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Hello my Beautiful Butterflies and Happy June to you all.

It has been kind of a wild May, to say the least - and I say wild in a very loose sense. We've been battling being sick on and off all month long. Leonora caught her first bug from daycare and it took us all down for two weeks. All of our friends told us we would get sick once she went into daycare but we just have to stick it out. And honestly, I consider it lucky that it took 2 months for the sickness madness to begin.

We also had a lovely little cabin getaway in Austin for Mother's Day weekend (whilst battling being sick), then lost power for 48 hours in Houston the following weekend from a crazy storm. We rounded out the month with a birthday weekend for Ricky with activities, treats, and shopping. It was a pretty crazy month of life but fun and relaxing all at the same time. There's something so nice about not having a gazillion options on the table. When you're sick you just sit still and be sick. When you don't have power you pivot and figure out what to do and embrace the simpleness of it all. It of course has its's no fun being sick, but looking on the positive side it can be nice to sit still and make the most of the bad situation.

While nursing our illnesses and hanging out without power, we spent an immense amount of time admiring Leonora's growth. She started crawling which has been mesmerizing to watch, but it's also been so fun to see her interact with our dog Frankie. He loves giving her kisses and lying with her on the ground, but she loves to stare at him and laugh. This growing bond between them made me think of this painting I made last fall. I was very pregnant....think 8 months-ish. My bump was popping and I was working on a few different commissioned pieces before my due date was fast approaching. A client reached out to have me create an illustration of her daughter with her pup taking a stroll in the city. The pics she sent of her little one with her pup were sooooo adorable and of course, had me imagining what my Frankie and baby girl would be like together as she got older. It's so bananas to think back at that time now.

I loved how cute this little painting turned out and so I decided to share it with all of you for this month's post. Back in the fall, I compiled a relaxing timelapse video of the painting with the intent to share it on social media, and I never got around to it before Leonora was born. But better late than never here it is. You can watch the video below OR for my non-video peeps I compiled some photos and words below if that's more your jam.

I hope you enjoy it!

After transferring the image to watercolor paper, I started painting in the background cityscape. Because I was in the fall mindset I kept the colors very muted and in that palette.

I gradually added in the windows and awnings of all of the cute and wonky buildings.

I think my favorite part was adding in all of the shades on the windows, and imagining what people lived there and what they were up to.

After finishing up the city background details I moved on to our main character and pup. I painted both in a likeness of the pics my client sent along and added some fall leaves on the ground. (clearly, Fall was on the brain!)

I was so tickled by how cute this painting turned out. I just wanted to jump into the illustration and take a walk with them.

I can't believe looking at this painting now before my baby was here, imagining what she would look like and how she and Frankie would get along. And now seeing them interact is such a joy.

I hope you enjoyed this post and that your June is free of sickness but full of simple moments to take it slow and appreciate what's around you.

Cheers, and Happy Summer!! Rachel

Hello, My Beautiful Butterflies, and Happy May to you all!!!!

Summer is just around the corner, but I'm truly holding onto spring like it's my job....I'm not ready for the heat. So I have a new print in the shop to celebrate the cheerful vibes of Spring and to celebrate the beauty of being a butterfly.

I have always called you all my Beautiful Butterflies. I'm not 100% sure where that came from. I just remember using the phrase at one point, and then again, and then it stuck. But honestly, it's such a fitting phrase for you all. Butterflies are such a symbol of growth...emerging from their caterpillar state into their true-self fluttering about spreading joy to the world...something I associate with all of you and with my artwork. I like to spread a little joy and a little imagination with each piece that I make, and you all being along for the ride makes it even more special.

For this blog post, I wanted to dive into the behind-the-scenes of this painting. I also have a bonus timelapse video at the end of this post. The video has no talking, just music, and is filled to the brim with calm and relaxing vibes.

The original painting was for a client's nursery, and the colors of the painting matched the wallpaper used in the room. To start I sketched up this little number on my iPad to get a rough idea of layout and colors.

Next, I made a black-and-white drawing of the iPad sketch to transfer over to watercolor paper.

After I painted in the background and mixed up my colors I went in and painted each element color by color.

It was almost like painting by numbers (one of my favorite Michael's purchases as a kid). And slowly the whole painting came together with the last little bit adding in some definition and detail to the butterfly itself.

And here's the final piece!!

I seriously was so so excited about how this little butterfly number turned out. It was so cheerful and happy and the perfect thing to share for Spring/Summer.

And as a lovely little bonus, I filmed myself making this painting and compiled it together for your viewing pleasure. I kept it nice and relaxing with calming music and no talking. Just painting. Hope you enjoy the video below!

If you'd like to purchase a print of this butterfly painting you can find a link below.

That's all from me this month! I'll catch all of you Beautiful Butterflies in June!!!!!



Helloooooo my Beautiful Butterflies!!!

Remember when I shared some behind-the-scenes photos of the upcoming book I illustrated? I believe it was last fall that these pics found your way to your inbox (sooo much has happened for me since then so I'm fuzzy on the exact month I shared this).

Anywho, I'm coming at you with an exciting announcement: The ABCs of Grief is officially available for purchase! EEEEK!!!!

Thank you to everyone who purchased during the pre-order last fall and to those of you who have sent me such kind messages! This book was truly a labor of love. I started working on this project about a year ago and have since experienced a very wild year personally. I won't dive too far into it (you can read more about it on my Instagram post here), but suffice it to say this book helped me process what I was experiencing while making the illustrations.

This book, written by Jessica Correnti of Kids Grief Support teaches little ones how to understand and process what Grief is using the Alphabet. Her beautiful words express the universalness of grief and also how grieving can be for truly anything under the sun (death, illness, friendship, divorce, and the list goes on). She also teaches us that everyone's experience of grief is different and unique. This book is made for kids, but truly I think every adult could benefit from reading this too.

You can buy your copy here.

I shared some behind-the-scenes pics of the illustrations last fall, but now that the book is out I wanted to share a few more photos of the making of the illustrations and the finished product.

I hand-drew all of the sketches on my iPad, then transferred them to watercolor paper to be hand-painted.

I kid you not when I say that my desk was filled to the brim with illustrations for this book.

When I was all finished illustrating, I scanned in the paintings and formatted them on my computer for printing. Sounds like a small task, but formatting took a whole month of back and forth between me and the author, adding in lettering, and getting all of the settings just right for printing.

Receiving my copy in the mail was such an amazing experience!!! When you put in so much work into something, seeing the final product is utterly surreal; especially comparing the printed page to the original illustration.

I hope you enjoy this book as much as I do. Remember you can buy your copy here.

Until next time,


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