Friday, July 31, 2009

Thumbs up!

This is an illustration I did for the USDA's preschool series Grow It, Try It Like It. I still haven't seen the final product..and am hoping to get at least one sample in my hands sometime soon. It was a labor intensive project, but a great joy to work on.

"The ABCs of Yoga for Kids" poster

Because of the success of the book "The ABCs of Yoga for Kids", this accompanying poster is being released. I believe it will be sold through the official website, as well as It is meant to be used as a fun poster for kids to hang on their walls, as well as an instructional tool for yoga studios.

Watch for more info on an upcoming "The ABCs of Yoga for Kids" coloring book as well.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Children's Dept. Mural at the Hamilton Lane Library

I have spent the last two weeks up on scaffolding, about 15 to 20 ft in the air... PAINTING!

And here is what I was working on... I started in December of 2008 painting the leaves and vines in the Children's Department of the Hamilton Lane Library. I was not able to completely finish the project at that time, because we could not find the right size scaffolding to be donated for use.
Jo and her husband Lionel were able to acquire the scaffolding and even built it for us.. So I would like to send out a special Thank You to those two.

The theme was a very contemporary take on Jack and the Beanstalk.
And now the entire project is finished...


Wednesday, July 29, 2009

My First Book Signing in a store

I had my first picture book signing at Barnes & Noble last Saturday for Cora Cooks Pancit. I've done book signings at school visits and conferences before, but I was a little nervous about doing one at a store. What if no one came?

It turned out to be a smashing hit! Barnes & Noble sold out of the books they ordered for the signing, and then they sold 12 of my own copies that I brought in as backup. How fun is that!

The most fun part of it for me was seeing lots of friends from church, neighbors, in-laws, SCBWI friends, and friends of my mother-in-law (she sent the announcement to everyone she's ever known). It was quite the party! I brought a big pot of pancit (the Filipino noodle dish from the story - the recipe is in the book), and my husband handed out samples the whole time while I signed and chatted and hugged and "Wow - I haven't seen you in 2 months!" There was a lot of that, because I've been in bed for 2 months with severe morning sickness and dizziness. Being in the second trimester now rocks!

This is an illustration from the book.

Elizabeth Dulemba just interviewed me about this picture book on her fun blog: Check it out!

Kristi Valiant

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Morning Walk and Research

I needed do to some active research this morning for my current dummy. Because I want to represent leaves, ferns, berries and pond water I took a long walk with my camera and gathered a lot of good info. We have SUN today, so the time was just right in the early morning. Dew is still on the leaves, the grass is wet and the forest is fairly still.

To make the photos work for me I put them all into a separate folder within the current project file and make a little thumbnail photo like this one, so I can easily find what I am looking for.
My work is semi realistic in a painterly style, so these just serve as a reference. My paintings will be accurate, but not photo realistic. I am not sure how a PC handles this kind of file, but I like having the Mac that can show me at a glance where things are and which file I need for a reference as I draw or paint.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

July Issue of Stories for Children Magazine

July Cover for
by Nikki Shoemaker
This is the first time I have ever illustrated aliens...

Saturday, July 4, 2009


© Kathleen Rietz
As you celebrate Independence Day 2009, please remember our soldiers and their families who miss them.