Wednesday, August 31, 2005


Here's a partial view of the portrait I just finished in colored pencil. I'm not sure what kind of tree they were standing in front of. The leaves are such an incredible color.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Changing Seasons

The turn of the seasons has brought a quickened pace here. It's only just begun and I am having a hard time keeping up already!

I got an excellent book out of the library the other day about perspective. It's called The Complete Guide to Perspective by John Raynes.
It instructs clearly, with paintings, drawings and images from an artist's point of view. It's one of the best I've ever seen for the purpose of an artist painting and understanding perspective for use in the more painterly/illustrative side of things (does that even make sense?)
Usually the perspective books I've viewed were way over my head in technicalities. This book is beautifully rendered and clearly explains the use of perspective. It's another one on my wish list now.
I'll find a link for it tomorrow....gotta get to bed.

Monday, August 29, 2005

Some art

My thoughts, well wishes and prayers go out to all in the path of Katrina.

Here's an illo I did for a story about my twin...she's an incredible well as a biker-extraordinaire...long distance biker, etc..
I just wanted to add some color to the I'm posting this. Hopefully I'll get back to work on the book dummy for this story. The manuscript needs reworking.

I went to visit Robert Sabuda's website yesterday. If you've never gone to his website, go.
He has the most incredible work shown there, as well as links to other paper engineers. He also has a book coming out soon that is for sale with bookplates signed by him. They can be preordered.

The book I ordered a little while ago arrived today.. the Imagineering Way-Ideas to Ignite Your Creativity by The Disney Imagineers. (it's back there in my posts somewhere....I'm feeling lazy and don't want to find the link). The book is just what I wanted. I highly recommend it for inspiration and encouragement to artists, writers and creative people.

Paper Forest

Paper Forest
Check out Jaime Zollar's blog here. Make sure to scroll down to see some of his paper folding...the ice cream cones and origami money folding. Great blog and links for paper and paper folding/art.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

New Beginnings

Tomorrow marks the beginning of a new school year where we live.
It's a time of nervous excitement for kids and parents everywhere, whether homeschooled, public or private schooled. I have friends in each situation, and one thing I see in common, is that no matter whether the kids are in the same school, with the same friends, or even the same teacher, (homeschooled) it's a new year...things change, curriculums change, kids grow, there are new adventures and challenges for everyone.
I've been searching the Bible to find some comforting scriptures for my kids and myself to grab ahold of.
Here's my favorite one for this time:
Psalm 26:3
The steadfast of mind Thou wilt keep in perfect peace, because he trusts in Thee.

I have tons more, in fact if anyone wants a list, email me, and I'd be glad to email them to you.
We're going to celebrate with cupcakes and a video later on.

I'm working on a colored pencil portrait now.

Now..I'm off to bake cupcakes...Happy new School-year to all of you and your dear children out there entering into it tomorrow...
may your children have happy, healthy, safe and wonderful learning experiences this year, in whatever schools they attend...
may they love their teachers, (may their teachers be loveable) read fun books, make new friends, keep old friends, enjoy learning, not encounter bullies.....and bloom to their full capacity.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Do You Love What You Do?

