Saturday, December 29, 2012

"Little Women" Illustration for SCBWI Tomie dePaola Award



Here is my entry to the annual Tomie dePaola Award.

He gave us all the challenge to produce an illustration in black & white – something I don't normally do. But I'm always up for a challenge!

We were to choose a passage, line or description from one of the following classic books to illustrate: “Little Women” by Louisa May Alcott, “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer” by Mark Twain, or “The Yearling” by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings

I chose this passage from "Little Women":
As Christmas apporached, the usual mysteries began to hunt the house, and Jo frequently convulsed the family by proposing utterly impossible, or magnificently absurd ceremonies, in honor of this unusally merry Christmas. Laurie was equally impracticable, and would have had bonfires, sky-rockets, and triumphal arches, if he had had his own way. After many skirmishes and snubbings, the ambitious pair were considered effectually quenched, and went about with forlon faces, shich were rather belied by explosions of laughter when the two got together. Several days of unusually mild weather fitly ushered in a splendid Christmas-day. Hannah “felt in her bones that it was going to be an uncommonly plummy day,” and she proved herself a true prophetess, for everybody and everything seemed bound to produce a grand success. To begin with: Mr. March wote that he should soon be with them; then Beth felt uncommonly well that morning, and, being dressed in her mother’s gift, – a soft merino wrapper, – was bourne in triumph to the window, to behold the offering of Jo and Laurie. The Unquenchables had done their best to be worthy of the name, for, like elves, they had worked by night, and conjured up a comical surprise. Out in the garden steed a stately snow-maiden, crowned with holly, bearing a basket of fruit and flowers in one hand, a great roll of new music in the other, a perfect rainbow of an Afghan round her chilly shoulders, and a Christmas carol issuing from her lips, on a pink paper streamer: – 

“THE JANGFRAU TO BETH. 
“God bess you, dear Queen Bess! 
May nothing you dismay; 
But health, and peace, and happiness, 
Be yours, this Christmas-day. 

“Here’s fruit to feed our busy bee, 
And flowers for her nose; 
Here’s music for her pianee,–
 An Afghan for her toes. 

“A portrait of Joanna, see, 
By Raphael No. 2, 
Who labored with great industry, 
To make it fair and true. 

“Accept a ribbon red I beg, 
For Madam Purrer’s tail; 
And ice cream made by lovely Peg,– 
A Mont Blanc in a pail. 

Their dearest love my makers laid 
Within my breast of snow. 
Accept it, and the Alpine maid, 
From Laurie and from Jo.” 

How Beth laughed when she saw it! How Laurie ran up and down to bring in the gifts, and what ridiculous speeches Jo made as she presented them!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Christmas ABC's Sketch Project and HoHoDooDa – Z is For Zonked Out!

Just like Santa, a lot of us put so much energy into the holidays, when it's over, we feel so zonked! The day after, I have ZERO energy - ZILCH, ZIPPO, ZOT! Zzzz . . .

Don't forget to check out my Facebook Page for the Advent Calendar.

Take a look at what the others are sketching over at HoHoDooDa here.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Christmas ABC's Sketch Project and HoHoDooDa – Y is For Yule Log

Don't forget to check out my Facebook Page for the Advent Calendar. Come back tomorrow to see a new sketch!

Take a look at what the others are sketching over at HoHoDooDa here.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas ABC's Sketch Project and HoHoDooDa – X is For XOXO (hugs and kisses)




Don't forget to check out my Facebook Page for the Advent Calendar. Come back tomorrow to see a new sketch!
Take a look at what the others are sketching over at HoHoDooDa here.


Sunday, December 23, 2012

Christmas ABC's Sketch Project and HoHoDooDa – W is For Wreath

Don't forget to check out my Facebook Page for the Advent Calendar. Come back tomorrow to see a new sketch!

Take a look at what the others are sketching over at HoHoDooDa here.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Christmas ABC's Sketch Project and HoHoDooDa – V is For Velvet Dresses

I love it when little girls (especially my beautiful nieces) where velvet dresses for the holidays!

Don't forget to check out my Facebook Page for the Advent Calendar. Come back tomorrow to see a new sketch!

Take a look at what the others are sketching over at HoHoDooDa here.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Christmas ABC's Sketch Project and HoHoDooDa – U is For Ugly Sweater

Of course, ugly is in the eye of the beholder. Orville loves his sweater!

