Wednesday, February 29, 2012

boston blast

The whales have made their journey to Charlesbridge at last. If I didn't deliver my illustrations for Here Come the Humpbacks a minute sooner, I might still be obsessively redrawing them all. There wasn't even time for me to lay them all out together until I arrived at their offices.

I'm proud of these! I have the dusty blue sneakers to show for it, too. I wasn't at the publisher long enough to take off my coat. But I sported my whale t-shirt by Miles to Go with pride.

With business complete, we visited my nephew, Garrett, who graciously gave us his two cent tour of Emmanuel, an institution of higher learning and angelic proportions.

Here's an old angel of mine, dropping some snowflakes. We saw a few in our travels while in Boston.

We ventured alongside the mobs to the Museum of Science. The geckos are a wondrous marvel!

So many varieties, and each with unique personalities. I was envious of this contented sleeper.

It would've been fun to sketch these fellows, but there wasn't room, or any sitting place. Here's a skink I drew for Nest, Nook & Cranny. Can you tell the difference?

The MOS has fantastic permanent displays and live demos, too. We enjoyed Mind Games, all about the mysteries of perception. Love this vintage optical illusion.

Ever since art school, I can't resist a good skull. I did the below as a freshman, layers of self from skull to skin.

There's also a fantastic display of taxidermy. Where was this marmot when I was working on A Warmer World? He could have posed for me!

Here's the illustration I did, without him.

There's critters all over Boston. Spotted Lack and Mack crossing a major intersection, bringing to mind Robert McCloskey. They still ignore the signs!

We headed to the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, where we waited in a line outside to stand in a line inside.

The new wing has brought plenty of buzz, but it's still the old courtyard that remains the best draw.
Again, too many people for contemplative sketching. There is so much to take in, my mind melted.
Never too tired to browse the bookstore, though!

We found these exquisite orchids in the Living Room, a chic retreat from the collections, where you can relax.

I drew an orchid and a golden toad on the last page of A Warmer World, two examples of fragility in our changing world.

That reminds me: today is Leap Day! Happy hopping, everyone.

I'll be making two school visits this Friday, which is Read Across America day, in honor of Dr. Seuss.
In the morning, I will visit the Peaks Island Elementary School down the street. Hooray!
And in the afternoon, Yarmouth Elementary, across the bay.

O, the places we will go!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

thar she blows

I am feverishly fussing over the last touches on my illustrations for Here Come the Humpbacks by April Pulley Sayre. Above is a detail, since the art's all too large for my scanner. Here's a humpback spouting, just as I've been blowing blue dust all over my studio for weeks (cough, cough..)

Ahoy, thar be a whale in Casco Bay this morning?

Oh, what fun!

I just came across a very life-like toy by Schleich that I had to play with. If only I'd had this at the beginning of this project! 

Here's another detail in which I got to draw other sea creatures, a welcome diversion from the whale focus. I took out several books on jellyfish, and have fallen in love with drawing them. And turtles, too!

A loggerhead makes an appearance in this spread from my newest book,  A Warmer World by Caroline Arnold.

For that book, I drew lots of polar bears.

It was this time last year I was looking for reference on a trip to Boston, specifically at the aquarium, for this spread about penguins.

Yes, there's always blue dust in the air around here.

The distant factory in this image is from an old snapshot of the Boston Edison plant. It seemed to provide the right contrast for this page.

We'll head to Boston later this week, and I will deliver my final art to Charlesbridge. Hooray!

Just a little more fussing, and blowing of pastel first.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

lovey dovey loot

O how I love this day. It's full of all of my favorite things: paper hearts, doilies, pink icing, and a swelling love for everyone. I should be working, but I can't seem to pull away from the glue sticks and scissors. I've been making valentines galore. Here's a few.

First, for my man. Vroom vroom valentine.
Our romance began with letters.

Next, for my sweet daughter of moonlight and magic.

I also send love to those I am fortunate to work with. Like the hotties at Curious City, who unlock the mysteries of literacy.

 Like the Maine Magazine. Groovy folks there.

I'll have some illustrations in an upcoming book from Storey Publishing. Hooray for Casting On!

Yes, yes, only one more whale illustration for Charlesbridge!

You'll notice a recurring element here, the above urchin was part of the endpapers in Nest, Nook, and Cranny. 

The above went out to my fellow colleague in the MECA trenches who spends a large part of his time at Strange Maine, not to be confused with IL 206.

This valentine is for Kim, designer friend who keeps my soul singing.

And this goes out to all you hotties, you know who you are....feel free to share this handy message.

I've made a ton of valentines, not as many as last year. So little time! But the more you give, the more you receive. Lovey dovey loot is priceless.

 It's a glorious day when the love signs can be found on the beach.

And then the neighbor brings over a plate of love. Shall I be trusted with this? Can I sneak one or two before my valentines return? Pretty please?

The window at the Gem Gallery says it all.

You better find somebody to love. Happy Valentines Day!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

teen zine factory

The last session of the Teen Zine Factory at the Telling Room was a flurry of folding! I got into the spirit, making my own zine the night before. I did quick portraits of each zinester in my sketchbook.

Inspired by Lily's use of the vintage typewriter on hand, I found our own relic. Fun to bang away on that, and I photographed the keys for collaging on the cover sketch.

For the sake of time, we all used the simple format of a single-sided zine, which is folded into 8 image areas.

I made some stickers and strips to package them as a group, nine all together.
When we arrived for the final session, there were stacks of copies, ready to be folded. Here is Elias working on his.

Look, what a batch of zines!

Our lovely volunteer, Whitney, was a major help in the production line. And Berry was a fantastic helper and mentor, adding her zine to the mix. Thank you!

We ventured down the street to Bam Bam Bakery, where the zinesters distributed a few sets to the unsuspecting public.

Watch out, a zine batch may be hiding right near you.

All this called for some sweet celebration. Yum....

Thank you, Telling Room, for making the place for writing and drawing. What a blast!