Sunday, August 31, 2008

Grown Up Peter

"Peter's eye caught on the jacket, all blue, in the shop window. He made the purchase, as he missed wearing the one he had in his youth."

A Tribute to Beatrix Potter

from SCBWI-LA conference

Well, I never did get all my notes typed up from the SCBWI-LA conference as I promised, but I can share one important bit of advice. This came from Cecilia Yung, Art Director & VP at Penguin Young Readers Group: "action, reaction, interaction." As I looked back over my portfolio, this bit of advice helped me tremendously. I saw that many of images could not be said to be "interacting" or even "reacting," so I know I need to work toward making my illustrations stronger.
Looking at Angela's painting of the boy reading (see below), we can definately find all three. There's action with the boy reading and wriggling in happiness; there's both reaction and interaction with the boy's eyes and how he holds the book. Good job Angela!
Hope this bit of advice helps everyone as much as it's helped me. Now, before I consider my work done, I "analyze" with those three words: action, reaction, interaction.

Saturday, August 30, 2008


What could be a better tribute than to be a reader of Beatrix Potter's books? I remember loving her stories and pictures as a kid and my son now loves them too.

As far as the illo goes, I intended for this kid to be hispanic or from india, but it didn't quite come out that way, did it? I was also experimenting around with his hair and the background (I've checked out a bunch of watercolor books from the library). Overall, I am pleased with the way it turned out. 

Friday, August 29, 2008

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Tribute to Beatrix Potter

When I first started reading about Beatrix Potter, I was fascinated by her illustrated letters: the start of her career as a storyteller and illustrator. So here's my homage to Ms. Potter: my interpretation of her now very famous letter to Noel about a little rabbit named Peter. :-)

To Honor Ms. Potter

They had all decided that they would host a wonderful Tea Party in honor of the woman who gave them human like qualities.
"Here's to our heroine Beatrix Potter. She changed how the humans viewed us and gave us dignity and clothing."

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

In honor of Ms. Potter

I did this painting back in February. Since I went to the library and took out all the Potter books they had to work on my mousie, I thought it would be a good tribute piece. In the spring I was contacted by a counted cross stitch pattern maker to license the image as a a counted cross stitch. I must say that was a huge thrill. The pattern is up here.

The site also licensed several other pieces, mostly flowers, which have not been made into patterns yet.

Homage to Beatrix

I have enjoyed and been inspired by Beatrix Potter for some time. Here is a collection of some of my illustrations that I felt were truly inspired by her work.
This is a great prompt - so why not share it again between friends? =)

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

In the kingdom one afternoon

Sorry I've been MIA. My plate suddenly got fuller than I expected. I still want to "play catch up" for the couple of weeks I missed.

I just sort of scribbled until this lovely lady showed up on the paper. What do you think?

My portfolio

Monday, August 25, 2008


For some reason my mind was as blank as a white sheet of watercolor paper when I read the words "magic wand". I don't know what the problem was so I opted to do a wand only. You can use your imagination as to what this magical thing conjured up.

Magic Wand: Dew Drop Fairy

I have been itching to get this online but the weekend got away from me.... I know that you all can relate. As soon as I read the prompt, I had a vision of some sort of water fairy all in blue with a sparkling wand. Really, I didn't spend much time in sketching, just kind of loosely began drawing on a vellum sheet and she emerged. When I finished her, it just came to me, that I had completed my own version of the Dew Drop Fairy. ;)

Magic Wand

I have this sketch, an idea for a Christmas card. I had not done much with it, but this week's theme made me try a color version. It's hard sometimes to work the light and dark areas, and in this case I think I like what I did with the skirt, but not so much with the sweater.

Anyway, it was good to finally work some color into it and maybe I'll finish it up -- not surprisingly, there's supposed to be a beagle on this illustration as well :-)

Hi All!

I just wanted to let ya'll know that I haven't vanished from the face of the earth. We have returned from our vacation; however, I am currently without a computer (I'm bumming my husband's work computer to type this). We are in the process of getting a new one, but it may still be a few weeks until I can play again. I just wanted to let you know that I'm still VERY much interested in participating, and I'll be back just as soon as I have the tools to do it!

By the way, I took a quick peak at the illos I've missed, and my goodness y'all are so talented! Lovely stuff!

Talk to you soon! :-)


It always seems like a bit of magic when winter transforms into spring.

