Sunday, May 31, 2009

Meet Reno

Happy Sunday everyone. Hard to believe the weekend has come and gone already, but at least it was a relaxing one for a change. Yesterday I actually got a chance to finally clean up the studio and found a nice pair of scissors that I had misplaced a few months back. If only I had moved that pile of crap it was under weeks ago!

Another fun activity that I got to do this weekend was visit Hoofbeats and Heartbeats to get some reference material for the new children's book project i am working on. With that I wanted to introduce you to Reno, the soon to be star of the book. Linda was kind enough to bring Reno in from the back and got him all saddled up for some shots. Here are a few of him

The funniest thing of all though with the visit was all the other horses who were wondering what kind of mischief Reno was getting into(or what kind of treats he was getting more likely). They were all over the back fence area but as soon as Reno went inside they had to take turns looking in to see what he was doing. Nosy I tell ya! I know I am really going to enjoy this project and am going to be anxious to show you more updates as they come! Until then, you will just have to think of all the fun Reno could get into.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

An end and a beginning

Over the last couple of weeks, things here in the studio have been quite hectic. One on hand, I was finishing up with a book project, and on the other I was gearing up for another. The good news is that I am done with the one book and have sent the final scans to the designer. It is always such a great feeling to pass the illustrations on to the designer knowing that the final step of the book is near. And then off to the printer once they are done with it. Hopefully I will have some info soon about the final production date of when the book will be out, but it should be late summer/early fall some time.

So, with that out of the studio, I have a great new project that I am going to starting. The children's book that I will now be working on is going to be a fundraising venture for a wonderful non-profit named Hoofbeats and Heartbeats. They are a therapeutic riding and teaching center for individuals and kids with emotional and physical disabilities. Linda Lewis who runs the center is going to be great to work with and has an amazing dedication to not only her horses, but all who come to ride and learn. To get the project kicked off a little bit, I have attached some sketches for "Reno the Palomino". I look forward to sharing more info about this very important project!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Illustration Friday: "cracked"

The door was left cracked a bit..... This is an illustration I did from the children's book titled "Catch the Wind"

Friday, May 15, 2009

Good news Friday

Happy Friday everyone. Hope you have some fun plans for this beautiful weather we have been experiencing. I wanted to end the week on a little bit of good news. I just received word that "The Sick Bug" has just won its 4th award! How exciting it is. It was named a finalist in the Children's Picture Book category for the 2009 Next Generation Indie Book Award. One of the great benefits of winning this award is that now the book is going to be promoted at the Book Expo America show out in New York later this month!

In other news, I am down to the last few days on my current children's book and am excited to be getting so close to the end! I can't wait to see what the designer does from there and then of course the book coming out later this year! I will keep you posted when I have some more info on the release date. Until then, have a great weekend and will be back beginning of next week!

Illustration Friday: "Contagious #2"

Isn't happiness Contagious. This is an illustration from my upcoming book "A Path to Forgiveness" to come out later this year!

Illustration Friday: "Contagious"

Thought this was a fitting image. It is from a children's book I illustrated titled "The Sick Bug".

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Recycling an old painting

Often in my studio work, I will decide to do some painting and realize that I have many unfinished starts to paintings lying around. I know I should finish these pieces, but when it comes down to it, some of them I just won't ever get the excitement back into it. So what to do with these paintings that have started, yet never been realized. Well, today I re-energized one of the them and started a new painting right over the top! What better way to recycle and reuse than to paint over existing work! As you can see by these two images, the image has drastically changed from one of a landscape to a closeup of some of the flowering cacti that I came across a couple of weeks ago. I don't know why these cacti have kept my attention, but for some reason I have to paint them. So look for updates in the next few weeks as the progress on these continue. Now I just have to decide if it is going to be a chunky painting done with a palette knife or a work with brush. PS, the first image I had already started sketching a couple of lines when I decided to take the picture, so sorry I don't have an image of the old piece without any new lines over it.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Mo Willems on NPR

One of my favorite author/illustrators out there in the land of children's books is the multi talented Mo Willems. You might recognize his name from a number of award winning series of books which include "Don't let the Pigeon Drive the Bus" and the Knuffle Bunny Series. Recently he did a wonderful interview for NPR dealing with "Getting Adults to Draw" and the reasoning behind why they don't anymore. It is really a wonderful listen and would suggest you check it out here. Also a fun link is to his website. Hope you enjoy and get back to doodling!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Art in Bloom Street Painting

This years "Art in Bloom" at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts was a mix of beautiful spring weather and lots and lots of people. I had the joy of recreating Cy DeCosse's "White Lotus" for the Saturday festivities. Given the fact I only had a little more than three hours, I think the piece turned out rather well. This street painting measured 7' x 7'. Also, I have decided to start a blog with my street painting images. The reason behind it is to allow for a quick and easy way for people to check out the work that I have done at festivals and events more easily. Just for your sake, the post on there now is actually the same as here, but is fun to check out the new link anyways! I just started it so it only has a few posts, but I will be sure to get more of the images I have done over the years up on the blog soon. You can get there by clicking here

Friday, May 1, 2009

Some great news for "Catch the Wind"

Happy Friday every one! What a Friday it was. One of the great things as an illustrator of books that happens every now and then is the recognition of a book that one has worked on. In the recent past, the news has usually focused around a great project I was involved with titled "The Sick Bug". Today's email that I received though was focused on another fun book I illustrated titled Catch the Wind which was a project by Mortenson Companies on Wind energy. To my surprise, "Catch the Wind" has won not one award, but three! You can imagine how excited I was and couldn't hold in the news much longer. The good thing here is I won't have to take up three separate blog posts to announce them, just this one. But there is a definite congrats that goes out to all involved in the book and a toast to boot! So here are the recent awards for "Catch the Wind"

1. A silver medal in the MIPA awards

2. A Silver Nautilus Award

3. And a finalist for the Eric Hoffer Award

Thanks again to all of you who have helped support this great venture and hope that this is just the beginning of more news to come!