Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Santa's visit

Christmas!  Sitting by the fireplace, warm and cozy.  Our tree decorated with the sweet homemade ornaments from our little girls.  The smell of pine.  The Christmas pyramid spinning.  Christmas Carols.  Playing family games.

But my favorite by far is seeing the joy the season reflected in the eyes of our girls...  it's pure magic.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Illustration Friday - Explore

Wahoo!!  An illustration friday done... and it's still FRIDAY!

Clive's insatiable curiosity bothered most of the barnyard animals.  And although Norman acted bothered, he always joined Clive on his explorations.  After all, someone needed to keep an eye on him.

Monday, November 26, 2012

'Tis the Season

I'm a firm believer in not getting ready for Christmas until Thanksgiving has its day.  The day after Thanksgiving, let the holiday season festivities begin.  We always get our Christmas tree the day after Thanksgiving, and this year was no different.  We cut our own, drink a cup of hot cider and sit by the bonfire.  We start listening to Christmas music, our stockings are hung by the mantle, and the garland adorns the stair rail.  We go to see The Nutcracker (an annual family tradition - I highly recommend seeing the Boulder Ballet/Boulder Symphony's production - always the first weekend after Thanksgiving).

And now, we sit back and enjoy: the lights in the neighborhood, the excitement of buying presents for loved ones, the Choir and Orchestra concerts, Irish Dance Recitals, Music Recitals, and Holiday Programs.   This is such a fun time of year.  I hope all of you have a chance to slow down and enjoy every moment of this wonderful time of the year.

Monday, November 12, 2012

The Unofficial Gallery of the Tomie dePaola Award is UP!!

It's that time of year again when illustrators all over the world are getting their pencils sharpened for the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators' Tomie dePaola contest.

This year we have to choose a passage from Tom Sawyer, Little Women, or The Yearling to illustrate.  And it has to be .... Black & White!

Entries need to be submitted by December 14th.  The winning entry is be chosen January 9th.  (For more info, visit the SCBWI site. )

Thanks to wonderfully talented and sweet as can be Diandra Mae , you can view all the amazing entries in one spot:  The Unofficial Gallery of the Tomie dePaola Award.  Seriously, you'll want to bookmark this page.... the talent is amazing!

And yes, I'm up there too...

Thursday, November 8, 2012


The other day, my youngest was talking about Orchestra, but she misspoke and said "Orca-stra."  That gave me an idea for a little present for our school's music teacher.  Hopefully, she'll like it!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Happy Election Day!

The vote is the most powerful instrument ever devised by man for breaking down injustice and destroying the terrible walls which imprison men because they are different from other men.
~Lyndon B. Johnson

(You can see the original sketch at Smells Like Crayons.)

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Smells Like Crayons

A little bird told me... you should stop by Smells Like Crayons to see my paint first/draw second creation.

On the drawing board...Daddy's Home!

Oh, the comfort, the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person, having neither to weigh thoughts nor measure words, but pouring them all out, just as they are, chaff and grain together, certain that a faithful hand will take and sift them, keep what is worth keeping, and with a breath of kindness blow the rest away.  ~Dinah Craik

Monday, October 15, 2012

On the drawing board... Good Friends

All you need in the world is love and laughter. 
That's all anybody needs. 
To have love in one hand and laughter in the other.
~August Wilson

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

On the drawing board...Courage.

Courage doesn't always roar.  Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying,
"I will try again tomorrow."
~Mary Anne Radmacher

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

On the drawing board... Elvis Porkly

Love me tender
Love me true
All my dreams fulfilled.
For my darlin' I love you,
And I always will.

Cue the swooning, wailing, screaming fans!
Elvis Porkly is in the house!
Having a great time drawing today!
Plan to paint, and will post again soon.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

On the drawing board...The Raven

Yes, it's that time of year again.  Time for some Raven.

Deep into the darkness peering, long I stood there, wondering, fearing
Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortals ever dared to dream before;
But the silence was unbroken, and the stillness gave no token,
And the only word there spoken was the whispered word,
Lenore, This I whispered, and an echo murmured back the word,
"Lenore!" Merely this, and nothing more.

Monday, September 24, 2012

True Love - Halloween Style

Fall is in the Air

Youth is like spring, an over praised season more remarkable for biting winds than genial breezes.  Autumn is the mellower season, and what we lose in flowers we more than gain in fruits.  ~Samuel Butler

Sunday, September 23, 2012

On today's drawing board... Rain.

Even when I feel like crying
And I can’t find the sun
Still I know it’s always shining
And I’ll feel it when the rain is done.
~ Honey Bear, Bryant Oden

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Mail Carrier Max tackles his fear

Mail Carrier Max is determined.  When you're a mail carrier, you can't be afraid of dogs.  Unfortunately, Max is terrified of the furry creatures.  But, he won't let his fears stop him from doing what he loves.

Just at the sketch stage right now.  Saving painting for tomorrow.

Friday, July 13, 2012


A friend of a friend has metastasized breast cancer, having gone to her brain.  She's a single mom with two kids.  Having gone through advanced breast cancer myself about five years ago, I can't imagine how she handles it.  I am lucky enough to have a very supportive husband who really picked up the slack when I was out of it.  Having to support kiddos alone, while you are undergoing treatment must be so hard.  I feel for her and her family.    Her friends are having a fundraiser/silent auction to help support her in this difficult time.  This is what I'm donating.  I hope it helps, even if it's just a little.

and in B&W.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Unconditional Love

I love sketching.  It's simple.  It doesn't get cluttered with color.
Just for the fun of it, with no judgement: it feels like a big deep breath of AHHHH.

Just like the love of family.  You're loved.  No matter what.   You don't have to worry that you aren't perfect.  You're just loved because you are you.  I'm so thankful for my family.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Illustration Friday - Refresh

It's refreshing to go swimming in the lake... better to do it without all your clothes on.

Today's illustration was a great excuse to play with some new colors and techniques.  Experimenting can be fun.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Boxcar and Baby

Working on a few new pieces:   Boxcar and Baby.
After all, every baby should have a potbellied pig to lean on.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Happy Independence Day

I'm a little bit early, but wanted to wish everyone (US based) a Happy Independence Day!!  Eat up, have fun, and maybe see a parade!  (And all of you non-US based friends ... Happy 4th of July!)

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Great-Grandma's Victory Garden Zucchini Bread

In between waiting for approvals and painting on the book project I'm working on, I have managed to sneak in a new piece for the porfolio,  a submission for They Draw and Cook, and a present for one of my cousins.  Whew.

I was inspired by the Victory Gardens that I'd seen while visiting Strawbery Banke, NH.  Victory gardens were part of the 1940s war effort. Because labor and transportation shortages made it hard to harvest and move fruits and vegetables to market, the government turned to its citizens and encouraged them to plant "Victory Gardens." They wanted individuals to provide their own fruits and vegetables. Nearly 20 million Americans answered the call. They planted gardens in backyards, empty lots and even city rooftops. Neighbors pooled their resources, planted different kinds of foods and formed cooperatives, all in the name of patriotism.

This particular recipe uses some of those extra zucchini that overrun the garden in the summer.  Great-Grandma's Victory Garden Zucchini Bread is really tasty, freezes well, and keeps in the refrigerator for a week or two.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Character Design Exercises

I'm doing my exercises.  My brain exercises.

I, along with several illustrator pals are taking the fantabulous Kelly Light's advise and doing our character design exercises.  (Kelly held a workshop at the most recent NESCBWI Conference and amazed all with her superhero illustrator powers (although everyone who knows her, knew she'd be amazing - wish I could have been there)!

So what are these exercises, you ask, and how can you play too?
It's simple.  It's fun.   Just make a grid and draw a random shape in each box.  Then you let your imagination take charge and see where it leads you!

For me,  this was a great way to relax at the end of a very busy drawing day.