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 whatever is going on. Take Something Like a Star ends with these lines:

It asks of us a certain height,

So when at times the mob is swayed

To carry praise or blame too far,

We may take something like a star

To stay our minds on and be staid.

The returning of seasonal things every year gives me footing in this topsy turvy time. Like putting the lights on Phoebe’s tree, which I drew many years ago.


The glow from that small tree is a miracle, especially on the Solstice.


Meanwhile, the illustration I did for Portland Stage’s A Christmas Carol has been making the rounds for the second time. I still enjoy the quietude of this pastel.


In fact, any illustration is better with snow, is it not? I did this illustration ages ago for the Baltimore Sun for a reprise of A Child’s Christmas in Wales by Dylan Thomas. The snow brings it alive.


Because of my picture book deadline, I re-purposed a previous holiday card, adding snow and cut paper snowflakes.


Marty added snow to his holiday card, too, depicting the door to our barn.


When our daughter, Daisy, returned from a busy semester at MICA she made this graphic card, no snow but those deer spots!


What a starry night for the Christmas eve service at Brackett Memorial, where a cast of angels and shepherds sang loud and clear. The passing of the Christmas candle for Silent Night is another symbolic moment that makes Christmas real for me.


Our old house welcomes everybody that shines. C’mon over!


You can find us on a little rock in the ocean, staid beneath a canopy of stars, as in this little watercolor by Daisy.


May all your wishing upon a star come true in 2017!


  1. I don’t take it for granted but you always do such spectacular posts!!! So beaytuful and so fitting for the season. Lots of love from our house to yours. Thank you for delighting us. Not to mean de-lighting us…oh, never mind!

    • thanks Peg for being my loyal reader! You shine in my world.

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