Kate/ November 2, 2007/ painting

Watercolor on Arches 140 lb. cold press
8″ x 10.5″
©2007 Kate Hamilton

So hey, look! I painted a picture this week. In between manic job quotes, billing and rush projects I crammed in a watercolor painting. I needed something to use as a backdrop for an ad I’ve placed in Rocky Mountain Bride Magazine. In the next issue I will also have an illustration published in an article about spa days. I’ll let you know when it’s available.

What is really significant about the painting above is that I completed it, start to finish in just a few hours. I had no choice. The ad deadline was that day. I had no existing ads to pull and reuse. A few times in the process I almost abandoned it. It seems that there is a point in every piece I create where I feel impatient and just want to Get. It. Done. Already. This usually happens after I have all my basic elements laid in, but the detail is not yet there and the colors are merely an underpainting and very non-representational. It is easy to walk away at this point, especially when my pesky inner critic starts to whisper, “This painting is going nowhere. You’re really going to mess this one up. Don’t waste your time.” As a result I have dozens of unfinished pieces in my collection, and all are pretty much in the same underpainted phase (hmm, there’s a pun in there). These abandoned efforts annoy me. I hate them. I want to throw them all out but for some reason I hold onto them. They’re in a portfolio under the bed.

So I had a few opportunities to abandon my painting above but I persisted. And I finished it. And I like it. So there. Take that, inner critic, Ms. Poopynannyhead.

About Kate

Kate Garchinsky illustrates and writes children’s books and educational media in her studio in the woodlands near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Her debut picture book, The Secret Life of the Red Fox, written by acclaimed wildlife author, Laurence Pringle, received a starred review from School Library Journal. Kate Garchinsky received a grant from the Eckelberry Fellowship at the Academy of Natural Sciences, where she has been researching and illustrating extinction stories about North American birds such as the Passenger Pigeon and the Carolina Parakeet. Prior to creating children’s books, Kate designed lots of fun things like toys, birdbaths and trail maps. She lives with her husband Brian, Julia and Spencer the cats, and her one-eyed beagle, Maggie May. Kate recently signed on to illustrate two more “Secret Life” narrative non-fiction picture books with Boyds Mills Press—The Secret Life the Little Brown Bat (2018) and The Secret Life of the Skunk (2019). While drawing foxes and bats, Kate also began work on Belle’s Journey, a middle-grade non-fiction chapter book by ornithologist and osprey expert, Rob Bierregaard (Charlesbridge 2018). Get to know more about Kate Garchinsky at (aka