Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Friday, December 3, 2010


Snow! We haven't had any here this year - yet. But, it sure feels like it could happen any minute. Very cold here! Well, it is December. This is a section of a piece that I did years ago. I still like parts of it, but I'd like to do the whole of it over again. It's on the 'to do' list. Pretty long list this time of year. And for some reason, there's a big backlog right now. So much artwork I'd like to do! So many ideas, so little time. But that's a good thing, even though it doesn't feel like it sometimes. Sigh..... In the meantime, here's a little piece of my past. Happy winter!


I've just learned about an illustration site called Illustration Pages. IP is a wonderful resource that features the work of visual artists from around the world. I love seeing work that is new to me! There are interviews, articles and links to online stores, blogs, websites and Facebook Fan Pages. I learned about this site when they featured the the work of Juanita Martinez-Neal, a wonderful, imaginative, illustrator whose work you will not want to miss. You can follow Juanita on Facebook here. Visit her website here. And, you can follow Illustration Pages on Facebook here.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Illustration Friday - Spent

How I Spent My Time Last Week: Last week, the prompt for Illustration Friday was 'racing.' But, I spent the week working on some other artwork and didn't finish this piece in time to post. So, I spent last evening finishing 'racing' just in time to post.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Illustration Friday - Spooky

Something a little different for me! I didn't think I would be able to participate in IF this week. But, while I was in the waiting room for a doctor's appointment this morning I did the black and white drawing at the top of this post. I did it with a ball point pen on the back of a fairly small receipt that was in my purse. When I got home, I added a little color in Photoshop. I think I still like the black and white version best though. The inspiration for this drawing was my sweet little dog, Kappy. (So scary!) She won an award for her vampire costume at a fund raiser for a dog park last summer. That's my husband, Paul, who is also pretty sweet! I had this little vampire (Kappy) in mind when I did my spooky sketch at the doctor's office. As usual, I took some artistic license. Not my best work, that's for sure! But it was kind of fun and helped to pass the time. 

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Illustration Friday - Transportation

Ooohh! I'm dying to get some color back on this blog! Too bad it won't happen in time to post on Illustration Friday this week. In the meantime, here's my sketch for 'Transportation.' When I've finished this piece in color, I'll post it. I'm having a big debate with myself about the sky. Add some clouds? No clouds just some interesting color? I'll have to see how it evolves.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

One Lovely Surprise

I've been honored to receive this Lovely Blog Award from Michele, at The Mushroom Tender.  I love seeing what Michele comes up with each week for Illustration Friday. Her artwork is clever, fun and beautiful! Michele has a very fresh, lively style that I really admire. Every week brings a new visual surprise at The Mushroom Tender. And, because her posts are as clever as her artwork, Michele's blog is as much fun to read as it is to see. Thank you Michele!

I've promised to pass this award along. So, I've chosen some of the lovely blogs that I've "discovered" by participating in Illustration Friday. IF has been a great experience. Of course, there is the opportunity to see the work of other wonderful illustrators in the IF community. But, there is also the opportunity to leave and receive comments, to follow and be followed and to learn from all that is so generously shared. Thank you so much to everyone that has shared, everyone that has stopped by my blog to leave a comment, and everyone who has chosen to follow my blog! All is much appreciated!

Here is my list of lovely bloggers for you to enjoy:

My list, and this post, would not be complete if I didn't give a special thanks to K.H. Whitaker who was the first to welcome me to Illustration Friday and who has continued to stop by my blog (and many others) to leave kind comments and words of encouragement! You can see her lovely work at A Puddle of Crumbs. Thank you K.H. Whitaker!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Illustration Friday - Beneath

Hope springs eternal. Hoover waits patiently in hopes that a tidbit will land beneath the table. I'm not sure if this is a work in progress or a pretty tight sketch. I may keep it black and white and work on it some more. Or, maybe do a version in color. I'm sure Hoover will wait patiently for whatever I decide.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Illustration Friday - Old Fashioned

Agnes is a little old fashioned. And maybe a tad eccentric. I love her. Before I started doing Illustration Friday, I was doing something that I called After Hours Drawing. She started with a curved line on the page, one line led to another and next thing I knew...... Agnes! This week I combined the two - After Hours and Illustration Friday.  If you look to the left of my blog under labels, then click on After Hours Drawing, you can see all of my After Hours Drawings - so far. I should also add Agnes to the Characters page of my website. It's woefully in need of more participants.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Illustration Friday - Acrobat

This is Pierrot. I did a sketch of him awhile back. You can see my sketch below. He is an acrobat. Now he has a chance to perform for you.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Illustration Friday - Dessert

I did this illustration awhile ago. It was a sample for a lift the flap book by a very successful writer that I met at a conference. She was great! Her work was great! She asked if I might be willing to do a couple of samples for an unpublished manuscript to show to her editor. I said sure! Normally, I wouldn't do work on spec, but this was great fun. Unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately) I was very, very busy at that time with multiple deadlines. I loved doing a couple of pieces for her. I wish I could have done more. The manuscript was terrific!
I do like my newer work a bit better, but this was one of those weeks that I couldn't do a new piece. So, here is my illo called "Burp!"

