Friday, June 29, 2012

Still Working!

My parents are visiting, but I still manage to find a few minutes each day to work on my circus linocut. This photo was taken with the Hipstamatic app on my iPhone. I've been having so much fun taking pictures with my phone! If you are interested in seeing some, head over to my other blog, Steamboat Photos. I just posted a whole bunch from the Yampa River Botanic Park.

I've also been using another app called Moku Hanga which transforms your photos into looking like a woodblock print (sort of!) It's really neat, and since it has a VERY distant relationship to printmaking, I might share a few pictures in a post before long. :)

Monday, June 25, 2012

Illustration Friday: Space

I love making pictures with lots of stars! And linocuts really lend themselves to rich blacks. So, needless to say, I've made a lot of artwork that fits itself into this week's Illustration Friday theme, Space. Since I've done several blog posts about images of our planet from space, I thought I'd share some art that mostly features stars.

Above are the closing and opening pages from my artist book, Earth.

This was a messy test piece I made for a book, but I really like the way it turned out. The quote is by NASA Astronaut, Edgar Mitchell. "My view of our planet was a glimpse of divinity."

And here's a little night sky picture from my series of Colorado images. Now I'm off to make more stars for my next picture based on The Night Circus!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

The Night Circus

Since I've taken the pressure off myself to redo my dummy before August 1st, now I get to do something fun instead! I'm going to make 2 or 3 illustrations based on The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. It's a fabulous book if you haven't read it! It's about 2 magicians who create an incredible nighttime circus while competing with each other in making each tent more fantastic.

Here's my first sketch.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Home One More Time

It's soooo hard working on a picture book dummy with your own concept, your own text, and your own artwork... and no real idea if what you are doing is worthwhile! But that's just part of the deal at this stage in the game. It's so helpful getting critiques from friends or professionals. Sometimes they have really good insight, and sometimes just sharing your work makes clear to you how you should change it.

I had my picture book dummy Home done to a point that I submitted it to a couple agents. But it still felt like it needed some more work before I sent it out it again. So I emailed the lovely and gracious Beth Krommes who agreed to take a look at the electronic version of my book. Beth is a fantastic artist who works in scratchboard for picture books, and wood engraving and paint for her other artwork. I think my style has some similarities to Beth's because of the graphic media. And of course I admire her like crazy because she's talented, kind, and makes gorgeous picture books.

Beth sent me back a list of comments that involved a lot of changes to the book. It was so nice to get objective, direct feedback. So I've rewritten almost every line of the book, while still keeping the concepts and flavor of the text. And now I'm working my way through redrawing each spread. Above is a photo of the sketchy storyboard. It's overwhelming but exciting! I'm going to try and have a whole new dummy in time for the LA SCBWI Conference at the beginning of August. Wish me luck!

Update on 6/19/12. There's no way on Earth I can get that dummy done before August! So, I'm going to work on it at a more reasonable pace and spend the time making some fun new pieces for my portfolio. Whew! :)

Thursday, June 7, 2012


When I was thinking about what summer images I wanted to make for Colorado greeting cards, I met someone who suggested I make a teepee. Maria, I hope you like how it turned out! Those two bumps are the Bear's Ears near Hayden, Colorado.

Monday, June 4, 2012


Yesterday I carved a couple of stamps with my linocut tools and used them to make stationary for my friend's birthday. The main stamp has her dog, Breezy, a Bernese Mountain Dog smelling a flower.

In addition to stamping some pages and coloring them with colored pencil, I gave her both stamps so that she can use them herself on anything. I think she really liked her stationary!

The stamps themselves are made from Speedball Speedy-Carve. It's soft and rubbery but holds detail really well. And it works beautifully with a stamp pad. Linoleum doesn't work very well at all with a stamp pad. It's too stiff and doesn't seem to hold the ink from the pad that well. There are different versions of "speedy-cut" but I like this pink Speedy-Carve best because it isn't crumbly and it's tough to hold up to lots of printing.

I've actually used this stuff to make the blocks for lots of my small prints that I still call "linocuts" because I don't know what to call them exactly. Speedy-Carve-Cuts? Here's a photo of some of the blocks, some stamp pads including some fun small ones from Aladine and a sheet of Speedy-Carve.

I used that pink stuff to make this whole series of Colorado images! You can see the blocks above for the Horse and Skis prints.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Cookies and Cards Tonight!

Tonight from 5-8 is my opening for Short Stories: Whimsical Linocut Illustrations at Off the Beaten Path bookstore. The bookstore coffee shop is providing some goodies and half-priced wine. I'm bringing sparkling cider, cheese, crackers, fruits & veggies along with some gluten-free cookies I made. They turned out pretty yummy!

Tonight I'll also have new cards available from some of the images in the show. 

If you are in Steamboat Springs, stop in and say hello!