Don't forget to check out my Facebook Page for the Advent Calendar. Come back tomorrow to see a new sketch!

Take a look at what the others are sketching over at HoHoDooDa here.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Christmas ABC's Sketch Project and HoHoDooDa – T is For Tree

Don't forget to check out my Facebook Page for the Advent Calendar. Come back tomorrow to see a new sketch!

Take a look at what the others are sketching over at HoHoDooDa here.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Christmas ABC's Sketch Project and HoHoDooDa – S is For Stockings

Don't forget to check out my Facebook Page for the Advent Calendar. Come back tomorrow to see a new sketch!

Take a look at what the others are sketching over at HoHoDooDa here.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Christmas ABC's Sketch Project and HoHoDooDa – R is For Rudolph

Don't forget to check out my Facebook Page for the Advent Calendar. Come back tomorrow to see a new sketch!

Take a look at what the others are sketching over at HoHoDooDa here.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Christmas ABC's Sketch Project and HoHoDooDa – Q is For Question

The all-important question around Christmas - where you naughty or nice?

Don't forget to check out my Facebook Page for the Advent Calendar. Come back tomorrow to see a new sketch!

Take a look at what the others are sketching over at HoHoDooDa here.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Christmas ABC's Sketch Project and HoHoDooDa – P is For Poinsiettia

I love poinsettias, but I'm afraid to have them in my home since they are poisonous to cats, and there's always at least one cat around here!

Don't forget to check out my Facebook Page for the Advent Calendar. Come back tomorrow to see a new sketch!

Take a look at what the others are sketching over at HoHoDooDa here.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Christmas ABC's Sketch Project and HoHoDooDa – O is For Ornaments

I love collecting different ornaments, and this year I signed up for the Blu Penny Handmade Ornament Exchange! Today was the deadline to send them out. This is what the ornaments I created look like.

Don't forget to check out my Facebook Page for the Advent Calendar. Come back tomorrow to see a new sketch!

Take a look at what the others are sketching over at HoHoDooDa here.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Christmas ABC's Sketch Project and HoHoDooDa – N is For Noel

Did you know that noel also means Christmas carol? I didn't either, until I looked it up. Guess what carol she's singing - yep, The First Noel!

Don't forget to check out my Facebook Page for the Advent Calendar. Come back tomorrow to see a new sketch!

Take a look at what the others are sketching over at HoHoDooDa here.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Christmas ABC's Sketch Project and HoHoDooDa – M is For Mistletoe

It's Day 13 of my sketch a day project for December.

Don't forget to check out my Facebook Page for the Advent Calendar. Come back tomorrow to see a new sketch!

Take a look at what the others are sketching over at HoHoDooDa here.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Christmas ABC's Sketch Project and HoHoDooDa – L is For Lights

It's Day 12 of my sketch a day project for December.

Don't forget to check out my Facebook Page for the Advent Calendar. Come back tomorrow to see a new sketch!

Take a look at what the others are sketching over at HoHoDooDa here.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Christmas ABC's Sketch Project and HoHoDooDa – K is For Kids

It's Day 11 of my sketch a day project for December. K is for kids. It's so much fun to watch kids experience the joy and wonder of the season!

Don't forget to check out my Facebook Page for the Advent Calendar. Come back tomorrow to see a new sketch!

Take a look at what the others are sketching over at HoHoDooDa here.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Christmas ABC's Sketch Project and HoHoDooDa – J is For Jingle Bells

It's Day 10 of my sketch a day project for December. J is for Jingle Bells, and here is Jangles, jingling his jingle bells.

Don't forget to check out my Facebook Page for the Advent Calendar. Come back tomorrow to see a new sketch!

Take a look at what the others are sketching over at HoHoDooDa here.

Sunday, December 09, 2012

Christmas ABC's Sketch Project and HoHoDooDa – I is For Infant

It's Day 9 of my sketch a day project for December (another late edition). I is for infant, so here is the baby Jesus.

Don't forget to check out my Facebook Page for the Advent Calendar. Come back tomorrow to see a new sketch!

Take a look at what the others are sketching over at HoHoDooDa here.

