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Today is National Pink Day, a day for celebrating all things pink! Both the color name and the verb “to pink” (to cut a saw-toothed edge, as with pinking shears) come from the dianthus flower, also commonly known as “pinks.”


Color Palette: Pastry Case


I snapped this picture while in Mexico City for the holidays, at a bakery in Frida Kahlo’s  neighborhood of Coyoacán. I love how the palette reflects the colors of the neighborhood, as well as Kahlo’s art, which no doubt was influenced by her surroundings. This color scheme brings to mind things like big bowls of fruit, lush gardens, and Kahlo’s floral crowns. I loved strolling around and browsing the markets in this colorful part of the city. My only regret is we had a plane to catch, and didn’t have time to come back to the bakery to sample the wares!

Exotic Animal Coloring Page


Several years ago I was asked to create a sketch for a wall mural to be painted in the exotic animal exam room of a local veterinary clinic. The new owner contacted me and asked if she could have a black and white version to use for a kids’ coloring contest. It sounded like a great idea to me, and I quickly sent this outlined version of the original sketch. It might be a bit of a fun challenge, too, for kids to find all the critters lurking in this scene – I almost missed the tiny turtle peeking out from behind the tree. If you’re in need of a little art therapy yourself, feel free to print and color away!

The Bowl and the Stone


This is a cover I illustrated for a new middle grade novel by Bish Denham. The Bowl and the Stone is a spooky tale set in the Virgin Islands in the early 60s. I was especially intrigued by a description of one of the main characters, so I knew I wanted to include his silhouette on the cover. I added the foliage to the foreground because even with the story’s haunting feel, I still wanted to give a hint of the island flavor that is so prevalent in Bish’s stories.

Look for The Bowl and the Stone if you know any kids in the 8-12 age group that love a good mystery. It’s available for pre-order on Amazon and will be available soon in both print and ebook format.

I’ve illustrated covers for two other books by Bish Denham: Anansi and Company: Retold Jamaican Tales and A Lizard’s Tail.

Color Palette: Doe Eyes


Here’s a picture I took while on vacation in the Central Coast. I put birdseed out, hoping to get some bird photos, and this lovely creature crept into the yard to help herself to it. She returned soon after with her two babies and a few more deer. The birds managed to find the leftovers, so I did get a few pictures of them too.

The color scheme inspired from this shot reminds me of walks in the woods, campfires, quick pencil sketches, or maybe a batch of s’mores.

Hmm. I could really go for a toasted marshmallow right now.

Treat! Cookie Box


Here’s a last minute entry I created for a fun cookie box design contest on Where Women Create. Besides enjoying the wide range of styles and techniques that went into all the wonderful entries, I love the creativity the organizers put into styling all the photos! I would’ve loved to participate in that part, too (including sampling the treats, obviously). For some pretty art (and goodies) to drool over, check out the rest of the entries! (Photo: Where Women Create).

Dancing Lion


Summertime is in full swing. The days are nice and long, which reminds me that the zoo will have extended hours for the next couple of months. It’s always a treat to see the animals that only begin to stir when the sun starts to set. I especially like the chance to watch big cats doing something other than flicking an ear at a bothersome gnat. You’re not likely to catch any wild kitties doing pirouettes, but they might inspire a quick character sketch or two – like this one I did of a lion cub, taking a twirl in her new grass tutu. I decided to try on a few facial expressions, too. Ballet training brings out a range of emotion, no doubt!

Sweet Treat Guinea Pig Ad

Saldivar Ad Guinea Pig

I just updated my ad for the Illustrators for Hire section over at They Draw and Cook. The background for my sweet-toothed guinea pig illustration was originally a steely grey (see it in my SomePlum shop here), but I thought for this application, raspberry was more…well, appetizing.

If you haven’t discovered They Draw and Cook, I recommend checking it out. You’ll find plenty of art and culinary inspiration, all in one place! Warning: you may get a little hungry, but you might also feel inspired to dive into your art supplies and illustrate your favorite treat. I’m reminded that it’s been a while since I created some fun foodie illustrations – just one more thing that’s been on my to-do list.

You can check out my recipe collection on They Draw and Cook here.

Color Palette: Sea Treasure


This color inspiration comes from my favorite place to comb for treasures. Funny how the colors of the sea and shore are reflected in pieces that didn’t originate there. They represent both careless waste and a carefree attitude. Trash to treasure.

I like to keep these shades near me. My house is decorated with the colors of the beach. No matter that I live twenty miles inland; I’m more of a shore bird at heart. If I could fly, I’d be able to spot all the best treasures on the sand from above. And after that, of course, I’d come after your sandwich.