Wednesday, January 31, 2007

My "Old and New"

Okay- someone had the bright idea for a challenge- oh, yeah that was me!! And this it January 31st and have I got my "challenge up"- well I am now!
I do have to say that just scrolling down I am so impressed with the unique styles of everyone else- wow- how cool to be "attached to this group!"

My "Out with the Old and In with the new"- is not new- it is a Easter card I did when I just started to do fabric collage- it has "Walmart" arylic felt on it- have since discovered it will disintegrate in about a year in the sun!
But looking through my portfolio- I thought- what better true example of out with the old law of sin and death and in with the new law of Christ sacrifice and God's grace!
Our "Old Self" no longer has control of us when we become a "New Creation" in Christ- when we invite Him into our hearts and our lives!!! The ultimate renewal!!

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Guess What!?!

All during the year illustrators and artists have the opportunity to enter the
  • catalog cover contest. Your entries are viewed and if selected as a finalist you receive a wonderful gift certificate for items in the catalog. If your finalist entry is subsequently chosen for an actual cover you receive the honor of the cover and a HUGE gift certificate for items in the catalog. What makes this so special for an artist is the great stuff in the catalog. For artists and illustrators and even kids interested in art this catalog has wonderful items to offer. There are also unusual and unique gifts.

    And WHY am I telling you all this? Because my artwork will be featured on the next cover *:) It is due in homes in about 3 weeks, and I can't wait to get my complimentary copies! (and order some wonderful art materials and gifts)

    If you want to enter the contest, just type "cover contest" in the search window at the top left of the website for Flax Art and you'll find the rules. Or click
  • HERE.
  • Monday, January 15, 2007

    Belated Intro

    I'm finally getting my intro up here.
    Who are you?
    Amy Moreno, children's illustrator/author. I'm a wife and mom of three busy kids, juggling the joys of family life with the challenge of creating art for the children's market. I studied commercial art in Boston years back, and have been working as an illustrator for the past 15 years or so. (As a wife and mother, creative time waxes and wanes according to family events)
    What did you spend most of your time as a kid doing?
    I had a wonderful childhood. My parents allowed us much freedom, while maintaining a protective watch somehow. I rode my banana seat bike around the neighborhood with my twin. We invented stories in the woods of battles, swam, took family trips to Maine in our big station wagon, romped on pretend horses, played in our play-house, played with our barbie-dolls, built roads in the dirt for matchbox cars, ice-skated on a home-made ice rink in the winters, played hide and seek, kick the can in neighborhood groups, went sledding down ramps in our backyard in the winter, enjoyed school immensely, and read, drew and imagined.
    Were your artist interests encouraged?
    Very much so. My parents were brave and generous in their encouragement to my twin and I. Both of us had ability in art, (although my twin has always had much more natural ability than I)
    At the age of 11 or so, my mother brought us to drawing classes, and later oil painting classes. We did well, and loved it. My mom had a continual supply of paper, crayons, paints, books, music, thread, fabric, doo-dads to use in creating anything. My Mom attended music school and is very gifted in music and art, giving us a rich heritage. She would bring us to concerts, museums, art events and many places that enriched our minds, hearts and imaginations. We took part in plays and musical events, and piano, cello and viola lessons. I am extremely grateful and blessed. My Dad also has been an eternal source of encouragement and inspiration to follow our dreams, even when they have seemed unconventional and impractical.
    I know I have made it when....
    I recieve handwritten notes or emails from children saying that they enjoyed my art or writing. I'll know it when someone small asks me how to become an artist or writer, and I can encourage them in any way to pursue their dreams.
    A Good Day where I can sit at my drawing table and create images that I like. I enjoy researching my illustrations online and at the library. I appreciate long periods of uninterrupted quiet, or quiet music, (those of you with busy families know that these are rare) I usually work best in the morning when my kids are in school. I also enjoy days of writing short stories, silly rhymes or inspirational material.
    What is the next "thing" you would like to accomplish in your illustrations?
    I am working on learning more about how to use color in a more effective way in oil painting. I'm studying Bernie Fuch's work, and working on learning to use values and lower chroma so that my color gets more refined for oil painting. I desire to continue to use bright colors, but need to understand them better than I do now. I also want to draw more daily.
    What'cha working on now?
    I am creating illustrations for a marvelous manuscript by a Belgian children's writer. It is a fantastic project. I wish I could show some of the sketches or art, but will have to wait until it is out.