Here's the pen and ink rendering I mailed out yesterday. This is what set me to reevaluate my goals. I could do these for the rest of my life, but they aren't where my heart's at. They bring in some money....but that's not my ultimate goal (well....maybe part of it, but not the core)
I've been reevaluating my children's illustrating and writing lately to figure out where I'm at in it.
If any of you are like me, there can be periods where the muck and mud of procrastination, distraction, discouragement and duldrums that hold you back. It's so easy to get things flipped around due to the desire to succeed, and unrealistic expectations.
The key factor in all of this for me this morning has been......Do I love what I do?
Yes...I do.
Once that is determined, it's important to:
*reevaluate the goals set.
*Restate them clearly. Once they are stated, figure out whether they are attainable. (not that this has to hold you back..after all most of us in this field are dreamers in the good sense of the word or we wouldn't be in the children's illustration/writing field)
*Sort out the goals into bite-able bits...make them clear and doable. Set goals for each day, week, month, 2 months, 6 months year, 5 years.
Even if the goals seem far-off or rediculously high, keep long as your heart leads you there.
*Find areas where you need to hone your craft and set out to do this by taking classes, reading books on the subject, asking questions, researching, but mainly....
*Do the work of perfecting your craft by writing, painting, drawing. Sweat. Face the tough areas. (it takes courage to be an artist or writer) Tackle figure drawing or perspective or color theory if those areas need work. Tackle character developement, plot, or the nitty gritty of grammar. If the drawings look weak, ugly, warped, do them until you're satisfied. Do them 100 times if necessary. Write, rewrite.
*Leave room for the important priorities and life spouse, children, school activities, extracuricular activities...the people and events that come first.
*Now. Cut out all distractions and time-wasters in your life. Be ruthless. (this is if you are serious about accomplishing the goals set in your illustrations and writing)
*Don't be discouraged when things don't go according to plans....they never do. Just find creative ways to work in spaces and times that come appointment waiting rooms, doctor and ortho appts, etc. Bring a pad of paper and pen everywhere with you to sketch and take notes on. use a small recorder to record ideas if necessary for illos or story ideas, and story lines.
*The key is to keep your own heart and vision intact. It seems such a simple thing, but it isn't.
*Remember what it was that drew you to the field in the first place. Try to think like a child. Find the wonder in things you've forgotten about. Take time to look and listen to things carefully.
If necessary, cut out images, fabrics, color combos that inspire you and place them surrounding your studio (most illustrators probably do this inherantly) Keep books nearby that inspire you.
*Print out inspirational quotes and surround yourself with them.
*Weed out the discouraging voices (in your mind and in other nay-sayers) When you hear the voices, that give vague discouraging comments, don't heed them. If there are voices from knowledgeable friends, or trustworthy souls, rooting for you, maybe critiquing your work, listen to those.
*Be willing to take those honest, friendly critiques. They are gold, although painful at times. Find crit groups of illustrators or writers to work with. There are many online as well as in communities.
*Make lists of what you love most about your own work and other's work. Make lists of what styles you enjoy working in the most. Make lists of what you hate to do, and what styles you dislike. Don't do these. You'll regret it.
*Do what you love...there will always be, comparisons with other's work, and progress, unrealistic expections (of your own or others).
The main point is to work at doing what you love most, from the heart. Pour your heart into all that you do, as much as possible, not imitating anyone else, and it will show in your work, as you persevere, sweat, erase, redraw, rewrite, research and complete works.
I'm feeling much better now that I've found the heart of the issue again...and am buckling down for a wonderful Autumn of illustrating, writing, and hard work.

I recently checked out two books for my son by Cressida Cowell called How To Be a Pirate, and How To Train Your Dragon. She wrote (or as she says..Translated from Old Norse) the books, and illustrated them.
My son is hooked already, and much as he enjoys reading, he isn't easily convinced to read books if they look boring. He likes Calvin and Hobbes, the Lemony Snickett series and that sort of book.
Cowell's books are fascinating, with quirky illustrations scattered throughout. done in a sketchy pen and ink or pencil style. The names of her characters are disgusting enough to please picky young male least in my opinion. I'm thrilled to have found the books.
I also found two for my older son. One is The New World Order by Ben Jeapes. It seems he approves. (Not an easy accomplishment on my part..He has an ecclectic taste). Check Jeapes' book out at this link. Once more I can't seem to find a link for him. I didn't find one for Cowell either..sorry...I'm not sure what's up with that. If I were as big an author as both of these, I'd want to at least have my own website.
Here's another blog link to Jeapes' book. The blog itself may interest you.
The second book I got out for my older son is SilverFin by Charlie Higson. Here's a Review of SilverFin.
I also found some music at the library. I'm listening to Billy Childs-The Child Within (appropraite for a children's illustrator/writer). It's dynamic, fantastically played and arranged..I love it. I'm looking for some great jazz pianists...anyone recommend any of their favorites? Or any favorite pianists at all...just not classical at the moment.
I also got out Nat King Cole-rare recordings CD. Can't wait to listen to that one. The other CD is Steve Allen Plays Jazz Tonight. It looks like another great CD.
By the way...this Steve Allen CD is FANtastic...wowee. Amazing music. The trumpeter, Glenn Zottola is incredible.

