“grace during the storm” – personal work

penelope dullaghan illustration - calm during storm

Last week I finished up the cover illustration for the May/June issue of Spirituality & Health Magazine. It should be out on shelves soon. I pitched a few sketched concepts, and they went with a really fun one that I’ll share in an upcoming post.

And while they chose another sketch, I couldn’t let one of the ideas go. I just loved the imagery — a woman looking calm and peaceful while her hair was made up of a swelling and raging sea. She’s staying centered and solid even through trouble. And I especially love that the storm is a part of her. It’s not just an outside force that is happening to her.

Sylvia Boorstein (one of my favorite authors) says that the one reality you can create is the point of view that you bring to any experience. In other words, we create our own realities by how we approach and handle it. She says: “… freedom of choice is possible. Life is going to unfold however it does: pleasant or unpleasant, disappointing or thrilling, expected or unexpected, all of the above! What a relief it would be to know that whatever wave comes along, we can ride it out with grace.”

I couldn’t agree more. So even though S&H chose a different direction, I knew I needed to bring this illustration to life – for me. I hope it resonates with you also.

By |March 28th, 2015|art, everyday things, illustration|3 Comments

four recent patterns

I’m still going strong on the daily pattern making exercise. It’s been amazing to realize how this daily practice has influenced my illustration work in such a short time. I see a renewed playfulness and freedom popping up that’s been missing for a while. It’s like my creativity has woken up again. I feel on fire with it. I can’t wait to share what I’ve been working on.

In the meantime, I’ve put together four recent patterns that I thought went well together. One palette for girls and another for boys.

penelope dullaghan pattern design, daily pattern making

penelope dullaghan pattern design, daily pattern making

By |March 26th, 2015|everyday things, pattern|1 Comment

ocean inspired

shells

Last week we took a teensy weensy mini vacation south to thaw out after all the freezing temps here in the Midwest. We were intending for it not to be so short, but our flight was cancelled because of snow and we ended up only having one whole day to soak up as much sun as possible.

But it was enough. We spent the day collecting bits from the ocean and digging in the sand and watching wild dolphins. In a word – lovely.

I collected the bits (above) and brought them home with me. And then did a few patterns inspired by the ocean (below).

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By |March 9th, 2015|everyday things, pattern|Comments Off

march desktop calendar – free download!

penelope dullaghan : desktop calendar - march 2015

By now, hopefully you know that I’m working on a daily pattern challenge, right? You can see them all here on my tumblr page. I’m also working on figuring out what to do with them — fabric line? wrapping paper? packaging? I’m not sure yet. But in the meantime, I thought of one fun idea: a free downloadable desktop calendar for you! And as we find ourselves at the beginning of March, here’s the first one for this month. I hope you enjoy!

Click the image below to pop it up larger and download it.

penelope dullaghan : desktop calendar - march 2015

By |March 5th, 2015|pattern|3 Comments

Guideposts Magazine – 2 years of illustration

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Each month I do 3 small illustrations for Guideposts Magazine for their “Pass It On” feature. The stories for this column are inspiring and uplifting tales of people’s kindnesses, and each of them gets a little illustration to go with it. I really love working on these every month and reading about how people are putting good into the world in their own ways.

For the illustrations above, the stories were about 1) a group that offers free yoga classes to veterans to help bring them peace; 2) a woman who fosters dogs while their owners are in the local homeless shelter; 3) a man has a “NICE” (Notice Individual Character Examples) journal where he writes down acts of kindness he sees and share them with his grandkids; and 4) An older gentleman diagnosed with leukemia and his wife try to stay active by walking their two dogs around the neighborhood, but as he gets sicker, he needs to stop to rest. So one of his neighbors puts two chairs out on their lawn for him, and soon the idea spreads and there are 15 stops.

I was just looking through my records and saw that I’ve been working with Guideposts for over two years now! Twenty-five months to be exact. How fun! I’m inspired by these stories and hope that my illustrations are helping other people take notice to read them, too.

By |March 5th, 2015|illustration|2 Comments

daily pattern : “poppyish”

penelope dullaghan - patterns - poppyish - bright

penelope dullaghan - patterns - poppyish - subdued

My daily pattern making challenge is still humming right along! But I’m finding it’s easier some days than others though. Today’s was one of the easy ones. I’ve made two colorways for this one — a bright one I’m calling “poppyish” and a more subdued one called “any day now spring”… which has everything to do with days upon days of intense cold we’ve been experiencing here in the Midwest. :)

You can see all the patterns in my challenge thus far here on my Tumblr page.

By |February 23rd, 2015|art, everyday things, pattern|Comments Off

Panera Bread – illustration

In the last few months I’ve had the great pleasure of working with Panera Bread on some new work. They approached me initially asking if I would do a piece of art for their in-store gallery wall. They were wanting some pieces that spoke to the clean, whole ingredients they use for their food. Fresh fruits, veggies and breads.

I happily sent over a few ideas. They liked them, but thought they were too editorial, so they asked me to do more of an abstract work. I loved this feedback (because of the painting work I’ve been doing on my own) and came up with 2 pieces that they fell in love with. In fact, they liked them so much they decided not to use them on the walls, but instead want to work them into their main branding! It remains to be seen how this will manifest, but I’m excited to share the work in the meantime. It was really fun working with them, and I love how bright and cheerful the pieces turned out.

clean food healthy eating panera illustration by penelope dullaghan

clean food healthy eating panera illustration by penelope dullaghan

By |February 20th, 2015|art, illustration|3 Comments

Design Sponge home tour!

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I’m really happy to share that our home was featured today on Design Sponge! It was quite an honor to be asked.

It took me days to photograph the house… props to interior photographers out there! Your job is HARD. :)

See the full tour here.

By |February 16th, 2015|everyday things|Comments Off

Veda turns 6!

penelope dullaghan - veda's 6th birthday - silver!

Veda is 6 today! I can hardly believe it. She’s my greatest teacher (by far!), my constant inspiration, and the person who makes me laugh the most. I’m so happy to celebrate her today!

Colin and I decked out the house in silver for her “Frozen”-theme request… there are silver garlands, balloons, coffee-filter snowflakes and even “snow” falling from the ceiling (in the form of cotton balls on strings). She woke up and thought it was magic! The best!

 

By |February 13th, 2015|art, art with kids|Comments Off

Bee Mine Valentine – free printable download

penelope dullaghan : valentines

Valentine’s Day is at the end of this week, and I’ve been working on a fun little design for Veda’s classmates. These are linoleum block prints that I carved and printed. I thought maybe you might like to download them for your own little ones (for free!). All you need to do is click here to download them to your desktop. Then print them on card stock and trim them on the lines I provided.

penelope dullaghan : bee mine valentines - free download

I hope you enjoy them!

By |February 10th, 2015|art, art with kids, illustration|Comments Off