    Saturday, January 13, 2007

    The Picture Bookies Challenge ~ January

    My entry for the monthly Picture Bookies Challenge represents a total changing of the guard, from old to new.
    Sometimes it is just like this that we reluctantly let go of the past, with a brief look over our shoulder as we move on to make way.
  • Ginger*:)
  • Friday, January 12, 2007

    January Monthly Challenge -

    "Out with the Old in with the New!"

    Thanks Julia I had a great time! I posted it on my blog for Illustration Friday! Also posted a fictional story to go with it, just so it would work for Illustration Friday. The inspiration and meaning behind the piece is a totally different than the story I posted for IF.

    To me it had to be a kid thing. . .meaning it had to work for my portfolio. Okay this is gonna get deep.

    I want to get faster at creating, drawing, painting. I want my art to burst with creativity. But there is something inside me that holds me back. Something that feels prickly and strange, like the plant on the left of the illustration. I don't have black hair, but I do have a orange cat. The girl represents me holding on to the past pricklies and crossing the crevasse to the other side of freedom and fun creativity. I am getting there, feeling less and less troubled by those pricklies and stronger each waking day.

    The kitty represents the warm fuzzys in my life and I am taking those with me to the other side of fun, laughter, and freedom to create without fear.

    Thanks to the Picture-Bookies endless support, I am on the road to being the best illustrator I can be! We have only been a group a short while, but boy have we grown!

    Thanks Guys!

    Monday, January 8, 2007


    Who Are You? --- Ginger Nielson ---
    A daughter, sister, mother, a wife, a grandmother, teacher, and illustrator.
    All that is stuffed into a 5' 6 1/2" average (read" a bit plump") frame that comes
    complete with a very big smile and an outstretched helping hand. ( I used to be taller, I am certain of that, but then I was 20.)

    What did you spend most of your time as a kid doing?
    My time was pretty much divided up between the outdoors and indoors. Outside was playtime and sports with my friends, inside was painting and drawing or studying hard to keep up with my classmates. I was always among the youngest in my class and we moved a lot. So making new friends was a large part of every school year.
    I was fascinated by paper doll clothes and would spend hours creating entire wardrobes that I drew and painted for my paper dolls.

    When I was really young my best friend had a giant doll. It was as big as we were, and I always wanted to play with that doll. I rarely got the chance. But as a grown woman I spent 5 years making and selling great big soft sculpture dolls that I made to order for boys and girls and grown ups. Those 'Adoptadollies' number about 1000 and are in many homes all over the globe today.

    Were your artistic pursuits encouraged?
    Very much so. My parents were very supportive and often framed my work and my sister's. It seemed to us, as children, that we were true artists if our work was framed. Some of those early paintings still hang in my mom's mountain top cabin in Vt. ( I have to give credit to my brother as well... he was the one with the musical talent.)
    My teachers all through school were always challenging me and encouraging me and often gave me special projects involving my art and/or writing that would be used in school productions and functions. Even the criticism that was part of the package helped to prepare me for my current career.

    I know I have made it when...
    When my book, MY BOOK, that I write and illustrate is on the bookshelves of children and asked for night after night to have it read to them. And when that book goes with them as adults and they read it to their children night after night. Sweet!

    A Good Day is....
    A good day for me is a day with some balance. Exercise, painting, time with my loved ones and friends, service to others, being outdoors, and having time to read are all the ingredients that could blend into a good day. And in the near future those days will be shared with a wonderful new puppy. Oh, one more little item. And this could go for any struggling illustrator. A Good Day is the day that the return SASE does not contain a rejection letter.

    What is the next "THING" you want to accomplish with your illustrating?
    My goal is to create in my paintings all those images that flood my imagination each day. To have the "idea" translated into the painted image as I see it in my mind can be incredibly elusive. Some days I can nail it. Some days I just frustrate myself. But each day I do get a little bit closer.

    What'cha working on?
    Right now I am illustrating a wonderful picture book. When it is a "finished" book I will be sure to hold it up high, jump up and down a bit and let you all know about it. Illustrating books for children, is a dream come true for me.

    So, Amy..... time for your turn!~


    Hey Julia this is fun!

    Here are my answers!

    Who are you?