Friday, August 26, 2005

Dibs, Blogs, and Off Topic Doo-dads

I just have to recommend these totally off-topic delights. I'm fairly addicted to Edy's Ice Cream ( illustrator's got to survive, and what better way to inspiration than a huge cup of Edy's Cookie Dough Ice Cream) case any of you don't want to pile on the pounds with a huge cup like I do sometimes...(fighting it off with Billy Blanks on a Tae Bo DVD the next day)....try Edy's Dibs! Yum. They are small chocolate covered ice cream bits.
The good thing about the Dibs is that you can eat them and pretend to be "cutting back on calories", since they are so small...even if you do eat 20 of them at a time.
I love the chocolate ice cream ones.
If I could, I'd guarantee that the Dibs/Tae Bo combo would bring complete illustration success, due to the inspiration they bring, but the rest is up to you.
Here are two blogs that bring inspiration as well. One is listed here in my blogs listing already. It's called Chicken Spaghetti. It's chock full of great children's lit updates and info.
I found a link to Linda Sue Park's blog from it. She keeps it as an online journal.

Eleven Lemons

Check out Wendy Edelson's blog, Eleven Lemons. She's very funny, and her children's illustrations are fantastic.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Dear Friends and Kindred Spirits

Yesterday my best friend came to visit with her three children. What a joy it is to have a friend who knows and loves me just as I am. (and vice versa) They drove north 2 hours to spend the day with us. We took full advantage of our time guessed it......TALK....and listen.
We moved our chairs around the yard from place to place to watch the kids climb trees, play in the treehouse, splash in the pool, run with large sticks, (until we advised them against the stick game....4 boys with humongous sticks running fast is not a wise idea.
What is it with boys and sticks anyway? They always find sticks. I could place my sons in an empty room and they'd find something to make into a stick to poke and hit things with)
Anyway, it was heavenly sharing a day with my friend. We met years back when we both had only two children, and were in that difficult and lonely stay-at-home-mom-world with babies and 'strong willed first born sons'...both sons had a colicky past, and both were wearing us out...much as we loved them.
We were both an honest answer to prayer for each other. Our kids match nearly exactly in age, and temperment for each other....both families are boy, girl, boy. It's incredible.
One thing I also love about true-forever friendships like ours is that we can be as different as night and day in some ways and mesh exactly in other ways. I'm an artist-writer, excelling in the literature and artistic fields, while she is a pharmacist, having loved and excelled at math and science....We both stand amazed at each other's abilities, unable to conceive of having the skills.
As they drove off, all of us waving and shouting good-byes and thank you's.....I was filled once more with gratitude for the awesome priviledge of having friends like Diana, and the gift of time spent together, whether it's daily, or by email or phone.

Here's a link to the SCBWI LA conference notes. If you're a member you can view all of the conference notes, if not, there's still things to see.
I think I've mentioned Anastasia Suen's Create-Relate blog here before, but if not, check it out. She always has great links about new children's books, publishing news for kid's lit, her online classes for children's writers, which I highly recommend (packed full of info, and professionally done, also scheduled in a way that make them do-able)
Here's a link to Fiona Bayrock's website about writing non-fiction articles for kids. There's also some great art there by my online friend....artist/illustrator Ruth McNally Barshaw. Check out Ruth's home page if you want to grin..she's got an incredible sense of humor, mixed with immense talent, loads of wisdom, and the perseverance needed to make it big in writing and illustrating...golden.
It's gorgeous here..I've got to get outdoors and enjoy the day with my kids while I can.
It's's snowing here at Robert's Snow. Stop by the website and view the amazing assortment of wooden snowflakes to bid on. Each snowflake is painted on wood, double-sided. Many well known children's illustrators have snowflakes there. The proceeds from the auction of snowflakes support cancer research.
Here's a vital website for writers and to visit when checking out potential publishers, agents, and editors. Preditors and Editors lists writing/publishing related companies, organizations and individuals to stay away from. I believe they may also highlight trustworthy companies and individuals..not sure about that. Many children's writers and online writing groups recommend this site. I imagine it may also be a place for children's illustrators to check from time to time as well.
This quote from my daily Insight of the Day is fitting for children's writers and illustrators. Maybe it will inspire you all as much as it does me:
"Look at everything as though you were seeing it either for the first or last time. Then your time on earth will be filled with glory."
Betty Smith1896-1972, Novelist

