My best work comes directly from the heart and I have learned to trust my
intuition and create work I am passionate about. As a
self-motivated artist, I am open to new styles, ideas, and trends. I search
for inspiration everywhere to provide that creative spark that makes my work unique. I generally work digitally so that my images can be easily tailored to fit a manufacturer’s product requirements.
I have been an artist all my life.
Early inspiration came from my grandmother, who was also my
kindergarten teacher! Even though she did make me color
inside the lines, she was quite the artist herself. She planted
beautiful, magical-looking flower gardens, created craft projects,
and meticulously painted and fired her own china.
As a child, my favorite things were reading, drawing, cutting and pasting,
putting puzzles together, dreaming of far-off places, and
allowing my imagination to soar. As an adult, my favorite
things are drawing and painting my own picture books and greeting
cards, creating art for puzzles and games, visiting far-off places
and. . . allowing my imagination to soar.
In 1984 I received a B.A. with High Honors in Graphic Design and
Illustration from Western Illinois University in Macomb, Illinois.
As a comprehensive art major, I also studied photography and worked
as a freelance photographer for several years following graduation.
In 1985 I officially began my professional illustration career at
Good Apple Publishing Company working as a staff artist.
I began freelancing by creating illustrations for the greeting card
market on assignment. The World Wildlife Federation chose my
illustration entitled “Peaceful Kingdom” as a part of the Helping Hand
In 1991, I achieved my dream of becoming a full-time freelance illustrator.
I was commissioned to create art for children’s floor puzzles by the Judy
“Life in the Coral Reefs” received the 1992 Editor’s Choice Award from
Early Childhood News. This was the beginning of what would
become a major development in my career as I began creating
commissioned art for 1000 piece puzzles for Great American Puzzle
Factory. Ravensburger/F.X. Schmid commissioned me to illustrate
puzzles and game boards. The game “Elephant Ride” received the
Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Gold Seal “Best Toy” Award and the
“Toy of the Year” 1999 Parenting Winner Award from Parenting
Magazine. I was then commissioned by Ravensburger/F.X. Schmid to
create the very challenging animal shaped puzzles.
My puzzles have appeared in National Geographic, National Wildlife, The
Smithsonian Gift Catalog, as well as other gift catalogs and nature stores.
In 1995 I illustrated my first picture book, “The Birth of a Whale” by
John Archambault, which won a 1996 National Parenting Publications
Gold Award, and in 2006 I illustrated “Turtle Song” also by
I authored and illustrated my first picture book, a reinterpretation of
the classic story “The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse,” released in
2005, and “There Was an Old Woman,” was released in 2008. Both titles
published through Childcraft Education Corporation.
In March of 2013, I had to say good-bye to my best friend, Barklie Sue, for whom the Little Black Dog Studio is named. I am thankful to have shared my life with her for nearly 19 years. She will remain forever in my heart and will forever represent the Little Black Dog Studio.
Leanin’ Tree - greeting cards
Amia - stained glass
Lindy Bowman - gift bags and boxes
Anagram - balloons
Seastone - gift cards
Jeanmarie Creations - gift bags
SunsOut - puzzles
Plaid Enterprises - needlework kits
Toland Home and Garden - decorative garden flags
Evergreen Enterprises - decorative garden flags
Chesta Company Lowe’s - decorative garden flags
Wincraft - decorative garden flags
Creative Converting - party tableware
Berwick Offray - gift bags
Paper Magic - vinyl window clings, gift tags
Ravensburger/F.X. Schmid - puzzles, games
Current - greeting cards, stickers, address labels
International Playthings - games
Murals Your Way
Dimensions - needlework kits, color by number kits
Chesapeake Wallcoverings - wallpaper borders
Autom - advent calenders, ornaments
Air Waves - t-shirt transfers
Robert Kaufman Fabrics
Independent Can Company -decorative tins
Great American Puzzle Factory
Impact Innovations - vinyl window clings
Unique Industries - party tableware
Bits and Pieces Puzzles
Oxford University Press
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Simon and Schuster
The Wright Group
Brown Publishing Network
Bill Smith Studio
Modern Curriculum Press
Clarabelle and Teddy, my two ragdoll cats, have someone new to play with and her name is Zoey. She is a five-pound, mischievous and energy-filled maltese-poodle. She has made her way into my heart and brings great joy to the studio.
I hope my art will make you laugh and smile and warm your heart in some way.
From my heart to yours...