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Illustration Friday Twofer - #2 - Atmosphere and Immovable

Once again, I have 2 illos this week. The top one is for last week's prompt - Atmosphere. My caption would be: The atmosphere was spooky, but the shadow was only from a potted plant.

This week's prompt is Immovable. For that, here's an old illo of mine.

This illustration was about a little boy who wouldn't budge.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Illustration Friday Twofer - Caged and Star Gazing

This week's Illustration Friday prompt is Star Gazing. I have a picture that fits that. Kind of. I've posted it below. I really wanted to do last week's prompt which was Caged, but didn't have time to finish it then. So, here's my illo for Caged, above. I'm trying to achieve a few things in this piece - softer edges, a feeling of atmosphere and a strong sense of light.

The illustration that I am posting for Star Gazing (below) is one a did awhile back.
It was for a fundraiser for "Powered by Girl." You can read more about it here.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Illustration Friday - Giant

I am breaking my self imposed rule about always doing something new for IF. This is an old piece that has been on my website for a long time. But, maybe it's true that rules are meant to be broken - especially self imposed rules. I won't be able to produce new art for IF for a few weeks because of work and family obligations. So, at least I can participate with this 'not brand new' piece.

This is an illustration inspired by the manuscript of a close friend, Diane Mayr. You can learn about Diane and her books here. I highly recommend checking out her other blogs such as Random Noodling.
Ah well, this illustration may be old to me, but new to some of you.
And the other good thing --- for once, I'm not posting at (or even after) the last possible minute!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Illustration Friday - Paisley

What does this have to do with Paisley? Well, once again, I didn't want to illustrate the first thing that came to mind - the paisley pattern. This wasn't because I was going out of my way to be different. I just didn't particularly want to draw that pattern. So, I took a little cyber trip to see if anything else related to paisley sparked my imagination. It worked! It turns out there is a town of Paisley in Scotland. One thing led to another and I found myself looking at this site. When I saw the red light on that castle, that was it. Of course, I couldn't just copy the photo, so I made up my own glowing castle. But, is it a castle? A fortress? A shrine? Was it built to keep intruders out or to keep it's occupants in? For IF, I like trying to do illustrations that raise questions.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

IF - Ripple

This week's theme for Illustration Friday is Ripple. This special theme is a collaboration with illustrator Kelly Light's Ripple blog. The project was created to raise funds for wildlife in the Gulf of Mexico.Every penny of the funds raised will go to The Institute for Marine Mammal Studies and The International Bird Rescue Research Center.
We were asked to consider doing a piece of artwork that is 2.5 inches x 3.5 inches. So, these are the dimensions of my piece. (The smallest I've ever done!) I've learned a lot recently about the importance of the wetlands of Louisiana that is a breeding ground for so many aquatic species and also serves as a barrier of protection from hurricanes. I'm stunned by the beauty of this unique and important area and fear for it's loss.
The piece is done with acrylic and colored pencil on 100% rag paper.
To learn more about the Ripple project and how to purchase artwork, please visit the Ripple blog.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Illustration Friday - Trail

When I started this theme, I wanted most to show ambivalence about which trail to follow. I didn't want to do a fork in the trail in the woods. So, I allowed myself some liberty and this is where my imagination led me.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Illustration Friday - Equipment

Coming in barely under the wire again for Illustration Friday. One of these weeks, maybe I'll be able to post something earlier. This will soon disappear into the archives on the Illustration Friday site. But, I'm enjoying building up some new work. The IF deadline is helpful.
The time to post was running out, but I think I'll work on this sky some more.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Tilbury House, Publishers - Powered by Girl Exhibit

