Lavender Chevron original painting

Lavender’s Chevron Sweater : original acrylic painting by Kat McBride

Lavender Chevron original paintingLavender Chevron painting by Kat McBride


Lavender’s Chevron Sweater is an original acrylic and pencil painting / illustration by me. I was imagining back to school portraits, cute sweaters, and lavender braids.

Painting details:
*Acrylics on acid free, 140# heavy weight paper.
*Artist quality paper with a lovely smooth texture


She is listed in my Etsy shop.


<3 Kat

Blue Alice, after Wonderland : 6″ x 6″ Alice Liddell portrait

Does she look familiar?  I painted this blue haired Alice but she felt so incomplete.



I had a plan to make a rainbow of Alice’s, and a pink haired lovely lives in my sketchbook waiting to be painted.  But this Alice, she felt so incomplete and a rainbow armada of Alice’s wouldn’t change that…. so I set her aside and thought about her while painting other pieces.  Should I change the background?  I added the white bow head band and now she’s perfect!



She’s a 6 x 6 cradled wood panel painted with acrylics.  I am in love with her hair! She’s part of the 20 piece’s I’ve listed on my Etsy.  I really enjoy working this size, she’s small enough that you can display her on a shelf (or mantle like in the top photo) but she’s bold enough that she won’t get lost in a collection of larger pieces.


<3 Kat


I named her Rosaline!

Rosaline is a new painting, and I love this girl.  Dreamy portrait, pink mermaid hair, layers of rainbow sherbet butterfly wings.  This painting came so easy too!




This cute girly is acrylic on paper, 9×12, which is nice but small.


So now I’m itching to paint her on 16 x 20 canvas I have that is waiting for something beautiful. I wonder if she will translate well to canvas from paper in almost double sized? Only one way to find out!

I’ll let you know when shes available for purchase. For now there are a bunch of beautiful paintings and prints listed in my Etsy, hop on over and pick yourself up something nice.

Paintings and Prints in my Etsy

I listed 20 new paintings / prints in my Etsy shop :

Holy Art, Batman! Those 20 lovelies are in addition to the custom portrait paintings you can commission.

<3 Kat

What are you Certain of today? Brain Supernova via Meg Boone

I have a summer cold, which is bleh, I’m trying to pull myself out of it with lots of rest and vitamins and water.  Trying to rest, but there is this giant pile of paintings  that keep calling me back to my desk to paint.   I have so many ideas right now that its surreal in brain fog sick mode.

Oh, hello crazy messy desk!

But Meg Boone’s questation via blog and facebook burned through the fog called me to attention so fast.

She asks:

How have you come Unhinged?

What innovation has come from this unraveling?

OH HELLO! Get out of my brain.  I’m still going through it, and I have to tell you, its hard to see the lesson when you are in the middle of learning it.

Oh, but oh! I can answer this one:


What are you Certain of today?

I am certain that I am my strongest when I am in person: bodacious, tenacious, and loquacious.

I am confident in my abilities as an artist.

The fear and the giant looming question in my brain is:
How do I translate effervescent Super Kat into online stuff?

I am so tied into the fear of doing it wrong, that I am certain I miss the parts where I am doing it right.
I need someone to smack me in the brain sometimes and say KAT YOU ARE THINKING ABOUT THIS TOO MUCH!

I know I have all the pieces I just need to tweak and cull, I need to edit and I need to put the puzzle together.
I know its so close and that fear, the fear that I wreck everything, the one that is all in my head, is freight-train-screaming-loud the closer I get.

I am certain that everyone goes through this and that I am not going to get a road map because its my journey and I need to figure it out for myself. 

I just need to keep making work because for me it is the same as putting one foot in front of the other:

Art is how I figure it all out.



Figuring it out too? Hop over to and join in the discussion.

<3 Kat

Hey Pretty! Cupcake Baker portrait + color palette inspiration

Hey Pretty!  Cupcake Baker portrait + color palette inspiration.

This has been a crazy productive week for painting.  So many ideas, so much inspiration that all came after I got out of my own way.   All my scarcity thinking led me to hoarding canvas and paper and paint like it was precious, like there would never be more.  I held back a lot of ideas and creativity because I wasn’t sure which painting was ‘perfect’ for which canvas. 

Its a map!

Its a map… that probably only makes sense to me. Pretty painted girls and how they influenced other paintings of pretty girls.

Too many ideas = unused canvas? That doesn’t even make sense.

