Sunday, September 14, 2014

Baby Sings

Yay! I finally got the book dummy done for Baby Sings. This is really different artwork for me. I tried to keep it simple but with some interesting subtleties. Who knows if I pulled it off, but I did get 3 pages and a cover done.

Here is the original art. It will be cropped for the book and those messy edges won't show. It has been fun working a little messier for this book than usual.

And here is the little book itself! It feels good to see it come to life.

Now I'm putting together my portfolio, and then it's the Rocky Mountain Chapter SCBWI Conference in Denver next Saturday. I think I'm going to be ready!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Dropping Art

Last week on September 2nd was World Art Drop Day. I had so much fun getting two of my prints ready to hide in the library!

The one above is an older print of mine that I hid in the picture books with a note. I heard that several of the librarians saw it and would have taken it, but they left it for a patron. It was finally taken the day after I hid it. Hopefully it's gone to a good home!

This print was one I did a few years ago as a submission for the Rocky Mountain SCBWI. They had text to be included, so I left an area above and below blank on the print, scanned it, and added the text on the computer. Then for years I had this print hanging out in my WAAAAAAY too full flat file and it just looked incomplete. I quickly added some hand lettered text while Tessa was eating breakfast and  brought both prints when we went to storytime. This one I hid back in the area that librarians use to prep for crafts. I gave the librarian a hint and told her it was artwork for the library. It was found and it sounds like it is much loved!

This is how it turned out- I like it with the hand lettering!

Monday, September 8, 2014


I printed one of the linocuts from my Baby Sings dummy and didn't like how it turned out. I can usually print a block with a solid black area using not very much pressure and that creates a lighter textured black. Then I paint over it after it's dried and it looks interesting. But these prints are going on top of a music collage with paste paint. The paint seems to seal the paper and when I print, the ink just sits on top making a heavy and shiny print. I tried to do it lightly so some of the paste paint would show through, but it just looked blotchy. Ick.

So after consulting with my friends, I carved away all of the black. But that left the crib looking strange and awkward to me. Sooooooooo, I decided to pull up some of the linoleum and start over. I've only done this a couple of times ever. I use a lot of glue and once it's dried, the linoleum is really hard to pull up! This is  how it looked:

Then I glued down a new piece of linoleum, transferred the drawing, and carved it.

Here it is carved.

And here it is printed- so much better! It still needs some watercolor, but overall it's a big improvement!

Saturday, August 30, 2014

The Sketchbook Project

A few weeks ago The Sketchbook Project's mobile library came to Steamboat. This is part of an amazing collection of 31,400 sketchbooks from 135 countries! To participate as an artist you get a blank book from them, fill it up, and send it back. The books then live at the Brooklyn Art Library in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NY. They may also go on tour and be scanned to be available digitally.


Here is the mobile library parked at the Bud Werner Memorial Library in Steamboat Springs.

And here is a nice reading area where you can look through the sketchbooks.

At the same time, our local library was handing out single sketchbook pages for community members to illustrate what Steamboat is to them. I took a page and used some of my stamps. The library displayed the pages and people voted on their favorites. Mine was one of the winners! Here is a link to the six favorites. Now all of the pages will be bound together into a book.

As a prize I got a beautiful card, a Sketchbook Project pencil, and a rather intense chocolate bar. I couldn't handle the chocolate alone, but tonight I turned it into a couple of amazing mugs of hot cocoa. Yum! I also got my own blank sketchbook to fill that will hopefully go on tour next year.

I really need to keep this sketchbook low stress and I wanted to try something different, so Tessa and I are doing a collaboration! She is doing some drawing with pen, and then I'm doodling and turning her scribble into something using a pencil. Here is the little artist with her first drawing.

And here is how our first drawing turned out.

I'm going to be looking at some of the scanned sketchbooks online when I have free time. Let me know if you have one in the database!

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.