Monday, April 4, 2016

Hey...That's not FAIR! (said the boy to the bear)

  Artists are blessed and cursed in the extreme sometimes, but I think the important thing about living in that duality is the word AND. The last few months have tested my sanity on a personal level.  I'm usually busy, but  I can't remember ever being really busy and also dealing with a traumatic thing like a molar extraction ( not an easy one).
  But now that two books are finished, one on the heels of another, I can say a few things are becoming clear :  One: The ability to focus on art is a gift; it channels the mind/body into another world and in that sense is a meditation that can transcend pain.  Two: I was very  fortunate to have had cool clients and art directors who worked with me on the scheduling so that I did not have to abandon the work  entirely because of a villainous tooth making an entrance into the story.
   Sketches to come later for  the tooth character, but for now, here's a few of my favorites featuring the unfair bear.  Despite his role as a cheating jerk to the boy, he also became  the hero I needed.   For McGraw Hill, in their pre-K Social- Emotional program. Thanks for being incredibly supportive, Janet!










Monday, March 7, 2016

... and the winner is...The Girl Squirrel!

 























 Some selections from The Contest.

  I recently had the pleasure of completing illustrations for a 16 page book for Dinardo Design and Heinemann Publishing.  Naturally I was so pleased to have a hand in a book that shows a girl winning. The boys, Chip and Flip, learn in the end that they were outsmarted by a girl whom they had laughed at as not capable, and vow to let Tulip go first the next time they have a contest. I really had fun with the limited palette and expressions in this animal fantasy fiction. I'm hoping to illustrate more girl-centric stories in the future.
  Can you guess how she carried the most nuts?
 






Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Arf! Arf! Pupperoni and Muttzarella

 



Original art created with pastels, prismacolors and photoshop.

detail

   A piece for a riddles page in Ranger Rick magazine for their May issue.  I really got hungry doing this.  I think Pupperoni and Muttzarella are good names for them, actually. The background is loosely based on our Little Italy here in Cleveland.  Lettering by Jim Paillot.  I'm getting hungry again.  Ciao bella!


Tuesday, November 24, 2015

NO Peeking... well maybe just at the gift tags.


back




back

 I just finished these new gift tag designs for a holiday promo.  Everyone ends up regrettably using generic tags, or cutting up old ugly greeting cards after  those run out, so giving a gift of artists' gift tags seems like a pretty good idea.  I won't be able to use the back designs this time after all, because I didn't realize at the time the backs cannot be variable. But maybe they will make good fronts too.
 The kids are from a Ranger Rick assignment , and the moon and owl from The Sunrise Band.
 Small ( they will be printed much smaller than shown here), but as they say... good things come that way.
  I'm wishing Peace, a Happy Thanksgiving and a Happy Tofurkey Day to all.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Winging It





 It was great to get a sample of this musical for kids.
 The play features four baby birds: Orville, Wilbur, Amelia, and Harriet (all famous aviators). "Winging It" is about taking smart risks and leaving the nest with the support system of family and friends. If you're an educator looking for a musical review for your fledgling songbirds, you couldn't do better than this one.
Seeing my birdies on the CD rom was an extra tweet - I mean treat!  I'll have to get the additional Preview CD too with vocals and dialog for the full effect. Produced by Hal Leonard Corporation.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

How Romantic!



  A few weeks ago I was asked to illustrate another Hidden Pictures cover for a special newsstand edition. A few of these are really challenging.  Even some of my big kid friends were stumped trying to find all of the following:  a saltshaker, a ladder, a hairbrush, a spool of thread, a lime, an artist's brush, a cinnamon bun, and a horseshoe.
 The art director suggested the contrast of big and little, and I love that dynamic.  Love.
 Did I say this as a Valentine's issue? Yes, it's the day after Halloween and Christmas is over already.

 I concentrated some on the strolling kitties a bit while sketching.  I thought a question mark hidden in her tail would be fun but it turned out the editors were not too fond of that idea. But they loved the rest of it.



The cover will look something like this.

  Did I say love?
 On the heels of this one I was asked to contribute again to Ranger Rick magazine with a spot  regarding the mating and dating habits of albatrosses.  The color palette turned out to be very similar, which I think shows how one piece can influence the next, even though it happens subconsciously. Or maybe it is because the theme of Love just demands pink.
  I collaged a photo of the Eiffel tower in, initially because the one I drew was looking wobbly and inadequate. After I did I was pleasantly surprised with the juxtaposition of elements and the blend of cartoon and photo. Bon Voyage!





Monday, October 26, 2015

Not your normal pumpkin patch

 






If you're ever rotting in a doctor's waiting room for 3 hours while he fritters away, wasting your precious time while he looks at someone else's injuries, just pull out your sketchbook and take it out on the page.

  I like drawing ghoulish people; somehow half  human, half something other. What are these women doing? I'm not sure yet. I like letting things possess the page and surprise me.

 Took a wrong turn with baggy pants and velcro sandals (not a good mix if the velcro comes loose) , fell and mildly fractured my non-dominant elbow a few weeks ago. It's practically all better and I am grateful I can type without pain now.  I  have also figured out how to tie shoelaces. With a double knot.
 
  Happy haunting.