    My name is Sherry L Rogers and I am a wife, a mother of two wonderful children, and an illustrator for the children’s lit market. I have illustrated one board book titled Counting Little Geckos, published in June 2005. I have also illustrated two picture books. One titled If You Were A Parrot Published August 2006 and Burro’s Tortillas due out June 2007! I am also an aspiring children’s author. And soon I will be signing soon to illustrate my third picture book, and fourth children’s book, which will be announced at a later date.

    What did you spend most of your time as a kid doing?

    I spent a lot of time drawing, coloring in coloring books, painting with watercolor paints. Cutting designs and objects out of colored construction paper and gluing them together to make pictures. I loved glitter and sequins and applied them to every surface I was allowed. I loved that thick white paste with that yellow stick in it. Some kids actually ate the stuff! Fingers worked better for spreading the glue that the stick did.

    I painted a lot of paint by numbers too! I cutout and played with paper dolls. . .I suppose that dates me. . .hmm. . . My sister, friends and I also put on plays for the kids in the neighborhood and actually charged! I played a lot of board games with my sister and brother.

    Learned to sew and got my own machine at 8, and have sewed up a storm ever since.

    Were your artistic pursuits encouraged?

    Well gosh after writing the stuff above I guess so. I am not sure I was ever encouraged to pursue it as a career, but my Mom always kept us supplied with materials to create. She loved to create too and still does. She makes her own cards!.

    "I know I have made it when..."

    When my parents don’t have to worry about money!

    "A good day is...
    Spending time socializing, playing games or watching movies with family and/or friends. Working in my yard and hanging out with my dogs! Spending time at Borders Bookstore. Sending e-mail to my Picture Bookie Friends!!! Sketching, drawing and painting!

    What is the Next "Thing" you want to accomplish with your illustrating?

    Well I want my style to be faster. . .maybe change. And make more dynamic and exciting art! I want to be able to do many books in one year!

    What'cha working on?

    I am working on two books I have written. One has a dummy, but want to start from scratch on the drawings. . .maybe. we’ll see. The other I am doing character sketches on and re-working the text.

    And last but not least, the sketch for this months challenge! Which is coming out totally different than I had thought it would.

    Waiting to hear from Sylvan what my next book will be. . .


    Recently I was "cybertagged by my dears friends and fellow picture-bookies- Ginger, Amy and Sherry- well to start of this blog- I can't think of a better way to do it- so I am cybertagging all of you again- seems to me, everyone I know had been tagged by the time I was "it" so HA! Sherry, Ginger and Amy- your all it now! Last one to get a pic up and answers the questions has to.......think of the next challenge!

    Who are you?
    My name is Julia Kelly, I am an emerging (hopefully) illustrator of fabric collage for the children's literature market and a writer focusing on the West.
    What did you spend most of your time as a kid doing?
    - putting pieces and parts together to make things for my dolls, or make dolls- kleenex boxes were a favorite- rubber bands, paper clips, those cardboard squares inside boxes of pantyhose! And thinking up stories, acting stories with my friends, writing stories down.
    When did you know you wanted to be an artist?-Not so much a specific time- rather I could not think of anything else I could do- art and kids- that is what I can do.
    Were your artistic pursuits encouraged?
    -Yes and no- I come from a family of independent people- so being who you are- was encouraged by example of everyone else "being who they were",but did my family see value in my art- never paid much attention to it- favorite come back to someone complementing me on my abilities was " Artistic!! Don't you mean Autistic!" Big Brother- don't you love them!
    "I know I have made it when..."
    -I have created a character like Winnie the Pooh, or Arthur or Olivia- that everyone knows their name- don't care if everyone knows my name!
    "A good day is...
    -When I am with my family- either on a cold winter night with the fire going and something good cooking in the kitchen, watching a movie or with my family hiking or biking, then going into Moab or Telluride- having dinner, strolling the streets with our dog, browsing the bookstores with a big cup of tea in hand.
    What is the Next "Thing" you want to accomplish with your illustrating?
    -To get paid for my illustrating!! Am a published writer- 2007, want to be a published illustrator!
    What'cha working on?
    I just did my first mass mailing- to 53 children's publishers, am building my online portfolios and am starting to sketch out a brochure to send to publishers.

    A work in Progress... Progress at work...