Tilbury House, Powered by Girl Exhibit

Tilbury House, Publishers is sponsoring an exhibit of children's book art to benefit Powered by Girl. Tilbury House describes the project as "a campaign from Hardy Girls Healthy Women (www.hghw.org) designed to educate teen girls about the impact of media on their lives and empower them to use their creativity, wit, and individuality to make a difference." On May 24, in New York City, Tilbury House will host an evening to celebrate strong girls and diversity, with inspiring speakers, interactive art exhibits, music, and more. Sales of the artwork will benefit Powered by Girl. The exhibit will coincide with BookExpo America.
The challenge to illustrators: "Create a kid-sized work of art, as if you are illustrating a page for a children's book about your own life. A self portrait (of you now, or as a kid)? Sketch of your studio? Scene from a favorite memory?
So, here are the two pieces that I am submitting for this exhibit. Not self portraits, to be sure. I see these two pieces as more of an amalgam of the themes of the exhibit.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Illustration Friday - Cocoon

Ema wished she could wrap herself in a cocoon when her parents argued.
This was done in acrylic and colored pencil.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

After Hours Drawing - The Report Wasn't Good

Sometimes in the late hours of the evening, our fears and anxieties rise to the top. This is another After Hours Drawing that seemed to flow from my mind to my hand with very little effort.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Illustration Friday - Linked

This is the first time I've tried Illustration Friday. I've enjoyed looking at the other illustrations. Some great stuff there! Finally, I decided to give it a try. This certainly isn't a typical piece for me. Another experiment with technique. I tried using Caran d'Ache Neocolor painting crayons - the water soluble kind. I've used them before in combination with colored pencil. In that case, they had to go on top of the pencil and are really good for highlights, emphasis, etc. And, I didn't use water. This piece is done with the painting crayons only and with water. So, I got a much better feel of how these things are truly meant to be used. This won't be a portfolio piece, just a fun little experiment. But, I will definitely be using this technique in the future, perhaps combined with oil or alkyds. I really do love these painting crayons. Caran d'Ache has one of the most beautiful websites I've ever seen. If you'd like a peak, you can check it out here. So beautiful!

Monday, April 5, 2010

The extreme coolness of cooliris

I made myself a new website recently and wanted to include a slideshow. I'm extremely happy that I discovered cooliris! It's not just cool, I think it's deliciously, stunningly beautiful. But then, that's part of the coolness, of course! Not only could I create my own wall of images that can be seen full screen, I can now view a vast amount of visual web content through the elegant, luxurious eye of cooliris. For example, I can browse Bing, Flickr, Picasa, Google Images or Facebook photos on a cooliris wall in full screen mode. It's excellent for photo reference research for illustrators, as you might imagine!
What you see above is just a tiny glimpse of cooliris. To experience the full screen effect, you'll need to do a small download from their site. Once you do the download, a tiny icon will appear, automatically on your menu bar. And the cooliris icon will appear on visual web content as you view it. You can use cooliris by clicking the tiny icon or ignore it if you prefer to skip it that particular time.. If you do the download, you will also have the ability to adjust your personal viewing settings such as the angle of the wall, the number of columns, and the speed of slideshows. It's a beautiful thing!
Even with the mini version above, and without the download, you can still have a pretty nice little slideshow. Try clicking on a single image above. The image will come to the forefront. Then click the slideshow icon in the center on the bottom. Nice! You can use the forward or back buttons, but it's kind of a bumpy ride, in this small version. The blue button in the center is a quick way to navigate, but can make you whoozy in this small version too. All the more reason to do the download! Gives you more control. Obviously, I'm besotted with cooliris - not even slightly objective, but I hope and suspect you may love it too!
If you are interested in creating your own wall in cooliris, you'll first need to upload your content to a site such as Picasa, Flickr or Facebook. The options are listed on the cooliris site. Once you have your images up, you can follow the step by step instructions on the cooliris site here and then embed your slideshow on your website or blog - or both! Or, just enjoy the enhanced visual experience of cooliris for web browsing extraordinaire!

Friday, April 2, 2010

After Hours Drawing - Pierrot's Magic Sphere

Something a bit different. But that is, after all, the purpose of After Hours Drawing for me - to be free to stretch my characters and experiment with style. In this case, the character stretching is, obviously, somewhat literal. The character of Pierrot is very intriguing to me. This drawing started with the nose. Just the nose. It all seemed to flow from that long, exaggerated, elegant nose. Pierrot emerged. I think there are some problems with this drawing that could be resolved with color. I'll let you come to your own conclusions about that. For me? I might have to take it to color and see what happens!

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

I've Been Honored.........

I'm very honored to have this award, bestowed by my friend and fellow illustrator Susan Miller. Thank you, Susan!

Here are the rules for this award...
1) Thank the person who gave you this award.
2) Share 7 things about yourself.
3) Pass the award along to 5 bloggers who you have recently discovered and you think are fantastic!
4) Contact the bloggers you've picked and let them know about the award.