I think her advice is what makes the heart of a great children's writer or illustrator..looking at everything with that fresh appreciation.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Hen Lit Writers

Hen Lit Writers
Here's a fun blog to check out about "Hen Lit Writers" If you don't know what they'll find out more by reading her blog.

Blogs, Books, & Back to School Banter (& a bit more Music)

Here's a blog to read. It's called The Playful Antiquarian. It used to be called The Paper Doll Chronicles. It's written by "a curatorial assistant in the Special Collections Department of the Harvard Law School Library and a graduate student in archives management at Simmons College." She sounds like the person to contact with tough questions about antique children's books.
Today we're heading out to deal with more back-to-school events, finding out about teachers, schedules, locker combos, etc. It should be an exciting day.
ON a side note, Kathy Holmes recommended Bryan Ferry's music in a post below (the post about Delicious Music) Thanks so much Kathy! I listened to Ferry's music online and can see why you recommend his music. He's on my wish list for CDs now.
Another singer Kathy may enjoy (or anyone who loves the traditional romantic singers, is Joan Manuel Serrat. He was born in Barcelona. He has a similar sound to Ferry's. Another favorite of mine (after my husband introduced me to him, as well as Serrat) is Roberto Carlos.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Children's things

Here's an organization I just found out about called Commercial Free Childhood. For anyone writing for kids, or interested in children's education, this is a site to see. The org. deals with marketing to kids, and has a newsletter to keep folks updated about what's in the news.
Here's a blog that I can't believe I've missed in my search for blogs on kid's lit. It's called Book Buds-a good story grows on a kid. It features literary crits on children's books. It's another that will go on my blog links here.
If you haven't checked out Eric Carle's Museum for Picture Book Art, here's a link to the site. The next time I get up to the Boston area, I want to visit it.
Here's a blog that I wish was still going strong as it was around May of 2004, but it's well worth visiting anyway. There are great links to other blogs and kid's writing and illustration sites. His insights and posts were a great read. It's called Reading To My Kid. It seems that he had too many pressing deadlines to keep up with the blog for awhile. If I find an email address there..maybe I'll press him to get back into blogging. (for what my email may be worth)

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Delicious Music and other Listening Pleasure

I'm listening to Michael Feinstein's CD, Michael and George. What a combination...Michael Feinstein singing Gershwin's songs. I love Gershwin anyway...but the combinating of Feinstein's voice and piano with those incredible songs is......can't find the word.
Another listening pleasure I recommend is listening to audio books. One of my favorite series on tape is the Harry Potter series on audiotape. The narratorJim Dale is extremely talented. The stories come alive.
Good audiobooks are entertaining, and comforting..much like being read to as a child. I still enjoy sitting and listening in on the library story times for young children. Someday I'd love to read the books at library storytime. It's a wonderful gift to give to kids.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Birthday parties, goodies, links and more

