Thursday, December 22, 2011

icon design

There is a fine art to logo and icon design.  All of the importance and meaning of your brand distilled into 72 x 72 pixels??  I don't quite have the hang of it, but I needed to give it a try.  This is for a yet-to-be-released project I am working on.  It will be great once it's out.  Something to use on your ipad!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The Story of Christmas

This video is so sweet. . .

Friday, December 02, 2011

From start to finish

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I just finished a painting that I will use as a mailer this winter.  I thought it might be interesting to see the evolution of the final product.
This was my first sketch:
 not much to look at, but shorthand for my idea: a little girl and her friend bear buying roasted chestnuts on a snowy New York street.

My next sketch is a little more developed:
After I had sort of mapped out how I wanted the layout, I transferred it onto my watercolor paper.
I tried to keep my colors muted and the background loose, to give the atmospheric snowy feel I wanted and to keep the attention focused on the interaction between the characters.  There was a definite awkward stage, that I am sorry to not have scanned.  It would have been nice to see that I was able to push through (I hope) and get it to where I wanted it.
Here's the painting before snow, and final details:
I needed to add some higher contrast and detail in the foreground to help create depth, and it needed to snow.

So here it is, snowy and chilly.  Now off to the printer!:
Well, almost.  One more change suggested by my husband.  I changed the streetlights so they weren't quite the same as the twinkle lights.  While I was at it, I straightened out the buildings.  Now it's time to put it down.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Marcel is back

My favorite line is "Oh God, I can smell his face."

Tuesday, November 01, 2011


Does anyone care to join me creating a picture book idea a day for the month of November?

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Flooding in Vermont

Tropical Storm Irene really hit Vermont hard. Lucky for us, we were spared major damage, but flooding in other parts of the state caused people to lose their homes and all of their belongings.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Apps vs books

I fear what will happen to traditional books when kids can look at something like this instead. Or maybe it would be in addition to. Nevertheless, this is amazing, and no doubt would entertain my two children. I just wonder if a book with stationary words and pictures will begin to lose its allure. I certainly hope not!

Friday, September 16, 2011


Upon the recommendation of friends, I purchased a Lamy fountain pen and Noodlers ink. I feel like the last one to the fountain pen party.
Unlike a crowquill pen, which I normally use, this pen allows a smooth back and forth without having to dip. No more black fingers, either.
I also bought a fresh new sketchbook in the hopes it might inspire me.
Here are some of my first sketches:

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Nursery Rhyme

I am working on modern nursery rhymes. I put in placeholder text to give an idea of where the two poems will go.

Monday, June 06, 2011


Here's a little something I just finished. This is my first time giving someone teeth. They are so tiny and creepy in this picture, I think they are funny.

Friday, June 03, 2011

Evel Knievel

Edie is working on a school project. She chose Evel Knievel as the subject of her independent study. I love her drawing of him in his Captain America suit on his motorcycle. He was actually an interesting guy. He was in and out of jail for minor crimes. Though he did break records and jump some incredible distances, my overall impression of him was of a charismatic guy who created an incredible whirlwind of publicity around himself.

Friday, May 20, 2011

more pages

I thought I would repurpose an old Moleskine day planner of mine. I gessoed the pages and collaged this little snippet of an article about Lyme Disease for my title page.

I used a combination of gouache, pencil and pen and ink for the drawings.

On the icicles spread, I did use a glaze of medium and acryla gouache. Because the gouache is water soluble, I sprayed Crystal Clear acrylic fixative over the drawing to keep it from washing away.
You may notice that I have left a lot of white space on the spreads. This afternoon, I turned the notebook over to a friend who is also an artist. She has written some funny poems that go along with my anxiety drawings.

I hope she will have fun with my drawings and that together we will come up with something cool. No matter what the final tangible product is, I know we will both have fun getting there.

New Project

Sneak preview

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Beach Shadows

This is my second educational job this year, which means I am ahead where I was this time last year. Does this mean that people are no longer outsourcing to India or Mexico? No, it does not. I'm just happy when one of these lands on my desk every so often now.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Road trip

This spring vacation, we decided to take a road trip. Our first stop was in Rhode Island where we spent a few lovely relaxing days. After that we were ready to hit the road and head to New York, where we would spend the night. Our hotel was right next to Ground Zero. We had a fantastic view from the room of all that was going on down there. Here's a view of the Freedom Tower under construction.
Also under construction is what will be two really beautiful reflecting pools at the foundation of both twin towers. In nine and a half years, the dust seems to have settled and the wound is a little less fresh.

