Saturday, May 31, 2008

This week at the BEA in Los Angeles

This weekend the Book Expo America was held in Los Angeles. I am happy to say that the publishers of the book I illustrated,
The Adventures of Cali, were there and promoting not only the book but a wonderful addition to the book. Their product, called iRead 2 You, is an easy to use recording device that can be used by a parent or grandparent to record the story. Once the device is set in the Play mode and placed inside a book's cover it is ready to tell the story. As soon as a child opens the book the recording begins to play telling the story in the parent or grandparent's own words.

Thursday, May 29, 2008


A Warm Welcome to our newest Children's Illustrator member of the Picture Bookies Children's Illustrators Group, Kristi Valiant.
Kristi is a full time freelance illustrator with over 20 published leveled reader books.  Her normal media is digital.  You can browse through her website by visiting here.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Bear Feet and Bare Feet

I was trying to figure out whether to mail this to anyone, or post it on my regular blog, or whatever.  The decision was to post it here and hope you all get some enjoyment out of this.
They keep saying that 'country' bumpkins can't get along in the city.  Well, I am not a city girl, but the suburbs we lived in didn't come with the kind of country in which we now live.  So this is what happens when city bumpkins move to the REAL country.

Moving to NH from NJ metro area, was, we thought, just going to be more countrified. Not so.
People up here are used to living with wildlife. Our home is in a collection of small mountains called the Monadnocks.  The average height is only about 3200 feet.  Not the rockies~!
 We just figured we would see a deer or a turkey once in a while.  But we didn't expect that the forest behind our house held so many surprises.
So the city bumpkins, didn't have a  clue about what could happen.

Last spring we had the huge 300- pound bear come and visit...just for one day. This winter we had a herd... a FULL 12-13 herd of deer come visiting almost every night to feast on the leaves that were exposed above the 2 feet of snow.  Entire bands  of turkeys come wandering through the yard as if it was their home territory. 
BUT..... stranger things have happened and continue to happen.

Last night I was out with Henry hound ( both of us in bare feet ) and we heard really strange noises coming from the forest.  I figured it was BIG BIG birds at first, but what birds are up at 10pm?  And no, it was not the owl.  Something else was whining and chortled a lot.   I kept Henry inside the fenced part of the yard, and after listening for a while we went inside. I had been told that coyote pups sound a lot like little children crying.... it was almost like that.  But still "Sc-SCARY"..... I was so glad there was a 6 foot fence between us and the forest.

Could it be baby coyotes or baby bears, as it is time for them to be around.  This morning, whatever it was made its presence known.  My beautiful octogon bird feeder lay on the ground.  Wood posts, knobs, glass, all broken and scattered about...and of course no bird seed to be seen.  We had just filled it with the most delectable sunflower seeds.

Now the folks up here who know a thing or two, never leave a bird feeder out at night, and most don't leave them out again all summer until the first snowfall...... I suppose there is a lesson to be learned here...for those city folks.  My guess is that mama bear decided to bring the kiddies for a visit to our front yard.  But wait, do  coyotes eat sunflower seeds?  I know a lot of baseball players do.

And why am I posting this here?  Well maybe it will inspire a great illustration.  I'll give it a try, why not anyone of you guys.............

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Jungle to Jungle

What started out in an outdoor setting near a jungle, turned a corner in my mind and became a walk into another kind of jungle, the concrete kind.

I had some refining to do and now I'll get to painting the illustration.

I might also bring back the small boy. I have to ask if he wants to go to the library too.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Painting is Paradise is up

I thought I would let everyone know that my new Painting in Paradise web site is now up and running. The site promotes my watercolor workshops in exotic places around the world, starting in Rarotonga, in the Cook Islands. It would be so cool to meet some of my blog friends in a south seas paradise and paint flowers together. Actually, the price isn't that bad, a lot cheaper than other comparable painting workshops. Let me know if you have any questions. Here's the URL. I'll be getting a permanent URL soon.