I survived birthday party preparations for my daughter's birthday, the party, pinata, bubbly-hyperactive friends (actually the girls are wonderful...lots of fun) of my daughter and clean-up.
It was lots of fun actually. I think it's just the preparation, lead-up to the parties that wears me out...once it gets going, I'm fully into it.
Whew. Everyone was happy, no one got hit with the baseball bat during the pinata event, and the mess is nearly all cleaned up now. My daughter loved it. That's the highlight for me. I found some fun candles for the cake that spell out 'Happy birthday' Each candle has one wax letter on it, on a plastic toothpick, so that you can stick it into the cake and the letters stand up. I loved them. The years are passing way too seems just yesterday she was celebrating her birthday sitting in a high-chair, grinning from ear to ear with a princess crown on. Wa-a-a-a-a-h-h-h-h!
(back-to-school-parental angst here)...I wonder what sort of parental antics occur during the back-to-school weeks around the country. It would be an interesting study for psychologists, psychiatrists, and counsellors, as well as consumer studies. Aside from the normal sales of school supplies and clothes, I'll bet scrapbooking sales skyrocket during this time (or the first and second week of school) Video cameras probably sell in record numbers. I'll bet some savy investment companies have figured out the ramifications of it....what could be invested in....what the consumers buy, strange parental behavior. The studies have been made about children's behavior as school approaches, but I wonder if anyone has done studies for/about parents.
Changing topic now, before I think too much about it and ruin my keyboard boo-hooing all over it.
Here's a website that has key links and info for children's illustrators. ( I may have posted this one here before, but it's worth reposting. It's Phyllis Cahill's link page. I thought of this due to discussion on the beloved yahoo illustrator's list.
Here's something else any children's illustrator would enjoy. It's the Mazza Museum . The Mazza Museum has international art from picture books. I'd love to be able to visit it sometime. It's located in Findlay Ohio.
Here's a book worth checking out. It's called The Imagineering way: Ideas to Ignite Your Creativity. If you've been reading this blog at all in the'll know that my next words are.....
"I just ordered it" It's written by and about the creative "Imagineers" at Disney. I found it in the library awhile back and found it inspiring and motivating.
Now for a cachibachi...totally off-topic and fascinating. It's a website about Palindromes, called Once Upon a Palindrome. I found this site ages ago and saved it.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Thrift Store Find

Here it is.. today's thrift store find. I wrote about it below, and wanted to insert the image at the bottom of that post, but couldn't do it. It's a nearly brand new evening bag, approx. 5"x8" embroidered with wire and thread. Total price......$2.94!
I'm thrilled that someone found it useless. I have a feeling it was because the cord frayed a bit where it is attatched, and the owner had no patience to mend it. I have the perfect gold thread to mend it with. (there is a side to creativity that seems to be a curse...everything seen can be used for something, saved to be fixed or made into something else...) Do any of you have that problem? My poor husband has a good sense of humor with all the cast-off remnants, books, fabric, art supplies and things I bring home or save. The best part is when you've saved something for 5-10 years, and can finally use it..heaving a sigh of relief when you find it...justifying all that space and time spent hoarding the thing in order to put it to good use. I think there should be a support group called Thrift Addicts Anonymous. At the end of each meeting everyone could say "TAA-TAA"
It's a funny idea...everyone would have to bring to the meeting what they collected that week..and there could be an exchange of goods....(secret motivation to attend all meetings..because thrifty people can't avoid free exchanges either) This of course would be another justification for the TAAs to explain why they bought more thrift goods, or saved more was all in the name of generosity (another problem of the thrifty people) They can always think of someone else who could use the items..saving the thing for eons to give to the unsuspecting innocent.

