Tuesday, December 13, 2011


I just joined a Jane Austen team of sellers on Etsy and they ask that you curate a J.A. treasury once a month.  The rules of treasury making is that you can not advertise your own items and the reason people do it, is that if your treasury is good enough, it may end up on the front page of Etsy.
So here is my "A ball?! I long for a ball!!" treasury of lovely regency themed dress-ups.

Friday, December 9, 2011

This one is of Catherine Morland, reading Mysteries of Udolpho on a cloudy morning at Bath.  Framed 5x7.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

I haven't posted for quite a while, it has been really busy.
I made this piece to order and really enjoyed it, I have been drawing dresses since I was a little girl and working on this project felt like playing, I got to sit there and draw dresses and got paid for it.  I also like seeing the yearly progression of  fashions,  how gowns went from simple to ornate and from high empire waist to a lower one of late regency period.
Another Anne Elliot box, this one  is my last, I wish I had more of them these cream colored boxes are so pretty.

Hand made bookmark of Anne Elliot.

People have often commented how nice it would be to have  the painting of the famous proposal scene from P&P and here it is at last, I wanted to have a light breezy Elizabeth-like color scheme in this painting and like how it turned out.
Margaret Hale and John Thornton of North and South.

Jane's girls-the sketch.

Jane's girls, the finished painting. Here is who they are from right to left:
Catherine Morland of Northanger Abbey, in a pretty muslin day dress trimmed with blue and a novel tucked under her arm.
Fanny Price of Mansfield Park, dressed in pink and ready to run an errand for her nasty aunt Morris. Notice that she is wearing her brother's amber cross on Edmund's chain.
Elizabeth Bennet of Pride and Prejudice, wearing a lovely yellow day dress and ready to go for a walk and get her petticoats dirty (six inches deep in mud!).
Emma Woodhouse, dressed in a cream colored dress and red spencer, ready for strawberry picking at Donwell Abbey.
Next, sad Marianne Dashwood and composed, concerned Elinor of Sense and Sensibility are prepared to leave London, dressed in comfy travelling gowns and cozy cashmere shawls.
And last, my favorite heroine, Anne Elliot of Persuasion is dressed for the concert at the Octagon room, in a lovely gown of blue silk and cream crepe, with a pretty gold sash and pearls in her hair.
I guess the men should be next, but they might not happen until the holidays are over and I have a bit more time on my hands.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

A remake and a snowy day inspiration

When I first saw the movie Emma couple years ago I was so inspired by the scene in the movie where she sits opening a letter with the sunlight streaming on her through the window, I really wanted to paint something as pretty.  I painted the picture above and a good friend of mine now has it in her collection, but as one of my clients was looking through my feedback, she liked the picture so well, she wanted me to repaint it for her.  I really loved redoing this watercolor and I even got to fix the angle of the table, which my dad, who is a much better artist than me, pointed out I got wrong in the first one.

 The watercolor on the box was inspired by the beautiful snowy day we had outside yesterday.  As I drove around doing my errands I was constantly finding inspiration in the beautiful scenery around me, slowly falling snow against the background of the gray sky is so beautiful.  So when I got home I spent the rest of the day doing this watercolor which I later attached to this lovely mahogany stained box.  I was actually thinking Emma and Mr.Knightley, but Pemberley Pond sounds better, so Skating on Pemberley Pond it is.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Here are some of the latest listings.
A cute little box I recently found at the store decorated with my watercolor of Anne Elliot looking at the sunset at Lyme. I know I have made many paintings of Anne in similar pose, but I just love showing the play of the wind, probably because I love being outside on windy days myself.  When I was a little girl I loved standing outside and letting the wind rage around me and hoped it would make me fly.

Persuasion box with Captain Wentworth's letter.  I love these Russian boxes, they are so sturdy and well made I know they will last for many years.  Staining them is also fun, something about working with wood is so satisfying.

And last, a P&P ornament, with formidable looking Mr.Darcy on one side and Elizabeth Bennet on the other.  Even though this ornament was fun to make, I really prefer watercolors to working with a needle.  Sewing, despite of all my mother's efforts, does not come to me easy :)

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Persuasion Collage

Since Persuasion is my favorite Jane Austen's novel, I just had to make a collage of it. 

I really wanted to make it look like old paper, a sort of map and letter mixed up together.

I really enjoyed painting the miniatures, my favotite is the Frigate miniature next to Captain Wentworth.  I actually found images on the internet of Milsom street (1800's  illustration), assembly hall in bath (a photo of the one still standing in modern day Bath), and  an old oil painting of a frigate to use as inspirations for the miniatures.

I wanted to add little things to the collage to symbolize some things in the book, the pebble and ammonite looking shells for Lyme, a package for shopping in Bath, a bronze key reminding us that Anne could have become Lady Elliot and a mistress of Kellynch, had she chosen to marry Mr.Elliot; a tiny landscape miniature symbolizing the walk to Winthrop; lace - remeniscent of a beautiful evening gown Anne would have worn to the concert and also in shape of waves to add a slight nautical feel and of course a tiny letter with a real wax seal-the letter Captain Wentworth gave to Anne.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

An Austen man you can carry in your purse.

Today felt like another miniature day.  Captain Wentworth and Henry Tilney, though you can imagine them to be whoever you like.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

A first for me...

