Imaginary Friends

im4On the first day of the year, Myla and I took a walk in the woods, and saw proof of what surely was a forest full of fairies, yeti, and strange imaginary creatures.   When I got home, I printed out a photo from our walk, and painted a few of them.  I even did a blog post about it called Imaginary Monsters.

Since then, I’ve been adding little monsters to several photos I’ve taken of her, for fun.  Sometimes silly little forest creatures….


And sometimes, more serious bigger fellas…


I paint them playing with her…


And just hanging out…


Sometimes, I add little poems to them, in the hopes of one day making a little book collection for her…

“What kind of dragon are you?” she said to the girl.  “Your teeth are so small, and your tail doesn’t curl.”


“You’re an odd little puppy,” the graggin said.  “Why haven’t you got any horns on your head?”


When I posted them, people asked if I did them digitally, but they’re all sketched in pen and handpainted in acrylic on photo printouts.



They’re fun to do and quite relaxing for me.  She has such a great imagination when we’re just exploring, and it’s fun to take a peek at the world the way she might see it.


Sometimes I ask her what kind of creature I should add, but usually I just come up with something on my own to make her smile.


When I posted one recently, someone suggested it might be fun if I offered them as customs…


So are you up for it?    Do you have a kid (or kid-at-heart) that needs a portrait with an imaginary friend for Christmas, or birthday, or just to make them smile?

Well, I’ve decided to offer a few for custom order!  I have an Epson Artisan printer with archival inks and photo papers, and will offer two sizes: 8.5″ x 11″, and 11.17″ x 16.5″.  I can take your child’s drawing or description to work with, or I can create one from my own imagination.

I put up a listing in my etsy shop…have a look!

I have so much fun with them–I’d love to do some for you!


16 responses

  1. These are terrific! I love that you are taking Myla’s imagination as your inspiration and then recording it visually for posterity. I definitely think you should compile them all into a book. It was interesting to see your process photos as I would have assumed you would need to use gesso before painting over the photo. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Thanks! Yes, I’ll probably make a little book for her at least. As for gesso, there’s no need, but it does take a few coats before it’s opaque enough to not show through. So fun!

      1. Thanks for satisfying my curiosity. I like your method as I don’t like the tooth that gesso has when it is only used in one area of a painting.

  2. You both are so, so incredibly talented. I really enjoyed this. Thank you.

    Cathe Ekas

  3. Wow these are amazing. Thanks for sharing.

    Amy ??

  4. I love this so much!

    Thank you for sharing.

  5. Wow, I love these. Your creatures are so sweet they make my heart melt. Their eyes are so soulful…and they all have so much personality. I would love to see you write a book with your creatures in them! Such wonderful work. Thank you for taking the time to post all of these. And Myla is one lucky little lady to have a mama that brings this wonderful world into a reality we can see.

  6. this is seriously amazing!!

  7. Fabuloso!

  8. My email account doesn’t get great emails but it makes my day when I get a notification that you have posted a new blog. I save it until I can sit down and thoroughly enjoy it. Your relationship with your daughter is amazing and you both are so lucky to have each other and click the way you do. I love my mom and I wouldn’t trade her for the world but I am envious of all the art you do with your daughter. It is truly priceless.

  9. The enhanced photos are positively enchanting! Absolutely beautiful.

  10. This is awesome! I am going to check the Etsy shop right now!!!

  11. I am glad that you showed your technique in this one. I was really hoping that they were hand-painted… adding to the whimsy.

  12. I love your art works! You’re an amazing artist! šŸ™‚

  13. Reblogged this on Charlie Parker From Head to Web and commented:
    So, this is my first “re-blog”… but I couldn’t resist. How magical and awesome are these?! I can only hope to be a tenth of the cool creative mum/aunt as this talented lady one day! (And when I say one day, I mean very far in the future…)

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