Sunday, November 27, 2011

Animal Healing Center Card Done

Here's the holiday card for my vets all finished. It was a challenge to work the blue-green of the x-ray room into a Christmasy color scheme.

The really fun thing about this card is that Dr. Andi Kohler and Dr. Craig Stanton worked on some unusual animals this year and that inspired me to include them in the drawing. You should "like" them and look through the photos on their Facebook page!

Here are some highlights-
Star the reindeer got acupuncture.

Chester the rooster got an eyebrow trim.

And Casper the big white dog is selling his Christmas Coffee again!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Animal Healing Center Holiday Card

Andi Kohler and Craig Stanton my wonderful vets at the Animal Healing Center asked me to make a holiday card for them again this year. Here's last year's card-
And here's a link to a video of me printing last year's image.

This year I decided to include everyone who works at the clinic in the image along with a whole slew of animals. I just printed it tonight and I'll paint it soon. It's gotten me in the holiday spirit!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Celebrate Picture Book Month

I guess I've been a little bit out of the loop because I just realized November is now Picture Book Month! There is a wonderful site set up by several picture book author and illustrators with a new post every day this month about why picture books are so important. There are also tons of links to other kid lit sites and great children's illustrators and authors. Check it out!
Since this summer I've splurged and gotten so many great books. So in celebration of Picture Book Month I thought I'd share my recent favorites. Here they are in my studio-

Bone Dog written and illustrated by Eric Rohmann takes place on Halloween night but I think it's a story that can be loved all year. Even though Gus' dog Ella has died she can still save the day! There is a nice video of Eric talking about the book here.

The illustrations in this book are done similarly to the way I work- with relief prints. It can be a challenge to have art made this way look loose and energetic but Eric is a master of that! Look at these dogs running across the page- don't you just want to run with them?

The Crows of Pearblossom by Aldous Huxley and illustrated by Sophie Blackall was written in 1944 and is the only children's story he wrote. It does have some 1944 stereotypes but it also has tons of charm, a great villain, and a happy ending. Sophie is one of my favorite illustrators and I think her artwork is magic. Have you ever seen such well dressed crows?!

You can also listen to a Weekend Edition NPR segment about the book.

Otis and the Tornado written and illustrated by Loren Long is a follow up to his book about a happy red tractor called Otis. I was lucky enough to hear Loren talk about his work process and see lots of early drawings for Otis. I still prefer the first book best but having another adventure to read makes me happy.

On Loren's website you can see his sketches that transform into the finished art, unused sketches, and a video of Loren talking about Otis. I heart Otis!!

A Pocketful of Posies is a collection of nursery rhymes illustrated with hand sewn fabric by Salley Mavor. It's jam packed with everyone's favorite nursery rhymes and plenty of unfamiliar ones also. Sally's art is carefully and beautifully constructed with hand made dolls, little trinkets, sticks, and buttons assembled together in lush and decorative sewn backgrounds.

You have to watch this video of Sally working on her piece called Rabbitat. Wow!
And the last treasure I have for this post is called Stars written by Mary Lyn Ray and illustrated by Marla Frazee. It's about how there are more stars than just those in the sky. I think the real star is Marla. She manages to draw more than 10 different children with their families and weave them all together in their own visual stories. Here is a nice recent interview with Marla on Geek Dad.

There are several very special illustrations in this book. The one I wanted to show you looks like a child's dream come true to me. A moss covered tree with a warm bright cave in the roots and friends sharing a good story. I want to go live there. :)

Sunday, November 13, 2011

The Little Print Book Came Back!

Last year in September I made an edition of 5 of these little books. I was feeling kind of isolated in my small mountain town and I wanted to meet more printmakers. So I mailed them out to a few artists I don't really know but admire their work, and to a couple people I do know. One of the books was mailed back to me right away and I never sent it out again. If anyone wants me to mail it to them to start filling with prints, let me know!

This book that has now traveled a corner of the world and returned was first sent to my friend Sherrie York in Salida. Sherrie knows lots of printmakers and I'm not surprised that her connections turned it into such a wonderful treasure. I would like to send everyone who contributed to the book one of my prints as a thank you. So if I don't already have your address, please email it to me!

Here are photos of the pages with links to the artists-
My blue truck stamp is on the left, Sherrie York from Salida, Colorado on the right

Amie Roman, Cobble Hill, B.C. Canada and B. A. Cavin, Cobble Hill, B.C. Canada

Beverly Koski, Duncan, B.C. Canada and Beverlee McLeod, Cowichan Bay, B.C. Canada

T. Kungold Ammann, Lake Cowichan, B.C. Canada and Adrienne Hall, Bellevue, Washington

Another print by Adrienne Hall on the left and Lori Dean Dyment, Richmond, B.C. Canada on the right

Randie Feil, Victoria, B.C. Canada and Diane Podolsky, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

And a lovely embossed Iris which may be a little hard to see by Roxanne Button, Buffalo, New York

It was so exciting to get this little book back full of art after a year of traveling! Thank you to everyone who contributed and hopefully the other books are still out there making the rounds. :)

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Illustration Friday: Stripes

Driving across Colorado the other day we passed a factory putting out puffs of white steam. It reminded me that when I was really young I thought that factories with towers putting out white and gray columns of steam, smoke, and/or mysterious chemicals were actually where clouds were made. I mean obviously, they LOOK like they are making clouds, right?
This week's Illustration Friday prompt Stripes influenced the way I colored this doodle from my sketch book. :)

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Robot Family on Vacation

Here's a drawing I made while on vacation last week. I live in a tourist town- Steamboat Springs, CO and I almost never get to go anywhere on vacation. But for a week, my husband and dog and I went to play tourist in another Colorado town- Durango. We had lots of fun!

Driving around navigating with confusing maps and wandering the downtown influenced this drawing of Robot Tourists. It's pretty detailed and I may have to enlarge it and make it into a big linocut to pull it off. I'll see how it goes!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Dr. Seuss Exhibit

I'm visiting Durango, Colorado this week and after rolling into town I discovered there was a show of original Dr. Seuss drawings!! I feel like I won the lottery!

Here is a photo by Steve Lewis that I grabbed from this Durango Herald article. There's also a nice article from The Durango Telegraph.

Next to each drawing from one of his stories, they displayed a copy of the finished book open to the same page. It was fun to compare the rough sketch with the finished version in the published book. Many of them were done on tracing paper. With some drawings, he also used the tracing paper to do color separations. Lines were done in pencil and some of them were inked with black ink. Then he planned out the color by coloring in big areas loosely with colored pencil. In his early books he only got to use 2 or 3 colors besides black and white. He could also use a lighter or more dense version of a color for variation. Fo example, a wall was colored completely in blue pencil an there was a note saying "blue 100%." Then there might be a character with lighter blue hair on the same spread with a note saying "blue 70%." And in another spot on the page a pale blue book cover with a note saying "blue 30%."

There were also some finished paintings from his books and some political cartoons. And in a corner for the kids, a reading area with heaps of Dr. Suess books. Do you know he published 46 children's books?!

If you're interested, you can see his political cartoons here. And his advertising artwork here.