pastels

Vermont vibes

Posted by on Nov 10, 2017 in drawing, pastels, travels | 2 comments

What a gadabout autumn we’ve had. Last weekend we headed to Vermont for the first time in ages, to the rustic getaway house of my Kittery cousins, Mike and Wanda. They bought land from Mike’s brother Joe, a retired dairy farmer, Vietnam vet, and thespian. We were lucky to find the place in the remote hills of Marshfield just before dusk. While others were upset about losing power, this is how they roll there, off the grid. Dinner by candlelight with long stories. Mike did the dishes under a solar lamp. What a difference the sun makes! Spied this dear painting by their daughter,...

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Lady Day in moonlight

Posted by on Oct 5, 2017 in Illustration, pastels, Portland Stage Company | 4 comments

These are just a few of the records I grew up with. My parents were into jazz. I heard Billie Holiday long before I knew her name. Sarah, Billie, and Ella were my mother’s favorites; Duke, Satchmo, and Coltrane were my dad’s. These were the faces on the records, but in fact I went all through elementary grades and high school without having a single person of color in my classes, or in my small world in rural New Hampshire. That changed in art school and beyond, but those soulful voices remain somehow elemental for me. The script for Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill by...

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Ocean Park

Posted by on Aug 20, 2017 in Charlesbridge Publishing, Children's Book Illustration, drawing, Here Come the Humpbacks, Illustration, pastels, travels | 5 comments

I first visited Ocean Park in 2013 and delighted in the warm community there. Last week I returned to meet new friends and share a bit of my world and working methods. I spoke in Jordan Hall, and was surprised when Daisy, my daughter who inspires much of my work, showed up with her friend Jonathan, who has spent many fond summers at Ocean Park. I included this series of photos to show my process of creating a single illustration for Here Come the Humpbacks! by April Pulley Sayre. First I sketch into the layout provided by the publisher’s designer, in this case Martha Sikkema of...

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Sketchbooks on Peaks: round 5!

Posted by on Aug 12, 2017 in Art Classes, drawing, Maine College of Art, pastels, Peaks Island | 3 comments

Maine College of Art faculty Judy Labrasca and I led our fifth Peaks Island Sketchbooks Workshop last Saturday. The weather gods dealt us complete fog this year, not necessarily a bad thing. It was like being in a bell jar, with no horizon line and maybe less crowds. We began on the beach with a discussion of sketchbook practices, paper preferences, and handy tools for portability, like this wee watercolor palette Judy brought. This class is a gently guided tour of sketching spots with permission to find your own point of view. Judy made small sketchbooks for everyone and I supplied Canson...

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Book Friends

Posted by on Jul 12, 2017 in Art Classes, Children's Book Illustration, drawing, Here Come the Humpbacks, Illustration, Maine College of Art, pastels, Peaks Island, Seven Days of Daisy, travels | 0 comments

Way back in 2009, I visited the Friends School of Portland to read my first children’s book, Seven Days of Daisy. Friends do make the world go ’round. Fast forward to a recent sunny Tuesday, when I headed off island to visit their Stories by the Forest program. When I arrived at the Peaks Island dock, it was oddly quiet. Where is everybody? Well, yours truly had missed the boat! The summer schedule change got me! So, I promptly called the trusty water taxi. Here she comes, zipping across a placid Casco Bay. I made it to Cumberland Foreside in a timely manner and set up my table...

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Adventures in Ireland

Posted by on Jun 10, 2017 in drawing, Illustration, pastels, travels | 17 comments

Ever since a brief visit to Ireland in 1980, I have yearned to go back. Somehow, the years piled up until recently, when Marty, Daisy and I enjoyed two weeks of travels there. On May 22, we flew to Shannon Airport, during which the dusk to dawn was sped up, like a time lapse into the next day. We landed at 6 AM, sleepless, and rented a diesel powered Renault in which Marty bravely took the wheel to find our first lodging. The Carrygerry House is a mere 15 minute drive from the airport but felt far away in another time, situated above rolling fields. The inn’s pastoral views relaxed us...

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