Thursday, November 29, 2012

One Dentist Sold!

Last night brought me a nice surprise.... my first wall print sale on Etsy! Very exciting! This was the print that was ordered.

Friday, November 23, 2012


After overusing my underused left side of the brain, and with the selfless help of a smart, very dear friend, I finally did all the calculating necessary to put up an online shop for my products and art - including holiday pics. So today is the GRAND OPENING of my newly published website! This was one of my New Year's resolutions for 2012. . . . . made it JUST in time! Check it out :o)

Wednesday, October 31, 2012


Shhh.... don't wake the baby! I had to quietly put my brush to the canvas for this one - and as it turned out, the painting fell asleep for a few months as I worked on other projects. Now it's ready to put in my online gallery store which is almost ready for its Grand Opening. 

Thursday, October 18, 2012



Some say "Watch the birdie", I say, "Watch OUT birdie!!" It's a game of wants: The cat wants the bird, the bird wants the flower, and the child wants a prize for building the best snow-lady. Whoops! ... KERTHUMP ... not gonna happen!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012


In early August I attended my first SCBWI (Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators) conference. It took place in Century City, CA at the Century Plaza Hotel - about 35 minutes from where I live. 

From Friday through Sunday I was privy to watching successful children's book writers and illustrators speak to an audience of over 1,000, followed by "classrooms" of a vast variety of workshops headed by key people in the industry. It was FANTASTIC, to say the least!! I came back each night - Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, pumped up from all that I'd learned. A big part of this was their Portfolio Showcase, for which I had prepared my own portfolio and book dummy. The Showcase was held in a room filled with long tables holding the portfolios, dummies, and stacks of business cards of each participant, meticulously organized in alphabetical order by the committee. The purpose of the exhibit was to have the work of illustrators and illustrator/writers seen by editors, art directors, etc. from various children's book publishing houses - and by their peers. All I can say is there was beautiful work everywhere!!! 

When it was over I felt motivated to come up with new characters showing a grateful group of children (background excluded) excited by this mind boggling conference, and as I created each one I felt the joy all over again of that very special experience. 

Tuesday, July 24, 2012


He's a bit embarrassed about his spiky hair.

After a pretty long absence from Blogger I thought I'd check in. I've been working long hours, and by the time I would normally be doing a blog my forehead's in the sleep-deprived motion of hitting my work table. I'm actually preparing for the big L.A. SCBWI conference at the beginning of August, and there's lots on my plate to do! I'd rather be eating something off my plate, but that's another story. I must be over tired.... that was really corny, but I'm keeping it in, cuz food is one of my great loves, and during my breaks I've been doing some yummy "American Test Kitchen" cooking. It's great diversion, and wonderful therapy after hours of intense detail work with my pencil & eraser!

The good thing about all this drawing time is that I've been forced to keep on track - pretty much eating and sleeping my work, and I've found that all this consistency is making me faster and my work looser. I only have a very few more sketches to go, and then the book dummy will be ready to go.

Oh.... here's Pickles - he popped off the paper onto my computer screen! We're getting to be very close.

After the kill.

MY  FIRST PICKLES CHARACTER - drawn many years ago.

Monday, June 18, 2012


I've been working on my book dummy. Thank you Photoshop for all your help! This was done completely piece-meal - lots of paths going on here. And Pickles, for a moment, was modeled by a memory or two of my own as a child.... I was skinny then, when all my friends were getting curves! Names like "Toothpick", "Boney Maroney", and "Pirate with a Sunken Chest" come to mind. ;o)

Wednesday, June 13, 2012


The other afternoon, as I walked into the home of My Three Grandsons, I was handed a stack of paper by my 8 year old, Jace - before I could put my purse down. 

"I wrote a story in class today, Mammy. Look!" Here's a boy who adamantly tells everyone that he HATES to write!

I read it. "It's brilliant!" I told him with pure sincerity and excitement .... "BRILLIANT!!" I repeated. He might as well have written a Pulitzer Prize winner.

I know one thing, I'll never think of the sun and the moon in the same way. 


Tuesday, May 29, 2012


I've been working on a picture book, Pickles & the Poof for several years now ----- on & off. My daughter, Jeana, came up with the idea for the story, and I put it into rhyme. I'm a little obsessed with it, and have made so many changes I should be burned out by now.... but I'm not. Maybe I'm being influenced by a Lucy/Charlie Brown poster that hangs to the left of me as I work. Lucy's giving Charlie the eye, holding the football up for him to kick. We all know where that's going. In big bold letters are the words NEVER EVER EVER GIVE UP!  Which leads me to this new page in the story.

Sunday, April 8, 2012


Has anyone ever thought about what the mothers of the Easter eggs are thinking on this day? Hmmmm ......