We ate lunch aboard the Staten Island Ferry and viewed the Statue of Liberty from a distance. (see it between my head and Thomas's?) The ferry ride will not be forgotten by the children, as we were seated behind a group of characters using very colorful language to describe how to elude the police. Ah- New York!
Last week was spring vacation for the entire East Coast it seemed, and we were herded on and off the boat like cattle. Definitely worth it!
We did other touristy things before heading out of town on to our next stop- Kennett Square, Pennsylvania. I have always been a big fan of New England. I love the history, the architecture, and the landscape. But after this trip, I think the Brandywine Valley gives New England a serious run for its money. A lush, green landscape, cris-crossed by sparkling rivers and creeks, stone walls, hills and fields with grazing horses, and beautiful old stone houses and barns. With this kind of beauty, it's no wonder this was the home of the artist colony founded by Howard Pyle, the Brandywine School. A student of Pyle's, and another great American illustrator living in the area, was N.C. Wyeth. His work can be seen at the Brandywine River Museum, along with the work of his son, Andrew, and grandson Jamie.
Tom and I visited a museum at the home of the woodworker/sculptor/artist Wharton Esherick, which was nearby. We didn't get any photos of the cool interior of his home, but I can tell you that it was filled with beautiful furniture and sculptures that he made. Here are a couple of photos of the exterior.

While in the area, the Longwood Gardens should not to be missed. Founded by Pierre duPont, these 1,077 acres of beautiful gardens are another highlight of the region. We estimated that southeastern Pennsylvania is about three weeks further into spring than northern Vermont. It was a real treat to enjoy the weather and the green.

Before our long trip home, we were treated to an Easter service at a chapel in the woods. The congregation was small, and some people arrived on horseback. Who should we see riding in via horse and carriage, but Jamie Wyeth himself.

The trip was wonderful, largely due to the hospitality of parents and cousins who hosted us.
If you have a chance, I highly recommend you add the Brandywine Valley as a stop to your next road trip.
ps: I wish a real photographer had been with us. . .

Tuesday, April 05, 2011


Where one might find quicksand, I am not sure, but maybe that's why I'm worried about it.

I was sufficiently curious about where exactly to find quicksand to do some investigating. This is what I found out:

Quicksand is not quite the fearsome force of nature that you sometimes see on the big screen. In fact, quicksand is rarely deeper than a few feet. It can occur almost anywhere if the right conditions are present. Quicksand is basically just ordinary sand that has been so saturated with water that the friction between sand particles is reduced. The resulting sand is a mushy mixture of sand and water that can no longer support any weight.

If you step into quicksand, it won't suck you down. However, your movements will cause you to dig yourself deeper into it. In this article, you will learn just how quicksand forms, where it's found and how you can escape its clutches if you find yourself hip-deep in it.

Quicksand is typically not very dangerous, but it’s one of the last things you’d want to run into if you were sandboarding. Check out the sandboarding article, video and images at Discovery’s Fearless Planet to learn more.

So, remember, if caught in quicksand DO NOT STRUGGLE.

Here's a link to where I found this helpful info:

Monday, April 04, 2011

Freezing to Death

Somewhere along the way, someone warned me that if I was stuck outside in the cold, never to lie down and rest in a snow drift. The relative warmth of the snow would lull you into a sleep you wouldn't wake from. Seems like pretty good advice.

Friday, April 01, 2011


I didn't mention that I saw Wicked in New York. It was fantastic. The music, the set, the lighting, the characters and the acting were all awesome. The Broadway show is based on the book Wicked, by Gregory Maguire, which was based on the book the Wizard of Oz, by L. Frank Baum, and tells the story behind the Wicked Witch of the West. I highly recommend both the book and the show!
Here's a little doodle I did today while thinking about Elphaba.


My trip to the city was filled with exciting things. Luckily, falling down a manhole wasn't one of them. I wandered mostly in Soho, checked out the R. Crumb exhibit at the Society of Illustrators, and independent children's bookstore, Books of Wonder. In New York, there's so much to do I don't see how you can even scratch the surface unless you live there.


Sometimes something is so weird looking it is cute. Take a pug, for example. . .

Monday, March 21, 2011


Yes, this is the same grandmother as the one in an earlier post. This is before the goose lived with her and brightened her life.

Anna's Eggs

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Discovered by cats. . .

There's always choking while in the house alone. . . (thanks Paige)
Postage stamp size.

The Yo Yo

Have you ever taken a close look at those traveling amusement park rides?

Saturday, March 05, 2011

Happy Birthday Estelle!

I just gave Muchacho some teeth:

Felted horse

I made this horse for Tom's cousin for her birthday. She loves horses and from the day we moved to Charlotte has been so generous and kind to our family. It is only a small token of all of our appreciation for all she does.
For those who are curious, I started with a very spare wire armature and tacked a basic shape with simple white wool roving. I then covered it with the colored roving and felted it tighter and tighter, adding bits as I needed to form the shape- much like sculpting with clay. I used beautiful wool yarn to cover the lower legs and form the curlicues on the body. Finally, I strung glass beads on a couple of threads and sewed them into the mane and tail, which was made of unfelted roving. The color, curlicues and beads gave it a magical sort of look, and I dubbed it Diana's wishing horse. I hope it brings her good luck.

Friday, March 04, 2011

Ukrainian Folk Tale

Sometimes a project I am working on makes me very happy. It can be the way the project flows with ease, the nice people I am working with, or a wonderful story. In the case of the current project I am working on, it is great in all of these ways. So, I am putting aside my worries and anxieties for a while and enjoying drawing.
Here are a couple of sketches I am working on: