You know you wanted to see this guy in action!
He was a definite success, thanks to all the lovely people who came out and worked on him and helped him make it through the parade!


a magical creature

In our quest to increase the visibility of the local art center, we set out to build a float for the Christmas Parade here in Clemson. Many hours later, here is what we have to show for it: a magical sea serpent, carried by an a group of volunteers and surrounded by hand made fish lanterns.
I'm excited because he was a group effort , and he's made almost entirely out of recyclables
(the support is pvc pipe and window screen). We went dumpster diving at the recycling center, and had many donations of bubble wrap and other odd supplies.
For the (evening) parade he will be lit up , I hope it all goes off well and I can get a few pictures.
cross your fingers!


moonlight pony

A horse playing in the moonlight, just for fun. White ink and colored pencil on black paper.


almost December

Here I am with Melinda Long of pirate fame, last year in Greenville.
 The 12 Days of Christmas in South Carolina books are still going strong this year.
 I'm honored to get calls every now and then for me to sign a bunch of books as presents, usually, appropriately enough, for cousins.


Lisa and Lotty- take two

I think it is more easily readable with the second color...hmm, maybe this opens the door to multicolored paper cut illustrations. I have definitely been admiring these.
that makes me think that a black background may make my words easier to read, hold on...
well, maybe not with the second color, hold on....
still need to squint a bit, but better, and I liked the red flowers, so I kept them
All in all, I kind of like it, and it was fun to experiment. This would be a great time for comments, what do you think?

Lisa and Lotty

This is a personal papercut  did for a fantasy cover for one of my favorite childhood books.
I think it's still a bit hard to read the text, I'm going to try it with a paper cut overlay just for the title. Back to the drawing board


lucky day

Ok, there are waay to many distractions around here.....
Between construction outside and organizing and planning inside, with a few holidays thrown in to spice it up, I am having a hard time settling down and concentrating on anything.
So, here's a picture of my new thrift shop chair, waiting for it's proper space to free up.
It's already a family favorite, and the dog approves.
For me it was love at first sight - for $15 bucks - score!

better luck on the artist front tomorrow, happy monday!


A Song for My Sister

Early this week I found a large package from Random House on my doorstep. Here's a peek at some of what was inside. This is a random scan from the art for the front/back cover (wrap around) of a book coming out June 2012.
 Lesley Simpson wrote the book called "A Song for my Sister", it's a sweet story of a little girl and her baby sister, centered around the Jewish ceremony of simchat bat.
I'll tell you more about it when the book comes out.


pet portraits

This is the first in a series of pet portraits I have planned. It shows my dog Coco, but it is it is more of  an exaggerated personality portrait than a realistic view. I had much more fun with it that I expected, next I will try to make a more realistic one.
This project came about because I agreed to put some pieces in the Holiday Art/Gift  Sale at the local Arts Center. I ordered some more christmas books , but I also wanted to make a few things.
I'm painting some portraits of friends pets, and I'll take commissions, if someone wants to order one.
I made a few more random things, I haven't had a lot of time to sew stuffed animals, every year I realize - I should really have started earlier...
So it's an ongoing process, I'll  take a picture of the whole setup when I'm done, but now I need a few elves to come in and clean up my studio. It looks like something exploded in there.
No wonder my kids just give me a wry look when I tell them to clean up their rooms : "seriously?"

hot dog!

do you remember the Ladybug illustration with the trick or treaters...with the dog dressed in costume? Well, look who we ran into downtown this Halloween!


how about a title for this.....

This is a personal papercut I'm working on, in progress. There are a few projects in the works right now, and I'm organizing some things for a local holiday Art sale.
Add to that some very exciting construction going on in my backyard - right out that window - and you can understand that I am having a bit of a hard time concentrating......
More on the construction later, I have been taking a lot of pictures.
And of course the finished papercut, I'm experimenting with using text and I wonder if it will turn out legible enough.
Lots of fun plans for the weekend, and the Illustration Friday topic is "scary" - hard to resist :)


just in time for Halloween....

Here are my pages in Ladybug Magazine this month. I illustrated a poem called "Ghost Goes Boo" by Leslie Davidson. The best part of the project was choosing the costumes for the trick or treaters. One of my favorite characters of all time is Pippi Longstocking, so I dressed the big sister up as her. my dog coco is putting in a cameo appearance as a hot dog.


hurray for teachers

This is a scan of the finished poster for teacher appreciation day.  The local PTA asked me to design it, and I had a great time experimenting with a combination of watercolor, collage and cut paper. It is supposed to be printed 12" x18" and hung on every teacher's door as a decoration for the week. 
I'm honored.


thinking about picture books

I originally found this "proclamation" on Carson Ellis' blog,


I love the passion and the enthusiasm.


Red Fox

I don't think I've mentioned that I have an agent now! I am represented by Abigail Samoun at  Red Fox Literary.  It's so exciting, I can't wait to see what happens next!

This image is from an upcoming book I illustrated for Sleeping Bear Press - so much fun to draw all kinds of animals.


not just bread...

I've been asked to come up with a poster to decorate the classroom doors for teacher appreciation day. Usually I send a loaf of bread for the special soup lunch, but this is even more up my alley. 
This is my sketch,(slogan not by me). I had a lot of fun coming up with a range of possibilities.
Both of my girls are at the same school now, and I'm so happy they like it there!


my favorite fruit

here's a custom card I painted for a friend...



I'm having a bit of trouble focusing on my work this morning, but I think I just found something that will do the trick: another cup of coffee and some time spent on you tube discovering Zoe Keating. 


Back to School

After a flurry of organizing, planning, shopping and packing, it's time to go to school!
Everyone went off excited and happy, it looks like we're off to a good start.
Look for more activity over here, I have big plans for my own future, and there's a lot I haven't told you yet, poor neglected blog.


IF: Warning

Here's my quick sketch for "warning" this week.
With a nautical nod to N.C. Wyeth 


all business

This is my new business card, what do you think? Eventually I'd like a set that has a color image on the back, but this was all I could whip up in time.
I was invited to have a table at an arts event last weekend, and so it was a good time to experiment with having some prints made, and think about a card to help people remember me. The sale was pretty successful and I had a good time hanging out with my friend at the next table.
I'm thinking of opening an Etsy shop for the prints I had made; I think they turned out really well.



a swarm of bees for Illustration Friday
I was playing with my new bottle of masking fluid - art supplies are fun


Thank you to guest artist Nora Wren Mai, for creating the beautiful header "witch goes to princess Alice's birthday party"

IF: sweater

if coco wore a sweater......


house cleaning

please excuse the look of this space while I do some cleaning up and rearranging.