Thursday, June 30, 2011

Summer Garden

I'm working on a couple of garden drawings. Here's a little redhead watering a really big sunflower. Today we had a lot of those cloud flowers hovering around. I'm hoping for sunshine tomorrow!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Illustration Friday: Launch

I'm not too sure what it would take to launch this aircraft, but I'm thinking it might include falling off a tall building!
I just finished painting this print of Birdland this morning. I tried to use more browns and subtle colors than the really bright watercolor I've done in the past. I like the way it turned out. Maybe I can be subtle after all...?

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Printed Birdland

Today I finally finished carving this block and printed it. I think it turned out well! I realized that it's the biggest block I've printed by hand and I was struggling to hold the large sheet of paper. The paper is 26x17 inches and I have to lay it down in one swoop without bumping or shifting it or the ink will smear. It was a challenge.
I'll paint it in a couple days - can't wait!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Illustration Friday: Swept

Here is a little sketch from my latest book dummy that I painted for this week's Illustration Friday. Avery is expecting a visitor and tidying up his house while he waits. Something my house could use a bit of as well....

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Feature about the VSS and me, too!

My friend Alex Colombo has posted a feature about The Visual Storytellers Studio on her bog. You can read it here. The VSS is a group of children's illustrators that I belong to. Alex shared how the group got its start and then she included a bio about me and some of my artwork. I hope you can visit Alex's blog The Moon from My Attic!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

It's a Job

Last month, Jules at Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast posted a wonderful interview with illustrator Carson Ellis. I love Carson's artwork and she sent a lot of it to enjoy while reading her interview. I was happily settled in to reading when she mentioned that she'd moved around a lot after college and was a cocktail waitress in four different states. I laughed out loud!

I've also moved around a lot have had a variety of odd jobs. I read the rest of the interview thinking about how every artist has probably had something in their past like Carson's serial cocktail waitressing.

I was brought up to believe it was important for me to have a career- something respectable that would make a difference. I became a musician instead. That was ok with my family. I played the oboe and practiced very hard and was actually started on my career, even if it was a slightly suspect career as a musician. But then I quit. (Long story.) And since then I've bumped around from job to job, making a living so that I can do art in my free time. There's no doubt in my mind that I'm an artist but that's not the same thing as having a career as an artist.

It's hard not to be frustrated going to work at a job every day when you really just want to be creating art. But those jobs bring us so many good things, too- new friends, skills, knowledge, conversation, variety, laughs, and of course money. I'm happy I'm an artist and I definitely want to be a full-time career children's book illustrator. But in the meantime you can find me selling prescription medication at Lyon's Pharmacy!

These are the jobs I've had in my life:
bird survey counter
assistant to black-footed ferret breeding program
delivery driver for a medical lab
orchestral oboist
waitress & hostess at 6 restaurants: Chinese, breakfast, Indian, vegan, cafe, and fine dining
picture framer in 5 different businesses and self-employed
movie theater operator
art galley sales
hotel maid
graphic artist
production printer of fine art etchings
greeting card deign and sales
retail antique and gift sales
bookbinding assistant
grocery store stocker
pharmacy technician

Tell me about your favorite or worst jobs!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Carving Birdland

I've been working on carving this large block. I kept being indecisive about how exactly to do the details so I started with the wings and then it really took off! (haha) I will probably be printing it next week and I'll post some photos then.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Colorado Moments

I finally got 20 of these little images done. Here is the layout for the 12x16 inch poster I'll be making. The individual pictures have been doing well as gift enclosure cards for sale at Lyon's Pharmacy in downtown Steamboat Springs. I hope people want to buy this print of all of them as well!