Monday, February 28, 2011

Red Balloon Window Dressing

Last Friday, I painted the ten-foot high window at the Red Balloon Children's bookshop in St Paul, Minnesota. I found out painting a big window is quite a departure from making my usual small scratchboard illustrations. The window is taller than it looks when you're up on a ladder. Then try balancing on a scaffolding littered with paint trays and drawings and bottles. Good thing I have some foundation in yoga for the trickier moves, plus it helped to visualize being part mountain goat. I finished in the early afternoon; tree and bird design looked quite happy. People commented that it reminded them that spring is coming. What was really cool was the shadow the painting cast on the carpet, as the sun shone through. Thank you Red Balloon! It was wonderful to be with you on a chilly day in late winter.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Making the Best of Winter

Heading up to St Paul (and foot-deep snow) to do some varied children's book related projects and events.

Friday, in St. Paul, I will be painting the Red Balloon Children's Book Shop's ten foot high window! I am hoping for good balance and sure footed ladder moves. I've got a Tree in Winter design, with of course, plenty of birds involved too.

Saturday, I'm giving a presentation at Hubbs Children's Literature Conference. I've gone for a number of years to this day-long conference. It always warms up the winter with spring-like inspiration. It'll be nice to be part of it all.

Then, book-signing at the Red Balloon Sunday at 2pm.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Java Jive

I love coffee, I love tea,
I love the Java Jive and it loves me
Coffee and tea and the java and me,
A cup, a cup, a cup, a cup, a cup!

(Manhattan Transfer)

Yes, caffeine certainly is part of my creative process! Yesterday, an article ran in the Daily Iowan (the University of Iowa) about my art work on the Java House coffee cups. I'm creating a new to-go design this spring, so it was timely. Here's a link to the whole story. Thank you to Jessica and Rachel for an nice write-up and photographs.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day

From my studio to you!

(with compositional dept to sculptor William Zorach)

Saturday, February 12, 2011

In the red

Lucy's working on some Valentines and needed some quick watercolors, so I brought out an old kid's set for her. Look at the little spontaneous heart that we spotted in the red!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Bus Stop

I loved riding the school bus when I was a kid. The adventures we neighborhood dwellers would pack into that 5-10 minute wait. There was also the delicious tension of flying out the door a little late, not knowing if you would catch it! I don't know when bus routes for school got so limited, but as I drop our daughter off at her elementary, there is a true traffic jam of cars all doing the same. The mini-vans are lined up like a family of pachyderms, ejecting their load of passengers one by one. There are few dedicated walkers or bike riders to school. Gone are the days of multiple buses, and most of our kids will miss out on those few minutes of high jinx, writing their names (or stamping a "footprint" with the heel of their hand) on a steamy window, making faces at passing cars, enjoying their first communal commute.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Hands Up

Hands are so busy. Drawing, writing, typing, phoning, making snowmen, holding on to ski poles or shovels, cutting out valentines, chopping, stirring, holding other hands (and paws), almost never resting. A myriad of other uses. Mine are busy now trying to finish the book project. Busy hands.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Celebrate the new Year of the Rabbit

I'm an old rabbit myself!

Rabbits are, according to the Chinese Zodiac, gracious, a good friend, kind, sensitive, soft-spoken, amiable, elegant, reserved, cautious, artistic, thorough, tender, self-assured, shy, astute, compassionate, lucky, flexible. Can be moody, detached, superficial, self-indulgent, opportunistic, stubborn.

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