Red Sonja takes form!

This is a WIP I’m creating with Corel Painter. I’m about halfway finished and I thought you guys might enjoy having a look!

WIP, Kathy Ferrell 2015

WIP, Kathy Ferrell 2015


Illustrating Nursery Rhymes…

"Owl and Pussycat" © Kathy Ferrell

“Owl and Pussycat” © Kathy Ferrell

Hello, Art Fans! I’ve been thinking of all of you while I’ve been working this week! My town’s largest museum is having an open call for paintings, with a deadline at the end of this month, so I’ve been working hard, I promise!

Today I thought I’d share with you a recent Corel Painter project. If you’ve been reading much of my blog, you know that Painter is one of my favorite ways to work. I chose it for these pictures because I know I can match the colors perfectly between pieces, scoot things around for the best composition, and get a wonderful chalk pastel effect without any mess at all. I have a beautiful collection of real pastels in a fancy cabinet, and I have yet to try them. I think I’ll have the confidence, soon!

This is a set that I am creating, illustrating some of my favorite childhood nursery rhymes. I still know Lear’s “The Owl and the Pussycat” by heart. I have a lovely collection of old nursery rhyme books. I love poems and rhymes and I’ve found they are a natural ice-breaker with children. It’s a shame that sharing these old rhymes is dying away. All it takes is one generation of parents who don’t bother reading to their children to break a worthy ancient thread.

"Hey, Diddle Diddle" (detail, WIP) © Kathy Ferrell

“Hey, Diddle Diddle” (detail, WIP) © Kathy Ferrell

So these will be from my favorites. The second one is a WIP, “The Cat and the Fiddle”. When it is finished, print sets will be soon available. Next I hope to do “Wynken, Blinken and Nod”, and then perhaps “The Land of Counterpane”.

I hope you enjoy this quick peek into my studio. Do you have a favorite nursery rhyme? Do you have the good fortune to be sharing it with a little person in your life? I’d love to hear about it. I look forward to our next visit!

"Hey, Diddle Diddle" WIP, © Kathy Ferrell

“Hey, Diddle Diddle” WIP, © Kathy Ferrell

NaNoWriMo is a Cruel Mistress…













How, exactly, is a raven like a writing desk? After pondering this maddening riddle since childhood, I think I’ve solved it. The answer is….they both have quills. Get it? Quills? Okay, well, that went over well. Annnyway, I wanted to make a post so that the crushing guilt of obligation would not overwhelm me. One more thing to cross off my list. I have a lot of art on my desk that needs attention, (and it will receive such, keep your knickers on!) and I didn’t write a word for NaNoWriMo yesterday, though I did scratch down a couple of ideas on two sticky notes. I just had one of those days where I felt too stupid to move. Ever feel like that? I did manage to console myself somewhat by buying a gorgeous new tapestry jacket, so now I can be stupid in style. I will wear it to the mall, and wander about as if I am shopping for Christmas, looking vapid and smelling of the fragrance counter samples. And everyone will see me and know that I am a big fake. A writer? Ha! An artist?! Even more HA! Creative? Oh, stop, you’re killing us! Our sides!


And so it goes…those imaginings of inadequacy. The paranoia that arises freely and unbidden from the recesses of the psyche, and all because one dares to alter a blank page, either with foolish hen scratch or ham fisted brush strokes. It all boils down to the same thing. A timid mewling against the tide, or defiant baring of the breast before the sword of Damocles, it is human nature to wish to go out with a bang, not a whimper. The attendant at the bowling alley dreams of his legacy as he sprays disinfectant in the shoes. The burger flipper scrawls poetry on the napkins. Someday. Someday…

The sheer audacity that it takes, to be a nobody, yet to be a Gerhard Schnobble in this new century. Will Eisner said “My feeling is that we all have a moment in our lives when we do or try to do something that is very brave, and very often nobody will find out about it.”


I have most definitely known a great many dreamers in my life. I’ve often been criticized for being far too “by the book”, uptight, even…ahem, “Vulcan” (my personal favorite). It’s a strange existence, being sangfroid and creative at once. It is so hard for me to allow myself to dream, to think of a future that I might work toward, a goal. Yet that seems to be what is required to succeed at NaNoWriMo. One has to be capable of imagining the finished novel. Today, however, all I see are scattered notes. Onward. Upward. Ever thus.

Katzenjammer (The Yowling of Cats)

"Halloween Cat" (detail) Kathy Ferrell 2013

“Halloween Cat” (detail) Kathy Ferrell 2013


I wanted to share a piece that I may not get completed for Halloween. Sigh. I have a lot on my plate, but I have to prioritize. Paid work comes first, bottom line. So here’s just a detail of one I’ve had on the drawing board for a while. I won’t tell what has him so frightened. Wait and see!

I gave my post that title because I love that word. There may be some of you out there who are familiar with an old comic strip called “The Katzenjammer Kids” about two little German boys who caused nothing but headaches for Mama and “The Captain”. They were essentially horrible, but I found them amusing. I once looked up that word, and, as I recall, it translates literally to “the yowling of cats”. Perhaps this Halloween we will all hear katzenjammer in the alley ways. Be safe, BE KIND TO ANIMALS, and have fun this Halloween!

Otto, my friend and model.

Otto, my friend and model.

Chantal Noir, Steampunk Adventuress


"The Coppergate Killings" ©KathyFerrell

Here’s another recent work for Tales of the Talisman. “The Coppergate Killings” illustrates Christine Morgan’s fantastic story by the same title. Appearing in issue 4, Volume 8, I think Chantal Noir is a superb heroine, and hope to read more of her steampunk adventures! I had a ton of fun with this, and would have loved to create it in color! I put on a frilly nightgown and used myself as the model to capture the pose, sketched it out in pencil and completed in Corel Painter.

Burning History

Burning History

“Burning History” (detail) ©Kathy Ferrell 2013. From the latest thrill-packed issue of “Tales of the Talisman”, Vol. 9, issue 1. Click to see more!


Here’s my illustration for Fox McGeever’s story of the same title, appearing in Vol. 8, issue 3 of “Tales of the Talisman”. I created both a digital and traditional piece for this story, and this one, done in black and white inks on grey paper was selected. You can click the pic to order!