Friday, October 25, 2013

Cobblestone Magazine

In July I was contacted by Cobblestone magazine to create a few color spot illustrations for their November 2013 issue. Today I got my free copies in the mail! 

It was fun getting to illustrate this colonial time period (which seems to be a theme lately considering my trip to VA).

Cobblestone has a fabulous website where you can learn more about the magazine, which is for kids age 9-14.

Oh Inspiration, How I Love You!

I recently went on a business trip to Richmond, Virginia to represent Ringling College of Art & Design at the National Portfolio Day, hosted at Virginia Commonwealth University. It was a really great experience and always fun to talk with eager students who are so incredibly talented!!

While out there in VA, I had a bit of spare time to go exploring. It was dreary weather all weekend, and on Sunday I got up early to attend church at Saint John's where Patrick Henry said, "Give me liberty, or give me death!" Ifollowed an old red brick pathway that meandered around tombstones that were so old the inscriptions had been worn off.

I love graveyards. They always stir me inside to appreciate life, rethink my priorities, urge me to pick up the phone and tell my family I love them. I love the indescribable feeling of pondering who the person was who is buried here, and wondering if George Washington or Patrick Henry or even Abraham Lincoln stood in front of the same tombstone when they visited this church.

This visit to the Saint John's church primed me for an even more adventurous walk to the Poe Museum a few blocks over. It began to rain and silly me did not have an umbrella. I was very damp when I arrived, and for some reason that feeling just made the experience of touring the Poe artifacts all the more lively! Rain has that affect of carrying off one's mind into deeper mystery and thought. All I can say is that it was REALLY COOL walking through the Poe houses, reading the original Raven manuscript, and marvelling at the very desk where Poe sat to write with it raining outside. 

To conclude my thought-provoking morning adventure, I happened upon THIS BOOK in the Poe gift shop. My day could not have suddenly become any brighter!!! This book is a gem written and illustrated by one of my favorites, Scott Gustafson. OH JOY!! Inside almost every page has gorgeous dynamic illustrations. I went to lunch after and poured over the pictures, making a copy of the cover in my sketchbook. J'adore! 

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

New Website Design, Same URL

I have a new look to my website!!

After running into issues again with iWeb, I decided to scrap it and set up a new fresh site. This new site has a shopping cart so I don't have to link to Etsy, and it has a built-in contact form so visitors can email me from the site. AND, it has a blog...which means I'm going to stop posting here on Blogger and try to move everything under one roof and see what happens. So please, stop by my new website and take a look! 

Thank you for following my blog (old and new!)


Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Mister Capybara in color

Here's another little oil painting from my ABC animal series. These are so fun to make! I made a few changes in this painting compared to the drawing, such as repositioning his left foot so that it looks like it's bearing more weight. The first drawing didn't look as convincing, but I think this works better. Next is D...still deciding on what to do...

A quick snippet of exciting news - I've been asked to illustrate another picture book! Contracts are being exchanged this very moment. Pretty much all of the details have to remain on the DL until the book is published next year. But, I'm really excited for this project - I can tell you that much!! :)

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

C for Capybara

Well finally, here is Mr. Capybara!

When I was researching Capybaras (the largest rodent in the world!) their faces all seemed to look stoic and aristocratic to me, so I combined the two ideas and came up with a "Gangs of New York" inspired dandy with flowers in his hat. He is obsessed with his looks even though his suit is starting to show wear and tear. It was fun to sketch capybaras, although I must confess it took me a while to get a character that I liked. I'm going to paint this guy in oil to continue with my ABC Animals series. Check back in later to see the painting!