Sunday, February 26, 2006

Sigh of Relief

Did you miss me? I sure missed everyone in blogger land. I've been trying to keep my head above water these last weeks. As a result, my participation in commenting, making art and all things fun was significantly diminished. I even thought about taking a formal hiatus from the blog. I decided I coudn't do that, it'd be like cutting off a finger! Besides, I'm back now!
Here's a little painting I did today while messing around with some "redo" canvases. Do you have any of those? I do. I think some image or idea is brilliant, and then when I go to paint the darn thing, the execution sucks. Thanks to gesso, I can salvage those babies and give them a second chance. I don't think you can read the piggy's expression too well, but it's one of utter calm and release. It's something I'm finally able to allow myself to feel. My students took their first of three standardized tests this last week, and boy it did a number on all of us! The energy level of the entire seventh grade was zapped the next day. Fortunately, we're moving full-steam ahead into the science-fiction genre with a little bit of poetry on the side-yahoo!

These are a few bargain finds I stumbled upon yesterday, and am in love with. I can tell you I haven't even read the stories for most of these books, but I am very familiar with the illustrations...simply delicious!

This image is from Mark Teague's "Dear Mrs. LaRue", a story about a clever canine and his delusions.

The image below is from Teague's book, "Pigsty." Unfortunately, I couldn't find the book in hardcover, but I got it just the same. How could I not? It's about pigs! There's also the fact that I much admire Teague's style. It's got a richness to it that I have been trying to achieve. My work is very flat right now, and I would like to "fill it", so to speak.
Here's a sweet scene to Kathy Appelt's "Piggies in a Polka", illustrated by LeUyen Pham (of Big sister, Little Sister-another beauty!) This book is done in watercolor and colored pencil, with a touch of digital media. I am intrigued with the unique geometry of the animals and acenes. There is a refreshing line quality present. I love the colors and energy of the book. Plus, it has...well, you know.
Finally, we come to "The Wishing of Biddy Malone" by Jay Cowley, and illustrated by Christopher Denise . This book has a unique style I can't remember come across recently. It's done with acrylic paint, charcoal on gessoed illustrator's board. This is a technique I'm playing with, and it's interesting to see other's use of it. The story is an Irish folk tale with a mix of humor, love and magic. The picture are breathtaking, and Denise's use of whimsy is evident especially in the pages featuring the fairie folk. That's all for now. I'm busy working on a piece I've decided to submit to the SCBWI's February Illustrators contest. It was something I was playing around with a few weeks ago, and just happens to match the prompt beautifully. Come to think of it, it works with this week's I-Fri topic, too. Hmmm....I'll definitely post it after Tuesday then.


  1. I am a big fan of Mark Teaques work too. Isn't "studying" in this field so fun?

  2. good to see you back and what yummy finds! :)

  3. It's good to know that those standardized tests are over. You must be zonked. It was fun to take a look into the books you showed here..I love the last illo. cant' wait to see what you come up with! I like the swinging piggy! great sense of humor!

  4. Love the piggy on the swing!
    Welcome back!

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