Lost at sea… GBIG prompt!

We we had the rare pleasure of a guest illustrator at our last GBIG meeting. E. B.  Lewis is an extraordinary artist and illustrator. He calls himself an “Artistrator”.

We enjoyed seeing his work up close and he gave us each a portfolio critique. We learned a great deal about his preferences and how he teaches artists to create excellent illustrations and portfolios that will get them their next job.

We decided to give ourselves the assignment prompt he mentioned during the meeting. “Lost”. I’ve started playing with some ideas and thought I’d post some here and there as I move along. This first sketch started out as a rough drawing just to practice lighting to see if I could get the lighting to work. I took it much further than I had expected since I was  having so much fun. This was done in Procreate on the iPad Pro with the Apple Pencil.

Hope you enjoy them!




Cats in Hats?

My piece for the Cats in Hats exhibition at the D’Amour Museum in Springfield was sent off today! The exhibit is timed to celebrate the opening of the Dr. Seuss Museum in Springfield which is expected to open in 2017.

Here are some little snippets!.


The show will run from October 6th 2016 through April 30th 2017. There are over 35 Illustrators from Western Massachusetts and New England participating.

The opening for the exhibit is on October 13th from 5-7pm.



Pre-conference thoughts and memories of 2015

2015NESCBWILast year I went to the NESCBWI conference feeling quite content that I had at last created a portfolio that I felt good enough about to enter into the Portfolio Showcase. I placed it on the table and planned to relax and enjoy the rest of the conference. The next morning they announced the winners of the Showcase and I was gobsmacked to find that I had won! It’s still hard for me to believe. The affirmation that I received from that award and the warmth I felt from all the compliments from attendees changed my life. Feeling confident about my ability allowed me to make better work. I stopped questioning every mark I made and started feeling that that chances were pretty good that I’d draw something decent!

This year, I have lots of new work in my portfolio and I’m looking forward to showing it to the attendees and faculty. Once again, I am happy with what I’ve put together and look forward to getting feedback on how to make better and better work.

So, if you’re entering the showcase for the first time, my advice is to set your portfolio on the table, relax and enjoy all the fabulous work on display. You’ll be one of dozens of incredibly talented illustrators and we can all learn something from each and every portfolio. Enjoy yourself!

T- 42 hours and counting!

Life has taken me for a bit of a ride over the past several weeks but I’m back in the studio and feeling very thankful that I got things ready well ahead of time this year. My Team Weekly Daily Critique Group was a big help in terms of staying ahead of schedule. I’ll spend the next 24 hours or so getting all my ducks and corgis in a row.

It would be hard to top last year’s conference experience but I’m looking forward to having a great time this year too!


Heading down the long and winding road to the NESCBWI conference.

Wow, there are only 65 days before the Spring NESCBWI Conference!

Over the weekend I hung a show of children’s book illustrations at Pine Manor College with Wayne Geehan, Ed Shems and Toby Williams. Now that I’m done with that project, it’s time to plan out those 65 days!

First of all there are promotional postcards to envision, design, sketch, paint and have printed. Next I need to decide exactly what I hope to include in my portfolio this year. After that I’ll start working on the illustrations that I’m planning to display. There’s also the dummy I’d like to present if I can complete it in time, and the business cards I need to create and have printed. Finally I need to update and rebuild my website! Who needs sleep?

Last year was the first spring after I left my day job. I still had kids at home but was able to spend a good deal of time getting things ready. This year I only have one job, this one. My youngest is in college and my oldest is gainfully employed. Now is my opportunity to see what I’m really capable of!

I have three stories in the works and I plan to have illustrations for all of them in my portfolio. One of them features several animals among them an owl. I’ve been drawing owls for the past several days and having an incredibly wonderful time with these guys. Now it’s time to set them aside and create a plan to make this work!

Wish me luck!

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Congratulations to the Tomie dePaola winners!

I thoroughly enjoyed giving the Tomie dePaola challenge a shot for the first time. He made it clear that the biggest challenge was to create a “unique visualization” of the character and to try to create something that had not been seen before. Of course we all know “there’s nothing new under the sun” but it was an interesting problem.

I decided to stick to my own style and create an image that focused only on who I thought Little Red might be and what a sweet and kind girl she was. It was an enjoyable project and I am happy with the outcome. Here’s my entry!


2016 … here I come!

I have high hopes for what might be possible this coming year. I’m eager to keep making new work and get it out in front of Art Directors’ eyes to see what they think. I’ve gotten great feedback so far. There are classes to audit, conferences to attend, residencies to apply for and more!

Monkeys have just become a character for me to play with. I realized that there are some animals that I’d never had a reason to draw. Monkeys are one and cats are another! I thought I’d get started by sketching on my iPad. I kind of like these guys!

Happy New Year and Happy Year of the Monkey!