Monday, November 3, 2014

Explore More


"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." --Mark Twain.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Be Afraid. Be Very Afraid


In the spirit of Halloween, I offer this harrowing household hint: you know that tray at the bottom of your toaster that catches crumbs? The aptly named "crumb tray"? Well, apparently if you don't empty it for, say, two years, this is interpreted in the mouse world as a free all-you-can-eat buffet.

The other night, I stepped into our kitchen and flipped on the light just in time to see a mouse butt and tail disappear into our toaster. That's right. A MOUSE. In our TOASTER. If I happened to be carrying a pumpkin bucket full of candy at the time, you can BET it would have been flung. Really flung.

Without going into too much detail about the resultant trauma, let's just say that when it came time to sit down and come up with an idea for promotional Halloween art, a scary image jumped to mind. So here's wishing you a Halloween filled with monsters, not mice.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Back to School!

(click to enlarge)
The assignment from my rep, Nicole Tugeau, was to create promo art under the theme "back to cruel," depicting the less than positive aspects of returning to school. But this also depicts my memories of mealtimes with my two sons when they were little. There was a period of about six months when they would get so silly and so gross, we scarcely made it through a dinner without having to send one or the other away from the table. As parents, we felt obliged to civilize them, but in truth, they were often hilarious. Still are, though not nearly as gross any more.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Sketchbook Skool

It's been a lovely summer, made lovelier by a class I discovered. Knowing that I was going to be working on some less-than-exciting educational illustrations this summer, I was happy to learn from fellow PBAAer Betsy James about a fun sounding on-line course from Danny Gregory, who I've always liked. Danny and several other artists have created Sketchbook Skool, which offers three courses. I took the "Beginnings" course, hoping that it would keep me from burning out on drawing, and I'm happy to report that it worked! The six week course challenged me to break out of my comfort zone and draw IN PUBLIC! In front of STRANGERS!

Each week introduces a different instructor with a different method or focus. I especially enjoyed Tommy Kane, but they were all really good. I have a pretty cool sketchbook to show for my efforts, and I can keep referring back to the videos and transcripts, which are accessible forever once you take the class. (Klass?) Next, I think I'm going to try Storytelling. Never stop learning, that's the ticket!

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Happy Father's Day!

Photo booths have always been a favorite past time for my husband and our kids, beginning when our first born was just a wee toddler and continuing to the present, though it's much harder for us to all cram into a booth these days. I treasure those photos more than almost any others in our collection.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Playing with Watercolor Pencils

I've been playing around with some watersoluble colored pencils lately, just starting the day with a quick sketch from imagination. Kinda fun!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Children's Book Week

Yesterday marked the beginning of Children's Book Week, established way back in 1919.

When I was painting this picture, I flashed back to when my sons were small enough to fit in a wagon together. About once a week during the summer, I'd take them to the library in the wagon and let them pick out a few picture books. Then they'd play with the puppets or the computers while I picked out a bunch more for them.

When we arrived back home, I'd dump out the bag and let them look over all the books while I made lunch. It was a rare silent spell, with only the sound of turning pages as they pored over all the books, reading the pictures. Those were very happy days.

Books offer a gift that's all too rare these days -- a chance to slow down time.