Monday, August 25, 2014

Baby Sings Progress

I'm working to finish one or two more spreads from Baby Sings before binding everything into a book dummy. I need to have it done for the Rocky Mountain Chapter SCBWI Conference on September 20th.
I thought it would be fun to show you how the artwork looks now and how it looked when I first drew it on my iPhone screen in the dark while nursing Tessa. I stayed pretty close to my original idea!

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Book Project with Clara Boza

I'm starting a new collaboration with my friend Clara Boza that I'm really excited about. I've taken 3 different bookmaking classes with Clara over the years. She is a writer, book artist, and printmaker who lives in Asheville, NC.

Here's Clara with me and Tessa in Santa Fe for Laura Wait's bookmaking class this July.

We are starting with a bunch of folded blank book pages. This month, I gave Clara a word and she gave me a different word to illustrate through image or text on the left sides of our blank pages. Then for September, we will trade pages and respond on the right side to what the other person did with their word. The month after that, we will start over with new words. And after a while we will bind them into books!

For August, Clara gave me the word Susurrus which I had to look up for a definition.
noun literary
whispering, murmuring, or rustling.
"the susurrus of the stream"
I don't think I've ever read this word in a book, but poking around online, it seems like most people use it to describe water flowing or trees rustling. And these images really stuck with me, so I decided to draw my little girl playing in the creek like we did a few weeks ago. I'm happy with how my first page of this collaboration turned out and I can't wait to see what Clara did with the word I gave her!

Friday, August 15, 2014

Illustration Friday: Journey

No one knows when Birdland first launched. There are rumors that it originated in Peru or perhaps somewhere in the Mediterranean. All we know is that Birdland has been traveling for years over oceans, jungles, and cities. It is only spotted by the most dedicated bird watchers and those campers who prefer to sleep under the full moon. Please report sightings to your local Audubon Society.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Art Drop Day

This is something fun that I'm looking forward to as copied from Jake Parker's site-

An open call to action to ALL artists everywhere! 
All artists, (that means students and professionals, painters and cartoonists, sculptors and illustrators, animators and fine artists, EVERYONE who creates) this September 2nd is World Art Drop Day. Wherever you find yourself that day, drop a piece of your art and tell someone where to find it. The world needs this right now. We need to feel a little more connection to each other and there's nothing like the bond two random strangers can make through the act of creating and giving.
I recently just finished a cross-country art drop this summer and it was exhilarating. The emails and responses I received from the finders ran the gamut of funny to touching. I want that for everyone!
Here's how it works:
  • Draw a picture and hide it somewhere.
  • Take a photo of either the art or the hiding spot or a combination of both.
  • Post the image, the city you dropped it in, and a hint on any social media of your choice. Be sure to included the hashtag: #artdropday
  • Then move on, hoping someone finds it. OR hang around and meet your new friend.
That's it!
I need your help spreading the word on this. Reblog it, retweet it, facebook it, or even tell someone in person!
September 2nd, lets connect the whole planet with art!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Background Music

I've been having fun getting the background collages done so that I'll be able to print linocuts on top of them. This is the first finished art for my Baby Sings dummy. The process may seem familiar because this is how I made Whale Song. That was a test, and I'm glad I worked out the kinks with Whale Song so I can be fast now. Because I want to submit this dummy for a critique at the Rocky Mountain Chapter SCBWI Conference in September. And I have to mail it out in a week. Hurry, hurry!! Here's how it's coming along-

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Two Museums

While in Santa Fe we didn't have much time to be tourists and look at artwork, but we did walk around the Plaza and go to two museums.

The first was the International Folk Art Museum. I love that place! My favorite exhibit had colorful woodblock prints from Brazil. They also had a table set up in the room where you could stamp with woodblocks and do rubbings by laying paper over the top and rubbing with a crayon.

The two prints above are by Ivan Borges.

There was a room full of large wooden carved animals. 

The Japanese kite exhibit was amazing. Here is my friend Clara standing in front one of the huge kites.

They also had a table set up where Tessa and I got to make a kite. She really loved the it later when we played outside. 

There's a wonderful kid's play area in the museum. A couple of older boys put on a puppet show for Tessa! 

Then when walking around downtown, we went to the Georgia O'Keefe Museum. The exhibit was O'Keefe and Ansel Adams in Hawaii. I love both artists' work. Georgia was such a strong woman and I really admire the way she lived her life. She is one of my heros.

My favorite painting from the Hawaii collection was White Bird of Paradise.

There were paintings and photos from other periods as well. I love this photo of Georgia in her studio. 

They also had a table set up with art supplies from her studio and a large photo of the view outside her window.

We had a lovely time in Santa Fe, both with Laura's bookmaking class and as a family visiting a beautiful town. But as always, it's good to be home!

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Laura Wait's Bookmaking Class Second Half

Yesterday was the last day of class. Wow, what a success! There were so many beautiful books made. Here are a few photos-

Here are Margo Klass and Clara Boza working on their pages.

This is Grace Norman sewing her very first book ever. She's a convert though, I can tell.

Here's Laura Wait doing one last writing demo.

And here is everyone (except me.) We had a show and tell one evening to share books that we'd made at home before class and have a glass of wine.

Here's my book being sewn at night in our condo. Because my little girl, my husband, and my parents are also on this trip to Santa Fe I didn't stay late at the studio working. But I did take my book home to sew it. It's a lullaby book for Tessa because she has a hard time falling asleep. As I said in earlier posts, the lyrics of Blackbird by the Beatles are written in bits in this book because it's one of my favorite sleepy songs to sing to her. As as it turns out, my husband Matt was trying to get Tessa to sleep on the couch instead of her bed because the bedroom was so hot. I was sewing in the dining room out of view but nearby so Matt asked me to sing to her. So of course I sang Blackbird while sewing. It was perfect.

Here's how it turned out! And following are some of my favorite spreads-

And here is the collection of books that were made by everyone in the class-

Some really gorgeous books were made. And we had a lot of fun!

One last group photo. Left to right- Grace Norman, Margo Klass, Marsha Sterling, Clara Boza, Marilyn Chambers, Dorothy Wheeler, me, Laura Wait.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Lullaby Book at Laura's Studio

I'm here in Santa Fe in Laura Wait's studio and the bookmaking workshop is going great! First Laura showed us some of her books and techniques. Then we circulated around the room and did large abstract writing with sticks, chopsticks, pieces of cedar shingle, and pottery tools.

Then we took full sheets of 22x30 BFK Rives and wrote and painted all over both sides. I also used the stamps of blackbirds and stars that I brought. 

I am making a Lullaby book and as I said in my last post, I was thinking of using the lyrics of Blackbird by the Beatles. And I did write those lyrics and other stream-of-consciousness sleepy words on my papers then obscured them with layers of paint. Here are some of my paintings at the end of the first day.

I decided at some point that I should really write my own text. So I stayed up late and got up early and wrote a rhyming lullaby. !!! 

Friday, July 18, 2014

Bookmaking Class with Laura Wait

Next week I'll be in Santa Fe for a class about hand made artist books taught by my friend, Laura Wait. I'm excited! Laura makes unique books full of rich abstract paintings. Each book is an original work of art created completely by hand. Here are a couple of pages from her recent book, 

Codices Palimpsestus I.

I've been Laura's assistant for many years. She taught me so much about bookbinding and art in general. She tends toward the abstract while I tend toward children's illustration and those styles couldn't be farther apart. But I always learn interesting things while trying to combine her techniques with my style.

Laura has taught workshops at many prestigious art schools, but this year she is teaching some classes at her studio in Santa Fe. I know the class is going to be awesome! Check in at her website next year because I bet she'll be doing this again and I really recommend her classes.

I'm thinking of doing a book in class with the lyrics of Blackbird by The Beatles. It's a song I've always loved and I now sing to Tessa as a lullaby. Of course the book in my head might evolve into something completely different, but in the last week I made some blackbird stamps that I can use in class. Here's a photo of my sketchbook and I'll keep you updated from Santa Fe!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

A Traveling Book from Spain

I met Mariann Johansen-Ellis online a few years ago. She is a printmaker living in Spain, and soon moving to Denmark.  I'm a little bummed about her move in a selfish way- I want to visit Spain again and thought it would be neat to see her studio! I'll be happy to visit her wherever she lands, though. (You have to realize how unlikely a trip to Europe is for us. We rarely make it out of our  own pretty valley.)

Mariann started a traveling book that is going from artist to artist and being filled with beautiful original prints. When it's full she is going to auction it for charity. It's going to be an amazing book. It's only about a quarter full and I love the prints!

Here are some of my favorites-

This opening print is by Mariann. Check out the bird waves!

Spanish Hills by Sara Wall (or Sara Well?)

Church with a poem by ee cummings

Spring is in the Air by Jenny Kapteyn

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Baby Sings

The whole dummy for Baby Sings is drawn! I've been scanning and doing some final cleanup. Then I get to start on the final art. That's the super fun part! I want to do this artwork similarly to how I did Whale Song. It's going to involve some experimenting. My fingers are crossed that it will look nice.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

New Website

I was finally able to update my website! I used Squarespace which was straightforward and had lots of nice templates. It's the same address- Please let me know if everything works for you! :)

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Illustration Friday: Summer

This week's Illustration Friday prompt is Summer- my favorite time of year! This is a linocut of Lily Lake, one of the beautiful spots on Rabbit Ears Pass where we like to hike. Unfortunately we haven't done any camping or hiking since our baby was born last spring. We do lots of walks closer to town with our dog, though. The production involved in a bigger hike and the timing always seem too challenging. There's still plenty of summer left though to give it a try!

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Whale Song

For the month of June in Lilla Roger's Assignment Bootcamp, we did a nautical theme and we were encouraged to use hand lettering. You have to check out the gallery of so much gorgeous ocean-inspired artwork. It's really incredible!

I chose to do a mama and baby whale because I looooove whales. I've been wanting to test out my idea of printing on top of collage so that's what I did.

I intended to print my linocut edition on top of a series of original collages but it didn't work out. The paper got both stiff and wavy because of the layers of paper and paint. It didn't look good and it was difficult to print on also.

So I scanned the collaged background and printed it out using my Epson printer onto BFK Rives. It looked great! Once I'd printed the linocut, I stamped WHALE SONG and added a little watercolor.

I'm so glad I found a way to make this idea work, because this is how I'd like to make the artwork for my book Baby Sings. I'd been taking a break from working on that dummy, but I'm back at it now!