Friday, December 23, 2016

This is one of my all time favorite blogs for children's book writers.  Classes and critique sessions are available from these two writers and there is lots of free info on their Mentors For Rent site.  One of the goals I have this year is to purchase some of their sessions.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Christmas gifts

A Christmas present to myself.  It is a beautiful book, similar in feel to Nancy Tillman's books.  Sitting by the fire next to the Christmas tree, savoring each spread.

A present that topped that one though, this year, is my three week old grandson.  This evening, I sat by the tree holding him, talking to him as his little eyes looked at me listening.  That is a gift like no other.  It goes deeper in the heart than even a beautiful book, deep within that place where books are born.

Friday, November 25, 2016


The day after Thanksgiving and I finished the wedding scene illustration!  I am grateful for so much, especially the birth of my first grandson, Judson.  And I am grateful to be finished with this illustration and moving forward with this project.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

I painted this for inspiration in my office/studio.  It is a very precious and powerful word to me.  What a glorious gift that we all have-the ability to dream!
My new website is up and running, a few new pieces added and more pages to come in the future.  I am sooo thankful website builder is easier to use now.  It had a mind of its own when I built my last site!

Thursday, October 6, 2016

 A recent school visit in Killeen, Texas.

Note the student bending down with me.  I love the lively characters I meet!

This student colored her own super hero emblem.

My new librarian friend. 

My husband came along and we made a stop in Waco on the way home to visit family, and of course, Magnolia.
A few samples from the co-op art classes I am teaching this semester.

High school watercolor surreal scene.

Contrasting color trees: Elementary

                                                      Highlighted pumpkins: Elementary

Wednesday, August 31, 2016


I had hoped to have my new website completed by September but it looks like it will be October.  I might still pull it off before the last day of September. Shooting for it. SO many projects I am working on and yet so little I am free to share. 

I started teaching art at a co op school this semester.  It is very different for me, but I like the challenge. I think I will like it.  After all, it involves kids of every age and art. 

A beautiful image that rolls around in my heart right now is my two year old granddaughter laughing as I danced with her today.  If I could put that kind of joy in children as they create and! 

Monday, August 15, 2016

A look back at Summer

The summer is quickly coming to an end and today we finally experienced rain after a long stretch of 100 plus degree days here.  A great way to end this very dry season!  Having a moment now to look back over the summer, I realize it has been dry in many ways for me.  It started with my youngest son's college graduation in Sherman, Texas followed by (the day after the ceremony) his hip surgery in Dallas, Texas.  It was no small procedure and he required a lot of care afterwards. My husband and I moved in his upstairs bedroom for a month and he took ours since he could not go up the stairs.  In the middle of teaching art classes at a college campus, my 80 year old mom was diagnosed with cancer in her eye. That took us on a long journey where she received treatment and healing!  But as of yet, she has  not regained sight in that eye.  Then I taught more art classes for three weeks from 8-5 at another campus.  Those highlights created a multitude of schedule challenges as well as emotional ones.  Why is it, we usually grow the most through difficulties?  I continued working on projects, although, obviously at a slower pace.  Now, I have rearranged my studio/office and I am ready for a new year. ( In my mind, years always begin in September.)  After so much stretching over the summer, I needed my work space to change with me.  I am ready for devoted time to work, with new perspective, passion, discipline, and maturity.  What truly altered me the most this summer was the from a deeper place than I knew I had.   I believe what we create comes out of who we are and so I am excited to see what I can give through art and writing this year. So glad it is starting to rain!

Monday, July 18, 2016

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Art Class for Kids

Just finished up teaching a course at a College for Kids Camp at a local junior college.  This class was an art element class.  We had pretty limited supplies, but I feel like the kids really enjoyed it and learned a lot. All four classes made art element books and we finished five other projects as well. I forgot to take pictures of the books and impressionist paintings "with depth (SPACE).  Here are a few examples of the other projects and a sketch of two students I did one day with a little breath of time. Fun kids!

Monday, June 6, 2016

Family Modeling

I have to chuckle when I think of my patient family, always being asked to pose for a photo in some unusual way to help me with an illustration.  I am reaching the end of the dummy phase on a very long and loved project.  I thought I would share a few of the many many poses my family was willing to do for me. No, they don't know I am sharing them. :) And yes, they are all creative people.  Thank you family!!

