A very fine Festival!

A few pictures from last weekend's Author Festival in Humbolt County California -- but first, a HUGE THANK YOU to all of the coordinators, volunteers, and sponsors that make this happen every two years. It was my first time as a participant, but it is very clear why so many authors in attendance have been SO happy to come back year after year. It was really terrific! A great way to spend some time with kids in the Humbolt County schools and to make some new friends among the other authors and illustrators in attendance. Until next time...
Hangin' with the gang at Orleans Elementary School . The photo doesn't do it justice, but these k-2nd graders made a beautiful book for me -- illustrated and signed by each them -- of their favorite scenes from my books.

San Francisco author/illustrator Bob Barner captivated all on Friday night as he drew a guitar wielding skeleton from his DEM BONES book -- accompanied by the appropriate music, of course!

Hard to resist getting a photo with fellow pacific northwest author and recent Newbery Honor Award winner, Kirby Larson. She's also just a really nice person, and one of the first authors that I can remember meeting when I attended my "freshman" SCBWI events in Seattle Washington 7 years ago.

And finally, perhaps the biggest highlight of the weekend was the opportunity to meet Shirley Climo. Shirley is the author of many books, including a remarkable array of Cinderella stories, and the main reason that I was asked to attend the festival in the first place. Her most recent book, MONKEY BUSINESS: STORIES FROM AROUND THE WORLD, was the first book that I had illustrated for another author, and the artwork made a small impression on festival organizers when Mrs. Climo attended two years ago. Thanks Shirley!

For a complete list of 2007's attending authors, visit Authorfest.org!


Robert's Snow 2007 Redux

My Robert's Snow creation is featured today in the Blogging for a Cure "tour" over at Bildungsroman by Little Willow. A great reminder for a terrific fundraiser and a fine way to create some awareness.

My particular snowflake will be auctioned off November 19-23. Find your checkbooks!



A few sketches from the "margins" in a new manuscript that I am illustrating. Perhaps recurring feature...


Mission Impossible

Soon enough, I am off to the Humbolt County Young Author's Festival. In the spirit of this year's "OO7" theme, I leave you, dear reader, with a Mission Impossible to ponder in my absense. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to identify which one of these cover sketches was ultimately selected as the final image for my project d'jour. My head has already exploded, so this message will NOT self-destruct.

Check back in about a week for the correct answer and a color study. Ciao bella!


Covert Art!

The POLAR POLKA cover art showed up on amazon.com today. I haven't even seen a proof yet... but I guess the book is moving right along!

There is a special pre-order discount of an extra %5 for those that
act soon :) Count those bears while you still can...

Arts Infusion

a beginning, middle, end collage...completed in about 30 min.

This past Friday I attended a great arts-teaching workshop as hosted by Methow Arts and sponsored by the Washington State Art Commission. Arts Education specialists Susy Watts and Meredith Essex from Arts Impact took us through several lessons on Arts Infused Learning and a variety of strategies for integrating art into k-8 curriculums. As a practicing artist, a certified teacher, and as an author/illustrator who visits a lot of schools, it was a great time to reflect on what I already do and to gather a few tips to make my own programs even better!


Open Range

Two days ago, this was the scene from our front window...

Cows on the loose! Or so we thought. A quick call to a knowing friend and we were informed that the whole of our valley is designated "open range." Technically then, cows can be fenced out (we don't have a fence), but there is no real responsibility to fence them in. Fine stuff. The 10 x bovine heard moved on pretty quick but they hung out near one house or another for about 24 hours. Especially ghostly looking at night...

Otherwise, cool and rainy weather has left early hints of winter on the surrounding peaks. It might even stay. This has also been good weather for sitting inside, painting some books and practicing my ink work:


Art Exchange '07 No. 10

Phew! A little bit less frightening than AE no.9. Back on track, Jack...