Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Monday, December 29, 2008


"Just between you, me and the lamp post......."

Under the umbrella of secrecy the three friends shared the latest news....

Saturday, December 27, 2008

That wonderful Feeling

This is how I feel right about now.
9days and 10 nights without power...then the phone was out for three more days... snow blowing and shoveling, treading gingerly on ice, serving my family over the holidays.... and now at least one day to rest before we begin the next week and a brand New Year.

Happiness and Peace to all.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Merry Christmas to All ~

In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be enrolled. This was the first enrollment, when Quirin'i-us was governor of Syria. And all went to be enrolled, each to his own city. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the city of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be enrolled with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child.

And while they were there, the time came for her to be delivered. And she gave birth to her first-born son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.

And in that region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with fear. And the angel said to them, "Be not afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy which will come to all the people; for to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a babe wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger." And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among men with whom he is pleased!"

- Luke 2:1-14

Sunday, December 21, 2008


THE POWER IS BACK! We are overjoyed and grateful to the crews that have worked so tirelessly to restore our electricity.

Friday, December 19, 2008


The VOICE of winter is a silent one. Rain that slowly turns to icy creations...snow that blankets the earth quickly and quietly.

The VOICES we are hearing in the tiny market down in the town, and in churches and on TV are still announcing that there are present outages in our area.
Our street and all those right around us and on up the mountainside are still without power for the 8th day in a row. When we talk to strangers we find everyone has a story, and yet the VOICES are cheerful as is the custom for this time of year. We are still operating on a small generator and we have some internet service from the satillite connection. That puts us in the category of very lucky as many people are still spending their days and nights in our middle school shleter.

So here for your winter enjoyment are scenes of the least up here in the Monadnock Mts. of NH.
The ice is now melted away, and we expect 10 " of snow to top of the small snowfall earlier this week.

People exist with woodstoves, fireplaces, generator, and that typical New England attitude. It seems like they can handle anything with a smile and an ability to rise to any occasion. We have only been here five winters, so we are novice to the challenges, but we are learning FAST.....

Be of good Cheer, Christmas is a few days away. Even in the dark, the light of this Holy season will shine.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Day SEVEN and counting...

Maybe you have heard... maybe not. There has been a HUGE and nasty ice storm in the New England area.  Our town was one of the hardest hit. That is what you get for living in one of the  most gorgeous mountainous areas in NH.  Here are two photos that were taken by residents of NH... My pix can't be uploaded because I am on such a limited amount of energy from our small generator. This is day seven without power.  

We are managing, but many are less fortunate and are still being sheltered day and night at our middle school.   I'll get back to blogging once the power returns... 

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

THEY'RE HERE *******

The book I illustrated for SHAMWARI PUBLISHING in South Africa is finally here. The inventive rhymes of Brettell Hone have created a newer view of some African animals that might otherwise be overlooked. A pair of trout, an African fly and a Wood Owl are just some of the characters for whom Brettell has created a story in rhyme. And to add to all that, this is a book that BOYS will enjoy very much. There is a bit of action, some surprise, some danger and lots of fun!

The books are available now at and you can take a sneak peek as some of the story here. Books are also available from Atlas Books.

I really enjoyed working with the author on this project. His lifelong association with these animals and his idyllic location in the Limpopo provence of South Africa have given him a unique perspective on the lives of these animals. The books were printed by IMAGO printing and I have to admit that although there were some ups and downs with the process the finished product is gorgeous. The colors are true and vivid and I am totally pleased with the outcome.

If you want the book directly from your bookstore, just ask for it and include the ISBN number which is:978-0-620-40992-6.

Friday, December 5, 2008


This Brother and Sister have a SIMILAR goal, but had a tough time getting the message out.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Another Version... Polar Mom ~ Polar Fleece

I often like to get up close to the subject... I may go even closer in another version.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

A little more Black and White

Sometimes you might wonder why your mail looks a little the worse for wear. It is the Holiday seasonal helpers, I am sure.

And I am also sure that some of the help has a distraction or two.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Polar Moms

When I am working on B&W line illustrations, as I am now for a new Chapter book, I often need to take a break by creating something in color.

Friday, November 28, 2008

When elephants go courting...

Always wear your very best when you go courting the ladies....


This is another one of those illustrations that had an earlier life. It is now part of my banner.

Before it looked like this it was a two part illustration. You see, Once you have the idea you still have to find something for the dog to do and you MUST keep the cat busy. Then everyone can pile into the big balloon with PBJ sandwiches, a jug of milk and some homemade chocolate chip cookies for an afternoon snack. Cat Nip is not allowed, but treats and dog biscuits are taken along.

So this, then, is the very first illustration of the trio with their pets off on an adventure...the map was a bit confusing, so they stayed aloft a bit longer than they expected, but still made it home in time for dinner.

Saturday, November 15, 2008


Did you ever PRETEND to be sound asleep once your parents tucked you into bed?

