Wednesday, April 29, 2009

School Visit for Literacy Week!

I was invited by Timber Trails Elementary School in Hoffman Estates, IL, to read and demonstrate yoga poses from my latest illustrated book "The ABCs of Yoga for Kids". We had a great time! The book was a big hit. I was later informed that one little girl went home and immediately told her mom "We have to order this book, Mom!"

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

"The ABCs of Yoga for Kids" wins silver medal!

I am delighted to announce that my latest illustrated children's book "The ABC's of Yoga for Kids" has been awarded a silver medal in the category of Yoga/Pilates by Living Now Book Awards. Yay!

I will be reading from "The ABCs of Yoga for Kids" and demonstrating yoga poses with a group of first graders at a local school here in Illinois this Wednesday as the school celebrates Literacy Week.

My current book illustration project, "Little Black Ant at Park Street", should wrap up by the end of May, and I am looking forward to getting back to new projects and blogging again. I miss you all!

Monday, April 20, 2009

A new beginning for something old

I had submitted the story of Gunther the Underwater Elephant to about five publishers before one became interested but then after a long session and wait they finally turned him down. It wasn't so much the pictures, they loved those, it was the story.
Me, being a bit of a control (not quite freak) person did not want to let go of the story so I took Gunther back and put him on the bookshelf for 6 months.

Recently I started working on two other dummies and during the process I realized that Gunther had possibilities I had not thought of. So naturally he is back on the drawing table and being re-dummied. The text is far more minimal and the pictures are telling the story from a more childlike point of view. I think a child could now hear the story once and then retell (READ) it by reading the pictures. And isn't that what a picture book should be about?

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Signing Contract for Another Book

I am so excited to have the opportunity to illustrate another picture book for Sylvan Dell Publishing. I love this manuscript. The title of the new book is Newton and Me and it's written by LynneMayer. The book is about a boy, his dog and how they learn about gravity, friction and force.
I will tell you more about it as time goes on. The manuscript is so fun, I can't wait to start the sketches! But for now I have to finish up this educational book I am doing, which should be very soon. Wahoo! Thanks so much Sylvan Dell for picking such a wonderful manuscript for me to illustrate!

The VERY Grimm Fairy Tales

This March and every March it is still winter up here in northern New England. To drive away the cabin fever our church players present a winter interlude. This year we chose to "re-load" some of the Grimm Brothers fairy tales.

I was asked to paint sets that could double as a cottage or a castle and create a tower for the Rapunzel story. In all, five tales were told with story and song.

My favorite of all was the Three Spinning Fairies, and more about that later, but here are some shots of the sets.

The total measurement was 38 feet across by nine feet high. The tree/tower for Rapunzel was a total of 12 feet wide wrapped around a structure that included doors to go in and out of and an unseen ladder in the back. The doors were invisible until opened as we cut them out after the scenery had been applied to the wooden structure.

I put a little figure of Rapunzel up there to show the scale.

And here is a close up of the corner of the cottage.

I would love to have had more time to work on the paintings, but we are usually limited to a few weeks before the sets have to be up and ready for rehearsals. Perhaps because I illustrate children's books, I am more demanding of myself and although I wasn't totally pleased with the final results, the audiences seemed to like the sets very much.

The paper comes on 9 foot by 36 foot rolls and is ordered from a stage set supply house. I use my own acrylic paints but when the sets require huge amounts of paint or more than one set of scenery I mix those with regular acrylic house paint to stretch the medium. The result is that the set paper gains a quality sort of like oil cloth and we can roll up the paintings and save them for the next production. Then we either reuse what was painted before or paint right over the old paintings.

Want to know what the hardest part of all this is????? Finding a place with enough space to paint these huge scenes before they are attached to the flats.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Grand Re-Opening of the Picture-Bookies Showcase

After a long hiatus the PICTURE BOOKIES SHOWCASE is reopening. We really look forward to welcoming everyone back.

The guidlines are a bit different this time in order to make it easier for participants to post and enjoy the gallery.

  • The artwork submitted must be geared to the CHILDREN'S BOOK ILLUSTRATION MARKET

  • The participants may post whenever they wish, and hopefully that will be often

  • There will be no weekly or monthly theme

  • There will be no comments

  • Each illustration should be labeled with a title or subject, illustrators name, website or blog, and the medium you used to create the work

An advantage of this showcase is that if you have no website or blog of your own, you can still get your work noticed on a professional site for free.

So why not go on over and check out the new Picture-Bookies Showcase!

Friday, April 3, 2009

"TIME" for Spring

I found a really sweet birdhouse in our forest. Trapped under vines and old beyond use, it inspired this painting. It looked so much like a little clock that I decided to reinvent it as one, with fresh new paint. Now it can welcome a new family with pride.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Winston Wednesday ~ CHAPTER X - HIC!!!

The newest chapter of Winston Wednesday is on Winston's blog.
Find out what is going on this week *:)