Thursday, March 1, 2012

Saturday, February 4, 2012

What is Harper whispering to Willa Bean? You'll have to read the book to find out!

I just received my illustrator copies of a new series of chapter books by Cecilia Galante I'm illustrating for Random House called Little Wings. They just came out and are super adorable. Check them out!

Last week I visited NYC to meet my editors and art directors at Random House, to meet my agent (Linda Pratt) and a few more publishers, to visit my brother, and to go to the big SCBWI Winter Conference with over 1100 attendees. What an amazing week! Random House even invited me to draw on their illustrator wall alongside some incredible illustrators - I totally geeked out.
"Really? Really? I can draw on your wall? Are you sure? These are all massively famous illustrators!"
I drew my dancing penguins from my upcoming picture book, PENGUIN CHA-CHA. Here I am with my editor for PENGUIN CHA-CHA and my dancing penguins on the wall next to Babymouse and Duck & Goose:

-Kristi Valiant

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Now on ETSY!

Hey everyone!!!

It's official... After many begged for me to put some of my 
"for fun" pieces up on ETSY, I have done so!!!

Go check it out and pass along the link to the shop!

(Just in time for Cyber Monday and the holiday gift giving season!)

Friday, October 28, 2011

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Happy Fall, everyone!

I just finished this illo in honor of
Breast Cancer Awareness Month!

Is thinking about putting up on Zazzle for people to have it on some merchandise...

Anyone ever do this with their art?

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

USDA Grow it, Try It, Like It Preschool teaching Package

The Package of Preschool educational material I illustrated 4 years ago finally arrived. It is wonderful to see it "in person" finally.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Gravity and Sun Comic Books - Capstone Press 2011

Here are illustrations from 2 Science comics published by Capstone Press. I did these in March this year. You can order them here and have fun with gravity, seasons, and the sun!

Friday, July 1, 2011

My Giant Doodlin' Pad - Published by Kidsbooks LLC

Introducing the 12x15 Giant Doodlin' Pad I illustrated last year. It is now available at Costco and Sams Club stores. Kids can doodle on the space on the 32 illustrated story pages! This is my first book in actual retail stores!

Please visit my facebook page to see more page illustrations!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Sharey the Sharefish

Here is a little preview of something I am working on now that I am really excited about.

This is Sharey the Sharefish. I'll put up more samples soon on my blog and facebook art page.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

New Book Cover

Do you ever wonder how animals sleep?
Coming in June, 2011!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Ruff Construction

The first illustration that I did that received some notoriety was way back in 1st grade. We were instructed to draw something on a 18x24 inch piece of construction paper that would eventually be laminated and used as a nap mat (AKA-teacher needs a break mat.) My subject matter was Mike Mulligan and his steam shovel and although I can't remember what it exactly looked like, I do recall lots of classmates and adults complimenting it. So these images are sort of a homage to Mike Mulligan for me.

Friday, February 18, 2011


Saturday, February 5, 2011

A hint of things to come...

There are three new books coming out this spring/summer. Here is a hint at just one...the one that I wrote and illustrated.  It isn't about fish, but they are part of the adventure.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Become a fan of "Champ's Story" on Facebook!

You can now join the "Champ's Story: Dogs Get Cancer Too!" fan page on Facebook.  Just click HERE, and the click the "Like" button at the top of the fan page.  Post your stories about the book, photos of your child reading the book, your own stories about how cancer has touched the life of you, your child or a pet.  I hope you enjoy this new way to interact with the publisher, author Sherry North, illustrator (me), and other fans of the book.

For more info, please visit my blog.

The Grand Adventure

The Grand Adventure is the true story of John Wesley Powell's first expedition down the Green and Colorado Rivers and through the Grand Canyon in 1869. This daring 1,000-mile journey is one of the great exploration adventures of the American West.

I have been fascinated by John Wesley Powell's into the Canyon since I was quite young and The Grand Adventure is my attempt to try and share with kids what it was like to go into a wild, unexplored area and be unsure if you would even come out alive. No maps, no GPS, no cell phones to call for help! The Colorado was a mighty river back then and the boats they went down in were so small. Image the courage and determination it took to do this — and John Wesley Powell only had one arm!

Character Sketch for Baby Moose Visits

Monday, January 17, 2011

Traveling Art

Art means many things to many people. A beautiful oil painting may soothe the soul for one viewer while the curves and movement of a beautiful sculpture might inspire the spirit of another.

Often I work on my water based illustration for hours and worry about them being ruined by a finger print or a haphazard spill. I scan them, take a photo of them and then squirrel them away so they are not ruined. Although there is nothing wrong with this process, I'm trying to force my art to become more tactile. To no worry if it's battered, bruised or even beat up. Just provided people are seeing it.

With this thought process I recently started a new effort to push not only my creative side but also to push public involvement in my art. I simply created an imaginative painting, attached a vague plot line along with some directions to the it's back and sent it out to the world in hopes the public will not only see my illustration but actually touch it. Heck, if a cannonball went though the art at this point I only feel that it would HELP IT! Stop by and learn more at... Captian Claude de Mouse
Keep painting!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Ginger Nielson

When I was working on Flying Poodles, A Christmas Story I needed a lantern for the barn where the reindeer were sleeping. I found a great looking one online and adapted the idea for this painting as well as for the Flying Poodles book. I really liked the way the light spread itself around the area.  Yes, I am sure the fox is only interested in an egg or two.  No hens will be harmed and it is pretty much a given that the mouse will sound the alarm long before the fox has fled.  

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

My New Book

I’m so excited to show you a sneak peak of my first illustrated book!
The book is a bedtime story full of sleepy, cuddly creatures of all kinds.  
Look for it in early spring of 2011!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Wishing all a very Happy New Year

And much success for each of us in the New Year.

Friday, December 17, 2010

For the children and the child in all of us...

For years we used to make these flour/salt dough angels, snowmen, cookie shapes,
 and ornaments. Here is the recipe and some hints for creating your own angels.  To see any of these charts larger, just click on the image.
After you knead the dough cover the dough with a wet paper towel to preserve the mositure.  If you don't do this the dough will become too dry.  If your dough is too wet you can put a little flour on your hands before you begin to roll out the body parts.  Create 11 balls of dough in sizes similar to those above.
Once you have them all ready you can begin with the wings and place the head between the two wings.
 Next you will begin to assemble the angel.

Once the angels and ornaments have baked to a nice hard finish you can paint them with food color, watercolors, acrylics, or just leave them plain.    When you pack them away after the Holiday season, you can store them in air tight containers for the next year.  Our collection grew over the years.

Here is a hint.... the smaller the object the less time it takes to bake. So check your creations after the first 20 minutes or so.  These are about 3 inches high and maybe an inch and one half wide.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Flying Poodles Soars~

An interactive story, written by Karen Morss and illustrated in a traditional style with children in mind, the APP is only 1.99 at the Apple APPs store.



Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer - Oceanhouse Media

The book is also available at any and all bookstores with the ISBN ( 978-0-615-38490-0) reference and on for the full book price.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Preview of "Prairie Storms" by Sylvan Dell Publishing

This is the spread I created for the month of September in the upcoming picture book "Prairie Storms", by Sylvan Dell Publishing.  The book is due for release in 2011.  I am enjoying illustrating this book IMMENSELY!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

A nice review... and a teaching moment

I am always happy to see great reviews for books and when they happen to be for authors for whom I have illustrated, I am even happier.  Here is a great review for Flying Poodles, A Christmas Story.  Karen Morss is the talented Renaiassance Woman who created the story.

Karen's own personal story is just as exciting and entertaining.

I was able to include the northern lights in some of the illustrations.  My mother grew up north of the Arctic Circle in Norway. Her stories about the Aurora Borealis always intrigued me.  I did visit Alaska, but only in the summer, so I have never seen these first hand, but hopefully I will return to either Norway or Alaska and view them for myself.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Life is happening
I must go away
To get some peace and solace
Just sometime to lay
Around and rest while
To strengthen my weary soul
I'll come back refreshed
and ready to go
Just wanted to let everyone know that I have
to take a break and catch my breathe. Get
a second wind. I wish each one of You a
a very Happy and blessed Holiday Season
Looking for good things in the New Year too!
Vanessa Brantley-Newton

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

What came first? The children's book or the calendar?

Long before I had dreams of targeting the children's book market, I dabbled in the calendar market. You see, back in the early 90's calendars were all the rage. So I came up with a silly golf character, entitled it Shank A Muligan's Golf and sent out 43 sample copies to 43 various publishers. I waited for 6 months and eventually got back 44 rejection letters. Yep. 44 when I only sent out 43. One publisher reeeaaaalllly wanted to make sure that I knew they weren't interested so they sent me two rejection letters. That aside, I eventually did sell the Shank calendar and it did really well.

During this same time frame I came up with an additional calendar concept about my favorite sport--- Bicycling. For some reason I didn't push as hard as I did with my Golf concept and it didn't sell. But years later here it is!!! My style has certainly changed but I still enjoy some of the concepts. If you're interested, check out all 12 illustrations at

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Shhhh! We're sleeping!

Here's a peek at my first book coming out in the spring of 2011!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Poster for Little Charley Thornpaws

I created some posters for the book promotions for Little Charley Thornpaws.  We are only allowed to show three images from the book for promotional purposes and this is one of my favorite pieces.  To make the poster the correct size for the printer I needed to add the border.  The border is similar to some of the areas in the book and I had fun with all that color!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Finally! I have been wanting to show you the cover of the latest book I am illustrating for Sylvan Dell, titled "Prairie Storms". Here it is! Ta-daaaaa! It is due to be released in summer of 2011. I am currently illustrating the inside spreads.  I wish I could show them to you, but I have not even shown the publisher yet!  It has been such an interesting project to research. This past weekend I went on a photo excursion at the Spring Valley Nature Sanctuary near my home to photograph prairie plants, trees, the sky, etc. Each of the 12 spreads inside "Prairie Storms" will feature a different month, different animal, and different storm.  I just illustrated a pair of owls flying over a farm with a cloudburst and rainbow forming in the sky, and today I am painting a lizard scurrying from a flash of lightning.

Artist of the Week on Public Republic - Bulgaria

I had the rare opportunity to be featured as the artist of the week on the Bulgarian Art Blog, Public-Rebpublic which is now being shared in English. It features artists from around the world on a weekly basis. I hope you will take time to have a look at the article and the other amazing artists featured on the blog. The interview was conducted by Galya Mladenova.
If you look to the right side bar on that blog you can click on and access the other artists that have been featured.  Many different approaches to art are displayed.

Friday, October 22, 2010

The newest book... Little Charley Thornpaws is now available

Little Charley is waiting to surprise you.  The storybook is perfect for preschoolers and K-1 and any adult who loves cats.  Each spread features Charley doing what he does best.
Caelaach McKinna has captured some of Charley's best moments and I was happy to have the fun of illustrating them.
Here is a sneak peek.

Illustrations copyright Ginger Nielson and 4RV Publishing.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

My first ever book signing *:)

The book signing for Daniel and the Harmonica, by Rob Dubreuil was a fun event today. I received a beautiful birthday card from Bethany Dubrueuil. She made it herself and I will always treasure it. We had a great time today. Rob played the harmonica with great flair! I tried a little, and will practice more. The book contains a lot of harmonica notation, so every book sold was accompanied by a harmonica. Thanks to all who came, and to Rob and his family and the great people at the Toadstool in Milford, NH

This is Rob reading his book to the group. He shared his journey from writer to published author with us and even played a fantastic harmonica solo.