Thursday, March 26, 2015

Hello again!

Much has changed since my last post here. 2014 was a whirlwind, so I took some time off from blogging to get my bearings. I am happy to be back with updates on on my adventures, both bunny painting and otherwise!

Shortly after my last post, this little guy arrived:


He has brought much joy and much busyness! We are totally, utterly in love with our tiny fellow. And also we are very busy. Did I mention that?

Shortly before his arrival, my husband and I closed on a house and began converting it from a two family to a single. With no experience and a lot of excitement we put our home renovation dreams into action. Much of the year was spent wandering around mess that looked like this:


Surely enough the space was transformed, and we moved into our house at the end of the year:



We've been painting, organizing, and unpacking ever since. I'm excited to post some before and after pictures when the transformation is complete.

When not house painting, I've been hard at work with a different kind of paint brush. The illustrations for Sprout Street Neighbors (book 1) are now complete and I am so excited that it's book birthday is almost here! In one month's time it can be found in bookstores at last.


Til then I'll be posting more of the artwork, peeks inside the making of the book, and details about ways to celebrate with me (mark your calendars for a launch party on June 6th at the Odyssey). Stay tuned!

Monday, May 12, 2014

From Chapter 2: Emma

Here are a few of my favorite paintings from the second chapter of Sprout Street Neighbors (some chapter one paintings here), featuring a rambunctious squirrel named Emma:






Friday, May 02, 2014

Meet the Sprout Street Neighbors

I just finished up the illustrations that will go on the back cover of this jacket. Looking forward to seeing how the designer puts all the pieces together!



Wednesday, April 09, 2014

More paintings from Sprout Street Neighbors

Here are a few of my favorites from the first chapter of Sprout Street Neighbors, the chapter book I've been working on. It's been a lot of fun painting without color, it sort of frees me up to think more about the values, textures, and patterns in a painting. I like spending time in this cozy black and white world.






Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Sprout Street Jacket

Here is the final painting for the jacket of Sprout Street Neighbors. I began with this sketch. I'll post the jacket design soon!


Saturday, January 25, 2014

Saturday Sketch

Tightening up the jacket sketch for Sprout Street Neighbors, my first chapter book, due out next year. 


Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Wise words from Leo Lionni


"Of all the questions I have been asked as an author of children's books, the most frequent one, without doubt, has been 'How do you get your ideas?' Most people seem to think that getting an idea is both mysterious and simple. Mysterious, because inspiration must come from a particular state of grace with which only the most gifted souls are blessed. Simple, because ideas are expected to drop into one's mind in words and pictures, ready to be transcribed and copied in the form of a book, complete with endpapers and cover. The word get expresses these expectations well. Yet nothing could be further from the truth.

"It is true that, from time to time, from the endless flow of our mental imagery, there emerges unexpectedly something that, vague though it may be, seems to carry the promise of a form, a meaning, and, more important, an irresistible poetic charge. The sense of instant recognition with which we pull this image into the full light of our consciousness is the initial impulse of all creative acts. But, though it is important, it produces no more than the germ of an idea. Each book, at the birth of its creative history, has such a moment. Some are fortunate enough to have, from the outset, a strongly identified hero, one with an inescapable destiny. Others are blessed with a promising beginning, or perhaps with the vision of an ending (which means working backwards to a surprise opening). Others stem from a clearly articulated conflict situation. Sometimes, I must admit, the motivations of a book may be found in a sudden, unreasonable urge to draw a certain kind of crocodile. And it may even happen that in the dark of our minds there appears, out of nowhere, a constellation of words that has the bright, arrogant solidity of a title. Only last night I was jolted out of a near-slumber by the words the mouse that didn't exist. I am sure that, temporarily tucked away in my memory, they will eventually become the title of a story for which as yet I have no idea.

"To shape and sharpen the logic of a story, to tighten the flow of events, ultimately to define the idea in its totality, is much like a game of chess. In the light of overall strategy, each move is the result of doubts, proposals, and rejections, which inevitably bring to mind the successes or failures of previous experiences.

"Inspirational raptures may happen, but most books are shaped through hard, disciplined work. Creative work, to be sure, because its ingredients come from the sphere of the imaginary. But the manipulation of these ingredients requires much more than mere inclination or talent. It is an intricate process in which the idea slowly takes form, by trial and error, through detours and side roads, which, were it not for the guidance of professional rigor, would lead the author into an inextricable labyrinth of alternatives.

"And so, to the question 'How do you get your ideas?' I am tempted to answer, unromantic though it may sound, 'Hard work.' "


-Leo Lionni (found through his Amazon bio)