Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Holiday Postcards

The holiday promo cards are in the mail! If I missed you, please shoot me an email or a text - NO, just kidding on the text, I do NOT have text messaging on my cell phone. Text messaging is the theme of this year's holiday card. Texting has become a common form of communication... especially for kids!
This year's card illustrates how technically savvy today's
kids are ... why, even Santa can't surprise them on Christmas Eve.!
At the first sight of St. Nick, a text is sent ...

Wishing all my blog friends a Happy Holiday and Best Wishes to all for 2009!
PS -I've had a LOT of trouble with people taking art off the blog and using it on their sites. Please respect the © Thanks!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Thanksgiving SNOW!

With a blast of cold air and just the right conditions we got SNOW in Indiana.
Not just any snow ... the perfect packing snow needed to build a Snowy Bird Feeder, a craft I wrote & illustrated in this month's (December) issue of Highlights For Children Magazine. Check it out on page 38 and build a holiday feast for your feathered friends!

PS - All our pie tins were filled with (pumpkin, apple & cherry) pie so I improvised by using aluminum foil to line the feeder- keeping the bird seed dry and safe.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Highlights Illustrators' Party 2008

I was honored to once again to be invited to the Highlights Illustrators' Party 2008! This year's theme was the Enchanted Forest. Here is the invitation with a stunning illustration by John Sandford.

It's a weekend filled with face-to-face fun with Highlights folks and illustrator friends. Here's a group posing for pre-party photos: Phyllis Harris(fairy princess), Judith Moffatt (Queen Malificent), and me (mushroom-Ms Shroom), also Emilie Boone (bumble bee), Sharon Holm (mother nature), front, Lily Gucfa-Flanigan as Dorothy.

The costume party
takes place in the
Highlights offices
with an art show
featuring all the
illustrator's in
The Beach Lake fire hall is where the dinner and big shindig/square dancing takes place.

the night away!

The staff does a remarkable job making sure we have a fun filled time with emphasis on each and every detail - like this coaster (I'm sure from the enchanted forest : ) for each guest!

The weekend was truly a HIGHLIGHT in the beautiful Pennsylvania mountains at the height of the fall colors!
We ended with a group photo of PBAA'ers!

Left: Emilie Boon, me, Sharon Holm, Jennifer Emery, Anni Matsick, Layne Johnson, Laura Jacobsen, Judith Moffatt, and Phyllis Harris.
Thanks to everyone who worked so hard on this event!

For those requesting more mushroom shots - here you go ....

Thursday, July 10, 2008

New Book Magic

It's magical to me when a book I illustrated arrives in the mail!
After months of sketching, revising, painting and packing up the art ... it arrives back transformed into a BOOK. The process itself is not at all magical, it takes lots of hard work by lots of people. Yet the moment I hold it and read it, I find myself, each time, marveling at the results.

This time the package that arrived in the mail is an anthology, and it has brought a NEW kind of magic ... because I'm one of the AUTHORS! Now MY WORDS have been transformed --and for the first time illustrated by another artist.

Hamsters, Shells and Spelling Bees: School Poems, edited by Lee Bennett Hopkins, with pictures by Sachiko Yoshikawa.

I love the art and I am thrilled to be rubbing pages with such great poets!
If you pick it up be sure to check out pages 22 and 23! ; )

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

I've been GNOMED!

Yes, the target of a family prank, known collectively as GNOMING!
One misty morning I gazed out the kitchen window and was startled by this little mythical creature on my deck. I've heard tales of this mysterious girl gnome who is secretly passed amongst our family. The mystery to me is HOW they did it ... because she weighs a TON! (She's rock solid and didn't move an inch from our Indiana earthquake!)
It seems gnomes where created long ago as a way for people to continue sharing stories of these invisible night-time gardeners. She's been here for a few weeks now and I'm waiting for her do her earthly magic in my yard. She can clean up the flower beds, mulch and maybe even plant my vegetable garden.
Many Gnome websites said they are fond of jewelry - then jewelry it is! As you can see I did a little make-over on her ... hopefully the bling will lure her pointy-hat friends into my yard! I don't want to be a fairy tale skeptic if these invisible little creatures can spruce up my gardens!
I think she needs a name too... any suggestions?

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Spring Cleaning

We post new art each season to the website.
For spring I'm posting an illustration from one of my 'working' manuscripts titled, BIG TOP BIRTHDAY. I pulled the art out of hiding and dusted it off for the blog. I guess even book projects undergo a little spring cleaning!

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

New Years Promo

Welcome and Happy New Year!

Here's my NEW illustration
for the NEW Year's promo postcard!

It is based on the Chinese calendar, where each year is named after an animal in a twelve-year cycle.

How did "animals" get selected to
represent years in the Chinese calendar?

One legend tells the story about a Jade Emperor who created a Chinese calendar to tell time. On his birthday, he proposed the animals compete in a swimming race across a fast-flowing river.

The first twelve animals to cross the river would be awarded a year to their name. First was rat, followed by ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, goat, monkey, rooster, dog, and pig. To this day, the Chinese calendar has followed this cycle of years named after these twelve animals.

2008 begins the cycle with the
year of the Rat. Here is a sketch
of Rat from the original painting.

To find out which animal year you were born in, you can visit Topmarks site
and type in your birthday for the answer!

I'm a monkey.

I use this art in my email signature.

Thanks for visiting my blog ... best wishes for 2008!

Studio Makeover

The studio got a makeover at the end of 2007.

I painted, organized, and added new magnetic strips from IKEA.
These handy strips make displaying art a snap.
New on display below
(center) is my holiday promo art.

It's painted in acrylics on Arches Watercolor buff paper.
The original measures 14" X 21". Even with the larger size, the last animals on parade were challenging to paint!

Here's a closer look at the last three animals,
each is only one inch tall on the original art.
Good thing they make tiny paintbrushes!

To the left of my holiday promo art is my
Picturebook Artist's winter art post. Let's zoom in...