Saturday, August 29, 2009

Illustration Friday - Magnify

Sasha had heard the rumors of the Haunted Castle of Highland Park, now a museum but once an actual castle. She was the type of girl who never listened to rumors. She preferred to find things out for herself; so with magnifying glass in hand she was on her way to solving the mystery of the castle.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Bella Upside Down - Coloring Page

The Bella Upside Down coloring page is now available on Bella's blog . Have your children or students, color it, scan and email back to and we'll post it on Bella's blog for everyone to see!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

September Postcard Mailing

I finished up my paintings and ordered my postcards from Vista Print. I always feel good when I place that order. Ahhhh. Postcards. Done and Check.

The illos are kind of hard to see on the proof, so here are larger versions too.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Chicken Nugget Lemon Tooty - 3 year Anniversary

Chicken Nugget Lemon Tooty is a super fun blog where children's book illustrator Aaron Zenz posts artwork by his three talented kids. For the blog's three year anniversary, Aaron wanted to do something special for the kids, so he invited anyone to recreate one of the kids' drawings in their own style. I loved Gracie's illustration and riddle for Illustration Friday's prompt "Clutter". What do you call too many butterflies? Flutter Clutter. Classic!

Happy Anniversary Kids!! Keep up the great job!

Gracie's rendition:

And mine...

Illustration Friday - Caution

You always have to use a little caution when you let your children get hold of the paints. Living rooms are like blank canvases!!

Interview with Children's Picture Book Author Summer K. Hall

Author Summer K. Hall believes that to love stories not only means to read them but to write them as well. “I would love for all children to be given the opportunity to enjoy exploring their world in new and creative ways.”

Q. Thank you for agreeing to be interviewed Summer, why don't we start with you telling us a little bit about yourself.

A. Hello! I would like to say I have many jobs. First, I am a new mother of Alyssa-age 3 weeks. I am a 2nd grade teacher and have taught for 14 years. I am an author of 3 books-my favorite being Bella Upside Down!

Q. When did you start writing for children? What did you do before?

A. I started writing for kids back when I was a kid. I dabbled in story writing through college and started my first book 2 years ago. I have taught grades K through 3 and read multiple books daily to my students. Kids have always been my job!

Q. Has being a teacher helped you to develop story ideas?

A. Being a teacher has made me learn to love children’s literature, collect a billion books and inspire reading and writing in my own students.

Q. Tell us a little bit about the recent book you've written. Where did you come up with the idea?

A. My most recent books are Bella Upside Down and Mirabelle’s Castle. Both books were inspired by students in my 2nd grade classes. Having taught over 200 students, I have come across some of the most memorable personalities that have become the main characters in all of my stories.

Q. What are you working on right now? Do you have any other projects lined up?

A. I am working on a 4th picture book as well as a middle grade novel. I hope to get all of my 3 completed books illustrated and published so my daughter, my students and kids everywhere can enjoy them.

Q. What would you say to people who think picture books are easy to write?

A. There are so many picture books out there, but not all of them become favorites for kids. I have seen my students return to the really great ones and read them over and over again. It may seem easy to write one, but it is never easy to write a really GREAT one!

Q. Tell us about your writing habits?

A. When I get a character in my head, I sit down and create a character centered story based on his or her personality. I usually write the rough draft in one day but I spend months to years refining my story, collecting critiques, and attending SCBWI conferences for even more ideas.

Q. Do you do any school presentations?

A. I want Bella Upside Down to lead me to my first school presentation. We hold an Author’s Festival annually and my goal is to be a showcased author.

Q. What advice would you give to aspiring young authors?

A. Read, read, read, and write, write, write….revise draft after draft. Share with others, read your stories to other kids, and continue to find authors that inspire you.

Q. What was your favorite book as a young child?

A. My favorite picture book was and still is Eric Carle’s The Very Hungry Caterpillar-Genius story and illustrations.

Thank you Summer, and good luck with all your upcoming projects, including your most recent book “Bella Upside Down” a finalist in the ABC Book Competition. You can vote for Summer (and myself) starting September 20 – October 4 @ Click on 5th Annual Competition to find the list of finalists. The author/illustrator team with the most votes will receive a royalty-based publishing contract for their winning entry.

The Masterpiece

The living room really needed a little pizazz!!

Bella Upside Down Book Trailer

I'm working away, with the help of my amazingly talented husband, on the book trailer for the ABC Book Competition! Voting begins in only a few short days!! Yikes!!

Remember, vote for Summer K. Hall's story "Bella Upside Down." (Illustrated by me!!) :)

(I still don't have the link for voting, when I do, I'll post!)

