pastels

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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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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