Ben the Brave Little Beetle Bug

Ben the Brave Little Beetle Bug.

Nestled in a rare and exotic Persian rug,
lived Ben, the very bravest little beetle bug.

Many of his friends preferred to stay snug,
but Ben liked to go out and dance the jitterbug.

To get to the club, that was named Jolly Jug,
Ben had to sneak past a tough, ferocious thug.

Doug was the meanest bug north of the wall plug.
He was known to pinch and swing and punch and slug.

Doug lived in a filthy, fur-covered shag rug
beneath slumbering Brutus, the beloved family pug.

Ben would wait patiently each night for a tiny little tug
from his dance partner and best friend – Lucy the lady bug.

He would carefully inspect Doug’s grumpy ole mug
to assure he was sleeping as snug as a bug.

Then he bravely would venture, without even a shrug,
to go dancing with Lucy and give her a hug.

You may not think dancing is such a brave chug,
but consider the diminutive size of a bug

and how far it would ultimately be just to lug
your teensy-weensy body out of that safe and snug rug.

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Ben the Beetle Bug is another in a series of paintings and poems I am working on for a new children’s book.  This new book will be kind of special because it will feature characters that are based on the grandchildren of my best friends.  Ben is the first grandson of my bestie, Jill, and the first son of Jackie, my McHendy daughter, who first inspired me to start this blog.

 Ben also brings to mind and heart a dear boy and his grandma (Gem) who are regular visitors here at TheCreativeLifeInBetween.com blog who were huge encouragers for my first book, Klaus the Mouse and other Silly Animal Tales.

Prints and greeting cards of all of these paintings are available in our McKinneyX2Designs Etsy shop as well, where you can also order a customized painting and poem.

Harper the Happy Hippo

Harper the Happy Hippo.

In a lazy, shallow river just outside of Ethiopia
lived Harper the happy hippo in a heavenly utopia.

The sun was always shining
while Harper was oft reclining.

Flamingos and pelicans and even a rare crane
shared and reveled in the balmy tropical terrain.

Harper loved to sing and play.
She smiled and chuckled and snorted all day.

She started a band
since her voice was in such demand.

She was surely the star of the show,
for who wouldn’t go

to see a purple singing hippo with pink painted toes
smiling and singing to the most beautiful prose.

A zebra was on the drums
while a cheetah’s guitar strings strummed.

Cymbals were clanged and clashed by a lively red-throated gazelle.
She was Harper’s closest girlfriend, and her name was Adele.

There wasn’t a happier hippo across the sea or land
than Harper the happy hippo and her Ethiopian wildlife band.

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

PS  Harper the Hippo is the second painting for my dear friend Pam (namesake, by the way, for Klaus’ friend Pam the Lamb).  Harper is the baby sister of Lucas – Pam’s two grandchildren.   If you’d like to learn more about my process or sales of paintings, poems, cards, pillows, and books, visit Sunday’s post here.

Harper the Happy Hippo Pillow

Lucas the Lucky Lion

Lucas the Lucky Lion OriginalWatercolor Painting – 11×14

Lucas the Lucky Lion.

In a faraway land that was known as Zion,
lived Lucas, the exceedingly lucky little lion.

No matter the game – played morning or afternoon,
Lucas the lion was always the most opportune.

He seemed to be blessed
with the very best success.

And never did he possess
even the teeniest bit of stress.

Lucas knew he was king
of kickball and juggling.

This extremely lucky lion was tops at kicking balls and batting.
He even stole the show when dribbling, dunking, and passing.

But the thing that made Lucas the luckiest of all –
the skill that made him so very exceptional…

Was Lucas the Lucky Lion’s quintessential charm.
For there wasn’t a friend or foe he couldn’t charismatically disarm.

************************************************

Lucas the Lion is a special surprise for one of my BFs.  I was looking for recommendations on what to paint after taking a little break for the holidays, and she requested a Lucas the Lion and Harper the Hippo for her two grandchildren, who are fans of Klaus the Mouse.

I thought you might like to see a bit of the process I go through for a painting.

First I draw a pencil sketch.

Once I am happy with a design, I either redraw in pencil on watercolor paper or use a light box to trace the basic outline.

If the pencil markings are too dark, I then use a kneaded putty eraser to lighten up the lines.  If needed, I use some masking fluid to preserve any areas I want to assure stay white.

I then consider colors using my watercolor swatch charts, choose a few brushes I may use, fill my water bucket, and assure paper towels and a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser sponge are handy.

I am then ready to put on my first wash of paint.

After the first wash is dry, I rub off the masking fluid, and I begin adding layers, allowing to dry as necessary until I am happy with the painting.

Once my original is finished, I take the best photo I can of it for printing.  Most all of my paintings are available in our McKinneyX2Design Etsy shop in prints (sizes 11×14, 8×10, and 5×7 – matted or not) and greeting cards, like below.  For those friends who are local, my daughter-in-law (who makes beautiful rustic wood pallet signs) and I also have our art on display and available at Berry Vine Gifts in BradfordWoods, PA.  You can find all of our information here.

  

Look for Harper the Happy Hippo in my next post here at The CreativeLifeInBetween, which is scheduled to post Tuesday.

By the way, if you are interested in a custom watercolor painting of an animal character for a child you love, you can order via our McKinneyX2Designs Etsy shop at this link.  Let me know the child’s name and the animal you would like.  It will be an 11×14 original watercolor painting.  If you would like an original rhyming poem to go with it, that can also be ordered for an additional charge.  It will come printed on an 8.5×11 sturdy cardstock sheet that can also be framed.  Please allow two weeks for any custom orders.