I wasn’t even aware of how I was keeping myself so small, until I started to plan out a new body of work for my Etsy.  These lessons cycle for me, this isn’t the first time I’ve blocked myself by trying to be perfect. A lot of my ideas are confined to my tiny sketchbook, precious canvas empty and unused, waiting for my best ideas. But, derp, I don’t have enough canvas for all my ideas!  So my canvas is blank and unused?  That doesn’t even make sense. I have to start somewhere.  Inside my sketchbook now is a road map of paintings I want to do to guide me, complete with the exact colors I want to use and even alternate ideas if I get bored with something.

So hello, messy desk. 

Part of the productivity this week was thanks to abundant unblocking.  I chose a set of acrylics to serve as my color inspiration for a crazy color experiment: three shades of pink, blue, aqua, and turquoise, yellow, vanilla, orange sherbet, and purple. Tired of seeing blank canvas so I base coated everything with pastel pink. Pink! Now I have pink palms, pink arms, pink elbows… And 9 pink canvases.

I have a variety of sizes and shapes to us… but more importantly, I gave myself the space to make mistakes.  I feel free.

Hey Pretty Cupcake by Kat Can Paint

Cupcakes and pink hair and tattoos, oh my!

Yes! This pretty sh0oting-star-tattooed cupcake baker portrait represents the delicious color palette I chose and the space I gave myself to be free.

+ crazy art math

She isn’t perfect, but if I painted with perfection in mind I would never have finished.  This week was all about little wins and big lessons.  I have to get the ideas out because I figure out a lot of things while I am painting.  Sketching and sketching and refining a sketch then using that sketch like a paint by number doesn’t always work for me.  I like having a map (the sketch) but the magic happens when I start painting.

Abundant unblocking = free = pink = magic = painting.  This will be a great weekend.

<3 Kat

Come say hi! I hang out on Twitter +  Etsy + Pinterest.

now imagine... painting by Lara Harwood

Art to Inspiration August : Lara Harwood

Art to Inspiration is a collaborative project organized to bring exposure to the art community around the world. We feature any medium of art from young artists and design posts to share how we have been inspired by the piece.  (taken from the website)


now imagine... painting by Lara Harwood

Title : …now imagine all the thick birdsong thick as a forest
Name of Artist : Lara Harwood


I am in need of some thoughtful inspiration and as an artist I thought I would create a painting based on this work.  Instead, a poem surfaced,  so I went with that instead.


now imagine all the thick birdsong thick as a forest

dew drops dripping

weighing down the ferns and leaves

thicket of feathers thick with the burden of birdsong

rich ultramarine phtalo green and yellow ochre

carmine red peeking through the

shadows and the dappling of light

so colorful it pools melodious on the page


Join us on the First Wednesday of every month by clicking here:


<3 Kat




Through the Looking Glass by KatCanPaint

Mad Tea Party 2012!

I’ve always loved the idea of Wonderland. I draw and paint Alice and the characters from Wonderland a lot.

She shows up in my sketchbooks all the time! This painting is Alice’s Favorite necklace I really want to make a cute pattern out of that wallpaper and turn it into fabric. Wouldn’t that make the cutest dress?

Through the Looking Glass by KatCanPaint

I love the entire idea of Wonderland and Mad Tea Parties! I’m beyond excited that I get to participate this year. I love this idea so much I made a pinboard on Pinterest dedicated to party ideas. 

My Mad Tea Party this year is brought to you by Vanessa at A Fanciful Twist and Pinterest! Such lovely sources of wonder, whimsy, and inspiration!

Don’t worry, everyone’s invited!

..and if you are running late and can’t figure out what to wear, the lovely blogger DisneyBound has a million amazing Alice themed outfits

If if only it weren’t hurricane season here in Florida, I would love to have a real, live, gorgeous tea party in my backyard.  This image is so magical to me.

Couldn’t you just live outside in this Wonderland, having tea parties everyday?

Source: via Colby on Pinterest

Grab yourself a cup of tea!  They make Alice in Wonderland themed tea, who knew? (Also authorized for real birthdays.)

Source: via Kyle on Pinterest

Or a cuppa cake. I’m a sucker for a creative cupcake!

