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Showing posts from June, 2013

Illustrating Children's Picture Book - Key West

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I am illustrating a children's picture book. the manuscript is a rhyming lullaby with a Key West setting. Ahhhhh - Key West - I'm seeing bright primary colors - lots of color.

Using my trusty Storyboard template, I break the manuscript down into the pages.  I will use page 3 for the "title" page and page 32 for "the end" page. That leaves me 14 2-page spreads. I want to have a full page illustration on one side and the text along with an small illustration on the facing page. 
There is a passel of animals, fish & fowl in the story - so I've collected some reference photos of Key West critters to go along with the landscape photos I already have. 

The Finished Poetry Painting

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I've made this tree painting authentic for me. Not completely realistic. Very bold with lots of color. A little whimsy. So - is it complete? Is it the best it can be? That nagging little voice is saying, "Sure, you could get away with this." But, "is everything you want to say in this painting? Where is your element of surprise and the unexpected?"
Rightfully so - I am not done . . . Here is my "unexpected" - a bird on a stick The robin from the poem . . .

Trees I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.

A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the earth's sweet flowing breast;

A tree that looks at God all day,
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;

A tree that may in summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;

Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.

Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.

Redeeming the Poetry Painting

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I'm ready to recycle this painting - maybe a gallon of nice white paint will fix it for me or a gallon of gasoline and a match!
But, I am not a quitter. I'm sure this painting can be redeemed.

What is the biggest obstacle for me? The thought of a realistic painting? Landscape realism is not what I like to paint - what was I thinking?

So - being true to myself - I'm making changes. I've added a pattern to the path between the trees. A checkerboard path which ends up looking like a painted canvas rug. Perfect.

Still boring and empty - no focus. I've added a string of banners which seem to fit with the new canvas rug. A banner of leaves and acorns from the trees and the color blue that peaks between the branches and leaves.


Poetry Painting

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Juried Art Exhibit ART & POETRY
I am entering this juried art show at the York Art Association in York, PA. I have to create a painting based on a poem. I am not a big poetry aficionado - but I do remember the tree poem that my mom quoted so often as I was growing up: Trees ~ by Joyce Kilmer - 1913
So, I decided to go out on a limb - way out - and
paint a realistic tree painting.
a fall painting with the red and orange leaves.
who doesn't love the fall foliage?
A 30 x 30" canvas support painted dark purple and
some pictures of fall foliage. Ready to start . . .


I've got miles to go and already this painting is becoming a chore. I don't know about this - it's just not working for me . . . . It's just so boring or what - no glue - no collage - no surprise - I don't know? Trees~ Joyce Kilmer I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.

A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the earth's sweet flowing breast;

A tree that looks at God all day,
A…

Watercolor Teapots

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Paintings for the Riverview Gallery I have a small limited space for this Gallery, but I like to bring a diverse
selection of paintings for them to choose from. So for this final painting, I decided to take my father's advice and paint something people might actually like. Needless to say, he is not a fan of my mixed media!


So - a watercolor would be the appropriate choice. The subject matter - well,
these teapot Xmas ornaments made from a painting in my sketchbook,
I'm sure they'll be perfect for this painting.
And of course - a little colored pencil is a must!


Colored Pencil Paper Cutting Collages

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Paintings for the Riverview Gallery


Two more paintings using my original colored pencil illustrations and still limiting the palette and collage paper.

My paper cutting - a very primitive form of scherenschnitte - even though it was time consuming, I love the effect. I used high quality colored paper on these collages with the kids. The angel painting from the previous post has paper cutting from a lunch bag.