Thursday, June 28, 2007

A New Chapter

Over the past 15 + years, I have been illustrating pretty much on my own. This has included newspapers, magazines, educational assignments, books and posters. Making a living in this field hasn't been easy. Most of my adult life has been devoted to rasing our family, teaching elementary school and art or working as a travel agent, contributing graphics to the former Family Channel on AOL, serving on AOL as a graphic arts host, and keeping my art life alive each day with whatever materials were at hand. Once, when I had no other materials to paint with, I created an entire 22 foot mural for our library with brown craft paper and food colors for paint. Challenge was pretty much the song I sang each day.

Today I am finishing the artwork for a sixth book, looking forward to the release later this summer of the fifth, and have happily become part of the group of artists represented by an AGENT!

Life moves us forward in amazing ways.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Trowbridge Storyline

I thought I would put something out to you all. I'm looking for any opinions that anyone in the group might have. It looks like the current story thread for Trowbridge might be coming to and end soon, tho I never know for sure. It seems to mysteriously reveal itself to me from week to week.

I'm wondering if anyone has an opinion if you would prefer for the story to end here (for now) and return to the rainforest where it started, following the IF word, or to continue on with the Khan Chronicles. I'm not strongly opinionated...I could go either way. That's why I thought I might get some feedback from the group. Any thoughts?

Sunday, June 17, 2007

8 Things You May Not Know About Sherry Rogers

Well I am coming in here late. . .but I hope not to late.

1) I have been in all the states this side of the Mississippi, but not one State east of it.

2) If I could, I would love to have lots of dogs, cats, birds, hamsters etc. . .I just love animals. The only part I wouldn't like is the poo. . .

3) Until I illustrated "If You Were A Parrot" I was really afraid of birds. But something happened during the time I illustrated the book and did all the studying. . . and now I love birds!

4) I didn't go to college right after High School. I worked at U.S Bank in Oregon until the birth of my kids and then I went back to school at the age of 35.

5)I have always loved to draw and paint. And always read books on how to draw and paint, but never took a formal drawing or painting class till I went back to college at 35.

6) I am afraid of public speaking. . .really afraid, and highly respect those who are not. I will do it but suffer greatly before if I have to speak in public.

7) I love hiking and nature

8) I really love people and talk to all kinds of strangers in the stores, gas stations, hardware stores etc. . . but hate being the center of attention at a party.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

8 Things You May Not Know About Kathleen Rietz

1. When I was little, I wanted to be a "Solid Gold" dancer.
2. My sister and I used to catch flies and feed them to the spiders that had built webs in our garage window wells. Maybe this is why I include insects in a lot of my illustrations and photos. I still am fascinated by their little world.
3. My favorite ice cream is mint chocolate chip. Mmmmmmm....
4. I have done some modeling, and once appeared on a box for an item which sold at Michael's stores. I went to buy the item so I could have the box, and cashier did not even recognize that it was my photo on the box.
5. I began my art career painting murals for a local business. I loved working on large surfaces. Ironically, now most of the work I do is very small and detailed.
6. I do not care for meat very much. I think I could live on whole grain bread, fruit, vegetables, nuts and cheeses. My diet consists mostly of these items.
7. I buy children's flip flops for myself in the summer because my feet are very small and adult sizes are often too big.
8. I am a night owl. Always have been.

Eight Things You May Not Know About Bron Smith

Here's the final art for the USA RV map. I posted the pencil sketch and the ink line a few days ago. If you'd like to see the map in its entirety, you'll find it at my cartoon map web site:

