It warms me no end to see another illustration of mine in Maine Magazine.

This one’s all about the health benefits of sweat. I’m also pleased to share the pages with my MECA student, Spenser Macleod. He did an illustration for the poetry page. No sweat, Spenser. Cool.

For awhile, it didn’t seem very wintery, but then, brrrrrrr, we had a good cold snap. I posted this cardinal on Facebook in honor of National Bird Day.

 
The very next day Mr. Cardinal was in the branches during a long-awaited snow blast. Was my art the draw?
A friend gave me some paperwhite bulbs. Not being much of a gardener, I went head over heels with the immediate gratification.
I drew her this in return.
It has since gotten even more glorious.

Over the mantel is the cover art for Nest, Nook, and Cranny, which I just learned from author Susan Blackaby has won the 2011 Lion and Unicorn Award for Excellence in North American poetry. Bravo! You can read the entire essay here, but this is my favorite quote:

“This year’s winner, Susan Blackaby’s Nest, Nook & Cranny, illustrated by Jamie Hogan, is not only a fine collection of poetry, but also succeeds as a book to be grasped and looked at. It somehow makes graceful the dreaded “informative nature poem” collection, transcending the genre of didactic animal books by its severe attention to poetic form, and Hogan’s pastels and charcoal pencil drawings, given depth by the visible texture of her Canson paper, decorate without overwhelming the delicate verses.”

I’ll take that as a compliment!

Meanwhile, I still have whales on the brain. Yet with all my whale spotting, I only just noticed that there is a whale on MY DOOR.

A friend gave us these numbers nearly 20 years ago as a house warming gift: 2 thistle, 6 whale, 5 barnacle. And the whale is a humpback, too. Rather cosmic.

I am surrounded by all the right references, when I take a good look. These are just the tankers I need for my current illustration. Spied them from the ferry.

This illustration is about how humpbacks travel through shipping lanes. Really? I like thinking they are out in Casco Bay, singing their songs.

Back to both the drawing board and the classroom at Maine College of Art. Besides doing 9 more illustrations for Here Come the Humpbacks, I will have 7 new students in Illustration 2.

That, too, is sweet!

 

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