Illustration Friday: Quiet

I will get back to creating original IF pieces soon enough. However, this week's image did emerge from my project d'jour (and I just finished it last night). A civil war battlefield... all is quiet.


A Concentration of Canines

Another sample from the project that is requiring all of my attention of late... Final art is due at the publisher next Tuesday! I really like the way that these are turning out, but I'm also sorely missing my bed. Soon enough...


Fall 2006 Events

Finding this photo from last fall's Slow Days, Fast Friends publication party reminded me that I should post my current events schedule. Most of these presentations will feature Boo's Dinosaur in one way or another, but several are more open-ended opportunities to simply share the fun that I have in making books!

Stop by and say hello :)

9/9/2006 The Redwing Children's Book Festival. 12:30-5pm. The Anderson Cultural Center, Redwing, MN. - A gallery showing will include some of my illustration work. I’m also giving a gallery talk on recent chapter book artwork and hopefully signing lots of books! Oops... too late for that one.

9/23/06 SCBWI Inland Empire (Eastern WA, Idaho) Regional Conference. 8am-5pm. Coeur d’ Alane Casino. Worley, ID – I am presenting a break-out session on creating a children’s book portfolio. Also a booksigning.

10/5/06 SCBWI Western Washington's "Inside Story" Event - 7-9pm. Santoro's Books. Seattle, WA. A three minute behind the scenes look at Boo’s Dinosaur. 14 authors and illustrators hawk their latest wares to pacific northwest booksellers, librarians, teachers, etc.. A book signing too!

10/12/06 Family Night at the Edmund's Library. Edmunds, WA - an evening presentation/story time for parents, students and teachers. 7:00pm.

10/13/06 Washington Library & Media Association Conference. Tacmoa, WA - Illustrator Pannel Discussion 10:10-11:10am and book signing, 12:30-1:15pm.

10/14/06 Seattle Children's Museum KidFest. Seattle, WA. An author talk and booksigning. Part of a 3-day festival at the Museum. Should be a blast!

10/17/2006 A Boo’s Dinosaur Publication Party. 6:00pm. Twisp River Pub, Twisp, WA. The local debut of my new book illustrations. A slide show/reading complete with artwork from the book. A special surprise guest, and free buttons! Snack menu will be served. The food is great. The setting even better. Come for dinner and a "show"


Holiday booksigning at A Book for All Seasons. 1-4pm Leavenworth, WA. If you're going to go shopping for holiday gifts this weekend... buy them books!

12/6/06 A Holiday shopping (booksigning) extravaganza! at the SCBWI Western Washington monthly meeting. 7-9pm. Follow the link for details on location and a small meeting registration fee.



Boo's Dinosaur, written by Betsy Byars and illustrated by me IS IN STORES TODAY!

I am too busy finishing the artwork for a new book to celebrate properly, but I will be sharing/signing BOO for the very first time at this weekend's SCBWI Inland Empire Regional Conference in Worley, Idaho. I'll be hosting a break-out session on portfolio preparation, and assisting with critiques as well. These are my first SCBWI conferece duties as such and I am really looking forward to it. Cheers!


Admiration Overdrive

I can't help it, everytime I check out a new book at the library, or browse through a bookstore, I get inspired to "investigate" the illustrators. I'll turn to the bio, seek out a website etc.. I guess that's why I'm doing this in the first place: I love the infinite variety of artwork to be found in books, take great pleasure in careful consideration of the many talents, and strive to make some small contribution of my own.

In any case, while exceptions abound, some incredibly high percentage of the children's book work that I admire springs from gradutates of Art Center and/or the Rhode Island School of Design. This is amazingly humbling sometimes, and speaks so highly of both programs and their alumni. Even though my own liberal arts education was impactful and inspiring in its own right, "three cheers" to those graduates of "A.C." and R.I.S.D. for their continued contributions.

P.S In this drawing the "major players" look a tad bit arrogant and stand-offish. This is by no means an accurate depiction of said graduates, but rather a flaw in my drawing :)


A Celebration of Minnesota Children's Authors and Illustrators

Attention Minnesotans (Wisconsonites and perhaps a few Iowans):

On Saturday, September 9th 2006 I am participating in the 7th Annual Celebration of Minnesota Children's Book Authors and Illustrators. Technically speaking, I do live in Washington State these days, but solid midwestern roots trump reality every time!

In any case, I'd love to meet some new folks or to reconnect with old ones. This FREE event, hosted annually by the Anderson Cultural Center in Redwing, MN is chock full of good stuff.

14 different authors and illustrators including John Coy, Debra Frasier, Pete Hautman, Lauren Stringer, Joyce Sidman, and Beckie Prange (just to name a few) will share their work. I'll be talking about my illustrations, and signing books from 1-3:30.

Hope to see you there!



Illustration Friday: Safe

Under mom's watchful eye...


Boo's Dinosaur: An "early chapterbook" by Newbery Award winner Betsy Byars

I know, I know, I just recently posted a scan of the cover, but this is really official...My first bound, hardcover, slick and glossy copy of BOO'S DINOSAUR arrived in the mail early this week.

This is my 7th book, but the thrill of seeing that very first copy is no less wonderful by any means.

Illustrating early readers is a new thing for me, but everything - from the cozy 5 1/2 x 7 1/2 trim size to the rich possibilities of interior B&W drawings - about this book feels so great. The designers and production folks at Holt did a really nice job putting it all together.

Betsy's stories are perfect for the emerging reader and I will cross my fingers that perhaps she has some new BOO stories brewing out there :)

ROAR into your local bookstore and get your copy on the official release date: September 19th, 2006!