Here is something I have been wanting to make ever since my mom gave me this tattered antique blouse, it had lovely lace and I could just see myself making some beautiful piece of art with it.  So, here is the painting that did not look just right to me on it's own, decorated with the aforsaid lace, pretty little miniature bought at Ismailovski park market in Moscow, some P&P quotes and my daughter's favorite: a tiny letter with a real wax seal that took 6 tries to get perfect.  This was a really fun project to work on. 

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Can there be too much of Northanger Abbey?

 Even though it has been a while since I read Northanger Abbey, a few months at least, I have been inspired by it a lot lately.  I have wanted to paint a completely black and white painting for a long time, because it is fun to show the transparency of fabric on black background, so Miss Morland's gown was born.  I do not know why in my mind Catherine always wears spotted muslin, but it seems that almost every paitning I have done of her, with an exception or two, has her in some sort of a spotted gown.  Just like Elizabeth Bennet in my mind always wears green or brown and gold, and Marianne Dashwood yellow with blue sprigs.  This particular gown has tiny gold dots I applied with an ink pen and a gold necklace to go with it as well.

The pink painting is just a confection in my mind, some sort of dress pastry.  I must have been craving an eclair while working.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Miniature Silver Ornaments

Here is the little conversation block I have been working on for the last week.  To be completely honest, it  did not turn out as cute as I thought it would, but I have three more laying in my craft closet, and I hope to get them done soon.  And a couple of miniatures, I came along those pretty little frames and could picture the project in my head right away, I hope someone will enjoy getting them for Christmas.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

A couple of new listings.

Today felt like miniature day.  Captain Wentworth ornament and Jane Eyre jewelery box.



I have been working on something different for the past few days, I hope to finish it tomorrow, so come back for a peek.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Christmas Cards

Following some good advice I have made my Christmas inspired pieces into a set of cards.  They are now available here: http://www.etsy.com/listing/83926889/set-of-4-jane-austen-christmas-cards

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

"What are men to rocks and mountains?"

This little hand painted bookmark depicts Elizabeth Bennet, enjoying the sites of Derbyshire.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Henry and Catherine of Northanger Abbey, married and living at Woodston, are the inspiration for this watercolor.  Henry, in his shirt and waistcoat (unlike my other, more formally attired heroes) is reading one of Mrs.Radcliffe's horrid works over Catherine's shoulder.

Monday, October 3, 2011

 I had this tree hanging around my house for a year and did not know what to do with it.  J.A. quotes, decoupage, platimum paint, muslin ribbon, lace and some sequins made for a good way to spend an afternoon.  I love painting most, but working with other mediums is very satisfying as well. 

Friday, September 30, 2011


 Captain Wentworth and Anne Elliot (Persuasion) at Mollands.
Three Austen Heroines in Green. Left to right Catherine Morland, Elizabeth Bennet and Anne Elliot.

Jane Eyre


Anne Elliot (originally titled Waiting)
Captain Wentworth at the White Heart.
All of these paintings will soon be available as prints.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Anne's Visit to Uppercross 5x7

This watercolor was inspired by Persuasion.  I wanted to show " the mansion of the squire, with its high walls, great gates, and old trees..." with its windows glowing (there probably is noise and mirth of the Musgrove children behind them) and Henrietta eagerly welcoming Anne by coming out on the steps.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Jane Eyre Watercolor

Another Christmas inspired watercolor, this time from another one of my favorite authors - Charlotte Bronte.  One of the things I love most about winter is watching snow fall against the gray backround of the sky, and it seems to be making it's way into my art lately.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Getting ready for Christmas season.

This is my latest piece, featuring Marianne Dashwood and Barton cottage in the background.   I am working on a series of pieces to be made into Christmas cards in the next few weeks, and for now this one is my favorite.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Process of making a watercolor

In case you are curious how long it takes to paint a watercolor and what is involved in the process, here it is step by step:
First step is selecting good paper.  I like to use professional grade 140 lbs. cold press paper you can purchase at art stores, no watercolor pads! Of course the higher the number of pounds on the paper, the finer the quality, so one day I would love to paint on 500 lbs. cold press.  Cold press has finer texture, hot press is rougher and works well for other artists, but I like to add intricate detail to my pieces therefore I stick with smoother cold press paper.
 Next comes the sketching, it takes anywhere from 10 minutes to hours to get the people and places just how you want them. 
One of the most crucial and important steps in painting watercolors is called stretching.  The paper must be made wet and stretched with special brown tape on your board to keep it from buckling and bulging.  Watercolors are never painted on an easel, unless you use dry brush technique, beacause water color is a very wet, runny medium and does not work well in any position but flat, unless you are painting something abstract of course.
When the paper is almost dry I start painting.  Some watercolorists prefer to paint when the paper is wet, but I prefer to control the flow of paint, it helpes me create more detailed pieces.

Then come first layers of watercolors, to make watercolor rich and vibrant you might have to use many layers of paint, but I, like many others, love watercolors for their transparency and softness, so I only usually do about 6-10 layers and prefer softer hues of paint.
 Here is "Mr.Darcy and Elizabeth dancing at Netherfield" all finished.
 After carefully peeling away the brown tape I use a special cutter to make sure the edges of my painting are straight and it is ready to frame.
When the project is finisthed I take photos and scan my piece and put it up in my store.  Some of the paintings get made into cards and bookmarks and prints.  I love wrapping them up in brown paper packages and sealing them with wax before sending them off.  I love how being an artist has helped me make friends all over the world and knowing that my art brings some sunshine into some people's lives is a great blessing.