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Celebrating Friendship

I was recently asked to paint a commission celebrating more than 30 years of friendship. I'm very selective regarding commissions because I would rather paint what I want to paint. As I age, I am more interested in creating things that interest me rather than others. If someone else likes it- that's icing on my cake. I was slightly hesitant to accept this commission, but what a great story to convince me to make a new painting.

Three women have an amazing friendship that has lasted more than 30 years. At this stage of their lives they have been through all that life can deal us. How remarkable that three women can love and support each other through most of their adult lives. They have always been there for each other offering love and friendship to solve problems and celebrate success. Still I hesitated,  but the woman I spoke to told me they planned to present the painting as a gift to one of this amazing trio to celebrate her birthday. And guess what? She was turning 60 on the same day I was turning 60! Well I felt like I was celebrating my own birthday.

I agreed to make a painting of three women who love and support each other. They stand together at the water's edge as one. I tbelieve the ocean is life affirming. It hits all of our sensory needs when we stand on the shoreline. We can feel the water lapping at our feet, hear the waves steady rythmn that helps to cradle us into slower, relaxed breathing. It smells heavenly and tastes salty. And, the vision of horizon is something I can look at forever. Its a place of healing and calm. Friendship offers the same to our lives. Friends are a safe haven that hold your secrets and they often know you better than sometimes you know yourself. They can restore your spirit in meaningful ways. Friends fill the emptiness we sometimes find in our lives and they definitely require us laugh at ourselves. 

What an awesome way to commemorate sisterhood.

Of course I made their celebration into a friendship greeting card ! I want everyone to celebrate great friendships. you can purchase this card in my shop.

your smile, your laughter, your courage and your heart
 I’m so happy to have your friendship.

 May we always cherish our friends for the amazing richness they bring to our lives. We would be incomplete without them. I salute all of my girlfriends! Thank you for making my life so complete!

Cheers, Susan


Quilted Women Coloring Book

Ta Da..... I'm so happy to introduce my Quilted Women coloring book. 11 illustrations to color and design your own beautiful color stories. 

You can find my coloring books in my shop or in my etsy shop

Remember to select a greeting card you like and send me the stock number in your convo with your order because I return your shipping expenses in same value greeting cards!

Happy coloring,




H Squared - Making a print

I have enjoyed  printing multiples so much, I thought I would make an entirely stamped painting. I made a first attempt using my "just go at it" approach and realized it would be hard to make adjustments to the print later. I have discovered when making multiples - if you make a mistake on one (and you know it's a mistake as quickly as you have made it) you have to make the same mistake on all the copies. Then the fix is the same. Since I wanted to make multiples with this project, I made several practice runs to work out the potential errors in advance.

I picked a color story to work with. I love the Color Star. Unfortunately it is out of print, but if you are lucky to have one it is enormously helpful on projects like this. There are many color therory wheels or charts that are helpful with solving color problems in paintings. They are necessary tools to have in your studio. I also made decisions about the pose of my Quilted Woman and the stamp choice. In this project I opted for one square stamp that I carved. It could be turned in any direction to give 4 different looks. And since it was square, it would stack nicely while I built my quilt blocks.

I limited this run to three images. I wanted to follow a cruciform, which I think is fairly uncomplicated. I use it quite a bit in my paintings of Quilted Women. It works well since so many of the QW have arms stretched out. Using the interior, lightest shades on the wheel I built the cruciform composition, gradually building in the darks around warm colors.

Once my blocks were completed, using a timy brush,  I added the brightes hues in the H shapes exposed from stamping. I decide not to fill in the white spaces between some of the blocks. I think it could be done effectively, but because of my natural paper protected around the image, I thought it would be a unifying effect on the print. I liked it once I pulled my tape from around the image.

