A Day in the Life of an Artist


My daughter’s company, Critter Corner Cards, released its newest annual calendar this week, On Wings of Eagles, Isaiah 40:31. The calendar includes thirteen hand-drawn images of birds from around the world in colorful prism pastels.

People ask me how these calendars are different.

Unlike something you find at a discount store, where a dozen photographs have been printed a million times, collated with dates of the month, and then sold for almost nothing because there are so many of them, these hand-drawn calendars represent weeks of effort.

The images in the Eagles calendar require gathering pictures of the birds and their habitats, composing a grouping of each bird, and adding character with colored pencil and shading technique. Each individual finished 11 x 17 composition can take a week, sometimes two, to finish.

Like anyone who studies the arts, Rachel makes daily practice a prerequisite. Ask any dancer, painter, or writer and they will tell you the same. Perfection is an ongoing process. You never quite “arrive” because you daily add to your skill.

The Process  

The end product begins at the computer, researching the animal, finding habitats, and selecting the right photo or set of photos to group together.

A picture begins
A picture begins

Once selected, Rachel meets with her long time mentor and friend, Meredith, with whom she has been drawing for more than a decade. Together they each compose a picture from the images Rachel has chosen and compare techniques as they work toward a finished product. The ninety minute consultation sets the project in motion.

From there the picture is returned to Rachel’s desk where she fine-tunes her images, decides on what plants and background elements to add, and then proceeds to add the color. Her desk is never without a project in progress.

A drawing in process
A drawing in process
Fine-tuning her background
Fine-tuning her background


At week’s end, the completed drawing is placed in a waiting box to be scanned for consideration for next year’s calendar.

This year’s calendar represents thirteen weeks of planning, drawing, and compiling to bring her customers a one-of-a-kind calendar. Her customers are my heroes because they are helping support a young woman with a disability follow her passion and make her imprint on the world.

See her offerings at www.crittercornercards.com.

Back cover 2017
Back cover 2017

2 Replies to “A Day in the Life of an Artist”

  1. Jeanne Wallace says: Reply

    I love turning the calendar page each month. The artwork is exquisite!

  2. Thanks, Jeanne. Wait until you see the birds she’s chosen for this year.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.