Tuesday, April 28, 2009


Why do I do this... why do I illustrate? And why do you?

For me, Illustration isn't just an occupation. It is my passion. This is what I do because the characters that are living in my thoughts and dreams are begging to be noticed. The desire to draw, to paint, to write and to create art in any form gets me up and ready to start each day with a new idea.

I try to tell a little story in each illustration.

To investigate new ways to show these ideas in my artowrk I study nature, people, animals, books, and the artwork of many others who have inspired me through their work and dedication to that very special art form called the Picture Book.

But what about you? You are illustrators by the hundreds, and designers, and crafters. Are you in this because you love the process, the outcome...the journey?

Let others hear from you .... WHY?

Monday, April 27, 2009

Sunday, April 26, 2009

The best Hug!

Hugging your grandma is the very best.
She holds you close like a bird in a nest.
The gifts she brings will last a while
But the best of all is her great big smile
She's never too tired to play a game
She never has time to whine or complain
Her visits are short, that is for sure
And when she leaves you always want more!

©Ginger Nielson

Friday, April 24, 2009

evening sketch ... to painting

I guess I explained once before that I spend a lot of time in mindless sketching in the evening. Let's just call it, relaxing, rather than mindless *:) This is one from the sketchbook that I turned into a painting.


Thursday, April 23, 2009

Introducing Elliott

This is Elliott, a boy with an eye for adventure.
Who knows where he will go, and what he will find.
©Ginger Nielson 2009

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

EARTH DAY ~ 2009

I could write a thousand words of tribute to our beautiful planet, but I choose to say this in pictures.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

More Black and White...

Do you need or want an Artist/Illustrator Representative

As an illustrator there is always the question of whether or not you want to be represented by an agency. If you choose representation there are some important things to consider.

I believe that a good art agency representative can be beneficial to an illustrator, but I also believe that the illustrator has obligations to the agency and must be ready to make a commitment to honor his/her agency contract with a professional and accountable performace.

As in any group situation it helps to be a team player. In this case the team is the agent, the artist and the publisher/editor/designer.

Because I have chosen to be represented by an agency, there are certain obligations I have as an artist.

In addition to having a style of painting that I can call my own, I am willing to experiment and try new ways of interpreting the stories I am given to illustrate.

I am experienced with website creation and maintainence and keep my personal website up to date and refresh it frequently with new illustrations.

My work is professional and competitive with those of other children’s illustrators in the marketplace.

The work I do is appealing to adults and children and has received good reviews from editors, reviewers and the general public.

I have a number of published books to show for my continued dedication to this field.

My portfolio items, tearsheets, promo cards, business cards and flyers are easily duplicated and can be sent out just as easily.

In addition to that, I keep my portfolio current with my best work.

I actively seek critical review of my work.

I have placed a 1/2 page in the Picture Book annual for 2009. Belonging to an agency has the benefit of getting a discount on such advertising.

I create at least one promotional item for a mailing each quarter. These are postcards or flyers depending upon the type of market on which I am focusing.

In addition to my own website and blog I belong to four other online portfolio sites:
Children’s Illustrators, Picture Book, the Digital Artist and ARTSPACE 2000. Each of these charges a fee, which I consider a part of my professional obligation as an illustrator.

I am good with specs, follow directions, take suggestions and apply them to my work, accept criticism, and am always willing to accomodate the editor and art director with revisions.

I understand that although my agency can promote my work along with the others, it is up to me to provide the best art I can all the time.

And I am ready to do that.
If you are seeking an agent or ready to make the decision to have one are you ready to do this as well?

Monday, April 13, 2009

The Very Best Cake

This sketch is a preliminary study for something I am working on. The finished illustration will be a bit different, but I posted this just to say that it made me so hungry I have to go bake a cake.

I have been watching the FOOD network challenges and the cake challenges are the most amazing!

