Boathouse Goes to School

Back in November, a woman from my church approached RV and me about buying Boathouse books for a preschool class that she helps to teach. They were going to be doing an author/illustrator unit, and would love to use Boathouse as their featured book. It was exciting to hear that a school was going to be using our book for a project, and we looked forward to seeing pictures of what they did.

About a week ago, Kim called me out of the blue. The school was going to be having an open house/exhibition night, and would I be interested in coming in to see the kids’ projects and hand out the books to the kids in person.

Um, YES!!!!!

It was so much fun meeting all of the kids, hearing about their favorite parts of the book, and seeing their Wanderer projects.


They made little Boathouse figures, almost like a paper doll. He has his hat, his marlinspike on a cord, his tool box, boat plans, and Wanderer for them all to fit in! It’s even laminated, so the kids can play with them and not worry about them ripping. They even made an extra one for me, which I am going to frame for my office.

Bhm wanderer

They also drew pictures of their favorite parts of the book! Most of them loved the seagull and when Boathouse was on Wanderer.


The kids and parents were all excited about having their own copies of the book; kids have been going home and talking about the book and the projects, and the parents had no reference of what book they were talking about. The principal even came in and bought a couple copies for kids in her life as she was excited about the book as well.

Just seeing how loved this character and book are takes my breath away. I love being part of this project, and seeing others excited gets me all that more excited as well!

Me - Edited

However, the overall experience was a little strange. Parents were taking pictures of me talking to their kids and even having me pose with them. Kids were squealing when they met me, and I even had one little boy who kept coming back to talk about the book and was giving me hugs when he had his picture taken with me! I am just not used to that kind of attention!


A huge thank you to Kim and the school for a wonderful night, it was such an honor to be invited!

And stay tuned….Book 2 is close to being finished and will be available soon!

Behind the Scenes: The Last Homely House

This piece has been a labor of love.

It has been one of the most taxing, most detailed, and time consuming pieces I’ve ever had the pleasure of working on.

But even with all the difficulties, it has also been one of my favorite pieces. I love the subject matter and just seeing all the detail sets my heart soaring.

Art is my happy place!

But back to the reveal:


Title: The Last Homely House (Rivendell)

Medium: Graphite on paper

Continue reading “Behind the Scenes: The Last Homely House”

Bird Series: Tufted Titmouse

The bird that started it all….

Title: Tufted Titmouse

Medium: Watercolor on paper

Size: 8″ x 10″

When: Fall 2014

Time to complete: A few hours

Thought process: This painting was….challenging yet enjoyable.

I remember I had been sitting at our dining room table trying to figure out what I was going to use as my inspiration for my next piece. Something outside our sliding glass door caught my eye, and it was my favorite bird, Spike. Spike is a Tufted Titmouse, which just happens to be my favorite kind of bird. They look like the just woke up and have bed hair and rolled around in some dust; they’re just adorable! As I watched him eat (he has a distinct way he eats, in which he will try to crack open seeds between his feet on the bird feeder, rather than fly away like the other titmice), I thought he’d be a fun subject to try and paint, and I got to work!

Problems I encountered: I was out of practice with watercolors and haven’t really attempted them before. It wasn’t super difficult, but just enough to make me really work for this piece to look nice!

Getting the proportion of chubby bird belly to the rest of the bird size was challenging 🙂

Favorite part: All of it! I think he’s super cute. And I think framing him made him even cuter:

Least favorite part: Letting him go. I would love to be able to keep this painting, but as I keep getting reminded, we’d have to build more walls or move to a bigger house if I kept all of the paintings and drawings that I fell in love with!

Fun tidbits:

I have a confession: I am really really really uncomfortable with watercolors.

At least I was.

Watercolor paints are intimidating to me. I like to take my time and go back and rework areas, but with watercolors, you have to move fast. If you make a mistake, you might be able to fix it, or you might just end up with it looking muddy and even worse than it was to begin with.

Questions about this piece:

What made you decide to attempt watercolors again? 

I had just signed up for the arts and crafts fair in December, and needed products quickly! I thought that I’d give these a try, and would either end up with something I loved or hated really quickly, and that if I hated it, I would still have a lot of time to try some other medium to create with.

Was starting out watercolors with a bird hard or easy?

I thought it would be harder than doing a group of trees, but actually doing Rain on the Lake was harder! This one was easy as the colors were soft and just very light washes of color. Getting the dark layers on Rain to look nice and even was super tricky!


Product availability: Available as the original, prints, in the Assorted Bird note cards, and he can also be his own set of note cards as well. If you would like him by himself as a set of 10 note cards, please email me at until I get each individual bird up as their own personal set.

The Jesus Drawings: A Final Look and FAQ

Hey guys!

I’ve been getting asked a lot of questions on the Jesus drawing series (thank you; I love questions!), and I figured a frequently asked questions post was in order 🙂

You’ve mentioned some are on permanent display at your church; where are they and how are they displayed?

They are all framed and hanging in a foyer between the sanctuary, fellowship hall, and kitchen entryways. Here’s a glimpse of how they’re displayed:

How long did it take you to do all of them?

About 14 weeks, start to finish. There were some drawings that took over a week, others took just under a week to complete. The hours varied for each drawing as well, from about 5 hours to almost 15! There were times I had to be working on two drawings at the same time.

What’s your favorite one? What’s your least favorite?

I love Nativity, Transfiguration and Communion! Least favorite is definitely the Wedding Miracle, although I appreciate it more now than I did when it first debuted at church 🙂 Ascension is another least favorite.

If you could redo any of them, which one would you choose?

Ascension. I was so physically and mentally tired at that point that it’s not as strong of a piece as the others.

Which ones will be in the note card set?

Definitely Nativity. I’m also thinking about Communion, Crucified if I can get a better picture of it, and the rest is still up in the air. I’d like to do The Boy’s Lunch because I like that one, but not sure it would fit with the theme. Resurrected would also be nice, but as that’s controversial, I don’t know if it will happen. I’m always up for suggestions!!!

Will they all be available as prints?

No. Nativity is available now, and a few others will follow soon.

What was the biggest challenge from undertaking this big project?

There were a few challenges we came across throughout this project! One was how we were going to convey Jesus. He’s not the blue eyed, long brownish haired man we see so commonly today, and I wanted to make these drawings as historically and Biblically accurate as possible. After lots of discussion with my pastor, we decided to keep him the typical Jesus we see portrayed today as to not confuse anyone who may not be as familiar with each story depicted.

Another challenge was trying to find time to get these done! They were debuted at least one every Sunday from the start of Lent to the first Sunday after Easter, so there was a big rush for each drawing to be completed. I was babysitting and had two kids not in school at that point, so it wasn’t easy.

I think the hardest part for me was the physical limitations I had at the very end. A lot of people don’t know this, but this project actually gave me tendinitis in my right arm (I’m right handed) from all of the drawing. If I spend too much time drawing at one time now, it will flare up again, but it’s much better than it had been.

Thanks for all the questions over the past few weeks! What was your favorite piece in the series? Which ones would you like to see available as a print or note card? Let me know below in the comments!


Here is the final drawing in the series!

Title: Ascension

Medium: Graphite on paper

Size: 18″ x 24″

When: Winter 2012

Time to complete: About 10 hours over a week

Thought process: This one was fairly easy to design; I knew I had to have Jesus ascending into the clouds with people watching in awe. My biggest problem was going to be figuring out how to design the clouds as clouds are not the easiest thing to draw.

Problems I encountered: This one was mostly physical. My arm and hand were so tired by this point that doing the act of drawing was really difficult. I think this drawing suffered because of my discomfort and exhaustion

Favorite part: The light rays coming down around Jesus.

Least favorite part: Most of this drawing I felt can be better. It almost makes me want to redo this whole piece!

Product availability: Unavailable.

To see the other drawings in this series, click here.


Another one of my favorites from my Jesus drawings series is featured this week!

Title: Communion

Medium: Graphite on paper

Size: 18″ x 24″

When: Winter 2012

Time to complete: About 10 hours over a week

Thought process: This one was fairly easy to design. I knew I wanted Jesus breaking the bread and a glass of wine as the main composition. The balance was a little off, so I ended up adding the bowl of bread to help get the composition right.

Problems I encountered: Oh man, I remember how hard it was to get the shadows just right. They either looked like they were black construction paper on the table or the perspective was off. I still don’t think they’re quite right, but they’re so much better than they had been!

Favorite part: I love the folds on Jesus’ tunic sleeves. I love doing folds in fabric anyway, but I think they’re pretty awesome.

Oh, and the fact that the hands turned out as well as they did was no small miracle. Hands are hard!!!

Least favorite part: I’m not sure. The shadows still bug me, but overall I think this one turned out well and I’m happy with it 🙂

Fun tidbits:

This is one of the most popular drawings in the series!

It is one of the six drawings from the series on permanent display in church.


Product availability: Unavailable at this time, but will probably be included in the note card set!

To see the other drawings in this series, click here.

Triumphal Entry

Here is this week’s piece!

Title: Triumphal Entry

Medium: Graphite on paper

Size: 18″ x 24″

When: Winter 2012

Time to complete: About 10 hours over a week

Thought process: This one took awhile for me to design. I wasn’t sure how I was going to portray Jesus entering Jerusalem. I originally wanted to see Jesus riding the donkey and arms waving the palm branches, but that was going to be really challenging to design on a really short time frame. I don’t remember what my exact inspiration was for this, but I thought is still told enough of the story that you could understand what was going on without seeing the crowd or Jesus’ face.

Problems I encountered: Getting the palm branches to look right! They were somewhat problematic.

I also wasn’t sure what to put in the background. I originally was going to put people in the upper right corner waving palm branches, but it threw off the composition. I think it’s okay without something there and just shaded gray as it keeps the focus on Jesus and the donkey. What do you think?

Oh, and the foot. Feet are hard. Especially ankle bones.

Favorite part: Fuzzy donkey legs! And the fabric on the ground 🙂

Least favorite part: I’m not sure. There are little parts that still are off to me, but nothing that I really don’t like!


Product availability: Unavailable at this time, but will probably be included in the note card set!

To see the other drawings in this series, click here.


One of my favorites from my Jesus series is the featured piece this week!


Title: Transfiguration

Medium: Graphite on paper

Size: 18″ x 24″

When: Winter 2012

Time to complete: About 13 hours over a week (this is the most time consuming one of the series!)

Thought process: Pretty straight forward. However, this drawing posed a huge question for my pastor and I: how do we portray Jesus’ face? The other drawings I’ve either been able to show him from the back or another part of the story where he’s not pictured. Jesus did not look how we see him pictured in art and pamphlets today, and that was something I was concerned about. After much discussion, we decided it would be best to just convey him that way to not confuse people looking at the drawings.

Problems I encountered: So many folds in the fabric…so many folds. And getting Jesus’ face to have features yet still glow? Oh man, so stressful.

Favorite part: I love so much of this piece, from the composition to the balance between light and dark…

Least favorite part: The hand in the top right corner. It looks like it’s puffy like he had an allergic reaction to something! I know, I know, I’m such a perfectionist…

Questions on this piece:

How did you get the blades of grass to be so white? Did you leave them white and draw around them? That sounds time consuming!

Oh that would be very time consuming! I color in with my graphite pencils, add some grass marks with the pencil, and then use my eraser pencil to erase blades of grass as well. I used to use this one, but now have this one because it was available when I ran out of eraser refills and desperately needed one for a project. I will be switching back to the Papermate one as soon as possible; I like it a lot better and is worth the higher price!


Product availability: Unavailable at this time.

To see the other drawings in this series, click here.

The Boy’s Lunch

This week’s featured piece is:

Title: The Boy’s Lunch (Jesus Feeds Five Thousand)

Medium: Graphite on paper

Size: 18″ x 24″

When: Winter 2012

Time to complete: About 10 hours over a week

Thought process: Originally I was going to have a crowd of people by the water with Jesus handing out food. However, as I was pressed for time, drawing a crowd of people is time consuming! I ended up simplifying the design by just focusing on how little food was really available, then adding the boy holding his lunch and just a hint of water in the background.

Problems I encountered: I didn’t really have a lot of trouble with this one. I was really nervous about drawing the fish, but they only took about 10 minutes each to do. The basket, however, proved to be more of a challenge by taking about 3 hours to do! It was well worth it though, I think it looks amazing.

Favorite part: Everything; I think this one turned out amazingly well.

Least favorite part: I’m actually pretty pleased with this piece!

Product availability: Unavailable at this time, but will end up in the note card set!

To see the other drawings in this series, click here.

Walking on Water

This week’s piece is…

Title: Walking on Water

Medium: Graphite on paper

Size: 18″ x 24″

When: Winter 2012

Time to complete: About 10 hours over a week

Thought process: This one was one of the easiest to figure out what I was going to draw! However, actually making what I wanted happen wasn’t quite as easy…

Problems I encountered: Oh. My. Goodness. The water. So much water, so much waves. I’m still not completely satisfied, but I think you know what it is and what’s going on.

Favorite part: Getting Peter’s expression down! Oh, and for some reason I really like the boat and how that turned out. And the clouds are pretty good, too!

Least favorite part: The water could have been better, but I don’t think it’s super awful, either.

Questions on this piece:

Why do you have Peter sinking and not walking on the water as well? I love that part of the story!

Honestly, it never occurred to me to have him walk on the water; I always knew I’d have him sinking. When I read this story (Matthew 14:22-23), I focus more on that he’s human and gets distracted by silly things. He loses focus on what’s really important, and that’s Jesus. I wanted to convey that, hence him sinking.

Product availability: Unavailable at this time.

To see the other drawings in this series, click here.

I’m not sold on the title for this piece. What would you title it?