I was experimenting around with this one. There are parts I like and others I don't. Tell me what you think.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Saturday, August 23, 2008

little fairy is learning magic

the very first desire of this little fairy was a long-long hair for herself when she began learning magic...and a few years later she wanted more. you can see it here!

magic wand

This is a quick one--I found an ink drawing that I had done a month or so ago but hadn't finished, so I added a wand, splashed some watercolor on it, and while working on it, I realized why I hadn't finished it--it's not on watercolor paper & the paper buckled (check out the simulated rain storm at the top of the paper). The washes sat in puddles or stained the paper but wouldn't move. I think I'll put it away again & later redo it on good watercolor paper. There's just no replacing good watercolor paper!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

magic wand

a doodle which i find very fitting for this week..
i have another piece because i ♥ fairies, but i think one is enough?
but in case you're curious, see it here. ^_^

Za's magic wand

linda sarah

Zip Zap

I started this very loosely (at the park with watercolor crayon) and I'm not quite happy with the way it came out. I like the color but the proportions are off.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

WW "Magic Wand"

Lady Good Nectar was having a rough morning. Havco, mayhem and foolish almost took over the day. As luck would have it she located the nearest wand dispenser. Her car wouldn't start, she was feeling really bloated, her money was funny, she was having a bad hair day and the children where misbehaving very badly. She needed all the magic wands!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008


I know, that's no right triplet, but these days I'm so busy, we are reorganizing the house. It's like working, eating, sleeping; working, eating, sleeping (and no time to draw, thats's hard), I think that's my real triplet this week! But I wanted to poste an alternative and chose this tri-step-bunny-hurra-illustration. I hope it will also fit the topic. 
Have a great time!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Triple the mess

If I had triplets, this is what I would worry about. 

Ella Distracted

While on a family walk, Ella saw the most fascinating things.

Can you imagine? Triplet elephants? Just imagine how big you'd get while pregnant. ha ha ha. I almost had a disaster with this. I used a different kind of paper and when I went to wash off the gouache the paper started to disintegrate! I didn't panic, just layed it out on a table as flat as I could until it dried. Oh well, you learn by doing, right?

This was outlined in India ink and then gouache. When the gouache is dry you wash it off! (I know, it's hard to see all that expensive gouache going down the drain.) I've loved seeing everyones take on this. So many creative minds out there. I'm honored to be numbered among you.

A few new words to illustrate

I came up with a few words that we might want to illustrate.
Here is my short list:
Magic Wand
under glass

Triplets - what a handful!

triplets in eggs

hi everybody! i'm so sorry for missing last week's topic! this is my entry for triplets. (i have twins so i wouldn't imagine what can i do with three kids in the same age...)

three cars

If you'd like to see this a bit bigger, I've posted it on my blog here

This was such fun! - thank you SO much Linda - and everyone here:-) It's so lovely to be part of this group - and so inspiring to see the pictures that appear each week - they're just amazing!

Wishing you all a wonderful week,


striped skunk trio

Back from vacation with an entry for this weeks "Triplets" theme. This is a loose study created by using watercolor washes and ink. 

Sunday, August 17, 2008


detail from much larger image - I often work with twos & threes--usually an image with three girls represents my sisters and me (they both have red hair so that shows up a lot in my work)

Billy Goat Gruff...

This was done for the Billy Goat Gruff prompt...I'm trying to catch up & hopefully this week I'll be on track! :)


This was done for another site, but they have smiles on their faces, so I thought it would work for WW.

Illustrators Day

Registration for the 1st Annual Illustrators Day for New Jersey SCBWI is now open!
NOTE: This event is open to non-SCBWI members also, so tell your friends!!!

Space is limited so sign up as soon as you can — this going to be an amazing not-to-be-missed opportunity for illustrators who want to connect with top art directors at leading children's book publishers.

When: Sunday, Nov. 9, 2008
Where: Princeton Theological Seminary, Stuart Hall, Princeton, NJ.
Who: NJ SCBWI with Guest Art Directors Laurent Linn, Simon & Schuster & Patrick Collins, Henry Holt.
Cost: Early Bird (Sept. 1): $175 ($195 non-members) Final Deadline (Sept. 23): $195 ($210 non-members)
Time: 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

There's plenty of fantabulous reasons to sign up:

• Spend the day with two great art directors from top publishing houses: Laurent Linn, art director at Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers and Patrick Collins, creative director at Henry Holt Books for Young Readers

• Work on a pre-assigned illustration project exclusive to this special event, complete with final critique

• Have your portfolio and/or dummie(s) personally reviewed by an art director

• Hear the latest news and what it's like working at a leading publishing house

• Get a chance to have all your children's book-related questions answered

• Hang out with lots of other cool illustrators

• Enjoy a yummy lunch!

• Sit in on sessions about picture-book dummies and marketing strategies …

And if you need one more reason, how about:

• Help create a little piece of history for the New Jersey Chapter of SCBWI!