My artwork can also be made into pillows and clocks and coasters and mugs and tote bags and a lot of other fun things – all available at Society6.  Let me know if there is a piece you like that I should add there.

Lucas the Lion Pillow

I hope you are all enjoying the beginning of this new year and settling back into your normal routines after the busy holiday season.  It was good to undecorate from the holidays yesterday and find time to paint again.

Happy Sunday!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Liz the Lizard

Liz the Lizard Watercolor – 11×14

Liz the Lizard.

Have you heard of the lizard whose name is Liz.
Classiest lizard in the desert she is.

With pearls and diamonds and sparkly pink nails
She daydreams often of being in show biz.

She practices rhymes and humorous lines
as if she was preparing for an audition or pop quiz.

Nailing them every time – she surely is a wiz.
She’s a modern-day lizard, so be sure to call her Ms.

Yes indeed, Ms. Liz
that is.

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

PS  Liz the Lizard was made especially for a friend’s grandaughter, who loves Klaus the Mouse – my very first published illustrated children’s book.  Granpap asked if I could make an Alex the Alligator and a Liz the Lizard for his two special little grandies.  I hope they all enjoy these two characters as much as I enjoyed creating them.

Mommy’s New Love

Mommy’s New Love – Watercolor 11×14

Mommy’s New Love.

The only thing
that can even possibly compare
to the indescribable feeling
of Mommy’s New Love….

might just be
Grandma’s new love.

This is another illustrative watercolor
meant to express the joy
that can only come
from watching your children
experience the joy
of having children…

and getting to be a part of it.

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

#WorldWatercolorMonth

A Daddy’s Love is as Big as the Moon

A Daddy’s Love is as Big as the Moon – Watercolor Illustration – 11×14

A Daddy’s Love is as Big as the Moon.

I was playing around with illustrative art one day as I continue to practice drawing techniques and watercolor.

I love painting loose, but I also admire those that can create bigger-than-life illustrative characters with their art.

Inspired by the birth of a new grandbaby, my heart feels as big as the moon.  I know my son feels the same way.

Today is also a special “anniversary” day for my Dad and me.  It is our 8-year reunion anniversary.  On July 17, 2010, my Dad and I were reunited after many years apart.  I now know his love is, and always has been, as big as the moon.

So this watercolor painting is meant to express that bigger-than-life feeling through illustrating the BIGness of that love.

Can you feel it?

I could picture this as a Daddy character in a children’s book, and it melts my heart.

A Daddy’s love…
my son’s – my husband’s – my dad’s……
is as big as the moon!

Just like my love is for them.

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

#WorldWatercolorMonth

My New Yellow Rubber Boots

My New Yellow Rubber Boots Watercolor 8×10

My New Yellow Rubber Boots.

It was great to get to spend some time in my art studio this weekend after getting through a handful of “have-to-do” tasks.

After recently painting some loose portrait-type figure paintings like this and this, I felt inspired to try some more “character” type illustrative work.  I was inspired by some beautiful work I found on Instagram done by an artist in the Netherlands, Marleen Kleiberg.

My granddaughter got her first little pair of yellow rubber boots from the Easter Bunny last week, and even though they were two sizes too big, she fell in love with them.   Her Mommy sent a picture on Easter morning of her wearing her new boots.  She was decked out in a denim ruffle-bottomed top and peach/orange knit leggings with a matching bow in her hair (and a mouthful of jelly beans!).

I used some artistic liberty to create this painting, but Pap Pap and Mommy and Daddy knew just who it was when I showed them, and got a kick out of it.

A little over a year ago, I painted this little portrait of her.  I can’t believe how much she has grown and changed in a year!

Oh the joy this little one brings to my world!  And what a fun subject to inspire paintings.

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Hedy the Hedgehog

Hedy the Hedgehog Watercolor 8x10 140lb Arches Cold Press

Hedy the Hedgehog Watercolor 8×10 140lb Arches Cold Press

Hedy the Hedgehog

A sweet little hedgehog named Hedy
never wanted to go to beddy.

So when her Mom told her it was time to get ready,
she would ask for a piece of bready.

Some jam she would ask to be spready
to keep her belly all fedy.

When full, she would hug her Teddy
and into bed she would getty.

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

This is just one of a series of fun animal watercolor paintings and rhymes I am pursuing.

See the others:
A Rare Hare with Flare
A Duck Named Chuck
A Fawn at Dawn
Rooty the Rooster
A Precocious Pink Pig  
Hal the Colorful Cow
A Mouse named Klaus

Pam the Lamb
An Otterly Awesome Otter
Earl the Squirrel

Adele the Gazelle
A Snail’s Tale
Chippy the Chipmunk

#WorldWatercolorMonth

Hal the Colorful Cow

Hal the colorful cow
simply did not know how to smile.

He tried things like raising his brow,
but still there remained a grimacing scowl.

He visited Frau,
who just gave him a meow.

He wandered around here and now,
and sighed and sadly whispered, “wow.”

So he went about his daily plow,
trying and trying to think of somehow.

When it came to him that he would take a vow –
he simply committed he would disallow.

So he took a bow,
and all of the sudden, he was able to smile.

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

This is one of a series of fun animal watercolor paintings and rhymes I am pursuing.
See the others:
A Rare Hare with Flare
A Duck Named Chuck
A Fawn at Dawn
Rooty the Rooster
A Precocious Pink Pig  

#WorldWatercolorMonth