Monday, December 15, 2014

My new studio

This fall I decided to shake things up a bit and move my studio. I was very happy in my other studio and things fit well, but it didn't work well for the rest of the house. In the thirteen years that we have lived in this house, my studio has been in three different rooms and now I am back where I started. It's a nice bright room with lots of space. With new doors it is actually almost warm.

 My studio assistant is busy making sure I don't waste too much time.

Friday, October 24, 2014

When a drawing is better than the finish

I think this happened because I didn't know when to stop. I am not sure, but it's not as clean like I like my new work to be. I also did the drawing with charcoal pencil.

Monday, September 08, 2014

Dot Day- September 15

Dot Day is coming up. It's a day to celebrate creativity. The idea started with Peter Reynolds' book The Dot, which tells the story of a girl's journey of self discovery through creativity.
You can check out more dots here:
Creating this dot was lots of fun. I loved putting my regular work down so I could play.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Emerson and Eva

Emerson loves his girl Eva.
And Eva loves Emerson, too.

Friday, June 27, 2014

My new story idea

This might be one of the main characters.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Welcome to the Writing Process: An Author/Illustrator Blog Tour

My friend Jennifer Goldfinger tagged me for this blog tour, so I will start by telling you a little bit about her. Jen is an author, illustrator, and fine artist. 
She has written and illustrated several books, including:



We trade manuscripts, so I get to peek at some of her new work. I have a feeling we all will get to enjoy some of the wonderful stories she's working on very soon. You can see more of her work at her website. You can also find examples of her amazing fine art there. 

Now I will get to the questions for the blog tour.

What am I currently working on?

Right now I am working on the illustrations for my first author/illustrator project. My picture book is called Emerson Barks. It tells the story of a little dog that loves to bark, and what happens when he tries to hold in his voice.  The book will be published by Christy Ottaviano Books/Henry Holt in 2016. 

How does my work differ from others of its genre?

I'm not sure how different this is, but in my illustration I try to develop the characters beyond what's told in the writing. I love to add humorous details and subplots in the pictures.  I hope this will give readers something to look for and laugh at. 

In my illustration from Ten On the Sled, by Kim Norman, you might notice on second glance that the rabbit has motion sickness. You might also see that the snowman's head has just fallen off. If you want to find out what happens to the snowball, you'll have to read the book. 

Why do I write what I write?

In my writing, I try to see things from a child's perspective. The world can feel big and scary, and children can wrestle with some complicated issues. I hope that the things I write about might comfort and reassure readers.
I have watched my own children pick up certain books again and again. I think that reading certain books can help them make sense of what's going on around them.

How does my individual writing/illustrating process work?

Before I write, I need to gather ideas. These ideas seem to come to me when I am walking in the woods.  I have a very energetic dog who needs at least one walk a day, so this is a good time to think about things I am working on or come up with ideas.
By the time I sit down to write, I have often sorted things out in my head. I write and revise until things look okay, then I show it to my critique group. Friends like Jen have great ideas for improving my writing. 

When I am working on an illustration project, I begin with character sketches. Sometimes I also like to write a sort of profile for my characters, listing personality quirks, strange preferences for clothing, etc.. Knowing that the bunny from Ten On the Sled had motion sickness told me a lot about how what he'd be doing and why. 

Book illustrations begin with character sketches and thumbnails, and end up with tight sketches. I transfer the final drawing onto watercolor paper and start to paint with my watercolors.  I go back and forth between colored pencil and watercolor until I feel I am finished.

character sketches:

tight sketches:

finished artwork:

Thanks for checking out my stop on the blog tour.

Next week, you're in for a real treat as we get to learn more about Kim Norman.
Kim is the author of many books. Two of my favorite are Ten On the Sled, and If It's Snowy and You Know It Clap Your Paws, but I am a little biased.  Her newest book, Puddle Pug, is absolutely adorable. Kim is as fun and funny as her books and I have had the good fortune to work with her on two projects.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Cleaning up

My visit from the Mazza Museum group was good incentive to clean up my studio. I wanted to show the difference between before and after.

before, my studio was filled with clutter:

but I needed to get rid of it:

You can see my my favorite comfort food: Cozy Shack Rice Pudding on my scanner. 

I even got started painting the walls:

More clutter to put away/get rid of

and it can look like this:

 and this:

But for how long?
Maybe it's time to invite more visitors in.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Half Drop repeat pattern

I am mastering this slowly, but I did want to try June's suggestion of a half drop repeat with this pattern. I removed the apron, which would cause problems on the sides, and did the repeat.  I can't say that I love it without the apron.  It's missing a little something.
Here's what I put together to submit as my main fabric and three coordinates:

Friday, March 21, 2014

nougat Jell-O?

Not too appealing, I thought, but in playing with it, I think I came up with something subtle and pretty.

and the final jell-o print I have landed on:

Nougat Palette

This is a group of colors made by adding compliments and white to the pure colors.  There are a few in there that really don't belong.  Now how am I going to use them in my Jell-O assignment??

Sunday, March 16, 2014


More jello for bolt fabric.  This time, I've gone back to watercolors and used photoshop to do the repeat.

Thursday, March 13, 2014


Gah! This is hard.  Trying to turn my jello sketches into bolt fabric.  I could sit here and play with this for hours, but I won't.

Wednesday, March 05, 2014

California color

Coming from Vermont in mid-winter, our eyes were used to a limited palette of white, brown, and the green of pine trees.  Though most of the week it looked mostly like this:
There was sometimes a little color to be found between the clouds (look closely for the rainbow):

These guys didn't seem to mind the rain at all:

Things are blooming in California, and when we did see color it was amazing:

I guess I was feeling a little color deprived, because I started to look for it everywhere.  There was lots to be found at Britex in San Francisco:

More color could be found in the murals and street art in The Mission in San Francisco. We hit the jackpot on 24th Street. It was hard to capture it all from a moving car, so next time, I think we'll take the tour by foot.

And when the sun finally did come out, it looked like this:

What a beautiful place to visit, and a sight for sore eyes during this very long winter.