Inspiring Illustrators

For any of you out there who have never had the pleasure of seeing Kinuko Craft's work, take some time and look. She is one of my all time favorite illustrators.
Richard Jesse Watson is another. One of my favorite children's books was illustrated by him. It's called One Wintry Night by Ruth Bell Graham. It is well worth buying, not only for the incredible images, but for the story.
You've also got to view some of Helen Ward's illustrations. She is another of my favorite illustrators. Check out the books shown on this link. It doesn't appear that she has a website. (gr-r-r-r-r) I wish she did. I have her book The Rooster and The Fox. It's another one well worth buying for the art alone. But if you want a breathtaking book, buy The Animal's Christmas Carol. Wow. I got that book out of the library at least 10-15 times before I finally realized I needed to buy it. Ward is a genius with her art.
She wrote a book called The Tin Forest that is illustrated by Wayne Anderson, (shown near the bottom of that link...can't find a website for him either. The link for Anderson above is well worth visiting to see the artists there. I wonder why she didn't illustrate that book. Maybe the fact that she wrote it made it different for her somehow in doing the illustrations. I'd love to have the inside scoop on that. I'd love to meet her. I think she lives in England though, so I doubt she'd ever be at any SCBWI national conferences.
I want to buy The Tin Forest too....(oh the list of books I want to buy) Others spend their money buying furnishings for their home, or buy books when I have extra cash. (then I hound thrift stores and get great things for low that I can buy more books with the money I save...
I'm actually off to a thrift store now...hmmmm...wonder what I'll find.

Thursday, August 18, 2005


I just found the greatest cream on the market for getting wrinkles to blur and disappear (seriously...I can't believe how well this works, and I only bought it yesterday. ) It's L'oreal's Wrinkle De-crease Collagen Filler.
Hey...I know this is a bit off-topic for a children's illustrating and writing blog...but I figure some of you will thank me for this tip when you try it) Besides...for $17.00 at's not too bad compared to what some would pay for face cream. It really is amazing stuff.
Here's another wrinkle-buster...although this is the type that gets rid of mental's a quote on my calendar by Mark Twain.
"Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people do that, but the really great make you feel that you too, can become great."
(It seems that even Mark Twain had some negative people hanging around him telling him he would not succeed)
I'm actually so very blessed, because my parents always backed me up in my goals as an artist (not an easy thing to do, since it does seem so impractical at times) but they always encouraged me in acheiving my goals).
Here's a wrinkle-buster for those working toward acheiving publication in the children's lit world.
It's Harold Underdown's website. Here are some notes he posted from the Summer Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrator's Conference in LA.
Here's a link to the SCBWI website.
Harold's website is a Must Read for anyone interested in this field.
I'm nearly done with the back to school shopping! I can't believe it's true....
It's like running a marathon...and it wasn't too painful...It seems we hit the store during a lull, because there wasn't the customary mob scene...and they still had glue sticks! I don't know what it is about glue sticks, but it seems every year they are all gone when we go to buy our school supplies.
Now I've got to go iron out some more a pen and ink rendering that I owe for a client. It's nearly done, and I hope to finish it today.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Young Adult (& Kid's) Books Central Blog

Young Adult (& Kid's) Books Central Blog
Here's another writing blog to check out.
(bloghopping can be addicting...I should be doing so many other things, but I'm getting caught up in these blogs)

Agent 007 on Publishing

Agent 007 on Publishing
Here's a blog about agents and publishing. I'll include it in my quickly lengthening blog links as well.

Creative Websites and Blogs

Here's a blog I found this morning and loved! (Warning..addictive may spend far more time here than you should.) These links aren't necessarily illustration links, but we all know that illustrators love things like this...
It's called The Soul of Hope-Paper Scissors Soul by Hope Wallace. She creates marvelous images in collage.
Here's another one. It's called Junk In Our Trunk and has a huge assortment of cool things to buy. It's where I found the Hope Wallace link.
I have some more links for later, but I have to do shopping (think of me as I wage the battle in the crowds of Wal-Mart..dodging waves of consumers grabbing for the last glue stick and trendy folder....)

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

More Scratchboard stuff

I didn't get any artwork done today, but I did get the important things done in my life as a mom and wife. I also finished a long overdue writing assignment. (oh the guilt at being so overdue, but it'll be in the mail tomorrow.)
Here's a scratchboard image I created ages ago. I have a revived interest in the medium lately, which has strengthened with the book I just got. Parts of the image got cut off, since the original is about 14 inches long. This is from a photocopy of it.
Check out Mark Summers work. It's well recognized, and simply amazing.
I tried to find links for three other amazing scratchboard illustrators in the book I have, but there are few or no online links for them. Oh well.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Some More Kid's Books, illustrators, Online newsletters, etc.

