Hi guys, I know I haven't been around much, I hope you're all doing well!
 I wanted to pop in and show you some pictures of this year's Christmas parade. 

This is the fourth time we participated and I think it may have been the most fun for the people involved. The idea was to build a herd of reindeer to walk (and sing and dance - however the mood strikes) in the parade. 
We came up with a template and a patient friend cut out a whole bunch of them from recycled cardboard. Most of the the decorations came from thrift shops, although there was also paint and duct tape involved. We had a fun time and won the city prize for "most creative entry, so we were doing something right! And then there was pizza, of course.


reindeer cards

I've been practicing my printmaking skills, and although I'm playing around with screenprints, a linocut still works best for me. Here is what my holiday card looks like this year:

I'm bringing a few to the local art sale at The Arts Center, so here is a little herd all packed up and waiting to go.


fancy mail

Today's package is a bit intimidating, and not only because of it's size.
Voila: my page in this year's Directory of Illustration!!!!!!!


I submitted this last spring, and while there are things I would do differently today, (you know how it is) I'm pretty proud of it. It's a nice big book, I wonder where all the other copies are heading out to today...

Here is what the page looks like laid flat:



I received a package in the mail this week, and now I can finally show you a sweet assignment that dropped in my lap this summer. If you follow me on Instagram, you've already seen the whole thing in excruciating detail, but it always takes me a bit longer to come over here. Well, here goes:

Here I am on the table of contents, mine is the seal juggling Oreo truffles - of course.
 I got to do a feature for allrecipe magazine, and although I'm playing it cool, it was pretty exciting.

For this holiday candy recipe layout, the Art Director chose to photograph the confections in a watercolor Candyland landscape. The candies would become part of the picture, and turn into something else. I got to invent a storyline, paint the scenes and come up with ways to "disguise" the candy, which was a lot of fun.

These are a few of my favorites.


Happy Halloween

I guess this is officially the end of "#inktober" - sniff



This is the time of year where things get  little stretched and a bit schizophrenic as the different categories of making collide. I'll just check in for some show and tell.
This birdie is going into the Holiday Sale, I'm kind of attached to her...



since it's still October, I'm going to stick to the black and white theme and show you a few more of my "inktober" drawings. I'm enjoying the ink wash and line practice, straight without any pencils first. Find more of these over on Instagram, if you like.

pigeons and doves

I'm also doing a lot of sketching for assignments in progress. I think the November challenge will have to be about drawing people, possibly an emphasis on grownups...
In other news; I'm preparing to put a few things in the local holiday sale, working on family Halloween projects, and continuing my personal quest for computer skills (yay Skillshare)


starred review

Happy Monday all! I'm going to  start the week with a couple of black and white Illustrations from my upcoming (first!) chapter book Audrey (Cow)

We're celebrating a starred review in Publishers weekly, hurray!



I'm working on a couple of things these days, but warming up in my sketchbook has become a good habit. I have a 30 min painting a day booklet, and a different one where I've been experimenting with wash and line for "Inktober".
Here are a couple of my favorites. If you want to see more daily sketches, you can follow me on Instagram

Have a nice weekend friends, I'm off to clean up my studio and frost a cake, my parents are coming to town!


getting busy

My new business cards have arrived, I'm so excited! Take a look at these babies:

Did I really need to order 500(!) ? Um, no.
But they look great, and I'm sure I will use them. You may notice that I did not include a phone #. My other exciting news is that my family is getting ready to spend six months in France, so I need to be as portable (and mysterious) as possible.
I haven't really had anything printed before, so these are part of an experiment with different services. I will order postcards (and maybe bookmarks?) from a different service to compare. Do you have a favorite printing place to work with?



Welcome fall! I'm enjoying the cooler weather, but it's making me sneeze. 20 times in a row yesterday - my record

Have a nice weekend!


in the mail...

Today's mail brought the current issue of Ladybug magazine, with two of my illustrations. It looks nice and was a lot of fun to do. I'm also happy to be in such good company, the other art looks great!
Here's a peek:

who doesn't want to dress up like their pet ? Do you know what you'll be for Halloween this year?


all thumbs...

is how I feel when I'm playing around with my computer, but now the elephant's on a shirt...

