On a fiercely foggy night Lucy groped for her cabin door. She thought she'd found it and stepped inside, only to find herself in midair on a slow drop into the sea. Before she began to sink she called out to her parents onboard.... "Bummer!"
Here is another page of Holiday Gift Tags to download. Click on the image for the larger size then either drag the image to your desktop or right click to download. I print mine on heavy card stock and then cut apart.
Here is a collection of downloadable gift tags for your Holiday enjoyment. Click on the image to see the full size image and then either drag to your desktop or right click to download. Once printed you can choose to color the outlined ones or leave them plain. There are six tags here. There is plenty of space on the back for you to write a to and a from and a message of hope and love.
Working on a new dummy... but slowly. This one is going to take a while and has already been going on for quite some time. Little by little things get done, and I am usually happy with the results. Who knows if this will become a book, but for now, it is taking up the prime space in my studio.
You have permission to download and print them. Then cut apart to make your very own Holiday/Winter Mural. You can paste or glue them onto larger paper or use a brown paper bag that you cut apart into one long sheet if you don't have a huge sheet of paper. These even look good marching arcross an old newspaper; Recyling is good *:)
To Download click on the image to see a larger version then right click on the larger one and download. OR click on the image and once the larger one opens in Blogger, just drag it to your desktop to save and print.
I ordered the seasonal mailers today. They will be here in time for mailing to select publishers and a few friends. Henry was kind enough to pose for both the front and the backside. He does get along with cats, but there are limits to his patience.
Sometimes during the holidays there are those days that the weather is really not that great outdoors.
When that time comes, and the holidays are close at hand, it is fun to make these great little angel decorations.
They don't need to be angels, they can be snowmen, or cookie cutter people or critters.
Here is the recipe for CLAY DOUGH you can bake. If you cannot see it clearly, click on it to enlarge the image.
Sometimes if your dough gets too dry, just wet your own hands a little bit and knead the dough some more to soften it. I keep it covered while I work. Using a damp paper towel works well.
These are fun to make and can be hung on a Christmas tree or in a window.
The continued adventures of Dilly the Pickle loving rat, by Rena Jones is a heartwarming and humorous romp through an alphabet of possible new friends. His final choice will lead him right into a new story I am sure.
Another new book, Sammy the Shivering Snowblower, really hit home with me. Living in the northern New England area we are used to snow and having any kind of help removing the mountains of the white stuff is key to getting where you want to go. Sammy's story is written beautifully by Mike McNair. He has a flair for humor and pairs that with a genuine care for feelings that we all share.
My basic problem was finding just the right kind of representation for Sammy. The final cover shows poor Sammy shivering away in the snow. I ended up using our own snowblower as a model of sorts *:)
Both of these books are available on the 4RV Publishing site. There is a sale going on until Dec. 5.
I wanted to take some time to thank all who post here for their kind words and encouragement. The past 7 years have been very busy for me. I left my day job, moved to northern New England with my husband and have been illustrating books full time since then. In that time I have met many wonderful artists, designers, and friends through the internet and in our new community.
Seeing your posts and comments is very heartwarming to me as I strive to perfect the craft of creating meaningful illustrations for children's books. I want to thank all who follow this blog and all those who find me on facebook, twitter, and Linked In. Sometimes, things get a bit busy and I don't have too much time to post, but when I can I enjoy sharing what I do.
Hopefully I will have more surprises to offer in the way of children's books and illustrations. If your vocation is making art, it is a life long event *:)
I am also riding around with one of these car magnets on each side of my car. I have no idea what people will think, but I am hoping someone will be interested enough to take a closer look. When they are retired from my car, they will go on our fridge *:)
Just as the last leaves fall, a mother bear leads her cubs to the den she has carefully chosen.
Winter is coming and the reluctant cubs are nudged gently to their safe haven.
This new layout I used earlier is an experiment. I may want to change to it at some point but not just yet. I wanted to keep my link lists, and be able to change the background color. Those elements are not available for the newer template design. Hopefully blogger will address that issue in the near future.
This summer I painted a number of oversized posters for the children's summer theater camp in our town.This is a study for one of the posters. If I was still doing silk screening this would be a perfect piece for that medium.
This week I decided to take the plunge and add a showcase of sorts to my Children's Illustrators portfolio site. As part of the Talent pool I am pleased to feature Gunther the Underwater Elephant as a lead in to my portfolio. I updated the portfolio portion with some of the images from the book that I am allowed to display.
This is my week on the Talent Pool of Children's Illustrators. I chose to feature, (who else?) Gunther the Underwater Elephant as the main event. The Talent Pool is designed to show off the many illustrators that are featured on Children's Illustrators' portfolio website. The illustrators choose a week and reserve it with a small fee. The idea is hoped to generate interest in the artist for future assignments.
Gunther is special for me because it is the first of several books I have not only illustrated but written as well. Others are in the wind, or wings, waiting to be launched over the next few years.
There will be bears, and witches, and pigs, Oh MY!
When Gunther the baby elephant finds out that he can float along underwater he is delighted.
With his trunk held up like a snorkel he floats along happily. Perhaps he should have paid attention because trouble finds him too quickly. How he solves his problem and saves the day will have you laughing. Gunther has a big surprise in store for anyone who tries to mess up his day.
Gunther the Underwater Elephant will be released in mid September. More details will be coming soon.