Saturday, December 08, 2012

Christmas ABC's Sketch Project and HoHoDooDa – H is For Hot Cocoa

It's Day 8 of my sketch a day project for December (another late edition). H is for hot cocoa. I absolutely love Starbuck's Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate, and haven't had one this season. I'll be remedying that soon.

Don't forget to check out my Facebook Page for the Advent Calendar. Come back tomorrow to see a new sketch!

Take a look at what the others are sketching over at HoHoDooDa here.

Friday, December 07, 2012

Christmas ABC's Sketch Project and HoHoDooDa – G is For Gifts

It's Day 7 of my sketch a day project for December (the late edition). G is for gifts, of course!

Don't forget to check out my Facebook Page for the Advent Calendar. Come back tomorrow to see a new sketch!

I've also joined in the fun over at HoHoDooDa (short for Holiday Doodle a Day). Take a look at what the others are sketching here.

Thursday, December 06, 2012

Christmas ABC's Sketch Project and HoHoDooDa – F is For Family Portrait

I's Day 6 of my sketch a day project for December, F for family portrait.

Don't forget to check out my Facebook Page for the Advent Calendar. Come back tomorrow to see a new sketch!

I've also joined in the fun over at HoHoDooDa (short for Holiday Doodle a Day). Take a look at what the others are sketching here.

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Christmas ABC's Sketch Project –
E is For Elf

Day 5 of my sketch a day project for December. You gotta love an elf. This elf was inspired by Herbie, who wanted to be a dentist!

Don't forget to check out my Facebook Page for the Advent Calendar. Come back tomorrow to see a new sketch!

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Christmas ABC's Sketch Project –
D is For Dear Santa

Day 4 of my sketch a day project for December. The ole' Dear Santa letter. Do you remember writing those?

Don't forget to check out my Facebook Page for the Advent Calendar. Come back tomorrow to see a new sketch!

Monday, December 03, 2012

Christmas ABC's Sketch Project –
C is For Cookies

Day 3 of my sketch a day project for December. I love cookies - I think gingersnaps are my favorite, along with chocolate chip. I make the recipe that goes with the story that Neiman Marcus charged someone $200 for the recipe. The secret is ground-up oatmeal and melted chocolate in the batter - yum! What is your favorite cookie?

Don't forget to check out my Facebook Page for the Advent Calendar. Come back tomorrow to see a new sketch!

Sunday, December 02, 2012

Christmas ABC's Sketch Project –
B is For Beard

Day 2 of my sketch a day project for December. Don't forget to check out my Facebook Page for the Advent Calendar. Come back tomorrow to see a new sketch!

Saturday, December 01, 2012

Christmas ABC's Sketch Project –
A is For Antlers

Every holiday season, I get excited and I decide to do too much. :–) In keeping with that, I decided to do a sketch a day project for December, using the ABC's of Christmas as my inspiration. I'm putting them together in kind of an Advent-type layout on my Facebook Page. Come back everyday to see a new sketch!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

November is Picture Book Month!


Join the celebration and party with a picture book!

I love November because it's Picture Book Month, as well as PiBoIdMo (see post below). In this digital age where people are predicting the coming death of print books, picture books (the print kind) need love. And the world needs picture books. I need picture books. I SO love picture books! There’s nothing like the physical page turn of a beautifully crafted picture book and no digital device can replicate that experience!

Visit picturebookmonth.com everyday in November for a new post from a picture book champion explaining why he/she thinks picture books are important. There's been some great posts so far. Come join the fun!

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

New Work for "Chocolate Chips and Rocket Ships" Book

I'm excited to have been asked to be part of an exciting project – a book called "Chocolate Chips and Rocket Ships"– a collection of 99 1/2 fun poems by John O'Marra. John has somehow wrangled 100 different artists to create illustrations to accompany his poems for this really fun book. Check out his site for some of the art and poems that will be part of the book. And be sure to watch the videos that star his adorable children!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

It's PiBoIdMo Time Again!


November is an exciting time for writers. There's NaNoWriMo, a write-a-novel-in-30-days challenge, and there's PiBoIdMo, a 30-picture-book-ideas-in-30-days challenge for kidlit writers and illustrators. This will be the 3rd year that I've participated and hope to get some great ideas. Even if you don't want to officially participate and be eligible for prizes, it's still fun to follow along and read the daily blog posts to get inspiration.