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Illustration Friday - Impatience

Picasso and Pollock could no longer contain their impatience. They swept Amy off her feet, mussed up Mrs. Whittle's mums, crashed through Mr. Brickmeyers fence and landed with a thud in Mrs Baumhoffer's laundry. Amy was going to hear about this.

Ever have one of those days... not 30 minutes ago, I was painting and wiping away tears because I just can't get what's in my mind colorwise to come together and appear on paper. The sheer frustration has me doubting my ability to ever breakthrough in this industry. I usually am a huge fan of the quote "the woods would be very silent if no birds sang there except those that sang best" but I tell you. I look at the work of my fellow illustrators and friends, and honestly, their talent is blinding. Then I look at mine, and think who am I kidding. Seriously. Ugh.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

New Postcard - sketch

I'm working on my next postcard mailing. I'm going to go with this illustration. I wouldn't mess with Ole' Mrs. Witch, I mean White.

I have to fix the bookshelf and the book in her hand, but overall, I like this one!!

ABC Book Competition

Very exciting news!!! Author Summer K Hall, and myself are one of twelve finalist teams in this year's ABC Book Competition! I finally finished the illustration to go along with her wonderful story entitled "Bella Upside Down." A cute story of a girl who decides to trade in right-side-upness for upside-downess for a while.

Starting Sept 30th, online voting will begin. The author/illustrator team that wins the most votes by October 30th will win a publishing contract. This is the 5th year for the contest which is run by Rita Mills.

Fellow Stories for Children illustrator, Nikki Shoemaker, and author Gillian Colley who won ABC's 3rd competition with their book "What's Wrong with Mud?" just had it published! So exciting!

Hopefully, we'll be able to get everyone to vote once a day for one month, and be published too!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Superior Scribbler Bloggy Award

Today I looked at my blog and found this lovely award, sent to me by Ginger Nielsen ...who is an amazing illustrator - both talented and kind!

This award also comes with a few rules to follow:
Here's the rules for the award
Each Superior Scribbler must, in turn, pass the Award on to 5 most-deserving Bloggy buds.
Each Superior Scribbler must link to the author & the name of the blog from whom he/she has received The Award.
Each Superior Scribbler must display The Award on his/her blog, and link to this post, which explains The Award.
Each Blogger who wins The Superior Scribbler Award must visit this post and add his/her name to the Mr. Linky List (!?) at the Scholastic-Scribe's blog. That way, we'll be able to keep up-to-date on everyone who receives this prestigious honor!
Each Superior Scribbler must post these rules on his/her blog.


So now if you are willing to accept the award and follow the rules I cordially invite:

Saturday, August 8, 2009

On a roll...literally

Somebody's going to be in trouble!!
Not happy with the way the color turned out. All seems sort of flat. Ah well. An inventor fails 999 times, and if he succeeds once, he's in. He treats his failures simply as practice shots. - Charles Kettering

Here's to practice shots!

Back to School

I guess I've got Back to School on the brain these days.

Sept SFC - Tall Boots - Painted

Here is the painted version of "Tall Boots" for the Sept Issue of SFC. I'm actually pretty happy with it.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Darcy McGovern

Read all about it

Back to School

Back to School

Bella Sinclair Blogger award

My talented friend Ann Marie has just honored me by awarding me, along with two of my fantastic illustrator friends ( Gina, Jenn D ) this wonderful award! Thank you so much Ann Marie!!

You can read about the history of this award
here on Ces's blog. It was created by Ces in honor of her friend, Bella Sinclair, who tragically and suddenly lost her husband. Here is what Ces says about the award:

I designed this award to celebrate art in the blogs and to honor the value of friendship, sisterhood, sharing and caring. It is to be awarded to the gifted, accomplished, eloquent and talented blogger whose friendship and influence inspire us to do our best. That I named it after Bella Sinclair is because she epitomizes all of these things. She is an inspiration to many of us.

I would like to pass this award on. I decided to choose these three talented and wonderful bloggers because they inspire me:

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

SFC September Sketch

We're back from vacation which was wonderful. We had a great time visiting with family, friends, and seeing all sorts of iconic tourist sites! Unfortunately, on our way home from picking up our dog from the boarder we were in a pretty nasty car accident. A woman coming from the other direction tried to make an unsafe pass decided better of it and lost control of her car ultimately, crossing the center line and crashing into us. Fun! I broke my foot in three places and am on crutches, which makes for lots of couch time. So, hopefully my drawing will benefit from this! :)

Anyway, here is a sketch for the September issue of Stories for Children. It's a really cute story, and I hope the drawing does it justice.