Here are a few more books I found at the library today. Adam Rex has illustrated another one called Ste-e-e-e-emboat A-Comin' written by Jill Esbaum. Check out Rex's website. It's very funny. The illustrations in this steamboat are fantastic, reminiscent of Norman Rockwell. He illustrated The Dirty Cowboy too, which may have been his first children's book. It was written by Amy Timberlake, and was also her first book. It's a funny one.
I also found a book called Someone Bigger by Jonathan Emmett illustrated by Adrian Reynolds. This was the best website I could find to show his work. He also illustrated the series Harry and the Dinosaurs.
This is not necessarily related to kid's books, but I'm sticking it in here anyway. It came up on a children's writing list and I decided to post it here as well, for anyone who may be interested. It's an online newsletter for kid's toy trends. There are fascinating items here from time to time. It's called The Big Blue Dot. You can sign up for a free bi-weekly newsletter that tracks kid's toy trends.
On another tangent, I've been listening to Salvadore's CD So Natural. I love it. Some compare the sound to a cross between The Gypsy Kings (one of my favorite groups) and Chicago. I think there's also a tinge of The Dooby Brother sound to it, or The Miami Sound Machine. I don't know what exactly, but it's a Christian group with immense talent, amazing energy, joy and power.
I received my Scratchboard book (Scratchboard for Illustration by Ruth Lozner) in the mail today (along with a pile of magazines, bills and letters after a week away. The book is just what I wanted, even with it's few cover tears and worn marks. Now I need to get some good board to do the scratchboarding on. I've had a sheet of it for years, but it's not the same as the thicker scratchboard surface is.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Back from Vacation!

I'm finally back from a wonderful trip!
In all the scurrying to leave, I never posted here to say I'd be gone for a week. Oh well.
We had a terrific time. I'll write more tomorrow.
Meanwhile here are two bracelets I made today in the car, on the ride back from Georgia (second half of the trip home.)

Friday, August 05, 2005

Maurice Sendak, Costumes and other Cachibachis

On the yahoo illustrator's list the topic came up about the Maurice Sendak exhibit going on in
The Jewish Museum in NYC. I wish I could have gone. As well as being an illustrator, Sendak designs costumes for theatre. Can you imagine wearing one of his costumes? What a treat!
As I thought of Sendak and his costumes, I remembered this costume website from years back. It's called The Costumer's Manifesto (beware...very addicting topic and website..if you're anything like me, this may bring you off into another area that you wish to learn more about) I had been searching the net for reference material for illustrations years ago, and found the site. The links and techniques are of the type that can draw you in forever.
On another tangent..somewhat related (can you tell I suffer from some ADD? sorry)
I wanted to recommend if you're ever watching DVDs of Disney movies, check out the extras. The other day we watched Pirates of the Caribbean. The extras showed a whole section on the costuming, and how the costumes were aged by turning them in a cement mixer with bricks! They also showed wonderful sections on how they learned the sword-fighting techniques and choreography with a master sword fighter from the days of Erol Flynn. Many of the Animated Disney films have extras showing how they drew the characters and came up with the designs and ideas, voices, etc. One of my favorite DVDs for the extras on the animation and production of the movie was Stewart Little (I think it was #2) Wow. Amazing stuff. Rent it and watch.
There....I'm off of that costuming, theatre, animation tangent, but wanted to encourage anyone who hasn't checked out those DVD extras to do so. It's like a mini education in the behind the scenes of animation. It's also a great source for reference material in illustrating! DVDs can be put right in the computer in order to get some good action shots, underwater scenes, space scenes, unusual animals, kids, backdrops, historical or cultural situations that aren't easy to find info on, to use for reference when illustrating certain topics.

Musings of a textile itinerant

Musings of a textile itinerant
If you like textiles, check out this site.

