Thursday, July 28, 2011

Happy Birthday Beatrix Potter

"I must draw, however poor the result.... I will do something sooner or later."
- Beatrix Potter

A nod of remembrance to one I acknowledge as a vocational ancestor-mentor. Potter was not only an imaginative, brilliant children's book illustrator, but a passionate conservationist and early feminist.

Beach Line

I've been doing little spontaneous drawings from the pieces of watercolor paper I use as blotters when I'm coloring a final art piece. I let an image come to me from what I "see" in the blobs of paint, then doodle in the rest. So, Sharpie and watercolor are my media here. Here's a summery one- I'm dreaming of beaches and water, a far cry from my studio board.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Beauty on the Land

A busy weekend for book lovers and authors in Iowa City. The annual Iowa City Book Festival will be taking place with lectures, activities and all sorts of book related events Saturday and Sunday. Connie Mutel, a fellow University of Iowa Press author and I will be giving a talk on Sunday, July 17th at the University of Iowa Museum of Natural History. We'll share about the influences of natural history on our writing and illustrating. Join us if you can!

Sunday July 17th 1:30 pm
University of Iowa's Museum of Natural History
MacBride Hall

For more information and to get to the complete Iowa City Book Festival schedule, go to:

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Golden Birds

I was gifted with this book yesterday, the little Golden Book of Birds. It's illustrated by Feodor Rojankovsky, one of my favorite illustrators of this era. The text by Hazel Lockwood is a cheerful, 1940's style conversation to the reader.

Rojankovsky had a lovely sense of composition and he does with birds what I strive to do as well. Render each bird with personality without tipping it into caricature. These are tweets to inspire!

I do love the whole history of Golden Books and you can read more about Rojankovsky, a frequent contributer to these gems, in a book I highly recommend called "Golden Legacy" by Leonard Marcus. It's "how Golden Books won children's hearts, changed publishing forever, and became an American Icon along the way".

Thank you Jennifer, my fellow Illustrative One!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Stop and smell the...

No time to smell the flowers! Summer schedule is in full swing, with every day a little different from the other. Just like in the garden. One thing blooms while another finishes. I wish I could scratch out this beautiful hollyhock- what a color. "Jane Austen Pink", I would call it. Don't know where I picked this plant up. Hollyhocks are those weird biannual bloomers, plant one year, get a bloom the next. Who has the patience for that??! But I must have done this, for here it is. Like one of those tissue paper roses we all made in grade school. Back to summer. Summer first, art second, but gardens always.

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