This is a story that I began writing when my children were all at home. I was working full time and had only the kitchen table to draw and paint on, only the kitchen walls to hang the finishes on, and only a few willing publishers in NYC to visit in person. At that time there were "OPEN WEDNESDAYS" at several houses. Anyone could wander in with a portfolio and be seen by an editor. One particularly generous editor looked at the paintings, which were pen, ink and watercolor and asked me: "Do you know how to do a Color Separation?" I tried for weeks after that to master color separations on tracing paper and acetate, but failed miserably at the technique.
Gunther's paintings and story were shoved into a folder and it was another year or two before I began working on his story. Then the children grew, games and plays, and college trips took precedence and Gunther sat and waited. Eventually we moved north from the NYC metro area to NH. By this time I had actually illustrated several small books and stories for other authors.
Having left my day job and finding our new home had the extra "ROOM" I needed I dived back into my passion of illustrating for children's books. I joined SCBWI, paid my dues, bought the yearly copies of The Children's Writer's and Illustrator's Market and embarked on a full time illustrating career. Might I add ... very late in life. But my mom always said I was a late bloomer. ( But as you may know, sometimes those final flowers bloom the brightest.)
This fall, after many revisions and many words removed, changed, and even some new ones added, Gunther's story is now complete, with my illustrations, and will be released by that "wonderful little publishing company that could"... 4RV Publishing LLC in Edmond Oklahoma.
How long was that journey? What is my point in telling you all this? It took more than 20 years from that first drawing and story to get to this point. There are so many artists and authors who are disappointed with those early rejections. All I have to say is you MUST keep trying if you believe in your work.
Gunther the Underwater Elephant will be released mid September of this year. I will announce his launch with pride and a collection of give-aways, take-aways, and personally signed posters. For those who buy the book and cannot attend a book signing, I will prepare a personally signed bookplate for your book. My fondest hope is that you will love little Gunther just as much as I do *:)
Now this is swell and sweller. My first book as author/illustrator is due out in mid September. And it definitely includes a SWELL..... a swell of waves from page to page to page.
Gunther the Underwater Elephant is coming to an ocean near you very soon. Published by 4RV Publishing LLC in Edmond, OK the adventure follows a baby elephant from his jungle home into an ocean of trouble.
I will be able to share more in a few weeks and hope you will find a space for little Gunther on your bookshelf.
Not to far from my in-home studio is a piece of heaven called the Friendly Farm. Farmer Bruce Fox and his family care for the animals who are lucky enough to be residents in a sprawling country setting. For me, as an illustrator, any visit to the farm is an opportunity to gather information for the books I am honored to be assigned.
Open from late May until Labor day and then on weekends until mid September the farm hosts a variety of loveable animals. This is the perfect spot on a summer day to photograph or sketch the many friendly creatures. No matter how many art books, nature catalogs, google searches, one may have there is still nothing like the real thing.
At the end of a slightly up hill trail is a welcome bench. This is the perfect spot to sit and sketch the piglets and their huge mama. The close observation of ears, hooves and noses is something I wanted to study in particular. Now I have to figure out if I can turn a piggy into a boar.
Researching animals online or in the library is never quite the same as being face to face with pigs, goats, geese, horses, chickens, sheep and a scattering of happy children and adults.
If you forget to by a bag of feed at the entrance, you can find a quarter machine near the hungry geese. I bribed them with a bit of corn to get some needed photos.
Along the pathways one can find chickens....all kinds, colors and sizes.
If you have a bag of feed in your hand, the goats will obligingly follow your all along their fence. The more industrious ones will find a way through the wire mesh and try to grab your bag of feed.
Sheep...same thing here, except that we are allowed to walk among the sheep. They seem to be less forward than the goats.
A beautiful horse was just getting some fresh hay along with two friends. These animals are fenced off while visitors are at the farm, but they are still close enough to sketch and photograph.
There under the canopy I spied a bull. I was not too keen on getting very close, however.
Farmer Fox's four sons help out with the feeding, the clean ups and the general care; Mr. Fox himself is always on hand with a smile, a wave and time to chat a bit.
I was in for a treat when one of his son's came to feed the llama. The llama posed so patiently I am sure he is used to having his picture taken time and time again.
As an illustrator for children's picture books and beyond, I find outings like this not only worth the time and mileage ( in this case not far at all) but necessary for the soul. Getting out of the studio is important for writers and illustrators . The change of scenery, the human and non human contact is refreshing.
Farmer Fox took a bit of time to pose for one last photo and we chatted about the fire that took place one winter not too long ago. Because the farm is right off Route 101 in Dublin, NH many people saw the fire and reported it right away. The damage was fixed and the farm is a good as new. If you are looking for something bright and beautiful, something warm and friendly, something inviting and inspiring, the Friendly Farm has it all.
Bruce Fox is also a teacher and has recently retired. I have a feeling after seeing him interacting with the people and the animals that he is going to wonder how he ever had time to go to work. His smile says it all! You are invited to visit and you will certainly find a friendly welcome. I am sure I will need to use him in an upcoming picture book.
If you live in the Dublin, Keene, Peterborough, Nashua, Jaffrey, Rindge, NH area be sure to visit. Bring a camera, a kid or two, or just your notebook. The farm will draw you in and bring you back time after time.