Monday, February 26, 2007

February Challenge - The Picture Maker

Since I was very little there were two things I loved most, creating art and being outside. . .okay maybe there were three things. I thought Steve Morey was pretty cute in his Cub Scout uniform in first grade. . .

Here I am seated under the biggest oak tree you have ever seen. Of course I have red hair. I always wanted red hair. I did try to dye my hair red and it just didn’t look good. Many of the kids I illustrate have red hair, thus I am living my dream of having red hair through my characters. They look much better in red hair than I do.

I have always loved fairies or should it be faeries, elves, gnomes and odd-looking almost sci-fi characters. I would love to do a book that had these type of characters. I am a lover of animals and I currently have two dogs and two cats. In this illustration you see Billy, my Tibetan Terrier and Lucy my cat.

I am holding a sketchpad and one of my favorite art tools, a mechanical pencil. I actually have kind of an obsession with mechanical pencils, and I own way to many.

I am wearing my favorite color as a child, red! I am also wearing one of my favorite pieces of clothing to put on a character, overalls. I do own some but they are cut off and I wear them in the summer. I am also wearing my favorite kind of shoes to put on a character, tennis shoes.

Last but certainly not least, you will notice a heart has been carved in the tree by my make-believe character and she has written her initials and the love of her life and my life too. . .Of course I used my initials when I was single since no child that age would be married.

So there you have it. All my favorite things nature, art, cats, dogs, fairies, elves, odd characters, mechanical pencils, and my hubby. . .


The Island of Misfit Toys

When I heard of the February Challenge of recreating ourselves as a Children's Literature character- I knew right away what that would be.
Do you remember the Christmas movie- Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer- stop gap animation before computer generated anything, about the reindeer that didn't fit in, who met the elf who wanted to be a dentist- and at the end, they come to the "island of misfit toys" where there is a train with square wheels, a bird that swims and a jack in the box named Charlie! All watched over by a kindly king lion- and Rudolph leaves with the promise that Santa will come and find homes for them all.
Well growing up- due to many reason- my parents divorce, having a learning disability- and I always seemed to of seen the world a little differently then everyone else. I saw myself as a misfit- and then....
I went to college on the western slope of Colorado- and met other "misfits" , fell into the rhythm and flow of a slower pace of life, and found a country boy to fall in love with- I found a home!
This was fast and no second drafts- got a new box of really cool markers and did this while watching "Bat Man Begins"- good movie

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Kitten Crusader

Hello everyone! While on a mini vacation this week to Long Island, I found time to create my picture book character for this month's challenge: I am the Kitten Crusader, triumphing over evil to defend helpless kittens in less fortunate situations and relocate them to a better, brighter future once and for all. :P Silly, I know! Basically, I'm a big cat fan and have been known a time or two to do some kitten relocating for some homeless little angels, one I've kept for seven years now. This was actually pretty fun and got me away from the kind of thing I'm used to. It's nice to get outside of that box once in a while! :)


Sunday, February 18, 2007


I love snow.... and one of my favorite tales.... even though it is a bit dark, is the SnowQueen. If I were to reinvent myself as a character, I think that for this month she is the one I would choose. Like Amy, I wish I could have spent many more hours on this and I will save it to work on later, but for now, here is my entry.
  • ©GingerNielson2007

  • I do intend to do more work on this, because the subject interests me so. This additional sketch is one I will be working from. I really want to do a closer view of the faces, and include frosty highlights on the Snowqueen's face and hands. The image I am working on is rather large, this is just a thumbnail of the 15" x 12" piece I would like to complete. It was hard for me to give up the Caribou and other elements I wanted to fact a future version will include the caribou, sled dogs, and arctic birds...oh, then it will have to be much larger, about 24"X 18"...

    Saturday, February 17, 2007

    February Challenge entry-Hope

    Here is my entry for this month's challenge to re-create ourself as a favorite storybook character. I created Hope from the story of Pandora's Box. I did this character because I find her uplifting and inspiring, and great fun to imagine. I played this character in a play when I was in 5th or 6th grade. I had many more ideas to add, but figured I'd better get it posted and not yield to procrastination/perfectionism.

    The Picture Bookies Website ~

    Hop on over to the
  • to read the latest interviews of our talented crew. You will be amazed, intrigued, and motivated by the various workplaces, and illustrating styles of the artists. What motivates You? Why not let us and everyone else know with your comments.

    Monday, February 12, 2007

    Welcome New Member - Rebecca A. Sweet

    We are excited to announce another new member to our wonderful group Rebecca A Sweet.

    Rebecca lives in in Georgia with her daughter. She has been a member of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators for a little over a year, and has attended local conferences with the SCBWI Southern Breeze Region.

    Rebecca has had short stories published in the children's magazine market. She has been an artist for many years and has sold her paintings to the public. She is now on a new journey and reaching for the stars. She will be unveiling her website soon. Her art is wonderful and we are excited to have her join our group!

    Welcome Rebecca, we're glad your here!

    Friday, February 9, 2007

    Picture Bookies Challenge for February

    Here is the Challenge for the Picture Bookies for February.... not much left of February is there:

    Recreate yourself as a storybook character. Along with your illustration include one or two lines about who you are ,what you are up to, and maybe share why you chose the character you did. Post your illustrations here when you are ready. And maybe on your personal blog as well. Your character does not have to be human!

    Saturday, February 3, 2007

    Welcome to the Picture-Bookies, Gina Pfleegor

  • Picture Bookies
  • are pleased to welcome Gina Pfleegor to our membership. Gina is a talented artist and teacher who will soon have her first picture book published. Her complete 'bio' can be viewed on her website
  • Gina Pfleegor Illustration
  • We are delighted that Gina and her ever growing cast of 'characters' have joined the Picture Bookies.

    Friday, February 2, 2007

    New Member Annoucement - Bron Smith

    The Picture-Bookies is proud and truly honored to to announce the addition of Bron Smith to our membership. He is truly a gifted artist and a gentleman.

    Bron has worn many hats. . .literally. He is famous for his Trowbridge Chronicles Blog as well as his fun maps, health capsules which appear daily in newspapers at home and abroad.

    He has a vast nutritional knowledge and was featured on of "Honey, We're Killing the Kids", a TLC show about family nutrition.

    He had his own series, called Kids on Safari. The series was shot at various wild animal parks around California. He had his own after school kids show, called Captain Seatac. You should ask him about the parrot. . .

    He has a wonderful school visits program which involves going to schools with his big easel and doing fast draw performances. He has even been known to draw from behind the easel. . .I would love to see that! He is a wonderful entertainer and has many many return school visits!

    He is in the process of writing a extensive health book which is titled, 75 Ways to Lower Your Blood Pressure Without Drugs. He is 13,000 words into it and 10,000 or so to go. . .

    He is generous with his time and knowledge. Check out both his website and his blog. Be prepared to stay while. . .it's very entertaining! And if you are ever interested in what he's up to check this out:

    Welcome aboard Bron!