle School mural.  I’ll paint on 4 walls and two wooden signs.  The book has their Peace Builder Pledge painted.  What a dynamic and progressive school.   The staff has so much pride in everything they do, it makes me wish my kids were young. Being able to paint this mural has been a real pleasure.

3D Animation and Lip Sync. Drop the Gun; Call Me a Feminist.

 This is an original animation using a sound clip from SledgeHammer…….loved that show.  I take NO credit for the model of Jorge but I brought him to life.  I created the stage, animation, lip and sound sync, lighting, camera work and rendering with Autodesk 3D Max.  What an amazing tool!  BTW, I won first place in my class for this little clip. 


3D Animated Sneeze….. Bless you.

This is a class assignment in sound sync and animation.  I take NO CREDIT for the model “Jorge”.  He, and the soundtrack were supplied by Santa Ana College  making it very fun to learn Autodesk 3Ds Max animation.  

I never realized how complicated a simple little sneeze could be.   

3D Crime Scene Reconstruction.

I completed my Autodesk 3Ds Max Modeling class with a fabricated crime scene reconstruction.  This is a bank robbery where the suspect claims he was putting down his rifle and was shot by the deputy for no apparent reason.  This 3D illustrated re-enactment proves that he had the weapon directed in a threatening manner.   Keep in mind that if this was a real reconstruction that would be seen by a jury, the suspect would have no face and wouldn’t be in such a menacing position.  Same goes for the deputy.  Very engaging.  More to come later.

Sweet Little Painted Sea Horses, Under the Beautiful Sea…

I just love the people I meet in this business.  I was expecting a young, snobbish, and demanding urbanite when I booked this mural at an exclusive beach house not 30 yards from the water.  Was I ever wrong!  This couple was sweet, gracious and a delight to work with.  I painted this little ditty from a song that I happen to love.  I even have it on an old Disney VSH.  This is over a crib in a well lit, bright and clean room.   I hope it brings them joy.

Unique, Personalized Wedding Cake Topper or Gift

Having been a Disneyland Silhouette Artist, I had the unique privilege to create likenesses of the Bride and Groom for a custom-made cake topper.  What an honor to be able to craft something so memorable for a couple that we love so dearly. 

Not only was I able to be a part of their special day, but now I have a  new marketing direction.  Anyone interesting in such a personalized and distinctive wedding cake topper, or gift, leave me a comment or call:  (714) 637-1950.

Gnarly Grommet – recycling murals

I just love this client.  When she contacted me and told me it had been 5 years since I painted monkeys on her son’s nursery wall I couldn’t believe it.  5 years?!  Her son, now 5 (almost 6 with 2 loose teeth) is ready for a change.  They decided to keep the banana trees and painted over the monkeys and other animals. BTW, V, you did a great job of covering up.  I spent a day painting a surfer silhouette and a skateboard silhouette along with some boards, flip-flops, and a shark.  It all incorporated well with the exsisting banana trees and I’m very proud of the result. 

Sufer Dude BG on a Lip:

This is the "recycled mural"

BG's Banana tree monkeys - 5 years ago

Now he's a silhouette skateboarder

Lightfoot Cat’s in a Painted Alcove – Tromp L’oeil

My friend got these cat art pieces, made by artist Vergie Lightfoot, for Christmas.  My job was to paint her little alcove to look like the cats are in a window seat, complete with pillow to match her living room.  It started as a garden scene with birds, bees, fountain and walkway but it was just too much.  We decided the window view needed to be simpler with the cats being the focus.  I’m very happy with the results.  The hard part was painting that window frame straight as it was about 3 1/2 feet high and at that size my tape tends to warp. 

I’ll be there again in a couple of weeks for a party, and I’m so looking forward to hearing what people say about my window.  Always fun.

Renaissance Mural: Grape Vines, Birds, Butterflies and Clouds

This mural was so much fun to paint! I began with the blue ceiling and clouds.  It grew on me as I applied cracks and leaves until I had to make myself stop before it took over like a medieval forest.  I love the Monarch butterfly and Stick bug.  The birds were sweet and a little shading really helped them pop off of the wall.  Being able to enjoy what you do is a true blessing.

