Wednesday, February 23, 2011


I'm kind of shy until I get to know someone. But I try not to let that stop me from meeting new people. I just pretend to be brave, and somehow I am! It's even harder to introduce yourself to people you look up to. I've done it a few times and each time I was pleasantly surprised at how kind and helpful my heroes are. I guess I'm lucky that many of them are children's artists who tend to be nice, fun people anyway.

Last summer at the LA SCBWI conference I met Loren Long. His talks were inspiring and gave me insight that I needed about bringing emotion into my artwork. Loren encouraged me to mail two of his books that I owned to him to sign. I also sent him a hand made thank you card and one of my postcards. Loren sent me back a wonderful letter and this signed Otis poster. I LOVE Otis! I finally just got the poster framed yesterday.

Another hero of mine, Marla Frazee was wonderfully helpful. Marla is generous and smart in addition to being super talented. She critiqued my work two years in a row at different SCBWI conferences. Marla was able to see my progress and how I had followed her suggestions from the first year. She even suggested I email her if I made changes in any of the stories. I wound up completely redoing my last dummy based on her observations. When I emailed her she had me send her a pdf of the new dummy. Isn't that nice? She liked it!

I finally emailed Beth Krommes after combing the internet for about a week trying to figure out how to transfer a line drawing onto scratchboard without chemicals. I asked her how she did it and she answered me right back. It was a piece of cake! Here's my first scratchboard attempt.

I wanted to meet more relief printmakers so I started a little mailing project. I made 5 small books for artists to put one of their prints into and then mail on to someone else. I sent them to a couple friends and then realized my BIG MISTAKE. I started the project to meet more printmakers. That's because I didn't know many. So who was I going to send the other books to?! Complete strangers? Yes! I sent a couple to artists I admired and then got brave and mailed one to Mary Azarian, with a letter of course. Mary sent me a notecard back saying she'd gotten it and sent it along to another printmaker. I was so excited to get a card from one of my heroes!

By the way... I still don't know if those little books are out there circulating. I hope so. They are supposed to be mailed back to me when the pages are filled. But who knows if I'll see them again.

Does anyone else have good hero stories to share? I'd love to hear!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Earth Day goal

For about 6 years I've been thinking about making an artist book celebrating the beauty of our planet. I've come up with 4 different ways to do it with completely different art and endless variations on text and bookbinding styles. This image is from an idea I had using stamps, painting and quotes. I was trying to make it too complicated because it was very important to me and the Earth as a subject is so HUGE. (ha ha)

I finally did settle on a simplified book with painted linocuts and a wooden cover. Here are some links to photos on earlier posts- painting  title page  cover  carving
And my goal is to have 3 (out of an edition of 10) finished by Earth Day on April 22. Then I can also concentrate on doing something nice for the Earth on that day other than just adding more books to a bookshelf!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Adele's mishap painted

Poor Adele, I actually feel a little sorry for her after painting this print. What a gloomy day. I want to tell her that children's books always have a happy ending, so don't give up yet!

Illustration Friday - Sweater

This one is from oohhh so many years ago. I used to find rhymes, puns, and idioms irresistible. It's just silly business- I can't explain it any other way!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

And she tumbles down the hill!

I just printed this one this morning. Adele falls down the mountain on the way to visit Avery. She gets a little banged up, but after a trip to the doctor she's a-ok! Unfortunately, she misses her date with Avery. What will he think?!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Illustration Friday- Reverse

This is the Pacific Ocean from my series of images of Earth. Being from the Northern Hemisphere, whenever I see an iconic Earth image it's mostly North and Central America with the top of South America. But there are so many other views of our planet! I guess the real REVERSE side of the planet from North America would be the Indian Ocean or something like that. But here's an unusual view- the Pacific- look how big it is!!
All of my linocuts are carved in reverse of what I want the final printed image to be. Here's a photo of the block and print and another of me painting with my helpful assistant Zoe. I'm still painting these images for an artist book- it feels like a never-ending project at this point!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

One more block

I painted the print of Adele and Avery meeting but I didn't like it. It was too boring- that's why I haven't posted it already. So I think I'm going to redraw it as a close-up of their heads and upper bodies without all that extra grass and fence. It's supposed to be an exciting moment! We'll see how the second version turns out.
So I decided to do a finished print of the scene where Adele falls off the mountain. It's a scary moment and I have to make it both frightening and not too frightening. Because in the end she's ok... don't worry!!! She's ok! That's why she's sitting up at the bottom! :)


I just posted some goofy Brain prints for sale at my Etsy store! They are from many years ago, but I still smile when I see them. :)