All you have to do is: Fill out the registration form and mail with your check (made payable to NJ SCBWI) to:
NJ SCBWI, PO Box 660, Ringoes NJ 08551

You can download the form from the New Jersey SCBWI Web site. Visit: and select from the events menu.

Hope to see you there and remember: the earlier you sign up, the more money you'll save!!!

Make it a creative day!

Friday, August 15, 2008


You can't go wrong with kittens, especially with triplets!

Triple Billy Goats

So this one is a combo image--not technically triplets, but there are three of them. There isn't much narrative going on in this one, so I'm not sure how effective it is as an illustration, but I think it's pretty.


sorry i missed last week's challenge!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

The Forknoir Triplets

Okay everyone, you had to know this was coming. The Forknoirs have given birth to two sporks and a spoon.
Mom is resting peacefully, but informed me that she was pregnant again. She said she doesn't recall when it all happened.
The babies are shiney, and happy. They really enjoy their dishwasher bath time.

Upcoming Event

This is NOT to be missed - an all-star cast and very exciting indeed.

If you happen to be in the New York City area on Sept. 6, 2008, check out Books of Wonder with their special look ahead to fall book signing.

**** Finally, a sneak preview of our first September event, which will be on Saturday, September 6th from noon to 2pm. To start the season off in grand style, we've invited a host of wonderful authors and artists, including: Norton Juster (award-winning author of The Phantom Tollbooth and The Hello, Goodbye Window) and Caldecott Medalist Chris Raschka (illustrator of The Hello, Goodbye Window and Grump Groan Growl), Doreen Cronin (NY Times best-selling author of Diary of a Fly and Click, Clack, Moo: Cows that Type) and Caldecott Honor artist Betsy Lewin (illustrator of Cowgirl Kate and Cocoa and Click, Clack, Moo: Cows that Type), Arthur Yorinks (award-winning author of Hey, Al and The Witch's Child) and Caldecott Medalist Richard Egielski (illustrator of Hey, Al and The End), Susan Orlean (author of The Orchid Thief) and G. Brian Karas (illustrator of The Seals on the Bus), Britain's Rob Scotton (author and artist of Russell the Sheep) and Caldecott Honor artist Jon Agee (author and artist of Milo's Hat Trick). Each of these immensely talented authors and artists will be introducing their new books for this fall. Mark your calendars -- you won't want to miss this great event!****

For more, visit their Web site here.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Girly Goats Gruff

I'm a little late, but here's my submission. I think I need to darken the colors (the computer always changes things). I hope you all like it!

Monday, August 11, 2008


Big, the largest of the Gruff brothers, didn't know his own strength. He just wanted to play.

The more I worked on this acrylic painting the less I liked it. Finally I just told myself to stop and live with it. It was a good exercise. It didn't quite turn out the way I saw it in my head, but there you go. I can't wait for the next prompt.

Billy Goats Gruff

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Three Billy Goats Gruff

First time drawing and painting goats, and to be honest, I had a bit of a hard time doing so (especially with the legs!)
Here they are, before the start of their adventures...

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Watercolor Wednesday "Billy Goats Gruffs"

Mia Loopner did not take to kindly to the Woodland brothers making her the grumpy old troll in their backyard production of "The Three Billy Goats Gruff."

Friday, August 8, 2008

"Billy Goat Gruff"

one-tooth dog, curly-tailed goats and a whiskery troll

I hope this is okay:-) - if you'd like to see the full size picture, please click here

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Billy Goat Gruff

My first submission! A golden oldie.
The space to the right (above the two goats is for text)

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

My nasty bug

I've been laid low for three days now, with a hideous bug that just about wiped me out. I'm finally feeling a bit better now, so I anthropomorphized him and put him to good use.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

I just got back from LA SCBWI conference today. It was wonderful! I'm going to type up my notes & I'll post some of them here. I loved coming back to see what everyone had done with anthropomorphic--great job!

Anthropomorphic Fox

Fox in chair

Blue Berry

I really didn't have much time this week to do a full painting, so here's a quick sketch. I tried out a new color of blue. I think it's a keeper!

the moon's walking on the roof...

"...the moon's walking on the roof, pulling away with my heart on a braid..." from a hungarian band quimby lyrics - on terrible translation :)

Monday, August 4, 2008



A little known fact about bears: they love to knit before they hibernate!


This little penguin is the main character in my book, Patrick the Somnambulist. He's a bit of an odd bird...He sleepwalks and often finds himself in odd situations during the night. This image shows him painting a modern masterpiece in his sleep. Wish I could do that!


Gerome plays bass in a blues band.... a true soul man!