Below is day 1, ceiling clouds and wall definition.  Cracks are so much fun if you understand the nature of how things break. Who would have thought I would take up the study of broken wall plaster?

Girl Scout Artists paint Holiday windows for Chuck Jones Gallery

The Chuck Jones Gallery in Old Orange is kind enough to let scout troops use their studio for scouting events.  Today we did a Visual Art’s Interest Project workshop and I had the privelage of teaching the girls the basics of painting holiday windows. 

These girls are talented and inspiring.  Each group only got 45 minutes for their store front and did an amazing job with no spilt paint or ladder incidents.  A special thanks to Byblo’s Cafe and the Hope Chest childrens cloths for allowing us to use their windows to work on also.

I hope I’ve encouraged some of these creative girls to pick up a rainbow of tempera paint and sponge their way across many windows in the future.  What fun and a great way to earn a little spending money.

3D Animation, next year.

My (oh so fun) 3D animation class will have to wait.  Sometimes God redirects our path and right now I’m needed elsewhere. 

Vintage Photo Restoration

This is a picture of my Gramme and her older sister, taken in 1918.  The original photo is 4cm x 2.5cm so I had to scan it in extremely high-resolution.   I’ve put at least 8 hours into this restoration and although it isn’t completely done, I’m ready to share it with you.  Gramme is now 95 and in Hospice so this little picture has special meaning for me.

Kid’s Playroom, decorative fun

Disneyland – Pastel Portrait Artist

Wow!  This picture was sent to me by an old friend.  Many, many moons ago I worked at Disneyland as a portrait artist on Main Street.  Any guesses what year?  I’ve also worked there as a caricature artist and silhouette artist.  In fact, I believe I’m the only person ever to have done all three.   It was a BLAST!

Glass Painting – bugs & kid’s reading –

I completed my most resent gig at Turtle Rock with a painting on the office glass.  This painting has to hold up to tiny fingernails of young students impatiently waiting for mom and dad to finish up.  

Here’s the glass painting of trees, a little boy reading “Big Bear, Big Bear”, and a little girl reading “One Fish, Two fish”.  The books are about 2 inches but perfect in their representation.  It took a tiny, tiny brush and good glasses.  The problem is that the boy’s book has the front cover on what should be the back of the book.   A little fudging there. 😛

Bathroom decor – decorative painting swirly-girly

This is the Turtle Rock Preschool office bathroom.   The male director painted the room a plum color and asked me to do some swirly-girly decoration on the walls because he works with 40 women.  He wrinkled his nose to the whole thing but wants to keep his staff happy.  Good man.


Creative Resume – Artistic Touch

Do you want to catch the attention of a prospective employer?  Be unique and interesting and people will not only look at it, but show it around.  I’ve created a resume for myself using my new computer skills… much FUN!   How can I get into the business of creative resumes?  It may not be what you expect but that’s what makes people want to look at it and read it.

I have to admit though, as much as I enjoyed it, I didn’t include my prestigious job at Jack in the Box.

Turtle and Sunflowers on glass

I’m back at my favorite preschool, Turtle Rock.   I just love these people and if my kids were little, this is where I’d place them.  As it is, my kids are grown and I content myself to being the resident artist for them.  This latest mural is in the office.  It’s a glass wall that they want decorated in such a way as to cover the area where parents tend to store their bags and car seats. 

Sweet nursery design. Love this tree!

This is my latest mural for a soon-to-be new baby.  This was all the momma’s idea and I’m loving it.  She’s going to add silk flowers to the tree to make it even sweeter.   It’s hard to see, but there are green and pink butterflies scattered throughout the room.  I’m so very happy with the way this turned out!

Surfer Dude, Boy’s room decor, mural

This is a miniature of the little surfer dude that lives in this room.  He’s so darn cute!  He’s a little guy but you can see that he’s going to have to fight off the girls when he gets older.   The rest of the room has dolphins, turtle, shells, fish, and palm trees.  The decorator did a fabulous job on this room…and I’m honored to be able to paint one of my murals to compliment it.

