Sketchbook Project

Peaks Island Sketchbooks Workshop

Posted by on Aug 8, 2016 in Art Classes, drawing, Illustration, Maine College of Art, pastels, Peaks Island, Sketchbook Project | 3 comments

For the fourth summer, Judy Labrasca and I led a Peaks Island Sketchbooks Workshop through Maine College of Art’s Continuing Studies Program. This one day workshop is a fun meander of island views and wide open possibilities. Every year is a different group, paper skies, and new friends made. You can read about past ventures here, here, and here. Judy meets the group in Portland and ferries over on Casco Bay Lines. I meet them at the island dock where we share materials and our philosophy: sketchbooks are vessels for adventure! Thanks to The Sketchbook Project, I’ve developed a...

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drawing Miss Daisy

Posted by on Aug 14, 2015 in Children's Book Illustration, collage, Illustration, Island Birthday, Maine College of Art, Peaks Island, Seven Days of Daisy, Sketchbook Project, Tilbury House | 3 comments

Our daughter Daisy has always had a keen eye. And she’s provided infinite inspiration over the years. She’s front and center with her tribe of island peers in Seven Days of Daisy. This original hangs now at the Portland Public Library in my exhibit, Storybook Waters. Peaks Island has provided a spectacular background for visual stories. This image of Daisy dreaming helped me land my first children’s book from Charlesbridge. Daisy’s love for Moonrise Kingdom found it’s way into my Sketchbook Project Shop Walk, many thanks to Find for the vintage dress....

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sketching natural history

Posted by on Mar 11, 2015 in Charlesbridge Publishing, Children's Book Illustration, Illustration, John Muir Wrestles a Waterfall, Maine College of Art, Sketchbook Project, Tiger Boy, travels | 1 comment

What a thrill when a box of new books lands on your doorstep! Yesterday was Publication Day for John Muir Wrestles a Waterfall by Julie Danneberg, my first book illustrated with colored pencils. Charlesbridge Art Director Whitney Leader-Picone had seen my Sketchbook Project postings, and wanted to mirror the pencil sketching Muir did in wilderness travels. You can read more about that meander here. I’m all for drawing directly from nature. Last week I brought Maine College of Art’s senior illustration majors to the Harvard Musuem of Natural History in Cambridge, MA. With over...

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Fenway Frank

Posted by on Sep 12, 2014 in Sketchbook Project, travels | 1 comment

Frank is our former neighbor in San Francisco, a dedicated baseball fan, and freshly retired. He’s also a good sport: he let me use his face in this collage I created for St. Martin’s Press awhile back. That’s him with the chopsticks. We lived next door for nearly four years, yet I learned a new fact during his recent visit to Maine: his full name is Franklin, born of the custom of Chinese mothers in his Bay Area neighborhood to name their sons after American presidents. Wonder if there was a Calvin…. During a 2006 return to San Francisco, he brought us to a Giants...

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muir meander

Posted by on Mar 17, 2014 in Charlesbridge Publishing, Children's Book Illustration, Sketchbook Project | 1 comment

Curious City recently invited me to be part of a panel discussion about children’s books with the venerable Baxter Society, a fine flock of bibliophiles who meet monthly in Portland, Maine. I was honored to join Daniel Minter and Stephen Costanza to chat about how we do what we do. I always learn something new about my colleagues. In a nod to esteemed illustrator/bookseller/author/Vice President of the Baxter Society, Michelle Souliere, I shared this gem from my 2013 Sketchbook Project. Michelle is the owner of The Green Hand Bookstore, where a booklover can swoon all day with the...

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a close shave with sketchbook project 2014

Posted by on Jan 22, 2014 in Illustration, Maine College of Art, Sketchbook Project | 1 comment

 I sent off my latest Sketchbook Project in the nick of time. Big exhale! I knew it was optimistic that I could complete it on top of my John Muir Wrestles a Waterfall deadline. But I couldn’t resist! I decided it would keep my pencils sharp by drawing yet more Muir and yet more beards. The more I learn about him, the more I love him. I drew a few other bearded wonders from the same century. In fact, the 19th century is apparently famous for big beards, in a complex blend of historical factors, according to this article in the Atlantic. Anybody know this man? Flash forward to the  2013...

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