Art, Drawing, illustrations

Westside Series

These are a series of small watercolor and pen paintings inspired by the area where I live here in Maryland. It’s a place that’s a bit outta the way and many think of it as the end of the earth – but I love it here. It’s full of history, plenty of nature & wildlife, it’s quiet, and you know your neighbors. Between where the Nanticoke & Wicomico rivers meet the Chesapeake Bay, we have several little towns including; Quantico, Tyaskin, Bivalve, Nanticoke, Waterview & Whitehaven – together known as the Westside. The Westside doesn’t have much in the way of stores or shops, however, we have a few post offices, a thrift store, the Westside Fire Department, Antique shop, Churches, community center, a Bed & Breakfast, marinas & parks, Campgrounds, Wades Repair, and a couple restaurants!

Bivalve Thrift Shop
Building at Roaring Point Campground entrance
Former Tyaskin School House (over 100 years old)
Tyaskin Post Office est. 1966

A lot of the houses and buildings here date back to the 1800’s and many of them are no longer in habitable conditions, though, we do still have quite a few from that time period that have been kept up. I like to think about what it may have look liked here a hundred years ago when it was a bustling port town, filled with people and shops – all the buildings new. Then, there were oyster houses, canning factories, general stores, a saw mill, skip jacks, schools, steamboats, and later a shirt factory, town hall, hotel, & seafood packing plant. And even before that, when it was home to the Native Americans – the Nanticoke Tribe, what it must have looked like.

The Culver House est. 1885
Wetipquin Chapel est. 1827
Spring Morning, Tyaskin
St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, est. 1798 (rebuilt 1845) –

The Westside is also filled with nature and wildlife. During a walk in the Spring you’re guaranteed to see Ospreys that have just arrived back from winter migration. Eagles and many song birds also call the Westside home – some of my favorite sightings are Bluebirds, flocks of Cedar Waxwings, Flickers, and Buzzards gathering to sunbathe. Fox, Deer, groundhogs, hawks, muskrats, frogs, rabbits, turtles, and snakes are often seen. Of course it’s also home to much marine life! And we can not forget about the insects – yes, there are days when some of these bugs make you regret going outside, but, butterflies, bees, praying mantis, & ladybugs, fill the gardens. The summer evenings glow with lighting bugs, cicadas and peepers, clear skies filled with stars. Not to mention the best sunsets all year round!

Osprey on the Nanticoke
Fishing at Wetipquin creek
Summer afternoon, Tyaskin
Winter Sunset, Tyaskin
Sail Boat Regatta, Bivalve

We may not have a lot in the terms most think of – and yeah, we’re a bit outta the way, but I can say we have a certain nostalgic community feel that not a lot of places can claim. It’s a place where time slows down, people wave and stop to talk, it’s a place that causes you to take in what’s around you – something I find inspiring!

Tyaskin Pink House and former Post Office building
Tyaskin Methodist Church est. 1895
Royal Oak Country Church, Quantico
Sunny Afternoon, Tyaskin
May Flowers, Tyaskin
Tyaskin Beach Cottage

I hope you enjoy these little watercolors from the place, and surrounding area, I call home. Prints and originals are available in the shop section – I plan to keep painting more!

Art, Happenings, illustrations, Make, Create, & Share!

Milkweek & Monarchs

Going to my Grandma’s house as a kid was always one of my favorite things to do. We were always up to something – baking or cooking, gardening, canning, going for walks or tractor rides, exploring the attic and all it’s treasures, watching Wheel of Fortune, or just hanging out – didn’t matter what we were doing, we always had fun. In the summer months and early fall we would walk to the fields behind her house and search for caterpillars on milkweed. The waxy looking caterpillars, striped with black, yellow, and white, some as big as my fingers, some as small as a grain of rice. The milkweed just as interesting as the caterpillars, living up to it’s name when a leaf would get broken.

We’d take a jar or two with us and collect a few caterpillars to bring back home. I remember my family creating a “cage” for them out of a frame from an old wire lamp shade, stretching a stocking over it to keep them contained. The makeshift container was filled with fresh milkweed and hung on our screened porch. My siblings and I, watching the caterpillars, waiting for the moment they found a place to hang upside down in the shape of a J. Then that beautiful jade colored chrysalis with a little golden stripe would appear not long after!

We’d watch the chrysalis turn darker and darker, eventually becoming clear, being able to see the patterned butterfly wing right through. If we were lucky enough we’d get to see the moment when that butterfly finally emerged!

Monarchs still fascinate me – they’re pretty amazing creatures. And I still look for them each year, though, milkweed has been planted outside my art room window, making the search easy 😉

A Monarch friend outside the Art Room

Monarchs are special because they are one of the only migrating insects. Throughout the spring and summer months there are several generations of Monarchs and finally, in the early fall months, the migrating generation of butterflies is born. For our area, this generation makes their way to Mexico where they will spend the winter months inactive before making their way back to repeat the cycle. During the flight to migration, many Monarchs head right through the Delmarva region. You can read more about Monarchs and their life cycle here.

This photo was from a walk on Roaring Point in early October a couple years ago….though hard to tell, the flying blobs and specks are actually Monarchs 😀

Milkweed is important for Monarchs as it’s the only food source for the caterpillars. Monarchs have had a huge decline in population since the 1990’s – one of the reasons being habitat loss. Check out these sites for getting milkweed seeds and plants for your own yard! Milkweed seeds & Milkweed seeds here

Can you spot the two Monarch caterpillars?

Check out these sites for more info on Monarchs as well as, native pollinator plants, activities, photos and coloring pages! Xerces Society, Monarchs NWF, Monarch butterfly info

Art, Happenings, illustrations, Make, Create, & Share!

Spit Happens Have Arrived!

Recently, I shared that I had completed illustrations for a little book called “Spit Happens” – I’m excited to let you know that I now have some books in hand! This cute little children’s story is written by Annie Trice, and is about her “alpaca squad”. Working on the illustrations was a lot of fun – check out my original post for more info and copies of the book are available in the shop section!

Art, Drawing, Happenings, illustrations, Make, Create, & Share!

Spit Happens!

I’m excited to share with you the latest art project I’ve been working on – illustrations for a children’s book, written by Annie Trice, of Windy Way Farms! The book is a cute story based on the alpaca “squad” that lives there on the farm and is appropriately titled “Spit Happens”! I enjoyed getting to work on these illustrations and creating characters for the alpaca squad members – and I was was also able to meet them in real life! Here’s a few sneak peek pictures until the book is ready!

The “real” Alpaca Squad!

The illustrations were hand drawn and completed in pastel – one of my favorite mediums to work in! Copies of the book will be available soon in the shop section! 🙂