Backyard Paradise – tropical wedding scene

I painted this tropical scene on a stucco wall with real planters on either side.  It was in preparation for a wedding in her backyard.  I gave the client a couple different conceptual ideas on paper, including one with a sunset.   This came out very nicely and I especially love the large palm leave painted on the left side.   Yes, the rocks are painted too.

This was a two day job and she was gracious enough to set up a sun umbrella for me to work under. 

The “other” Maxine, personalized gift card

This is a personalized card for my sweet Aunt Max.  She loves the Maxine cartoons and her name happens also to be Maxine.  I drew a caricature of her in the Maxine cartoon style and added all of her info.  It was all my creative cousin’s idea and she’s having them printed up.  Can’t wait to see how they turn out!

 Shhhhhh….it’s a surprise for her birthday.

Private Art Class, fish and dolphin mural

This is the bedroom of a  shy, talented, and very sweet little 8 year old.  I was hired to paint her room and got permission to let her “help” me.  I gave her a mini art lesson and a paintbrush with instructions to start in a corner with some seaweed.  When I turned my back to go paint a turtle, only 2 minutes later I heard her proudly say, “Done!”    I though, “UhOh”….but she had done a brilliant job and was ready to move on. 

Can you tell which two fish are hers? (between the two hooks).  She also added an array of bubbles above her bed.   She made it hers and I know she’ll remember this experience forever.  The nice thing is that it’s just paint on a wall and if she decides she hates it, it’s just a paintswipe away.   But she’ll always know she did something unique and wonderful.              Do you think I’ve created a budding muralist?  I think maybe……. 

Puppets, Funny Stuff

I didn’t make these but I helped re-decorate them into different characters for a comedy show.  It was a lot of hot glue, yarn, google eyes, and felt.  It was a favor for my daughter and her friends and turned out to be a lot more fun then I expected.     I just LOVE a kitchen full of crafty junk.   What fun.

Caricature in b&w and red

This is my latest b&w painting.  This sweet young woman used to work with me and asked me more than a year ago to paint her and her two cousins.  Life happened and I put it off until I forgot.  Just last week, she sent me a text picture of an empty wall space.   Bwhahaha.

We added red to compliment her decor and I hope it looks enough like them for her to love it.   I’m also attaching a picture of her for you to judge.

I SWITCHED the two girls on the right. 

Thank God for Little Girls

Here’s my latest mural.  This was so much fun.  Done in one day and honestly I could have spent another day adding dodads and details all over.  There’s usually a budget to worry about though, and I certainly understand that. 

This little girl was delightfully surprised when she got home from school and I had her room almost completed.   Her reaction is one that I’ll never forget.  Don’t think I do this just for the money…..oh no.  I’m like and actor on stage.  I do it for the looks on their faces and for the applause.   This little client was wonderful!        “I’m ready for my close up Mr. Demille”. 

We chose not to glue real jewels, glitter, or feathers onto the floating items just because they want to be able to paint over (years from now) with ease.   I did use some glitter type of paint that gave it some extra zing.

I didn’t include the picture with her name scrolled across her closet, for privacy reasons.  Use your imaginations. 

What fun!

Moons and Stars for baby

This mural was designed by a sweet lady that’s due with her first baby in June.  It’s so fun to see all the baby stuff and share her excitement.  What a real blessing.

The wall above the changing table has a moon and jumping cow.  The wall with the crib has the sleeping moon and baby in a blanket that matches the nursery bedding.  I especially like the yawning star.  We scattered stars throughout the room and clouds to fill in the walls and ceiling.  What you can’t see is that the clouds above the crib are shaped like a bunny, a dolphin, and a bird.   How cute.

Above the window is “Twinkle Twinkie Little Star”, because that’s what she sings to the baby.   How very sweet is that?                     One of my favorite things to paint is a nursery.

This is a picture of my sketch before I begin to paint.  You may not be able to see it, but I’ve sketched out the moon and stars with chalk.  I like using chalk or artist charcoal because it easily wipes off of the wall and won’t leave a mark like a pencil will.

Sherlock at the Improv

This painting on a 3 x 4 foot canvas is for a comedy act at the Improv Shmimpov in Fullerton.  I’ve yet to see one of the shows, but I know some of the talented cast….very funny. 