Magic, sigh.


playing around

 I'm having fun playing with watercolor and collage on the side. Here's my favorite so far:

 I like the combination of loose watercolor, playful pencils and precise papercutting, so I think I'm going to keep working on this idea some more.
By the way, this is the last day to vote on the GTS round two designs (see earlier post). If you haven't voted yet, check out the gallery here.


The elephant is out of the bag...

The gallery for round two of the "Global Talent Search" (GTS for short) is up over on the Lilla Rogers Studio blog, and it's amazing! The assignment was to create an animal character "with personality" for a kids t-shirt.
This little guy is my submission. I've never been to India, but I love color and pattern and animals, and these painted elephants have caught my eye for a while. My kids have always loved to dress up and paint their faces, so I thought that a young elephant might also have fun decorating himself.

To vote for your favorites and check out the rest of the gallery head over here, you'll find some fabulous characters. Have fun, and happy Monday!


over the moon...

and down to work. 
I'm getting serious here, but I wanted to give you a link to all the other terrariums, go check it out here, you'll find some amazing work.



Hi Friends.
So I entered this contest, and I had a good time and I MADE IT INTO THE NEXT ROUND!!!!! (sorry, I was really not expecting to get anywhere with this, so I'm all caps this morning)
The theme was "tiny terrariums", here's my piece:

watercolor, gouache, collage
Head over to the gallery for a look at the other 998 amazing entries. I'm going to go walk the dog and think about my assignment for round 2. (eek)
Have a nice day!



It seems like a good time to practice my handlettering.  It's an ongoing project, but here's a peek at one design I made in full color.
Maybe a bit of a goodbye to summer.


Happy Monday

There are a lot of things on my plate this week - and back to school tomorrow.
Here's a peek at my luxurious end of summer snack, and today's warmup drawing.

Have a great week!


In the mail...

This week I got a special international courier delivery - from Tundra Books (Random House). I was lucky enough to work with some amazing people there a while back, now my first chapter book is coming out this fall!

Nora curled up with the advance copy
The story of Audrey (Cow) is a bit Babe meets Animal Farm meets Mission Impossible , all from the point of view of the characters. I got to do the cover and a bunch of black and white interior drawings. I'll have to show you some up close when I get more time, I'm kind of happy with them.


tropical paradise

It's been a bit quiet on the blog this summer, just imagine the radio silence like the surface of a pool, and all the fish are swarming around under water. My recent side project has been to participate in the MIID Summer School, beginner level. I love color and pattern, and this is just so much fun - and a lot more to learn!
Here is my submission for the beginner track creative brief #1 - tropical paradise
you can see the rest of the gallery with all seven pages of amazing designs (!) over here


The Running Dream book review

Hey everybody! It's Louisa again. This book I am reviewing The Running Dream by Wendelin Van Draanen, one of my favorite books of all time.

If I was stuck on a desert island and could only bring one book, it would be The Running Dream, by Wendelin Van Draanen. This book is one of those books you could read a billion times, and never get tired of. Jessica Carlisle is sixteen years old and loves to run. She's a record breaking member of her high school's track team. On the way home from a meet the team bus is involved in a horrific accident. The collision kills one girl, and causes Jessica to lose a leg. Jessica's world is turned upside down. Running is her life! She doesn't know what to do without her leg. Some days, Jessica wonders if the girl who died didn't get the better end of the deal. No pain, no recovery, just peace and quiet. Finally, Jessica plucks up the courage to go back to school. She befriends Rosa, a girl with cerebral palsy who helps Jessica with math, and inspires her to look towards a future full of hope and new beginnings. Jessica has always been very determined, and so she naturally begins to wonder if it would be possible not only to learn to walk, but learn to run, too.With the help and support of her family and friends, she makes progress with her leg, and learns a lot about herself along the way.

Hope you enjoyed it, and be sure to check out this book because it's amazing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



fiber installation

I neglected to post a picture of this earlier, but I did think it deserves a mention:

6-9 year old class
This crazy installation is made up of yards of finger crochet from a group of girls who were first reluctant to learn and became crocheting fools once it clicked for them - fun!


The Candy Shop War book review

Hi! :-)
It's me again! Sorry I didn't do a review last week, I was so busy! Anyway, this week I decided to review the book The Candy Shop War by Brandon Mull.