The posts have already started to help us get in the right mindset. Let the creative juices flow!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

New Halloween Design

I love Halloween and couldn't resist creating a new card for my Pingg shop. Feel free to use it to invite your friends to a party, or just to wish them a Happy Halloween.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Great Mail Day!

Look what I got in the mail today! I got a print I won from Molly Idle from her book 'Tea Rex," an original drawing I won from Dani Jones from her upcoming "Little Woman" graphic novel project, the latest SCBWI Bulletin and my new promo postcards! Thanks Molly and Dani!

Monday, September 10, 2012

New Work – Teacher's Pet

Zoe thought she could get on the teacher's good side by bringing her an apple. It sure burst her bubble when she saw what Carl brought. There's always at least one suck-up in the class!

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Sketching While Watching the Olympics


I love watching the Olympics! The dedication that these athletes put into their sport always inspires me. I often sketch while watching - here is the US gymnastics all-around gold medalist Gabby Douglas.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Friday, June 29, 2012

I Have Split My Personalities!

I haven't posted here for a while because I was having a bit of an identity crisis. I am both a freelance graphic designer and a children's illustrator and felt that the two sides of me needed separate outlets. This blog has always been mainly about my road to publication in the children's market as an illustrator, and will remain that way. My website has been updated to represent that side of me only. I have added a new persona and website to reflect my designer side of me. Take a look at Fiery Red Creative here! I'm excited to finally have a single focus for each site. Now I gotta concentrate on doing more work!
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Thursday, May 10, 2012

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Sketching

I'm going to try and post more sketches here. I feel like I've been neglecting you, dear blog. Sorry about that - I had a Twitter crush for a while, but I know you're always here for me.

Thursday, March 08, 2012

STL Provocateur


It was my pleasure to have designed this logo for STL Provocateur, a local group who wants to help make St. Louis a better city. They aim to provide timely information about policy changes that will allow public engagement before decisions are made. 

Their first challenge was to come up with increasing the accessibility of healthy, locally grown food in St. Louis as part of the GOOD Ideas for Cities project. They are presenting their ideas tonight at the Contemporary Art Museum.

For more information about the team and the project, check out their interview with ALIVE Magazine. Good luck tonight!

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Friday, January 27, 2012

Stephen Colbert's Interview with Maurice Sendak

After the bad news at the beginning of the week about how the Caldecott and Newbery Award-winners were dissed by the morning news shows, Stephen Colbert does an awesome interview with Maurice Sendak! Like most things Colbert does, it's not for children, but it is HILARIOUS! Sendak is known for his curmudgeonly attitude, but I've always admired him for being himself. He holds his own against Colbert, and we actually see him laugh! Maybe Stephen will have the winners on next year (I don't know if they would all be up to it!)

           
The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Grim Colberty Tales with Maurice Sendak Pt. 1
www.colbertnation.com
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical Humor & Satire BlogVideo Archive


           
The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Grim Colberty Tales with Maurice Sendak Pt. 2
www.colbertnation.com
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical Humor & Satire BlogVideo Archive

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Sunday, January 08, 2012

Will Terry's "How To Design A Drawing"



I'm so excited to have won a free copy of Will Terry's "How To Design A Drawing" video tutorial. Even though I've been a graphic designer my whole life, I still struggle with integrating characters into backgrounds in my illustrations, and I'm sure this will help me with that.

Having been taught by Will for a week at the Writing and Illustrating For Young Readers Conference in 2009, I know I will come away with some great insights. I love the way Will teaches - he just talks about different aspects of illustration based on his experiences - not some hard and fast rules read out of a textbook.

Check out his tutorials - he has a new series of 8 videos. You can find them on folioacademy.com I'll let you know how it goes - but I'm sure I'll learn a lot from it!

Monday, January 02, 2012

Happy New Year


It's an exciting day for SCBWI illustrators who entered the Tomie dePaola Award contest. The winner is scheduled to be announced today – our community is buzzing with anticipation. In the meantime, fellow SCBWI illustrator, Diandra Mae has been working tirelessly on a blog so that we can showcase our entries. Usually, when the winner is announced on the SCBWI site, we only get to see that entry. Artists love looking at art and Diandra's curiosity drove her to, first, take charge in getting a private group on Facebook organized, and then set up a blog for the public to see. Check it out - there are so many awesome illustrators out there!
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