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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Sotto Voce

Posted by on Nov 11, 2016 in Illustration, pastels, Portland Stage Company | 1 comment

Of all the scripts I read in January for Portland Stage poster development, Sotto Voce by Nilo Cruz stood out as multi-layered, romantic, and evocative. In the play, a young Cuban man finds a German-born novelist living in New York who shares a connection to the 1939 voyage of the MS St Louis, a German ship that left for Cuba with German-Jewish refugees, only to be turned back.  The elder writer, Bemadette, calls the young man Student. They don’t meet yet weave a romance built on memories and imagination via phone calls and messages. Like all the plays this season, the theme is about...

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Wayne’s quiet world

Posted by on Nov 7, 2016 in drawing, pastels, travels | 4 comments

Last week I traveled to Wayne, Maine to visit a beloved friend, Katherine. She is laying claim to her father’s retirement home, the kind of legacy that some of us have faced, and for one reason or another, have sold. In her case, she is making way for a new relationship to her father’s land and all that he left behind. Jack Mahoney was an avid fisherman and salty outdoorsman. Kathy shares his Yankee humor, so we spent most of our time laughing our guts out. We walked around the property, which borders Androscoggin Lake. We later identified this peculiar fungi with a guide found...

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Pacers and pencils

Posted by on Oct 15, 2016 in collage, drawing, Illustration, Maine College of Art, pastels, travels | 2 comments

Maine College of Art’s Pace House is a legendary destination for alums and students. With great anticipation, I drove the MECA van with 7 of this year’s senior illustration majors and their fearless leader Mary Anne Lloyd under crisp October skies to Stonington, Maine. The house is full of art by Stephen Pace and his wife Palmina, whose hats hang in the front hall. Annelise and Gunnar wasted no time in embodying their kindred spirits. We made lunch and then scattered to scout out the local village and environs. I made a pie to bake later. Mary Anne put her lasagna in the oven,...

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A bristling book birthday

Posted by on Sep 29, 2016 in A Porcupine's Promenade, Children's Book Illustration, drawing, Illustration, pastels | 2 comments

A Porcupine’s Promenade by Lyn Smith has been getting about! My neighbor sent a photo of the book spotted at the Common Ground Fair, at the Maine Authors Publishing booth last weekend. I had the honor of joining Lyn at the Louis T. Graves Memorial Library on Sunday as guests of their Pasco Lecture Series. I have a fond spot for the Graves Library, where I gave my first library presentation with Mitali Perkins years ago. Library Director Mary-Lou Boucouvalas gave us such warm introductions! She’s a passionate advocate for book creators, and I’m proud to know her. Lyn Smith...

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