Monday, August 30, 2010

My Little Studio

This post is to celebrate the simple joy of a clean desk! Such possibility! The space! WOW!
These are silhouettes of my daughters that I did back in 2007 when they were 2ish and 4ish. (Visit Mr. Yen's shop to see some of his stunning papercuts, his work is absolutely brilliant!)
This is something I have been sketching lately. It is from the cover of my all-time favorite children's book from when I was a kid (The Country Bunny and the Little Gold Shoes, written by DuBose Heyward and illustrated by Marjorie Flack). My Mom used to sit me down with art books when I was a kid to have me learn from the greats and stretch my skills and imagination. I had forgotten how fun and challenging it was! And who doesn't love drawing bunnies??? The kiddies are excited for school to start next week and I am mentally preparing myself to dive into Mural 2 and the Sketchbook Project and working on my book dummies and handling registration for the MNSCBWI Fall Conference and sending out a new postcard and having a fun giveaway on the ol' blog. Also, I now have 3 illustrations up on Project OpenBook that you could vote on if you haven't already: Lost and Found, Book Club, and On Cloud Nine (written by my wonderful friend, Jen, who I have been friends with since meeting in 7th grade english class with Mr. Stokes!!!).

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Nature Boy

Thought it might be nice to post something different today and share a little more than what I just finished working on...
There are a few songs that I have been listening to a lot lately that have really touched a chord with me (pun intended). This version of Nat King Cole's Nature Boy by Pomplamoose is simply perfect (I just love her voice). "The greatest thing you'll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return." How wonderful is that?
Learnalilgivinanlovin by Gotye is another song that I just adore.
Miracles by Jeremy Messersmith is another favorite. I just really love to listen to music while I draw and paint. It really makes me happy. My husband is a soccer fan, so I also love to listen to Bobby McMahon and Jeremy St. Louis on the Fox Soccer Channel (since my studio is really just a desk in our porch) and now seem to have a teensy crush on José Mourinho.
Guess that's all. I have really been feeling grateful for so many things lately. Thankful for my wonderful family and amazing friends, and that I can be home with my kiddies and draw a little, too. Still can't believe I illustrated a book. That was one of the things I always hoped would happen when I was young, but never actually thought it would. I feel like I should have written "Dear Diary" at the top of this post! Dang! My heart is on my sleeve, always. It does get cold in Minnesota, so layering helps! Sending you all much love and happiness! nvc

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Mural One=Done!!!

Hope you read the previous mural post because I am jumping right back in where we left off last... The big horse (Lily) took a little while to paint (Pooh Bear Yellow, DC1A-30-2). I accidentally painted her ears and muzzle the same color as the purple flowers (A Wave of the Wand, DC2A-20-2) and was thinking it looked awful until I painted over it (ha). The other flowers are Oh Bother Blue (DC3C-30-3) and the centers are Sunny Spot (DC1B-10-5). Oh, the black paint is Mouse Ears (DC4B-10-5). The nice folks at Home Depot mixed up all the colors with the Behr Premium Plus Ultra paint (has the primer baked in). THAT was a HUGE time saver.
And here is the stable. The horse on the left will be white and Honey Butter (320C-3), the horse on the right is a mystery. Oooo... Trees are Friendly Forest (DC4B-60-5) and I have a sneaking suspicion that there was not primer in the paint...
Gave Lily a nice pink for her ears and muzzle (Powdered Blush, 130C-1) and started painting her mane white (took quite a few coats to cover up the green grass).
And now for the big reveal: Lily out to pasture next to the closet (same color as the purple flowers).
The stable (Owls House, DC2C-80-4) with Mirabelle and Patches. Oh, the tree trunk is Buzz Beta Sector, (DC1A-50-2).
This is the wall opposite the big horse in all it's glory!
The bedroom door with Gus and Gordy off in the distance.
The mare is a mixture of Owls House and Buzz Beta Sector. Her name is Daisy and the foal is Prancer.
Gordy and Gus Gus.
Here we leave the room and get ready to move next door for the "Nature Room with a Unicorn!" Oh, and I kept track of the time we spent painting just for kicks, and I logged in about 30 hours and Alex probably painted for about 6. I am happy with how it turned out and the kids love it, so it's all good! Thanks to everyone who has been cheering me on, it really helped a ton! I'd also like to thank my friend Linnell (who is an amazing artist and muralist), who was kind enough to give me the skinny on what kind of paint to buy!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Sugar and Spice and Everything Nice

My daughter's elementary school was looking for silent auction items for their spring fundraiser, so I thought I'd donate a painting. There was no way of knowing what I'd end up drawing, so it was super cool to find out I'd be making a portrait of a darling little girl! I traded my black ink for brown and had so much fun making the stripes and swirls and flowers!
p.s. I met this little girl and her lovely mother in person, and must admit that this painting doesn't do her justice... she is impossibly cute!!! :)

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The Mural Project: Part One

Thanks for tuning in! This is going to be lengthy post, so be sure you have a comfy chair and a refreshing beverage... This all began when my oldest daughter asked if we could re-paint her room. Sounded simple enough, and then I shot myself in the foot and asked if she would like a mural...
I work in ink and watercolors. I love how I can be precise with my linework and work on small pieces of paper and then add lovely watercolor washes. The painting you see above is in acrylics, which I really don't "get." There are artists out there who do amazing work with acrylics, the way they blend colors and create their mystical paintings. My work ends up very folk-art like, as you can see, and this is why I tip my hat to them and stick with my watercolors.
So, we did some brainstorming and I did some sketches and submitted them for approval and then we began on "The Horse Room."
The walls had been a light purple, here you can see the blue sky (Mickey Sailor DC3A-60-1).
My wonderful husband kindly offered to help me paint the sky and the grass (Apple Orchard 430B-5). People probably don't really care what the colors are, so I'll move on...
Alex brought home this cool projector thingy from work, and it worked great.
As you can see on the screen, it was getting a little late... I kinda felt like a vandal drawing on the walls. I got detention once for being late to band practice. Oh, yeah. That's right!
We now have a mare and foal out to pasture
and baby Gordy!
I tried something wild and crazy and painted with the kids in the room with me. They took some photos, and played "Paint Store" (apparently, the customer is not always right at the paint store).
There was a puppy playing the didj
and the Zsu-Zsu pets made a cameo appearance!
Oooh, a floating legless horse!
Last night I finished the barn and added a few more flowers.
Took the day off today because I have a sore throat and a wee fever. Starting to feel a little better and hope to get back to painting tomorrow. My goal is to have everything finished by Sunday so we can get rolling on "The Nature Room with a Unicorn."

Sunday, August 8, 2010

My Kids Draw and Cook

Proud Parent Post: These are the recipes Hana and Marnie submitted for Kids Draw and Cook (from the awesome folks who brought us They Draw and Cook). I submitted my cherry cobbler recipe a while back... It was SO fun to see the kids jump up and down and squeal with delight when their recipes were posted. Totally Adorable!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Dragon Coloring Page

Happy Monday! How are ya!?! I was lucky enough to chat with Elizabeth Raum, the author of Cedric and the Dragon, this weekend. She has a couple book events coming up and was wondering if I would make a dragon coloring page! So fun! (Click on it to enlarge and/or print!)

The reviews are already rolling in:
"I think it's great!" (my five-year-old)
"It's very cute and very, very fun to color!" (my seven-year-old)

This week, we have a break from summer camp, so I hope to make more progress on mural number one and have a portrait to finish. Hope all is well on your end! Happy Coloring!!!