While I'm here I'll post my Eight Things That You Don't (Need to) Know About Me. I'm an EXTREMELY out-of-the-ordinary person, so I had no trouble at all coming up with this list.
1) Since I was a child I've been interested in unusual creatures. For many years I owned a pair of anacondas, the world's largest snake. Hercules, my male anaconda, was HUGE, big enough to take down and eat a human, if the opportunity presented itself. Hercules and Montezuma made great impromptu guests on my TV show, if a regular human guest failed to show up.
2) I also once had a pet black widow spider, when I lived in Los Angeles. Her name was Wilma. She did very nicely on a fly a day. I kept her in a peanut butter jar on my kitchen window until the day she died. Then she lie in state on my bedroom dresser for several days. I propped her legs up and she looked just like she was alive. Then I buried her in a widow's grave. (You probably thought I was kidding when I said I was out of the ordinary.) Wait...there's more...
3) I hate to see things go to waste. Example: Literally tons of perfectly good napkins are thrown away each day across America from coffee shops and fast food restaurants. I'm a one-man napkin conservation army, doing what little I can to counter this wasteful national trend. (You're welcome to join my army, but I'm sure you won't) Since I draw and write in coffee shops all the time, I bring home stacks of unused napkins from restaurant tables that would have otherwise been thrown in the trash. I always look around to make sure that the coast is clear before I snatch them. I don't want people to think I'm some kind of a homeless nut bag. To my surprise, Jacquie doesn't mind my unusual conservation habit...she uses the restaurant napkins at home just as I do. Maybe I should start a "Save-the-Napkins" campaign.
4) I also save the tea bag envelopes, yes, tea bag envelopes (not the bags) from the coffee shops that I frequent, IF the tea is an aromatic flavor, like Stash Lemon and White Tea...that's the one I'm packing now. I carry the envelope in my pocket and savor the essence from time to time through the day. It's like cheap aroma therapy.
5) I do voice impressions and funny mouth sounds. They're a part of my act in my programs. After watching a Pink Panther movie, I'm Clouseau for several days.
6) I don't put milk and sweetener on my whole bowl of oatmeal all at once. I put a little of both on a small section at a time and work my way across the bowl till it's empty. I'm the slowest eater you'll ever meet. By the time I'm done with my oatmeal, it's time for lunch.
7) When our female anaconda, Montezuma, died, I didn't bury her in the back yard. Jacquie coiled her up like a garden hose and put her in a big plastic bag, then stuffed her in the freezer in the garage. Montezuma has been in a cryogenic state for many years. Someday I would like to make a special belt from her hide, if she hasn't suffered from freezer burn by then. In the meantime, when it's "S" day at the elementary school where Jacquie works, she takes Montezuma to school, puts her in the freezer in the school kitchen until the appropriate time, then takes her out of the freezer and carries her to the classroom to show the kids that "S" is for "snake". The kids love it...the other teachers don't. Ask Jacquie to tell you about the lunch room lady who opened the fridge door one morning only to find a frozen anaconda staring out at her. That was a day the lunch lady will never forget.
8) I gave up Sunday School about seven years ago. Not church, just Sunday school. Instead, I drop Jacquie off at the church, then go by myself to a nursing home and visit lonely people whose relatives have abandoned them. Then I return to church in time for the morning service. I've even taken nursing home friends to lunch or dinner, to holiday events like Fourth of July at our church, blackberry picking, even a movie. I've felt the last heartbeat of "old friends" before they died, with the nurse on one side of the bed and me the other. Some of the most deeply rewarding experiences I've ever had have been at the nursing home. All this resulted from watching a movie many years ago, called Brother Sun, Sister Moon. Everyone should see that film. The world would be a better place if they did. In Bible times it was it's nursing home residents.

8 More things you may not need to know about Ginger*:)

I am so ordinary, that I always hesitate to answer these challenges, but here goes:
1. I can hear , yes HEAR a wasp from across a room. As a child I was badly stung, and to this day I can actually hear that certain sound they make when they are near. I usually freeze right in my tracks until I can spot it and cautiously leave the area.
2. Although I am a digital artist, I love to paint with real paint. This is usually by the bucket load as I do the summer scenery for our local children's theater camp.
3. I am a recovering chocoholic.
4. I will never recover.
5. I cannot stand sweet drinks. I never put sugar in tea or coffee and won't drink sodas.
6. I love those old black and white movie mysteries and if they ever have a marathon on TV I will get my popcorn and be gone for the duration.
7. I was a travel agent for over 15 years and spent time in Brazil, Alaska, Hawaii, London and all of the Caribbean Islands, and I hate to fly.
8.Last but not least is something I tell the children on all my school visits: I have a dragon in my basement and a magic wand on my desk.

Friday, June 15, 2007

8 things you may not know about Gina Pfleegor

This is really neat! I've never been "tagged" before, not even completely sure what that means but it sounds fun so I'll give it a shot! OK, 8 things you may not know about me, hmm...

1. I've been a vegetarian since I was 16.
2. I'm an artist AND I'm super neat and organized...two things that usually don't go together (my favorite subjects were always art and math)!
3. I've had every color hair there is naturally! Yes, sounds strange: born with reddish hair which turned blonde which turned brown which turned black over the course of my first 14 years!
4. I met Bono, in Ireland! He's as great as he seems!
5. My husband does all of the cooking.
6. I have two bachelor degrees I've done nothing with (communications and graphic design - I'm a high school art teacher by day (masters in art ed))
7. When reading for fun, I prefer non-fiction (strange considering the field I'm in!).
8. A decade later, I'm still best friends with the 8 girls I went to college with. Every one of us still talk regularly and get together every chance we get even though some live on the other side of the country now.

Did I do that right? Hope so!


We've Been TAGGED

We've been tagged as a group by Janee Trasler from the Picture Book Junkies. Here is Janee's challenge:

On our PBJ blog this week, we did the 8 Things You May Not Know About Me
tag, so I tagged the Picture Bookies to do it on y'all's blog if you have
time. :-)

Hope to learn all sorts of fun things about you guys.