Friday, December 16, 2011

Fowl Play

This is my entry for the SCBWI Tomie dePaola Award. Oh, to snuggle a baby fox!
I woke up last Friday morning with this song in my head, and it all just came together...
It is also a small tribute to one of my all-time favorite movies:
If I am ever in a fight, I want Burgess Meredith on my side. Far Out!!!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Bionic Nina

The daily sketches in November were so fun, and I will get back to them, but I am going to have to put them on pause until I finish up a few things... Today I sent off the cover art and 76 spot illustrations for a project that I have been working on, so I am feeling super happy about that and will definitely share more about it when I can. The artwork I was planning on using for my last postcard was not very well-received at the MNSCBWI conference in October, so I am channelling my inner-Steve Austin for a newer... better... faster (?) six-million dollar bionic postcard. Now I am wondering if I have the chops to make it as a tv action hero and an illustrator and if six million dollars is too much money to spend on a promotional postcard...

Wednesday, November 30, 2011


Can't believe this is my 30th sketch, and I have not quite finished telling this story. Do I keep going? I don't know how many more there will be... Feel free to chime in with your two cents, and I'd like to thank each and every one of you who have stopped by. You're awesome!!!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011


Monday, November 28, 2011


Sunday, November 27, 2011


Saturday, November 26, 2011


Friday, November 25, 2011


Thursday, November 24, 2011


Wednesday, November 23, 2011


Tuesday, November 22, 2011


Monday, November 21, 2011


Sunday, November 20, 2011


Saturday, November 19, 2011


Friday, November 18, 2011


Thursday, November 17, 2011


Wednesday, November 16, 2011


Tuesday, November 15, 2011


Monday, November 14, 2011


Sunday, November 13, 2011


Saturday, November 12, 2011


Friday, November 11, 2011


Thursday, November 10, 2011


Wednesday, November 9, 2011


Monday, November 7, 2011


(pssst.... this illustration can also be found over at The Sketchables today. Thanks so very much to all of you who have been so kind to visit lately). nvc


Sunday, November 6, 2011


Saturday, November 5, 2011


Friday, November 4, 2011


Thursday, November 3, 2011


Wednesday, November 2, 2011


Tuesday, November 1, 2011


There are lots o' cool things going on in November like PiBoIdMo and NaNoWriMo. My friend, Sara Weingartner, had a terrific idea: posting a sketch a day for the month of November (the most excellent Nancy Carlson has been posting her daily doodles for the past two years now!). I thought this would be a fun thing to do (Barb Björnson, Anne Adix Fabie, and Alicia Schwab are doing it, too). I've had an idea rattling around in my head for ever such a long, long time and I think it is ready to find it's way to paper... Happy November!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Spooky Coloring Pages

Get out your crayons and markers, little goblins and ghouls! I posted these a while back before all the images on my blog went missing, so they are officially back from zee dead. Zombie coloring pages, even! Scary!!!

I would be thrilled to post any pages that have been colored by your kiddies, so just email me photos or scans of their masterpieces if they'd like me to. I vant to post your art (vampire voice)... Hope you all have a very Happy Halloween!!!
p.s. This also works great for Illustration Friday's topic this week: Scary! Boo!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011


Well, the past five days have been pretty awesome. Dan Santat flew out to Minnesota to speak at the MNSCBWI Fall conference on Saturday. I have been a big fan of his work for a long time now, so it was such a treat to meet him in person. Oh my gosh, he was super nice. Very clever, funny, and down-to-earth. He shared his journey to publication during his keynote at the conference and talked about how he found balance between work and family and that we all really just need to trust in ourselves. Absolutely wonderful!
He signed a copy of The Adventures of Nanny Piggins for my girls (this book is very hilarious, my kids love it so far) and also brought me this fantastic sketch of Paul Bunyan that I purchased from him online. I think he might need to raise his prices if he plans to deliver all of his art in person... haha
The fabulous Brian Selznick has also been in town (I know, right?). My friend Jen and I went to hear him speak about his new book, Wonderstruck, last night. It was really cool to hear about his process and all the time he spends researching everything that he writes and illustrates. He signed my copy of The Invention of Hugo Cabret, too. SUCH a nice man.
I have yet to meet a person who works in children's books who hasn't been friendly and kind-hearted. Sending out a great big thank you to Mike Wohnoutka for giving me great advice about the postcard I was planning to send out next because it simply isn't my best work. He really didn't have to take the time to talk with me about it, but he did. Thank you, Mike! Nicole Tugeau gave me great feedback on my current portfolio and I will continue to work hard and grow with every piece of art I make. I enjoyed meeting Dawn Frederick and Andrew Harwell, and feel energized by their enthusiasm for kid books. Thankful for family and friends, writers and illustrators, the people who make books and the people who read them.
You all inspire me every single day. xoxo

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Jack O' Lanterns

Here is a scary witch, her scary cat, and the "scary" pumpkins they carved for Halloween. Special thanks to the lovely ladies over at The Sketchables for inviting me over for a spell.

Monday, October 3, 2011


This is a portrait of our friends' little rabbit who met an untimely end. Farewell, Sugarbuns.

In other news: my Aunt's parakeets just moved in with us, I just ordered a new postcard for my next mailing, I'm spiffing up my portfolio for the upcoming MNSCBWI fall conference, and I have begun the sketches for the next piano book. I am not sure when the piano music books are coming out, but will be sure post about it when they do. I will end this post with a random haiku:

Max and Marcia, you
sing so sweetly in your cage.
Welcome to our home.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

MNSCBWI Fall Conference

Conference time is almost upon us, Minnesota! The MNSCBWI is putting on a fab conference for writers and illustrators on October 15th, 2011. Join us at Metro State University to hear great speakers such as Dan Santat (illustrator/author), Alison McGhee (author), Lonnie Plecha (editor, Cricket Magazine), Andrew Harwell (associate editor, HarperCollins), Mike Wohnoutka (illustrator), Dawn Frederick (literary agent, Red Sofa Literary), and Nicole Tugeau (artist representative, Tugeau2). You can also register for manuscript and portfolio reviews! Special thanks to Rachelle Gray, last year's winner of the illustration mentorship, for creating the beautiful artwork for the conference this year! Here are the deets:

Saturday, October 15, 2011 • 7:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Metropolitan State University
, 700 East Seventh Street, St. Paul, MN

Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Summery Summary

We met some really charming characters at Disney World,
and watched our garden grow.
(I also had a painting in a show)
Watched fireworks for the 4th.
Ate lots of pancakes!
Went to a cabin in Northern MN (Gordy loves the great outdoors).
I made 6 terrariums (and only 3 have survived).
We saw Jeremy Messersmith in concert
and got his autograph!
Ended summer with a fun trip to the Great Minnesota Get Together.
Hope you had a groovy summer, too!