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


I always like to let my imagination take over when I am illustrating.  After all if you can think it or dream it you can illustrate it.  Well, most of the time.

This little guy was just asking for a place to be:

So I gave him a new home, with a bit of a twist.  I really love books, but my favorites have always been picture books.   So what if all the pictures decided to leave the books and look for new homes?  Yikes! What a predicament.

This is where little Jackson is now...waiting to meet some new friends.  

Friday, November 7, 2008


Ah, the owl is known to be wise, but our fast escaping mouse is wise as well. Too quick for the owl this night, he will scurry into his burrow and hide safely until morning. Now who is the wise one?
~ From the book I just finished illustrating, by Brettell Hone, "My African Bedtime Rhymes" published by Shamwari publishing in South Africa.~

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

The BugCatchers

Now that I am happy with this version there is a point where I started...
and I still like this one. It has a simplicity that is perfect for some types of stories. But it evolved a bit to this one next....
and this one is fun too, but it needed something and I also wanted to get a closer view of the children... so that is the first image on the top.

Saturday, November 1, 2008


~ Sometimes they would go to the VACANT lot to feed the ducks.  But when the bag of bread was VACANT the ducks would become impatient.  Because Ethan was so much smaller than Jennie he would cling to her for support and protection.    All would end well when the ducks grabbed the bread that fell instead of the tender fingers that had tried to feed them.

PS~   I am aware that this is a stretch of the subject, but I have been working on this one illustration for several days, and wanted it to 'fit.'  It is the fifth version of a much earlier work.  Sometimes when  you think you have a good image and look at it a year later you can see a new way to create the mood.  That is what happened with my old "duckpond" illustration.   I think I may have it where I want it, but who knows it may resurface again at some point.

So.... Kate asked about the original. This is it. It was okay, but I wanted to feature the children a bit more and create an Asian influence.

First I resketched the children and made them larger than in the first illustration.

Next I completely changed the background. I wanted it to be more parklike and even though I did try it with a city scape in the distance I liked the final version better.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Ooooooooo,...... On their way...

Witches and ghosties and cats OH My!!
Broom sticks are ready to take to the sky.
Scampering quickly on child like feet,
Get out your candy and give them a treat!

Friday, October 24, 2008


Henry Houndog needed a repair after jumping before looking. Chasing rabbits is great fun, but you need to watch out for sticker bushes when you are 'hunting.'

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Children dancing study

I have been experimenting with some groups of children and refining the irksome details. When I get them right I want to place them in a larger painting...if they cooperate.


I have been experimenting with some groups of children and refining the irksome details. When I get them right I want to place them in a larger painting...if they cooperate.

Changing times...

With the economy changing in many ways and directions, and with the children's book industry, bookstores, and others competing for attention from buyers, sellers, publishers and consumers, it is a good time to take a look at your portfolio if you are an illustrator. Wise words to this effect were posted by Kristi Valiant on the Picture Bookies Blog.

There is also an article there by Kate Rietz that you will find interesting.

At the same time that we spiced up the Picture Bookies blog, I decided to make some changes on this blog as well. The new banner image is a version of an illustration I am currently working on. Not complete as yet, I am enjoying the process.

More to SMILE about

We have something to SMILE about. All the new articles and postings on the Picture Bookies Blog. If you list Blogs to Follow, you might want to add this one to your following. The artists who contribute to this blog are all members of the Picture Bookies, a group of professional illustrator/authors dedicated to enriching the lives of children and adults through words and pictures.
With thanks to Sherry Rogers we have brightened up our blog with a new banner which will change "spots" from time to time.
Interesting articles, words to the wise, hints for productivity in an ever changing economic climate and just great art await you at the Picture Bookies Blog.

Saturday, October 18, 2008


My African Bedtime Rhymes, by Brettell Hone is now in print!
Very soon this book will be available in the US. Right now it is in the pre order stage, but I just read a really nice review and wanted to share it. The author of this book was raised in South Africa in the closest proximity to the animals he writes so effortlessly about. A rhyming story this book invites young and old(er) to enjoy the habits of some of Africa's well known and lesser known wildlife. You can read the review HERE.

Soon to follow this book is another, also by Brettell Hone,  THE BIG FIVE COME ALIVE, and I am just as excited about that one as it features some of the wildest creatures and is a challenge to illustrate but a joy as well.
I feel extremely fortunate to have been chosen for these exciting assignments.  I am sure that all illustrators understand the wonderful journey we take when we begin a new illustration project. The research always leads to new learning just as process that we use to create the illustrations always leads to new growth.

Friday, October 17, 2008


At this time of year it gets dark very early...better not be out too late!

Friday, October 10, 2008


I also have a STRING of books on my bookshelves. What do you have on yours? or, more to the point, what TYPE of books do you save. Take the fun POLL on the right of this blog and let your voice be heard.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008


If you ever wondered why they call them "HOUNDS" wonder no more.