Here are 7 things about me:
1) I love Pearl Jam, Puccini, Vivaldi, and Bagpipe music.
2) Browsing used book stores is a favorite hobby - I buy too many!
3) My husband and daughter are still surprised by things I do sometimes. To be honest, so am I.
4) I love taking day trips with my husband and my dog.
5) I'm tall.
6) My collection of Italian soap is fantastic and growing!
7) My daughter lives nearby - I love her like crazy and I'm very lucky!

Here are my top 5 blog picks:

Susan Miller's blog Behind the Pencil, is fresh and fun with lovely artwork and beautiful craft projects.

Judith Moffatt's blog, Ms. Moffatt's Blog is full of her wonderful artwork, photos of her dog Lula Belle (my dog's best buddy!) and clever craft projects too!

Diane Mayr's blog, Random Noodling, is often beautiful, always smart, entertaining and a joy to read. Diane describes herself as "a children's writer, haiku nut, librarian, and lover of noodles."

Laura Jacobsen's blog, Laura Jacobsen Illustration, showcases Laura's beautiful artwork as well as her insiteful, wry and humorous writing. I love her voice!

I always enjoy Paula Pertile's blog, Drawing a Fine Line. Paula has a great sense of humor which shines along with her lovely artwork. She's good at posting newsworthy things for illustrators as well as entertaining things about her life and art.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

After Hours Drawing - Big Brother Dragon

An adolescent dragon, big brother to the baby below. Maybe someday I'll put these two together in a drawing. Maybe not. The baby below has more energy, but this guy's got some character.... I think.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

After Hours Drawing - It's Hatched!

"Spring has sprung, the grass has ris, I wonder where the flowers is." I think I heard that in Junior High.

Well, no flowers around here yet, but...... something has hatched!

Friday, February 26, 2010

About Licensing

Well, it's an image about licensing anyway. It's a portion of an image that will, eventually, be on a website page of licensing images. This is all in the works - amongst other things in the works. Never enough hours in the day for an illustrator!
I've always loved pattern and borders, so developing licensing images feels natural to me. Licensing imagery and illustration are like different flavors, I think. Licensing tends to be decorative, while illustration is narrative. Different flavors of artwork. And, if done well, it's all a feast for the eyes.
My friend and fellow illustrator, Paula Pertile, has just done a very informative blog post about licensing on her excellent blog, Drawing a Fine Line. Thank you for sharing all this information, Paula!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

After Hours Drawing - Running Man

So .... this sketch a day, sketch a week thing isn't good for me.... or I'm not so good at it.... so far. Life is too unpredicable lately. The best I seem to be able to commit to is - sketch when I get to it. So, I've decided to call it "After Hours Drawing." Speaks for itself, I hope. To me, this means drawing in any style, any way, any how, depending on how I feel at any given moment. Who knows what will come out of my pencil? It's a good thing. This one started with a glance at a photo, in a magazine, of a guy jogging. He was a model - generic, hooded sweatshirt, blah, blah, blah. Not much drama there. Somehow or other, my drawing came out like this. Some sort of PO'd Walter Mitty thing going on here......... I think.
So, I just Googled Walter Mitty. The American Heritage Dictionary defines a Walter Mitty as "an ordinary, often ineffectual person who indulges in fantastic daydreams of personal triumphs". Yeah! That's IT! Definitely a Walter Mitty thing, complete with the frustration of being ineffectual.
Sigh, Sad.
The original Walter Mitty was a fictional character in James Thurber's story, "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty."

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Let the Celebration Continue!

OK. It's an extremely belated holiday card. I knew it wouldn't be done until after the holiday season, but I decided to share it anyway. Another image to add to my licensing collection.

Monday, January 4, 2010

After Hours Drawing - Some Guy on TV

As part of my New Year's resolution to produce, produce, produce! - I bring you the first in my series, "Sketch a Day"....or "Sketch a Week," or "Sketch Whenever I Get Around to It." (I guess the last option kind of defeats the purpose, but.... hey! It's a start!) This was last night after I was tired of working on my unfinished post Holiday Holiday card. It's called, "SOME GUY ON TV" Actually, it looks absolutely nothing like the guy on TV, but to me, that's not the point. The point is.... uh.... OH! Yes! The point is to draw, draw, draw! I'm not particularly concerned about likenesses. In fact, I prefer non-likenesses. The guy on TV was just a jumping off point. I jumped off of his hair. Just a glimpse and then ---- see what happens on the page. Let it go wherever it goes. Preferably, NOT in the same old direction. We'll see........ Maybe next time, I'll jump off a nose, an eyelid, or a pose. Characters - it's all about new characters. Whatever catches my eye and whatever I think MIGHT lead in a little different direction. It's really ALL about challenging myself.