Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween

Yes-its true, I am the illustrator behind Mr. Pig of the fabulous Little Crooked Cottage blog. I dressed up Mr. Pig especially for Halloween last night-he was very excited. AND, by the way they are running an awesome book give away-check it out!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Could be of interest

I love seeing photos of other illustrators studios-to see where they work is great but often find that I am more interested to see what sort of books they have lying around. So I have added a small sidebar section to the blog to share what I have been listening to (audiobooks and music selections) and reading when I am done for the day. When I am in the middle of a long project I can't share any of the images I have been working on so I will continue to post an occasional desktop grab and the inspiration series-images that end up on my desktop project after project as sort of touchstones.
Sorry that I do not have any current shots of my own to share just at the moment but I will soon!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

In the news, new book deal!

From this weeks Publishers Weekly Rights Report-thank you Emily van Beek! This manuscript is laugh out loud funny. Can't wait!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Inspiration series

N.C. Wyeth

There are certain images that have inspired me over the years for any number of reasons: storytelling, color, technique, composition, feeling, drawing, etc. Usually some combination of theses elements keeps me coming back to a given piece of work again and again.
If one of these pieces has inspired you-let me know!

Friday, September 20, 2013

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Hey look-the cover is up already!

My next book, Sleepytime Me by Edith Fine is now available for pre-order! The publication date is set for May 27th. Pre orders through Amazon or your local independent bookstore are so helpful in getting the word out there about a title and making sure that it is seen. I have lots of great content to post in the coming months about the making of this cover and the interior art. Thanks for your support!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Inspiration series

Beatrix Potter

There are certain images that have inspired me over the years for any number of reasons: storytelling, color, technique, composition, feeling, drawing, etc. Usually some combination of theses elements keeps me coming back to a given piece of work again and again.
If one of these pieces has inspired you-let me know!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Remembering and Giving, We Art Boston.

Redwall Original Art for benefit auction

I spent part of this afternoon unpacking a shipping crate containing several large works from a book a made with my old friend Brian Jacques. It had been a few years since I looked at some of these large pastel paintings created for  A Redwall Winters Tale. As I peeled back the layers of wrapping and foam core, memories of my late friend and our work together rushed in. All of them good, but I do miss him.

This unpacking was not just an exercise in nostalgia but for a very good cause, one that I know Brian would have appreciated and undoubtedly supported. Friends and former teaching colleagues from RISD have banded together in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombing to create "We Art Boston".

"We Art Boston" is a fundraiser/auction of children's book art to benefit Boston Children's Hospital. Online auction opens Oct. 10. Family event Oct. 20 in Boston. They are the real deal and all the folks involved in this drive are in it for all the right reasons. Please take a moment to like their page and share with your friends and family.

More information and events here:

I appreciate it, and I know that Brian would as well. This one is for the kids at the hospital and to you my friend.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Redwall Original Art

I try to post new art on Fridays but I had a moment to get this one posted. Enjoy and please share!

"This large scale portrait of Hypericum Hadduck Hare was created for pages 18-19 of A Redwall Winters Tale by Brian Jacques and published by Philomel Books in 2001. Hypericum was the leader of the rag tag group of minstrels and clowns named The Thistle Down Troupe. I jumped at the opportunity to research the costumes for this Shakespearian, slightly down on his heels, but still larger than life character. I think I could have created another whole book just focused on the troupe!
This is the original pastel and charcoal painting and it is quite large. I was creating all the artwork at 133% of the reproduction size. The live art area measures 13 1/2" high and 12 1/2" wide."

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Illustrator note: Thinking is actually doing.

Just a quick post as I am knee deep in paintings but thought I would add a little Illustrator note-perhaps only to remind myself of the importance of taking a moment to step back and think about the piece that you are currently working on. The thinking before you take up the brush or stylus is vital, but that is a whole different post.

I have been cranking out paintings at a ridiculous rate. Deadlines have made it so. I can get the paint on the piece and have it looking pretty good fairly quickly but we all know how easy it is to ruin an illustration by overworking. If you think you are about done, take a break-work on something else for a few hours. When you come back try to trick yourself into viewing the piece through the a fresh set of eyes. Ask yourself; are the rhythms  working, the dark light balance, have you lost the drawing?

I am a big proponent of adopting Illustration/painting mentors to guide you through a project. I collect examples of work that appeal to me and speak to the look and feel that I am striving for in a set of paintings. Take a moment to open those files and really look at the paintings and evaluate your own work in that context.

Finding that little bit of space can be just the thing to suggest the few tweaks to your own painting and hopefully save you hours of fiddling around. This little bit of thinking work is just as, if not more important than the physical work of creating the illustration.

Old news to many in the craft but worth reminding myself.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

New Partnership!

I am very excited to announce my new partnership with Emily van Beek at Folio Jr!
Emily and I met a few years ago and am thrilled to have the opportunity to work with her again. She is a consummate professional, incredibly intelligent, and just about the nicest person that you could meet.

I am always hesitant to say "my agent". Working with a representative of any kind, I think, should be a partnership. One that has an open line of communication, that is flexible, and one in which we work for and with each-other.

I receive many emails from illustrators asking if they should have an agent. While it does help with some things, I always say that it depends on the people and the relationship. Publishing can be tough but when you can work with an agent as a team, you can more effectively steer the course of your career and have a better chance of making books that you can all be proud of for years to come.

So if you are an editor or an art director  and have a really special book on your desk- give her a call. I love working with Emily and I know that you will as well.



Monday, June 10, 2013

Nearly summer

Now that it is nearly summer and I've just finished another book its time to clean up the studio and try to figure out what I was doing before I began this last series of pieces.  I can only include the small bit above but will have more previews as the publication date approaches. Spring 2014, I think.
It will be hard to let this one go as it was such a great experience. I am usually the last to leave a great dinner party, especially if it is outside. I like to watch the light change and have that feeling of connection with friends resonate out over the landscape. This book has that feeling for me.
But there are winter coats to be put away and paperwork-of course... first, maybe,...I will spend just a bit more time on these drawings for my next....

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Busy Busy

Iv'e been crazy busy working on things I can't talk about yet. I can say that I have been working on a book by Edith Fine for Random House. I will post something when they give me the OK. In the meantime, I have some shots of a sets I designed for Arts Alive and their production of Aladdin kids back in February. 

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

I am probably the last person to have seen this but I am glad that I did!

Great little article as well.