pastels

String Around My Finger

Posted by on Apr 21, 2017 in Illustration, pastels, Portland Stage Company | 4 comments

Over a year ago, I read the script for Brenda Wither’s play, String Around My Finger, now in it’s final run at Portland Stage Company. As someone who has suffered infant loss, the comedic tone seemed too light then. The aftermath of such an event is devastating, confusing, and heavy. In the play, Emma’s had a miscarriage, and everyone else is ignoring her trauma, trying to keep up good cheer while navigating realities. To tackle illustrating this, my initial ideas played with the literal visual of a string around a finger. The first was a baby hand that looms over small...

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What’s Up in IL 2?

Posted by on Apr 17, 2017 in Art Classes, drawing, Illustration, Maine College of Art, pastels, Peaks Island | 7 comments

Between illustration deadlines , I’ve been teaching Illustration 2 at Maine College of Art. This sophomore level elective is open to any student, and usually includes those interested in majoring in Illustration or Digital Media. There are two sections, and mine has 10 amazing people! While Illustration 1 involves an emphasis on black and white media, IL 206 focuses on color, concept development, and putting images into context, with a design layout provided. The first day of class students were presented with pastel pencils, colored paper and sand paper, and a grab bag of toy animals....

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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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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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Take something like a star

Posted by on Dec 27, 2016 in A Porcupine's Promenade, Children's Book Illustration, Illustration, pastels, Peaks Island, Portland Stage Company, Tilbury House | 2 comments

I have stars on my mind. It never fails that I am working out of season when illustrating a picture book. Last July I was feverishly drawing deep snow for A Porcupine’s Promenade.  As the ice forms outside, I am drawing a summer day at the beach for Ana and the Sea Star (for Tilbury House, coincidentally located on Starr Street in Thomaston, Maine) When we decorated our tree, I noticed how many star ornaments we have. This one, from former island neighbors Deb Deatrick and Scott Vile, is a joy to rediscover every year. The letterpress poem by Robert Frost always shines a light on...

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