    I started this image a few days ago and it just kept nagging at me until I had to get up at 4:00 this morning and continue some work on it. It is only in the beginning stages, but I will share a bit here.
    This is the original sketch cleaned up a bit in Painter IX.
    I decided to add a bookshelf and library ladder.
    This is just the first layer of the beginning color. Another layer will add texture and tone. And it will go on from there until I think I have a finished illustration. I plan to use this and others in a similar series to tell a wordless story.

    New Years Resolution/Goals

    I was inspired by friend and fellow Picture Bookie, Julia. Read a post on her blog about New Years Resolutions, made me feel like perhaps I needed to publicly claim my goals for 2007. I haven't made real written goals for years. Always broke them, so decided to stop writing them down. I think the reason I broke them was probably because they were personal goals. This year I will make personal and career goals.

    1) Blog Daily

    I love my blog and feel a need to do it daily now. I will make it my daily journal. Never really done a daily journal, but this will be the start of my day. What will I blog about? Well my current projects, current books I am reading, interesting finds on the net such as inspiring artists!

    2) Write Daily

    Now this is a real new one for me. I am not a writer per say. Always been more afraid of writing than I have illustrating. But I aspire to write. Actually I have written two books that need fine tuning, but I figure in order to become a good writer I need to write daily. . .my blog might be a start, but I would like to write stories.

    3) Read books about something other than art

    I read a lot, but usually it pertains to drawing or painting. I decided if I am going to write I need to read to be inspired. I believe that reading is left brained and art right. . .so I think I need more left brained things to get better at my right brained things. More on that in another post.

    4) Sketch daily

    I don’t mean detailed or fine sketches but fast and free. You will see them here! I think I might even try them in Photoshop! Oh how cool and scary is that?

    5) Define a new style

    Been struggling with this for years. I am getting there slowly. . .but not there yet

    6) Truly let myself enjoy and relax and create for me!

    I am usually so preoccupied with what others are going to think about my creations that the joy of the creating gets lost. I think most of this was brought on my years in graphic design/technical illustration, short tight deadlines. I am free of those days and have found a new freedom in the last six months of creating for me. Which I think will help me find my style.

    7) Exercise Daily and harder

    I am feeling a bit like I need to be in better shape. I am feeling a bit soft and out of shape. For years I was really involved in hard exercise. Road my bike 10 miles a day during the week and 30 miles a day on the weekends. Did 45 minute sessions of aerobics, lifted weights etc. Got out of that habit about 5 years ago to do some health issues. Those issues have gotten better and I am back into the mode of health and exercise. YEAH!

    8) Enjoy Life and Family More

    I am one of those people who love to laugh, sing and skip down the hall. I have been known to get a little silly even in public. My family and friends don't mind my silliness. . .so if anyone else minds. . .ah that's okay. . .By my picture you would probably never guess that I am a silly sort. Anyway I feel a need to really focus on making everyday the best day I have ever lived. Be silly more often. I think a lot of times we get so caught up in daily chores and problems we don’t even look at our family members as we speak and carry on with them. We need to really focus on their faces and their beings. Look at them when we talk to them. . .make them real and be in the moment.

    8) Sleep Less

    I don’t really need to make a goal for this. I pretty much have insomnia most nights. Recently I was watching PBS, and a man by the name of Dr Wayne W. Dyer was a guest. He mentioned waking in the middle of the night. I do that so often. . .usually between 2:30 and 4:00am. I usually lay in bed and fight the alertness, which only frustrates me. Anyway he said don’t fight it, get up and be productive. I have so much I want to achieve personally (physically) and career (find a style, get faster and create more.) I just can’t see that I can do that, if I don’t start following Dr Dyers advice.

    Most people feel it would be a bad idea to get less sleep. . .but I feel my body likes that time of day and I can always take a 20 minute nap in the afternoon. I think naps are under rated here in America!

    Okay I think that is enough goals for now. If I think of more. . .well you know I write them here!

    Saturday, January 6, 2007

    Monthly Challenge

    Monthly Challenge

    The Picture Bookies will be starting to have a monthly Challenge.

    Julia suggested the monthly challenge and she has come up with a wonderful first challenge! "Out with the Old and in with the New."

    Friday, January 5, 2007

    Illustration Friday - Buzz!

    This post isn't linked to Illustration Friday. But thought it would be fun to post it here as well as on my personal blog.

    Happy NEW Year!!!

    Can't you just hear the buzz! Poor pumpkin is feeling so left out. But little does he know it is just gossip and he is far better off not knowing!