Friday, January 22, 2016

Clover and the Shooting Star - Completed

Clover and the Shooting Star is done.  This hand painted, hand assembled book is in honor of my niece Nichole Diane Miller-Harris.  I am sending the original to her parents this week so they can read it to their grandchildren as a way to remember Aunt Nicole.  I know this book is only a minuscule membrane of Nicole but I'm hoping it will bring some measure of comfort.  

My sister-in-law was with her granddaughter shopping for souvenirs.  When Cara couldn't decide which one to get my sister-in law asked her,  "if you could have anything you want, what would you get?" She held my hand, looked up at me and said, "I would get Aunt Nicole back."

You can see I put a dedication to Nicole on the back cover.

I won't show you the last page so when you have your own copy you can have the "big reveal" experience yourself:)  I will let you know that I shared a draft of the book with Nicole's family at her memorial.  They loved it.   And I loved that they all sat in bed together and read it as a family.

I made digital copies of the pages and I am in the process of getting reproductions of the book for other family members and friends who would like one.  This is a board book, so that is how I would like to have it reproduced, as a board book.  Luckily there is a local printer who can do board books!  As soon as I get all the files transferred over to the printer and a test copy made, I'll be able to make additional copies for all who would like to request one!  

I'll keep you posted! 

Monday, January 18, 2016

Winnie the Pooh's Birthday!

Happy Birthday Winnie the Pooh!  Well, actually it is the author of Winnie the Pooh, A.A. Milne's birthday today, making it National Winnie the Pooh Day! 


Here is a little study that I did of Winnie the Pooh that is part of a larger painting I am working on:) This is an oil painting done on cardboard.  I chose to put in the background  some of my favorite books from my own bookshelf.  These are books that my children and I have read together in bed so they hold fond memories for us.  Inkspell, Despereaux, Stuart Little, The Hobbit and of course Winnie the Pooh!  



Monday, January 11, 2016

National Step In A Puddle and Splash Your Friends Day!

It's another Obscure Holiday Feature!  This one I couldn't resist.  Step in a Puddle and Splash Your Friends Day is undoubtedly a day just for mischievous fun!  After all, every kid knows how much fun it is to splash and jump in puddles!
Up until about 3 hours ago we had lots of puddles here in Western New York for stomping in....then a blast of icey air turned everything to snow and ice.  So if you haven't got a puddle, push a friend in a snowdrift!  I'm pretty sure it has the same effect!


Friday, January 8, 2016

Happy National Bubble Bath Day

This year I am starting a new feature on my blog.  It's call Obscure Holiday Feature (OHF)!  I have a list of the funniest, wackiest, and just plain weird holidays:)  When I post an Obscure Holiday Feature I'll create an original piece of art to represent the holiday.  You can print them off and collect them all! (heeheehee.....just kidding...unless you really want to....).  It will be great fodder for water cooler conversation or other watering hole gatherings:)  

So today, January 8th is National Bubble Bath day!  Actually, it's a great way to start a weekend of relaxing....a warm, soapy, bath with bubbles galore!  Why not try it for yourself!

If you know any Obscure Holidays that you would like me to illustrate, leave them in the comments below.



Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Art Quote

A great sentiment to guide the start of a new year!  I would love to say that I have committed to making art everyday in 2016, and that is my New Year's resolution, and you would see my blog blow up with all kinds of new art.....but that would be a lie.  I would never be able to keep that resolution because there is just too many other things I need to do in life, in addition to art.  But I do think about art every day and am inspired by it every day.  And I do have goals for my art for this year, but I don't want to detail them all in case life barges in again, and I get sidetracked with important things like family and health. But one thing is for does make everything awesome!  

I hope you have some art in your day today!

Monday, January 4, 2016

Rebecca Dautremer - Favorite Illustrator

The art of French Illustrator Rebecca Dautremer first captured my attention when I saw her work in Sketchtravel.  It was a simple illustration of a man riding a carriage pulled by a dachund --- I was immediately smitten with her illustrations.  Her work appeared in the first few pages of the book and the write up she provided on her thoughts about the project were so authentic, I knew I just had to learn more about this artist. 

Viewing her work is a bit like stepping into a fairytale, but her characters have a modern feeling to them.  Her illustrations feel magical are beautifully detailed.  She says her recipe for success are warm colors and precise drawings.  Below I found a short video showing her completing a painting.  Her excellence as an artist can clearly be seen in this video.  

She has had much success in illustrating picture books for children ages 3 - 11, although she is not well known in the U.S.  Many of the titles I found were published in Spanish or French language.  Two books that I own are in Spanish and although I do not speak Spanish that doesn't stop me from enjoying the illustrations!  Here are a few:

For Christmas I rewarded myself by adding two of her children's books to my collection.  I bought Nasreddine, written by Odile and illustrated by Rebecca Dautremer, and Enamorados, written and illustrated by Rebecca Dautremer.  You can see both of these books incorporated in the illustration above and I've included some of the artwork from the books in the selection of her work that I posted above.  I hope I have whet your appetite enough that you will go out and find her work for yourself.  It really is spectacular and such a great inspiration to me:)

Let me know what you think in the comments below. 


(The word above is the informal German word for goodbye and one of my favorite.  Embracing my heritage, I've decided to make it my new sign off for 2016)

Friday, January 1, 2016

Year in Review

I like the idea of looking back on all that happened in a year and remembering all of God's blessings along the way.  This year was a tough one for me, but despite that, God was always there and gave me many blessings along the way.  As I grow as an artist I hope that His blessings show in my artwork.  So to start a running record, here is 2015, a year of art in review.