Monday, October 17, 2011

For the past 12 weeks I've been working on the illustrations for the story "Pollyanna". It's not the exact storyline of the Disney classic we all know and love, but a shorter version created for early readers. It is a small chapter book featuring 11 illustrations done by yours truely!

I don't know how much I can really share, but I figured a small sampling wouldn't hurt. It was an exciting project, and though it sucked up every spare minute aside from my 9-5, I really enjoyed it. Thanks to my fabulous models for helping me with photo references! You guys are great!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Painting on a deadline...

I skipped two whole months of blogging! No excuses! Okay, just one.... I've been busy. Though there has been a lack of posting, there has not been a lack of painting. Most exciting of news, I'm now represented by Wendy Lynn & Co. Check out my portfolio on their website.I'll have new posts soon, my deadline is coming up and hopefully I'll be able to share some of what I've been working on. I was very excited to get a illustration job soon after signing with them. I'm excited at the chance to expand my portfolio and share my talent.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

My Nephew's Baptism

My lovely sister-in-law asked me to design an invitation/announcement for her son's baptism coming up next month. I'm pleased with how my little illustration turned out. It's got enough likeness of my nephew. He's actually a pretty good little artist himself and he's been asking me while he's in town to do another "art lesson". We're headed to Colorado for the weekend and a Rockies game on Monday - so I'll get these printed for them before we head out. If anyone cares to know, Office Max actually has a good printing department and very inexpensive. I like to print on their white or creme linen paper then stack onto another piece of colored cardstock for simple invitations like this.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Summer Lovin

I love summer! One of my favorite things about summer is Bear Lake. We were able to spend part of the 4th of July weekend at my grandparent's cabin. It's such a great time there! We love the beach and the blue water! This is a couple of paintings that I did to celebrate my grandparents 50th wedding anniversary a few years ago.

I wrote this poem to go along with it - I love my family, grateful for all of them!

Raspberry Love
By Calista Johnson

Love is like a raspberry patch,
It’s planted with great care.
Where and when it’s made or grown
Depends on what is there...

Make sure it’s placed in fertile soil
And watered day by day;
Nourished there by every drop
In all we do and say,

Weeding out the thistles
And looking past the thorns,
If the bush is tended to,
Ne’er we’ll be forlorn.

At times it’s hard and you may fear
It’s just not worth the fight;
Constant care and pruning,
There seems no end in sight.

But it’s worth the pricks, it’s worth the scrapes,
It’s worth the scratches too.
The least of all your worries
Is the mud smeared on your shoes!

For the harvest has come, the fruit is ripe,
Its sweet promise has been kept.
The rewards are greater than the cost
Of trials we’ve overstepped.

And now, as with each passing year,
The branches fall away,
Becoming mulch for new plants to grow
In the moist earth where they lay.

The process never ends you see,
It takes all you’ve got!
But rewardless and unfruitful
Are a couple things it’s not!

Love is like a raspberry patch,
It’s the product of devotion.
So, for you, our family dear,
We hold with fond emotion.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Realistic Style

Here's a look at some of my more realistic style illustrations.

Thursday, June 9, 2011


Illustration Friday's theme this past week is "Shadows". This was just a quick sketch with a tiny splash of color. Maybe one day it will be a full illustration - but I've been slacking lately with the new excitement of my website & all, so I wanted to get something up, even if it is last minute.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Monkey Business

Little boys are like monkeys - they are playful and happy, ready for mischief and fun! At least that's how I like to imagine monkeys... fact is, the only monkey I've ever met/seen is at Mckee's Pet Shop and it's a mean old thing! It scrunches its nose at you and looks like its cussing you out. But that's beside the point.... this is about a cute little monkey invitation to a baby shower!

My sister-in-law is due in July and we're having a shower for her soon. I was happy to make her invitation and it was a fun little project. Her little monkey will probably pop out with a head full of dark hair! Can't wait to meet the little guy!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

AHHHH!!!! (excitement)

I have a website!!! I'm so excited! My awesome brother Chase has built me a website. I focused on the design part of things and he worked up the code! Check it out at:

Monday, April 25, 2011


So for the past little bit, I've been creative. I try to post regularly with my Illustration Friday stuff, but I like to expand my creative facets. I've done a little bit of traditional painting, fun crafty projects, some spray painting projects, and even some quilting! Check them out:

This is a set of paintings I did for my friend Charish. She has a very modern and colorful style! (and as you can see from the toys at the lower corner, an adorable baby boy!)

This is a painting I just finished - it's still drying - for my friend Paige. She has a pear themed bathroom and apparently couldn't find a pear painting. This is an original that won't be found in stores! This would also make a great kitchen painting.

