I got my first tattoo at 19 on sort of a dare. My friends and I decided we wanted tattoos, and one of our moms told us we didn’t have the guts. The next day, we were looking for shops in the yellow pages. (They didn’t have a lot of tattoo websites in 1999.) We visited a few shady places before settling on a parlor and picked flash to have put on us forever.

My first tattoo is pretty bad; a pegasus on my chest. I don’t regret it, though. When I got it, I was a shy nerd and I really think that it helped me be more social in college. No one believed that this shy person who looked like a 12-year old girl had a tattoo. It turns out that flashing people is a sure fire way to break the ice.

So how does this relate to my art at all? Well, since that first tattoo in 1999, I have kept getting more on and off, including a couple drawn by myself, and one drawn by my husband. Here is my toad tattoo. I love him. It is based on my drawing of a toad that really propelled me into drawing only toads. I am thinking about having him sitting on something, but whether that is a leaf, flower, strawberry or other I don’t know. He’s fine now, but I am addicted, so I wouldn’t mind adding to him.


Lately, I have been really looking at tattoos online for even more ideas to decorate my body with some day. I’ve been learning about tattoo styles and all sorts of things I had no idea even existed when I got my first tattoo. Of course, the first styles of American tattoos were mostly meant for men, including a lot of pin ups and naked ladies. Traditional American tattoos are enjoying a revival right now, and I have seen a lot of great examples on the Internet, and in real life.


Being obsessed with tattoos and toads, this had to happen. Here are my toad pin up girls! All proceeds from prints of these gals will go straight into my tattoo fund! They are on Etsy here!



New Piece and Good News

Yesterday as I left work, a chorus of hundreds of voices greeted me. No, I’m not going crazy; it was the toads! They were calling loud and clear in the swamp across the street. The males call out to the ladies in spring. It’s a meat market over there! Fascinated by all things toad, their mating is one of the more interesting and intense things about them. The males mob the females, vying for a chance at fertilizing her eggs. The sound makes me a little twitchy; ready to grab my camera and catch a glimpse of their fascinating behavior. Maybe I am crazy!

Anyway, I clearly am still enamored with bufo americanus, even if I haven’t been drawing all that much lately. I did finish a small piece just to get it out of my head. “Little Black Dress” is a toad in a little black dress. When people talk about that iconic piece of wardrobe that every woman NEEDS in their closet, I envision myself looking like this gal. They don’t make a little black dress for me, if you know what I mean! 🙂 So here is my toad in her LBD, looking less than thrilled about it.  You can buy prints of her in my Etsy shop.

Little Black Dress

This is my first drawing done 100% with Caran d’Ache Luminance pencils. These pencils are expensive but proven lightfast and do not have the breakage problems of Prismacolor pencils. They are worth the extra cost for that reason alone; I have never had one sharpen poorly or lead snap at all. I get down and dirty with my pencils and press hard, so a lead that can withstand the pressure is great.

My other good news that isn’t that the toads are back is that my piece “The Wrong One” was selected to be in the Colored Pencil Society of America’s 20th International Expo! It is in Covington, Kentucky which is in the greater Cincinnati area. We are planning on visiting the Artist’s Reception in August. I can’t wait to see all of the colored pencil works up close and examine the techniques and finishes used by the best colored pencil artists in the world.  They look so smooth on the internet; it is tough to get a read on what the finish of a colored pencil piece looks like.

It is a great honor to have been juried in to this show. It consistently has amazing work. I’m so excited I could sing!