Here's some more children's illustrators and books to look at. I found one called Where Have You Been? By Margaret Wise Brown, illustrated by two of my favorite illustrators, Leo and Diane Dillon. I wish they had a website. It's hard to find info about them online. I've listed some here on the blog in the past. Their work is incredible.
Another gorgeous book is Each Living Thing by Joanne Ryder. The Illustrations are beautiful..done by Ashley Wolff. I love her style. She illustrated the Miss Bindergarten series too.
I checked out The Frog Prince illustrated by Binette Schroeder. What a unique style she has. What caught my eye was how she divided up some of the pages and action by using shading, rather than making several spot images on one page. An interesting technique in the page design. It's a great technique to remember.
..sorry..most of the links were in German, and the images were small and only showed one illustration on each one, so I didn't bother adding any here.
Another book that attracted me was The Road to Mumbai by Ruth Jeyaveeran. (sorry..couldn't find good links with images of her work either. This is the only one I could find with an image of her work, and it's fairly dark.) I don't know why there aren't more links with the illustrations of the author/illustrators books online. I loved the colors in her work, and the humor and culture of Mumbai. She's got to be one fun lady.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Why Not Art

Why Not Art
Check out this blog. Cindy's art, links and posts are fascinating.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Pen and Ink/Scratchboard Books and Links

I ordered a book I've wanted for a long time. It's Ruth Lozner's Scratchboard for Illustration. To me, it's a classic book about Scratchboard.
Check out Noli Novak's stipple pen and ink portraits. Don't miss her collage work while you're there.
Here's something different...ballpoint pen portraits. Beautiful work by Dave Archambault.
Here's a link to a bunch of pen and ink tutorials and galleries. I still haven't searched it all, but it looks promising.
Here's a website full of tutorials for all sorts of drawing, including scratchboard.
Michael Halbert's work is incredible. I've posted it on the blog before, but can't resist posting his scratchboard tutorials again.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Art Blog Things

Here are some blogs and links I've found recently for those interested in art blogs, whether it's to add your own blog to their lists, or look for other artist's blogs.
You can add your art blog to The Art List.
Here's one called Lots of fun...
OK. This one isn't a specific blog about art, but the handmade cloth dolls made by Mimi Kirchner are wonderful.
I can't resist this one, called Wabi Sabi Threads, thoughts on dollmaking, fiber arts and creativity.
I got Betty Edward's book on Color out of the library. I need to buy it.
I also got How to draw Manga Animals by Hikaru Hayashi. I think I may buy it. It's beautifully illustrated. (not that I need any more books) I already bought Color Choices-Making Color Sense Out of Color Theory, by Stephen Quiller. I highly recommend it. I wish I had three times the number of hours in a day to study and work on all that I'd like to do in art, color, drawing, painting, creating, learning, taking art classes, more oil painting classes, and so much more. Being an artist is such a gift. I think no matter how old an artist grows, there's never boredom. There's so much to learn.

Monday, August 01, 2005

August Already?

I can't believe it's already August. I'm squeezing as much out of each day I can this Summer. It seems to pass in the blink of an eye, and I always cry when school starts in the Fall.
If you haven't walked barefoot in some soft newly mown grass yet this Summer, do it. It's very therapeutic. I walked barefoot in the grass last night, listening to the crickets, bullfrogs, (neighbors roosters joined in) and watching the fireflies. It's magical.
I'm determined not to grow up too much. Walking barefoot helps to keep a child-like mindset.
I've been reading Search for Belle Prater. It's wonderful.
I'm still reading Artemis Fowl. My problem is that I read several books at once, which is why I'm still reading that one. I also finished The Rule of Four, while travelling on the train from Maine. (read the whole book in one day). It was a good read, although some parts grated on me, while others were very lyrical.
Only three pages left to go for my book dummy. I can't wait to get it totally done and rethink portions of it.
Here's a website I found today called Layers of Meaning. It features wonderful textile art and artists.
Another one is Black Sheep Designs. It features felting techniques. I was searching for these for someone else, and loved them.
More later.