Sunday, April 12, 2009


There is a little backstory to this one. About 5 1/2 years ago I worked 9 to 5 in an office. My job included a lot of time on HOLD with providers, and while I was on hold I would begin a doodle of sorts. Some of these were large and created on my deskpad and took several weeks to become anything, but this is one that finally got colored in little by little with my pen and highlight markers that I used at work.

As the weeks passed each of the doodles I drew became more complex until they became a finished picture. I used them as calendar art and I think I did one almost every month. I saved a lot of these and they may show up now and then...either in their original form or something more refined.

Several years later after moving north to NH I unpacked the drawings and doodles from those "HOLD" times and this is one that I recreated as a painting in Painter IX.

The border of colored eggs at the top is an image hose I created of delft china eggs.

Friday, April 10, 2009


I have always been fascinated with the lovely homes in San Francisco. The tall apartments with their many windows present so many possibilities for invention.

Spring Cleaning..

It is time for some spring cleaning. Along with the huge clean up job we will have with the remains from our Dec.11 ice storm, and the chores in the house itself, there is the issue of online appearance.
Spring cleaning has migrated all the way to my website. As an illustrator it is necessary to keep things fresh and make some changes now and then. So, my WEBSITE has a newer fresher look. That includes some rather quriky work along with the more traditional. I think I would like to expand that newer, quirkier area along with the black and white over the next few months.

Take a look if you have time. Some of this may make you smile.

In addition to the refreshed website I have added one new page devoted to the professional illustrator's group of which I am a member. The Picture Bookies are a group of 8 dedicated children's book artists. While we will no longer maintain a full website for the group we do host an online blog as well as a SHOWCASE gallery for other professionals in the field. Since we are removing the website I will still feature a page on my website that can link viewers to the blog and showcase.

That page will link back to the blog and showcase, so that all the artists in our group can be represented.
They are a great group with enormous talent and all their individual blogs and websites are worth a visit.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

journal notes....

Sometimes I need to PAINT with real paint before I finish an illustration in the computer. In this case I used hot press illustration board to begin a sea scene for a project I am currently working on.

I like to be able to use my whole arm ( and soul) when I am painting and my sketches and preliminary paintings are usually done on a rather large scale. They will be reduced in the computer to the correct size for the project underway.
I used Dr. Martin's inks and some transparent acrylics for the first stage. Along with that combination I also used a house paint brush, a fan brush and some more conventional sable brushes.
After photographing the preliminary painting I transferred the image to my computer and completed it in Painter. The advantage for me is being able to get darker layers in place without having to wait a day for paint to dry.. and if I don't like a layer... I whisk it away.
In addition to transferring the painting to the computer I was able to stretch the entire image horizontally to accommodate the size I wanted to work with for this book.

If you look carefully you might be able to find two very recognizable constellations. Did you find them?

A Grand Re Opening ...

After a long hiatus the PICTURE BOOKIES SHOWCASE is reopening. We really look forward to welcoming everyone back.

The guidlines are a bit different this time in order to make it easier for participants to post and enjoy the gallery.

  • The artwork submitted must be geared to the CHILDREN'S BOOK ILLUSTRATION MARKET

  • The participants may post whenever they wish, and hopefully that will be often

  • There will be no weekly or monthly theme

  • There will be no comments

  • Each illustration should be labeled with a title or subject, illustrators name, website or blog, and the medium you used to create the work

An advantage of this showcase is that if you have no website or blog of your own, you can still get your work noticed on a professional site for free.

So why not go on over and check out the new Picture-Bookies Showcase!


Friday, April 3, 2009


"TIME" for Spring

I found a really sweet birdhouse in our forest. Trapped under vines and old beyond use, it inspired this painting. It looked so much like a little clock that I decided to reinvent it as one, with fresh new paint. Now it can welcome a new family with pride.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Winston Wednesday ~ CHAPTER X - HIC!!!

The newest chapter of Winston Wednesday is on Winston's blog.
Find out what is going on this week *:)