I made this wreath for my Mom's birthday. This one was a doosie! 25-30 hours of TV and travel time making those small yarn pom-poms. This is on my door, but it looks very cute with the contrasting colors of her brick house. I did it after my friend Emily made one, and I'm pretty sure she got the idea from Studio 5. See the tutorial here.

Here's where the magic happens! Just finished the pear painting. Now I better finish that work in progress on the floor. I have one more commissioned painting to do for friends from Utah - to bad it's not done already because their coming to visit this weekend.

One more - this is my cute little chair. I love chairs! I spray painted this a week or so ago. I'm obsessed with this pea-green color right now. This is one if the little quilts & pillows I've made recently too. Fun to have projects! They keep my creative urges satisfied!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

IF - Bottled

Illustration Friday's theme this week is "Bottled". The first thing I thought is bottling up your emotions. So - in my best yoga instructor voice - Eh-Hem! "Feeling strong... feeling powerful... release all negativity... breath in goodness... release all anger & frustration... breath in happiness... Namaste!"

Thursday, April 7, 2011


It's a last minute sketch to get into the Illustration Friday topic before it changes tomorrow morning. Here's a little Daddy-Daughter-Duet! Hope you like! Maybe I'll paint it some day.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Get it while it's hot!

I had another little sketch for Illustration Friday this week! I love animated mice! I have a bunch of knickknacks that I collected years ago... hate them on my shelf however - love them on my blog!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Stir up some paint!

Here's a question for all you Illustration Friday artists out there: Do you "stir" your paints together on your pallet or do you mix together on the canvas (board, paper, or other artist surface)? I, myself, like to experiment with the paint on the canvas, unless I'm feeling expecially conservative. Hope you like this little curtsy-girl, she's kinda like the Disney Princess version of me.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Monday Artday

I just posted for the first time on Monday Artday. Take a look and see here!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Illustration Friday - Layers

Illustration Friday - Layers Le~ Onion has De~ Layers!!! I don't know what that means or if it even makes sense, but it sounded nice. Multiple layers with some texture. I love onions... Raw on sandwiches, cooked on burgers, and caramelized over anything!

Thursday, February 10, 2011


Technically, it's already Friday and the theme will change soon. I was too excited about this idea that I had - even though the sketch is still very rough, I thought I would share what I have.

The theme for Illustration Friday last week was "Reverse".

I thought about the story of the Princess and the Pea... what if that story had been in reverse? What if, to prove she was a princess, the maid had to sleep under all the mattresses and the pea was placed on top? I think it might be a little harder to prove herself royal!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Will not surrender...

This illustration represents how I've been feeling lately. I'm also tying it in with this week's Illustration Friday theme "surrender". But we will not surrender our family planning because everyone else around us is having babies! I love them, I want them, but it's not the time for us. I'll just keep telling myself that...

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


I haven't posted since before Christmas and I can't believe it's nearing the middle of January. I could have posted another little art project I did before Christmas. I copied a Mucha painting for my sister in law. Alphonse Mucha was a French printmaker in the late 1800's. "La Samaritaine" was the print I copied. It was a print advertising the theatrical work of Sarah Bernhardt. I inked the outlines and used a wet-on-wet watercolor technique for most of the painting. I was very proud of it! Sarah loved it!

Well, I haven't done much painting lately, but I have been working on my website design! It's one of my resolutions of course. My brother is a wiz when it comes to anything involving a computer, and it is part of his job to create websites for BYU. I'm hoping to have to my design done when I see him again - probably in February.

I've been sick lately and took a day off today. My day consisted of reading, coughing, blowing my nose, and lots more coughing. The day did however allow me to finish Book II of the Fablehaven series. I'm initially drawn to these books because of the awesome illustrator who did the covers, Brandon Dorman. He graduated from BYU-Idaho just before I entered... so I figure I have 3 years to catch up to his extreme success as an illustrator. He definitely has a talent for drawing fantasy creatures, monsters, and creepy things. Brandon Mull, the Fablehaven author, is also very talented! I've enjoyed the books very much! Unfortunately I only own the first 3! I'm going to have to go out and buy #4 and #5 before long!

I would also like to point out that I am posting from my living room, laptop on my lap, no cords attached, with over and hour and a half of charge left on my new battery. I'm going to try extra hard to not leave my computer on the charger this time, which is what killed my battery before. It got really frustrating there for a while; I wasn't in a rush to buy a battery because my computer functioned fine other than it had to be plugged in. It wouldn't hold a charge, but it worked. However, it was the last straw last week when I was working on my website design and I stood up to get the door, forgetfully pulling my computer off my lap and disconnecting the cord. The screen instantly went black and the work I had done was lost! After a few choice words and an order on, all was set right. Luckily I could recreate the work I had done fairly easily.

This is the first post I've done that I haven't actually had an illustration to share, but I felt like I needed a vent. Just a little note about my little life. To let everyone know I'm still here. Hope to update about my website soon!