While participating just a wee bit in some post-vacation back-to-school shopping, I did spend at least a little time sitting in a chair near the dressing room to draw this lovely little bear trying out a new dress. My particular input is usually most helpful with considering Garfield/Ode thrift store tees and camouflage-patterned cargo shorts -- and thusly not usually helpful at all!
Much like the summer heat isn't much good for the Arctic, my recent summer vacation wasn't much good for the Polar Bear Post Card Project... That being said, after nearly two weeks on the road and being mostly out of touch with the world at large, my family and I are back in the saddle and buckled down for work, school, the xc running season, and whatever else that fall will bring. As my very first picture book editor used to say, "Onward and Upward!"
PS While the Polar Bear Post Card production may have stalled, I DID have an excellent vacation!
With seemingly non-stop bouncing around from one 4-5 day gig to another -- and a soon-to-be-finally-taken summer trip with my family -- I've been falling greatly behind a bit in my posts... That being said, this recent one of "Snowy the Bear" was inspired by a friend who works for the Modoc Hotshot fire crew out of northern California. Brilliant Taylor, and thank you! With a little more time this could be really nice -- and the sentiment is certainly headed the right direction. And there you have it, a mascot for climate change in the grand tradition of Woodsy Owl, Smokey the Bear, and the US Forest Service National Symbols Program (www.symbols.gov)
Not at the beach... but down in Los Angles for the 45th annual SCBWI Summer Conference. Soaking up writing and illustrating inspiration and trying to paint a few polar bears while I'm at it!
Some MAJOR inspiration here from the cover of Kwame Alexandar's THE CROSSOVER. No polar bears in this story -- and far from it in fact -- but its an amazing book for your summer reading list, and Kwame is an incredible advocate for student writers and readers all over the world. As a book quite literally built around basketball, it might seem pretty far removed from the Arctic ocean and polar bear country, but in certain North Slope Borough schools, basketball is where its at. As a coach, father, and sports fan, this book also had a special resonance, and it won a Newberry Award in 2015 so there's that. Enjoy!
My inner bear (and lack of proper tools!) took control in the garden this past weekend. Replacing rotten fence posts only to remember that 18 inches of concrete anchor them to the earth. BIG ROCK. SMASH! This time I'm using treated posts and not pieces of timber salvaged from the woods.
Backpacking bears! A "day-in-the-life-of-the-artist" theme coming up for the next little bit. Enjoy!
And on Tuesday of last week, July 19th, I celebrated a picture book birthday for the brand new LATER, GATOR! Alas, I was deep in the woods and my mountaintop celebration was pretty quiet... No polar bears in the book, but I drew one here for an appropriately themed Presidential Post Card :) You can find Gator at a bookstore near you or call my local shop for a signed and personalized copy: Trail'sEnd Bookstore (509) 996-2345