slow motion ocean

Posted by on May 28, 2015 in A Warmer World, Cricket Magazine, Illustration | 2 comments

Isn’t the internet grand? How else would I learn that May 23 is World Turtle Day?

Now’s a good time to share a recent assignment for Cricket Magazine’s May/June cover about loggerhead turtles. I did a pile of small thumbnail sketches, and within this batch Art Director Karen Kohn chose the direction to go. She asked for a visual “reveal” to appear on the back of the cover art.


I did this colored pencil sketch next, showing the mother returning to the sea at sunrise, her eggs in a sandy nest.


This final illustration appears inside on the Contents page. Inside, a story titled On Sea Turtle Patrol by Nancy Dawson tells one girl’s adventures as a volunteer patrolling a Florida beach for loggerheads.

Hatchlings are adorable. After about 56 days buried in the sand, they dig their way out together. I learned the eggs are not brittle like chicken eggs, but leathery like a soccer ball.


I walked the beach on Peaks Island, inspired by vivid Maine skies during breaks in my work. It was early February at the time, and the snow banks here could resemble sand dunes. Sort of.


Here’s the final pastel:


I was also in the midst of making valentines for the Portland Museum of Art’s Valentine Pop-up Shop. I re-purposed a detail from this illustration for A Warmer World by Caroline Arnold.


Love can be slow and steady, right?

7-turtle-val_blogI mailed a turtle valentine to Karen Kohn, since any occasion to show affection to a fine Art Director is a good one.

And recently, I received my Cricket Magazines!


According to Jamie Sams and David Carson’s Medicine Cards, Turtle is the oldest symbol of Mother Earth in Native American teaching. “Turtle is a fine teacher in the art of grounding.”

Thanks, Cricket, for the turtle power!


  1. Wonderful, Jamie! Love your illustrations and the way you take us along for the ride. Is this a new book? Hope so.
    Remind me the next time we get together to tell you about my long ago turtle experiences from Peaks and Florida.

  2. Awesome illustrations, so glad Cricket had you do this work!

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