Their act is based on a couple of detective puppets.  This painting is a caricaturization of the two guys that do the act, Eric and Jason.   The canvas sits prominently on stage for all to see. 

Eric and Jason won this round of comedic competition and will be competing again this week.  I wish them all the luck…..wait….I mean, break a leg.

I’m including photos of my progress on this work.  Just scroll down to see more. 

I especially like my daughter’s idea to use a sepia color in the name board.  I tried a bronze that didn’t work and probably wouldn’t have been good with the lighting on stage.  I’m very happy with the finished effect.

Here you can see that I’m working on the floor of my studio.   At this point, I’m only using Golden’s Black.  Any white is just the canvas showing though.

I chose to start on Eric’s face because I had the most trouble caricaturing him.  When I finally got a sketch that I liked, I couldn’t wait to paint him.   Just look at that mug….

I begin by drawing on paper, then sketching directly onto the canvas with artist charcoal.   It’s easily erased using a wet cloth, but only for a couple of times, then the canvas starts getting muddy.   I think the hardest part of any painting is that first stroke.  I sit and look at my sketch for a long time before I jump in with that first sweep of wet paint.   It’s like the first cut into a beautifully decorated cake.  

yummmm….make mine spice with chocolate covered strawberrys……but I digress.

Black and White Caricatures – The Clubhouse

This caricature was done based on the original photo below it.  These chefs worked for The Clubhouse in Costa Mesa that’s, sadly, now closed.  

I found that I prefer to work the Liquitex Professional Mars Black instead of the Basic’s Mars Black.  It’s just a better black.   Any white areas are where the canvas is showing through.

The caricature on canvas was presented to the Head Chef as a thank you gift.   I hope he still has it wherever he is.

Cute Cute Cute!

I just had to show this.  This is Mikey, a friends little son.  Cutest picture EVER!

GIGs a Lot

This is my most recent gig.   I was drawing caricatures for a birthday party.   I don’t know who those people are so I blacked out their peepers but you can still see that we’re having fun.  It was a good party with good music, good food and fun people to draw.  I wish I had a sample caricature but I give them all away.  I love this kind of gig.

This guy was a doll.  While I wasn’t looking, he drew a picture of me on a styrofoam plate.  I’m absolutely charmed by his drawing.             This is his caricature of me………….

Experimenting with Paint

I’ll be doing more muraling at Turtle Rock in upcoming weeks and they’re asking me to do more painting on glass.  It’s a window in the “principals” office.  So this weekend I investigated and experimented with different paints that will hold up to tiny fingernails.  I found Porcelaine 150.  It has some issues with dripping but I think I can work around that. 

This glass has:

Green Basic’s Acrylic that scratched off with a sneeze and would have to be coated as I did on the aquarium.  Coating acrylic on glass is tricky and I’d like to avoid it.

Purple BioColor that holds up pretty well and extremely well after months of drying but is too transparent to get nice coverage.  A second coat lifts the first coat so that’s not a good option.

Black Porcelaine 150 and red Porcelaine marker that coated better than BioColor and not as well as Basics but the second coat went on beautifully and it’s drying very hard.  This stuff is made to use on china, glass and porceline but needs to be baked to cure it.  I can’t bake the principal’s window but it’s still my best option.   

I’m also going to use this paint for a Girls Craft night.  The girls will bring their own items to paint and snacks as well.  It’s going to be fun.   I’ll supply the brushes, paint and instruction.

How many of you can spell Caricature?

Thi s is one of my favorite caricatures because of the color.  This job was a birthday gift that I did with Tombo Markers and, sharpie and watercolor pencils – a most brilliant invention.   All very fun.

Turtle Rock Preschool Toddler Room – DONE

I was able to finish this mural today in less then 3 hours.  You can see an earlier posting of the previous work I did on it last weekend.  All together…um…9 hours for this one room.  I changed the bird to blue and added more leaves.  I also added some swirls from the leaves that you may have a hard time seeing in the pic.  I’m very happy with the way it turned out and am glad to be able to share it with you.

Work in progress.

Nope, I’m still not quite done.  I’ll get there but for now I’m still working on my Turtle Rock Preschool Tree.   That’s tomorrow!