Summer, Nate, Trevor, and Pigeon are four friends who stop by The Sweet Tooth, the new candy shop in town, hoping to get some candy. They find themselves doing odd jobs for Mrs. White, the owner, in exchange for some of her mouthwatering treats. Once Mrs. White trusts them, she sends them on more challenging missions in order to earn some special, magical candy. Moon rocks, which help you defy gravity, melting pot mixers, that change your race temporarily ( I found that part a little racist :0 ) and shock bits, which allow you to stun an attacker, are only some of the marvelous candies that await them. The tasks get harder and more dangerous as the story goes on, and the kids don't know whom to trust. This story is exciting and dramatic, (after all, grave robbing and breaking into museums are hardly everyday activities) and I recommend it for grades 5 and up.

So that's it, hope you liked it!



drink in the garden

As usual I was having trouble deciding on a direction for my final assignment. I ended up dedicating this picture to a good friend who taught me how to make a mean margarita.

This is set in her lovely garden surrounded by her flowers.
Check out the amazing work of my fellow students here in the gallery


Another circus

Things are slowing down a bit around here, time for another change of pace and a new routine. 
Art Camp is over, and this year was pretty awesome. Just to wrap it up, I thought I'd post some pictures of our version of Calder's circus.
every circus needs a dinosaur act...

the greatest art show on earth

final installation for the art exhibit



checking in from art camp

 Here's a peek at some work from camp!
 We started with a simple flat wire sculpture. I really wanted students to get the feel of working with different gauges of wire (and realize the difficulties). Some kids strung beads and sequins inside their shapes, but I love the confident simplicity of this little house.
wiresculpture, Aine age 6     
circus parts, mixed media, Nora age 8
These are a few samples from day 2. We made a wagon, talked about movable parts, and started creating our "Acts" for the show. The glue gun was a lot more popular than wire, I'm sure Calder would have  appreciated one himself!


Calder's circus

Getting ready for another week of art camp...

I don't think I'll ever get tired of this video.



I'm getting serious about improving, (ha, who are we kidding) getting some computer skills, these days.  It's not that I'm going to completely change the way I work, I just want to stay on top of things, use my time wisely and make the most of my options, That said, it's a lot of fun!
As you can see I'm a total beginner, but I'm practicing with some images from my desktop, so kitty got to travel.

cat in the mountains (homage to Ferdinand Hodler)

At this point I'm a bit of a Skillshare addict. I had started a couple of classes before, and now that they've switched to a membership format, I get kind of dizzy with all the choices. I haven't actually completely finished and posted a project/assignment yet, but I've already learned a lot (I also learned the hard way to keep hitting "save" as you go along). If you're a newbie like me, you might be interested in this list of recommended free Photoshop tutorials I encountered today.  I have a collection of similar helpful links on a Pinterest board.
Have a good weekend friends!


Book Review for "Cold Hard Cash"

Hi! It's Louisa again. Today I'm going to review the book Cold Hard Cash, part of the Sammy Keys series by Wendelin Van Draanen. :-)

Not very many people take the expression "scared to death" literally, so Sammy Keys must have been pretty surprised to find out that she had literally scared someone- to death! And when this guy, an old guy too, pulled out bundles of cash from his pockets and begged Sammy to "get rid of them", she pretty much had to oblige, so she threw it out the windows of the fire escape. Nothing could stop Sammy from going back later to see if anyone had found the cash. And taking it. And spending it. And while she naturally felt guilty spending a dead guy's cash, she was so excited about finally having pocket money, she didn't wonder much about where it came from, and why someone was carrying thousands of dollars around in their pockets. This book has the perfect balance of old lady disguises, pool parties, bratty little brothers, dramatic mothers, excitement, police cars, charmingly sneaky old men, colorful cowboy boots and scruffy hotels.This is one of the many wonderful books in the Sammy Keys series, by the lovely Wendelin Van Draanen.
I recommend this for sixth grade and up, after a particularly scarring incident in third grade (let's just say I wasn't used to murder).  If this story sounds interesting, be sure to check out the rest of the books in this series, starting with Sammy Keys and the Hotel Thief.

another "fragile" idea

watercolor, gouache, colored pencil and collage


fragile flowers

and a field of flowers this time....
watercolor and collage
maybe this is my new approach to Illustration Friday, usually I spend most of the time trying to decide on an image :)
Have a nice day friends!


IF: Fragile

I've been working on a series of flowers in watercolor and collage that fit perfectly in this weeks theme over at Illustration Friday.


Can you tell I'm having fun with these?