I’d love to be a guest at this Mad Tea Party themed wedding

This year I painted a very different Alice. I couldn’t decide if I wanted a blond Alice, like in the Disney movie, a brunette Alice… or something a little different.

blue hair alice painting by KatcanPaint

Something a little different won! I want a blue purple wig of my very own, and her Peter Pan collar. This Alice is far from traditional, I feel like I captured a school photo portrait…Freshman in highschool Alice. I know I had crazy colored hair in highschool ^_^

Happy Mad Tea Partying everyone and a big giant ThAnK YoU!!! Ms. Vanessa for hosting such an amazing party every year, I’m so glad I could make it this year!

<3 Kat

butterfly summer painting by KatCanPaint

Butterfly Summer * original painting

Butterfly Summer is an original acrylic painting on  a bite sized 6″ x 6″ square canvas.  Inspired summertime picnics, bbqs, bubbles, playgrounds, garden parties, and beach: the pastel powdered sand, soft blue ocean, bronze sun.  She’s a little vacation in brushstrokes and acrylic. The edges are thick enough that the painting can stand by itself or hang on a wall.

butterfly summer painting by KatCanPaint

Growing up in Florida the summers were long, interrupting spring well before Easter and extending almost until Halloween. My teen memories of summer are in scents and sensations…in odd hazy dreamlike gists of memory.  My memory is sharp except for those summers: the heat, or the length fuzz everything together.  Pastel pinks of cookie cutter houses and strawberry lipsmackers lipgloss.  We grew up in the town that Edward Scissorhands was filmed in- surreal pastel houses lining the street. Loves babysoft perfume, the powdery smell of my teenage summers. Butterfly neon sun dresses and polkadot bikinis. Disney was our summertime mecca and July 4th was as big as Christmas. Sparklers and walking barefoot everywhere. The taste of sweet tea and the smell of chlorine. Lightning cracking the sky open and rain like clockwork; everyday at 3pm.

You can buy prints of this painting on my RedBubble. Click HERE.

Butterfly Summer square prints via Redbubble


<3 Kat


Five Superhero Friends sketch by KatCanPaint

Superhero Best Friends Portrait Painting Comission

I’ve been working on a custom superhero portrait commission for 5 friends and I’m sharing the process.

A lot goes into a commission before I begin painting: sketching, sending the image to the customer, making changes, getting customer approval on those changes.  (Past finished Custom SuperHero portraits here and here.)  The image has to be perfect before I start painting.  Even with the costumes and masks the customer has to be able to recognize the people in the painting.

Five Superhero Friends sketch by KatCanPaint

This was the first sketch done for a 12×18 painting.  Using the photograph for reference, I sketch each person and add the mask and costumes.  From here I e-mail the image back to the customer so that she can approve the colors and design before I can get started on the painting.

I’ll post the progress each step of the way, stay tuned!

And if you’d like your own SuperHero Best Friends Portrait you can check out my Etsy:


<3 Kat

Love Birds by KatCanPaint

Celebrating 20 years of Sailor Moon!

Did you watch Sailor Moon as a kid?  Sailor Moon celebrated her 20th anniversary last year!  Which makes me feel pretty darn old.
I fell in love with Sailor Moon when I was 12: a beautifully drawn feminine fairy tale anime that had butt-kicking superheroes, how couldn’t I?   I had no idea what anime was at the time but it blew my mind! It aired on the WB in a morning block of cartoons… I think it was Garfield/Dragon Ball Z/ Sailor Moon.
Love Birds by KatCanPaint

©2012 Kathleen McBride, Love Birds, watercolor and acrylic, 9″ x 12″

You can see the influence Sailor Moon had in my art in paintings like Love Birds.  All fluff and fun wrapped in a pink sugar coated package.   Sometimes I reminisce and return to my roots when painting. Do what you know, right?
 In middle school, when I first started drawing, it was all Sailor Moon all the time.  I loved the manga,  I had never seen anything like it.  I would draw and paint trying to copy Naoko Takeuchi’s style: delicate lines, lace textures, and white ink.
Art Nouveau style Sailor Moon Manga
 I was introduced to art nouveau through Sailor Moon.
That summer I started collecting comic books so I could emulate the style even more.   I wanted to be a shoujo manga artist all through out middle school.  Inevitably I found more comics to enjoy, more artists and authors to love and emulate.
Paintings inspired by Sailor Moon
My illustration portfolio is full of sweet, girly, fantasy illustrations.  They are all based on things I loved from my childhood but not as obvious tributes as Love Birds.   I wonder if anyone else can trace their entire artistic journey back to the start. 
<3 Kat
You can find me on Twitter ::  Etsy :: and Pinterest.