No…’s NOT done.  I don’t like showing murals when they aren’t complete but I promised an update so here it is.  I’l finish on Saturday and post the finished pics then.

I’m adding clouds, flowers, and deeper colors to the trunk.  It’ll take me about 4 hours to complete.  The finishing touches are always the most fun to paint.  That’s when my mural comes to life.

Toddler Room Day 1

Another mural at Turtle Rock Preschool.   This room is for 12 – 24 month old little people.  I’m painting a juvenile tree in the corner.   This is just the begining painting.  I’ve already chalked the main drawing on the wall.  Stay tooned for more pics as the mural progresses.

People ask me what I supplies I need to paint a mural.  Here is my set up including; a dropcloth, acrylic paint, an array of brushes, styrofoam plates for pallets, painters tape, water bucket, rags, paper towels, scissors, ladder, Ipod, and diet coke.


 I had to leave spaces in between the colors, and a blank space where the iris is in the eyeballs so the black paint would show up on both sides of the glass.  A couple of times I forgot and had to scrape out a section of the white in the eye.    But the finished mural was very fun. 

Step 2. Same day as step one.

I began to add color, like a coloring book, with no outlines yet.  I had to coat the yellow 3 times to get it opaque.  I hate yellow.  


My NEW looking Blog.  Personally I liked the black but that one didn’t give me the ability to add links to my favorite sites as “blogrolls”.  This one does, so I’ll have to live withour the black.  This one’s easier to read anyway.   One day I’ll figure out the catagory thing too.   good grief

Day One – Turtle Rock Preschool Aquarium

This is my first step in painting a cartoon aquarium on the glass partition in the Turtle Rock Preschool nursery.  The cribs are captive on one side of the glass while the parents are on the other side.  Now the glass will have colorful fishies to brighten up the whole room and make everybody smile. 

final art – Pumping Up

So I took this to the gym today.   Just being there gave  me more ideas.  There’s a lot of odd looking people doing unusual things.     Hummm….no, I didn’t look at myself.

They wouldn’t let me prop the painting up where people could see it, even just for the time I was there.  Something about “corporate bla bla bla.”  At least I got to show it to some friends and tote it around for a while.  I guess that’s better than having it sit in my studio.   

Step One.

Begining a new painting is like anything else.  It’s hard to get started but once you’re on a roll, nothing else matters.    I’m diving into this one today.

shopping at Walmart in the rain….what was I thinking???

Turkey Soup and Matzo Balls

Turkey soup and Matzo balls for dinner.  A handed down recipe from the Jewish side of the family.  I have all of the turkey leftover carcass and gizzards in the freezer.  Yes….you have to use the gizzards and neck but get rid of them after using. Yes…you also use the skin and all the stuff you don’t normally eat.  That’s the difference in the flavor of the stock.

You throw all of that nasty stuff (don’t be grossed out, the more junk the better) into a giant pot and cover it with water; add one whole onion with the skin (for color); 5 whole  celery stalks cracked to fit; at least 6 whole cleaned carrots, chunked; a couple of lemon slices if you have it, a palmfull of crushed Basil; and 2 Bay leaves.  Bring to boil and simmer for at least 2 hours. 

Now strain it with a mesh strainer and shred all of the good turkey meat to put back into the stock.  It takes me about 45 minutes.  Smash the now cooked carrots and add them back in also.  At this point I may cheat with a little chicken boullion….shhhhh.  Only the Better than Boullion brand.  If you have the time to cool it overnight, you can scoop off all of the hardened fat from the top, otherwise spoon off as much as you can.

The Matzo balls take 40 minutes total but it’s as simple as a box of Manischewitz Matzo Ball Mix, the one without the soup mix, and DON’T buy any other brand.  It’s found in the little Jewish food section of most grocery stores.   It calls for 2 eggs and some oil.   I make my balls about 1 1/2 inches big.

Thanks to the brilliant company that came up with breadmakers, I’ll also include some home-made sourdough bread. 

Now if only I could make a great Kugel.  Anyone have the perfect recipe???

Corporate Lunch – this is my favorite so far.

itty bitty frog painting. Only 3×3.

Mini canvases…only 3×3, and 2×4. I’ve got a bunch waiting to be painted. Any ideas?

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