Sunday, January 29, 2012

Trying my Hand at Designing

I submitted these to Minted's Children's Birthday Party Invitation Design Challenge. Designing is sooo different from illustrating. I think I am in over my head, but I enjoyed learning some of the basics. Thanks Meg!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

IF: Twirl

Here is another project I am working on. I think it fits "twirl" for Illustration Friday. 

Round and around they go!

Monday, January 23, 2012

The Vegetables Persevere

You might remember my "Vegetables of Perseverance" from last year, when I would discipline myself by painting a vegetable when I didn't feel inspired. Here is a collection of vegetables that also represent a bit of perseverance.
I have been experimenting with 4 sheets of Daniel Smith Extra Fine Watercolor 66 Try-It Color Sheets. This is one of them! They were passed on to me by my friend Sara, and I am so grateful! I have been asking my artist friends about the brand and colors they work with as I prepare to buy my own set of professional pigments.

The task is a bit overwhelming but I am excited to upgrade! I am already impressed by the strength and richness of the colors and the tiny amount that can cover so much paper! I have several sheets of experimentation (and vegetables) and I think I have finally settled on 13 colors.
A couple paintings and a print have sold, so now I am very excited to get my new colors ordered! Yay!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

IF: Prepared

Prepared for the night. Prepared with light!

Mini Artist's Retreat and The Jarlsberg Inn

Me, Candace and Sara

On Friday my artist friends from Des Moines came for a day of painting! I got the good end of the deal sitting with 2 accomplished illustrators and art teachers! Sara and Candace were an encouragement to me, freely sharing their experience and pushing me to better my illustration. Sara and Candace compared our time to their college years, sitting with fellow students, sharing information and experience and offering fresh eyes to see each others work.
We shared coffee and toasty sandwiches, played with kittens, walked in the timber, enjoyed the quite countryside and were quite productive around the table! We are already looking forward to our next retreat.

I had no idea that moving to the middle of nowhere with my husband would land me in the middle of a small community of thriving artists! I am grateful and looking forward to more mini artist retreats. If you are an artist in the area come join us!

I finished this piece named "The Jarlsberg Inn." Its a tiny winter lodge for mice, located somewhere in Scandinavia, where mice outwit cats.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Goals and Cozy Woodland Creatures.

We spent Christmas in California this year. Seeing all those lizards sunning on hot rocks made me miss my cozy woodland creatures. Its so good to be home : )

I have a couple goals this year:
Participate in Illustration Friday regularly (off to a good start)
Reopen my Etsy shop with watercolor prints
Attend a SCBWI conference (Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators)
Illustrate a couple short stories or poems with my husband
.....and make the most of every opportunity!

Last year:
I began experimenting with watercolor
Started a blog
Had my first artist show and reception
Joined SCBWI

It was a good year! Looking forward to 2012.

IF: Grounded

There's nothing worse than being grounded in the ground.

Award Winner Announced!

Click here to see the winners of the Tomie DePaola award. The whole process of participating in this contest was so much fun! Can't wait to see what we all illustrate next year. Congratulations to the winners!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Tomie DePaola Contest Gallery

The Sky is Falling!
This year over 300 people entered the Tomie DePaola Illustration contest! Tomie is feeling under the weather so the winner will now be announced January 9th. I would be feeling sick if I had to pick ONE winner out of so many beautiful entries!
If you would like to see several of the entries please visit