Children’s Book Illustration

Tillie Time

Posted by on May 2, 2017 in Children's Book Illustration, drawing, Illustration | 0 comments

I recently illustrated the cover of Mary Atkinson’s second middle grade novel, Tillie Heart and Soul, that just earned a starred review from Kirkus! As soon as I heard that Tillie was a roller skater, I was into it. After reading the manuscript, I began a little page of doodles. Then I began doing my homework for visual research on skater culture. And did more sketches. Tillie is a fifth grade girl living with her Uncle Fred. She’s an awkward but tough kid, and gets her share of scrapes. I wanted to show energy here, with hair and limbs flying out of the image frame. A new girl...

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Prickly Picture Book Program on Peaks

Posted by on Apr 12, 2017 in A Porcupine's Promenade, Children's Book Illustration, drawing, Illustration, Island Birthday, Peaks Island, Portland Public Library, Tilbury House | 2 comments

Many thanks to the Peaks Island Branch Library for hosting our Prickly Picture Book Program on Saturday morning. I couldn’t resist making something sweet and prickly, too. (Do try this at home, a pile of warm brownies pierced with toothpicks is a very fun sculpture to make and then eat!) It was a pleasure to have Lyn Smith, the author of A Porcupine’s Promenade visit Peaks Island. As a reading specialist, Lyn enjoys reading aloud.  She makes these porcupine noises that I just cannot fathom how. I talked a bit before making a visual presentation, about how I came to illustrate...

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100 days smarter

Posted by on Feb 23, 2017 in A Porcupine's Promenade, Children's Book Illustration, drawing, Illustration, pastels, school visits | 4 comments

Last week I had the good fortune to visit another stellar school: Kennebunkport Consolidated School. Author Lyn Smith and I received a warm welcome from first grade teachers and set up in Mrs. Roberts’ room. There was evidence all over the place that students here are on the ball. I need one of these oversize pencils as a prop, since I’m always talking about keeping our eyes and pencils sharp. We attended the Friday morning assembly, where I spied this ingenious banner in the hall. The entire school was celebrating the first 100 days of learning. After the pledge, the school...

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Between Books and Blizzards

Posted by on Feb 15, 2017 in Children's Book Illustration, collage, Illustration, Peaks Island, Tilbury House | 2 comments

When I saw the forecast a week ago, I dared to ship all my original art to Tilbury House instead of driving there in a blizzard. Not an easy decision, given I’ve had this work in my head and on my table for the past five months. Whew! Ana and the Sea Star by R. Lynne Roelfs will be out in Fall 2017. Driving down front to the post office on Peaks Island, all was quiet before the storm. Even us chickens. I’m a snail mailer from way back, so the island post office is an almost daily destination. Isn’t it cute? Once the storm picked up steam, I ventured out for a weather report...

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Sharp eyes in Kennebunk

Posted by on Jan 18, 2017 in A Porcupine's Promenade, Children's Book Illustration, drawing, Illustration, pastels, school visits | 2 comments

When Lyn Smith, author of A Porcupine’s Promenade, promised to introduce me to Henry, I could barely wait. Why didn’t I meet this friendly fellow last July when I was working on my illustrations? Henry is a male North American porcupine who has lived at the Center for Wildlife since November 2014. He was mistakenly taken home by some well-meaning folks who thought he was abandoned at the base of a tree. Did you know porcupine mothers climb and forage in trees before their young can climb along? I learned a lot illustrating Lyn’s story; it was a surprise to me that they...

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Kick Off ’17

Posted by on Jan 9, 2017 in A Porcupine's Promenade, Art Classes, Children's Book Illustration, drawing, Illustration, Island Birthday, Maine College of Art, pastels, Peaks Island, Portland Stage Company, school visits | 4 comments

Everybody seemed eager to kick 2016 into history. Yeah, there were losses, that Election, hate, and plenty of things I want to forget. But a New Year…is a perennial place for hope. An earnest band of neighbors called the Get a Grip club gathered at our house on New Year’s Eve, armed with resolutions of change, good humor, and some hand-made glasses we will use for envisioning a better world. Rest assured, we will keep a grip on what matters! A few days later I visited King Middle School, a hive of young people poised to take over the world. It was my 9th outing as a visiting...

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