A different kind of project


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Framed final invite_professional photo

A friend of mine approached me several weeks ago with a request for help with a special wedding gift for a close family member. She asked me to do a small watercolor painting on their wedding invitation to have framed and given to the couple as a gift. She asked me if I could do a peony, as it was the bride’s favorite flower and in her bouquet. I said “Of course! I would be honored.” I had forgotten til she reminded me, that I had done the same thing for her once before for a very close friend of hers years ago, and that it was a huge hit, and everyone thought it was a great idea.

It turned out really well, if I do say so myself ๐Ÿ™‚

Full disclosure, I had nothing to do with the framing, other than advise on color, etc. through emails.

This was a really fun project to do, and I hope I get to do more like this ๐Ÿ™‚



Starting over


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I know I have mentioned this in posts before, but I don’t think I have have gone into any detail.

Once again while working on a painting in watercolors, I have had to start over. It happens. If you were to ask me right after I have made a mistake I would say that it happens way too often. But in more objective moments I could maybe admit that it isn’t “every single time”.ย  And sometimes I’m even able to get to a place where I realize that it’s often the best thing that can happen. The second attempt is always better in many ways than the first one. And even less measurable but more importantly, it means I’m pushing my abilities. Yes, there are times when having a piece be “good enough” and “not perfect” is a completely valid sentiment. But those moments when you look at your piece and say ” I don’t like that, I can do better” are special, and if they are happening it means you are working and growing.ย  Now, this is not to say that in the moment following the “ooops!” I am completely in touch with this notion, but I’m sure it’s taking less and less time to reach that emotional state.ย  ๐Ÿ™‚


The good news is that my process allows me to restart without it being a giant pain in the ass.ย  I start by asking my friends and family to model for me, I set up my scenes and take reference photos. Then I draw it out freehand on tracing paper. This allows me to make mark after mark, and erase (and erase, and erase) without damaging the paper. Then I take my finished drawing and transfer it to the watercolor paper with graphite paper. So, all I need to do when starting over is transfer the drawing to another piece of watercolor paper.


So, now it’s time to just keep on painting……….



New painting


Just chose the best pose/reference photo for the next mudra painting……..This one is based off the gesture Cincihna, or Understanding. It is a single handed gesture, with the thumb and the forefinger coming together as if grasping a fine object, such as a grain of truth. I took a bit of artistic license by adding the second hand.

I’m very excited for this one ๐Ÿ™‚

Dharmachakra finished painting


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Dharmachakra completed! This was fun to do, I’m really enjoying the smaller format and the tighter focus on hands. Hands are so expressive and they can be as individual asย  faces. I hope you all enjoy them as much as I do. ๐Ÿ™‚

This will be the first in a series of hand mudra poses, so check back soon for updates. You can read more about Buddhist hand mudras in my last post.

If you are interested in this piece as a print or as a card click here.


Dharmachakra drawing


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Finished drawing for the next painting. This one was a bit more complicated than I originally thought it would be, but I’m satisfied with how it turned out.

The inspirations for these next few paintings are Buddhist hand mudras.

This one is the Dharmachakra mudra, symbolizing the continuous flow of energy in the cosmos. For the background, my plan is to create a spiral of stars in a dark field of color.

Stay tuned!