Friday, April 6, 2012


The word for Illustration Friday this week is VOCAL. .... how about VERY vocal?! This illustration came to mind.

Sunday, March 25, 2012


I finished the picture for our good friends, and they received it yesterday in the mail. I'm very happy because it made them happy -  and that's what the whole thing was about. Mission accomplished - "For the good times."

Thursday, March 15, 2012


This has been an unpredictably interrupted week, so I haven't been able to do much drawing. Yesterday I finally finished redrawing the picture I'm doing for friends, and the clean-up from erased lines and smeared pencil was especially time consuming. Lately I've been omitting my usual pen & ink outline stage, and instead use a print out of the final pencil piece onto my Borden & Riley drawing paper. I don't like to redraw too many times, as it takes away from some of the spontaneous lines that the looseness of my pencil allows.

Today I start the color. Can't wait!!


Wednesday, March 7, 2012


Every year around January good friends of ours join the Snow Birds in Palm Springs for around 3 months, leaving their home in Michigan to the real snow birds .... ie, Blue Jays, Robins, Bald Eagles (thank you, Google). This is not only great for them, but for their California buddies, as well ..... namely, my husband and me. For three days and nights we are fed, entertained, bedded ---- let's just say we're basically spoiled to the core by these people. And I am NOT stretching the truth when I say that the wife, who is a stupendous cook, has 10 star restaurant quality food for EVERY meal - including snacks!! How does one show gratitude to such generosity? With a thank you card? .... not enough. With flowers?... not enough. With a free trip to a 5 star spa? ... too much. Soooo.... a light bulb went off. I'll make them a picture. She says she loves my work....... we'll see! ;o) 

Instead of waiting to put up the finished piece I decided to show it in stages. Here's the 2nd stage (you wouldn't like the first).

                                    The rather rough sketch.

Sunday, February 19, 2012


Today began with spring cleaning ...  starting with moving my living room furniture around! But that's not all I cleaned up.  After recently witnessing some friends navigating my illustration website I discovered it wasn't user friendly enough - so I did some major tweaking to remedy that. I would love your take on it if you'd take a moment to check it out - not fishing for compliments on my work.... would just like to know if you find it easy to navigate.

I started by removing the music that I spent a century picking out - under the advice of my never mince words younger daughter, saying it was too distracting. That was a huge decision, but it's proof that I have an open mind to suggestions.

* NOTE: This is a FLASH site, so it can't be viewed on a cell phone or iPad.

Thanks so much! I appreciate your feedback.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012


I don't like rules, and avoid being in a situation that calls for them if at all possible. But it doesn't mean I can't make up my own. 

Rule One: If there's an edgy feeling to something you've just finished, re-think it, stare at it if it's visual, and don't settle. I have a Rule Two, but it's irrelevant to this writing. 

I applied that Rule One yesterday because I felt the original picture needed more POP.... and I don't mean soda. So I decided to give it some pizazz in the hopes that all my efforts would not be a waste of my time
..... here's what I came up with. Anyone disagree?

Tuesday, February 14, 2012


One of the great things about being an artist of Chris Tugeau's is all of the opportunities she brings to us to expose our work. For every holiday (how about "Popcorn Day"??!) she asks in advance who would like to do an illustration ... ie, Valentine's Day - to be included in a designed piece that she sends out. I jumped at the chance, and here it is.


Thursday, February 2, 2012


Part of having an artist agent is putting together marketing material for the best exposure. I love my agent, Chris, because of her huge amount of enthusiasm to get things moving! This is the flyer that she'll be sending and giving out to publishing houses. I am so detail oriented that it was a marathon of working until I felt it was right. I started out putting the bottom two illustrations in square boxes, but decided it was too monotonous. The circles they ended up in was to give the effect of looking through binoculars, since the subject matter is so "secretive". Off to the printers - and onto the next project. :o)

Thursday, January 12, 2012

You Get the Picture!

With the rush of the Holidays, the crashing of my computer and the first aid of putting it all back together again I've been away from my drawing board for way too long! 

One of the gifts I received to start the new year off with high hopes and excitement is a children's book agent, Chris Tugeau. She's clearly a gift... I would venture to say one of the tops in her field. Talented, warm, experienced, and a real go getter. But I had to earn her interest, and unbeknownst to me she took notice of all the work I've been doing lately and approached me with "Let's give this a try." 

The first thing I had to do was put together a portfolio for her website . Next came designing a flyer for her to distribute to clients as an introduction to my work. She asked that I include something showing kids in the middle school age range with a story in mind. So, I took one of the sketches from an Illustration Friday piece (with the Boundaries theme), and put it to work. See below. Next, a 2nd drawing to coincide with the theme. Stay tuned.