This is #1 of  my three finished prints. They are all slightly different because each time I placed the stamp I applied a new thin layer of paint to the stamp. I love the exposed paper spaces from the stamping. It shows how each one is different because of color, texture, the way I pressed the stamp and of course the directional turn. I think this project was a lot of fun to make and successful as a finished project. I have to say I slipped in a second stamp at the top. Do you see it?

Things I learned


  • Solve the problems before you begin the printing
  • Pick a color story that allows you to tell the best story with your painting
  • Choose an easy composition so that all of the nuance of hand work really shows up
  • One stamp provides many options so don't think you have to have a lot to make beautiful paintings.


 What I used

  • Stonehenge printmaking paper
  • Fluid acrylic paint
  • carved rubber stamp
  • removable tape 
  • brayer for paint applcation around the head



I would love to see what you create so be sure to share with me.
Happy printing!



Carving Stamps

As many of you know, I use hand carved stamps to create the lush layerd patterns in my paintings. They add a richness of texture and design to my work. Here is a short tutorial of carving stamps, Hope the tips are useful and you find a way to incorporate some stamping into your paintings.

I use Speedball Speedy Cut rubber pads for my stamps. Its made in several densities. Some are more flexible than the others. I like the pink material. It is slightly rigid and holds the edges of my carving very well.I also use a speedball carving tool. It comes with a variety of carving blades.

I cut the stamping material to a size I like for my stamp. I draw my images with a pencil. They can be as a complex as you like but remember you must carve around shapes so tiny details can get lost. I stamp with paint more often than ink, and that is a thicker material that will fill up tiny spaces.

I used the small carving blade to cut my interior flower designs. I used a wider blade to carve around all of the flowers. As you can see, it takes several rounds of carving to remove all the unwanted material.

This is roughly my carved design. I always test the stamp before calling it completed to make sure I've cleared away any material that might interfer with my design.

I rolled out a small amount of red ink on plexiglass with my brayer. I then rolled the brayer across the top of my stamp to see the ink pattern. I can see any areas where I missed carving away unwanted material in my design and can go back and remove it. Can you see some of those small random red spots? Those would be spaces I missed and had to go back and lift them out with my carving tool.

Once I'm satisfied I just flip the stamp over and make an image. This is a big stamp and as you can see, I moved the stamp slightly on the right. It creates a shadowed image. I don't want that, so I need to be careful when placing such a large stamp on my painting. These errors are often not fixable, so be careful.

Finally, as Sister Robert Ann used to say in our vocabulary class, it is not enough that you memorized the word and can spell it, now use it in a sentence. And so friends, you must use your newly carved stamp in a painting. Below is mine. As you can see, it's a dominant pattern in my painting. I'll bet now when you look at my painting you can see many other stamped images. There are 6 other stamps I used. See if you can pick them out.

Things I've learned.


  • Keep the shapes simple.
  • purchase the correct tools for carving. 
  • large stamps are flexible and can move around on the surface when stamping. Apply them with care.
  • a thin layer of paint or ink is best. 

 Make happy art today, Susan


Coloring Book

Several months I got the idea to create a coloring book of some of my best selling  Women I Might Have Known greeting cards. I thought it would be fun to see how someone else interpeted my colorful paintings. Shortly after I began to post some of the drawings, an activity director at a retirement facility told me it would be so wonderful for her ladies to be able to color a woman their own age instead of fairytale princesses. I think that's a great idea. Of course my ladies are all their own version of both fairy and princess!

This is the cover of my book. It is 8.5 x 11, spiral bound and filled with images of my ladies. Pages are printed on one side and on heavy card stock that will hold up to markers and all the other mediums coloring book enthusiasts enjoy! Below are a few pictures of the new coloring book!

I've left lots of room on some of the pages for you to try your hand at lettering
to add your own favorite quote.

If you would like to see original paintings and read stories featuring these images  my blog 

You can find most of the greeting cards in my shop

I hope you enjoy my coloring book. You can order it right here  , or ask for it at a retailer who carries my greeting cards!

Be sure to scan and send me your favorite page to share on my website!