Friday, May 20, 2016

New York

I have been so inundated with a project I am working on, I have not had time to blog about my trip to New York.  It was the first time I have gone there.  It may not be the place I would like to live, but I loved visiting and look forward to going again someday.

Central Park and all the buildings in that area are incredible.  My husband and I took a short carriage ride through Central Park (something he has always wanted to do).  The weather was absolutely perfect and the flowers gorgeous, especially the tulips.  My husband was there on business, so I spent several days with a new friend from New Zealand.  She was very gracious to explore some art museums with me and she loves books!  So one day we spent quite a lot of time in Barnes and Noble looking through books and chatting.

Museums we visited were the Moma, the Met, and the Neue Galleri.  All these museums have a place in the project I am currently working on so it was an added excitement to actually go there!  Seeing the Woman in Gold by Klimpt was definitely a highlight as well as Van Gogh's Starry Night.

My husband and I also took the ferry to Staten Island and saw the 911 Memorial.  It was like millions of tears falling all around the victims names--very deep sadness.  We went through the Federal Trade Commission Building and Grand Central Station, which was amazing!

We visited two churches there- Hillsong, and Times Square Church, both right off Times Square.  That was the first time I have gone through a security check to go to church, but I understand.  There were police everywhere in New York, especially near Times Square with loaded artillery.  They are not messing around. It kind of gave an uneasy feeling, especially to my New Zealand friend, who comes from a country where no one has guns.

The view from the plane when we left is something I will never forget.  We could see all the buildings and Central Park covering New York.  What an incredibly built up mass! What an intriguing place!

Here are some art highlights:

Friday, March 25, 2016

Roller Girl

I just finished this graphic novel and I was so impressed!  So many books for children don't really seem for children, but this one speaks to them in their language.  So much to take away from this story and the word and pictures worked together like a perfect symphony!

Friday, March 4, 2016

School Presentation Waaaay Out West

I just got back from a school visit waaaaaay out west in Bracketville, Texas.  What a great adventure! Bracketville is a little Texas town near the border of Mexico and near some incredible scenery.  I have lived in Texas all my life, but I have never seen actual mountains here.  Okay, they were not exactly the Rocky Mountains, but pretty awesome nonetheless.  There are some brilliant, talented kids tucked away in this historic little town and I am so thankful I had the privilege of meeting them and the very hospitable staff at Jones Elementary. I was able to share with pretty much the whole elementary as well as one high school art class.  One of the high school students there has just been accepted into Parsons in New York! My husband and I fell in love with this place!

 Before I arrived, this class had created their own version of the Supermoon cover.  Good thing my publisher did not see theirs first.  I might not have gotten the job!
 The room I presented in just happened to be decorated in a superhero theme.

  They had this nifty jail box that came in very handy.  What else do you do with your performance husband on a school presentation trip?

Saturday, February 27, 2016

A Little Peek

A little peek at some work for a recent project.

SCBWI Workshop

I attended my local SCBWI chapter workshop today.  It was basically about how to use mentor texts to learn how to write better.  Several research tools were shared by the first speaker, Carrie Charley Brown,  such as Notebook and Goodreads.  She read several picture books and explained her process of researching.  Her own website looks very helpful as well. Her worksheet was loaded with recently published picture book titles to learn from.  The second speaker focused on middle grade and YA texts, also very informative.  I've already gone online and submitted requests for library books to study.  Always great to hear SCBWI speakers and talk with other writers and illustrators.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

National Center for Children's Illustrated Literature

I had the opportunity to visit the national Center for Children's Illustrated Literature in Abilene, Texas last week and view the Jon J Muth exhibit.  How fun and inspiring to walk around and view his paintings!  I have always wanted to visit this museum.  I look forward to seeing another exhibit in the future!

Friday, February 12, 2016

Caillebotte Exhibit

My husband and I visited the Kimbell Art Museum in Ft. Worth, Texas recently and viewed a beautiful exhibit!  I have always loved Caillebotte paintings, but this exhibit introduced me to so many I have never seen before.  His wealth allowed him to spend lots of time painting without concerning himself about income.  He also designed sail boats and was a serious collector of stamps. Art museums are such a great way to get the creative blood pumping!

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Mother/daughter writers and illustrators

So busy with projects and preparing for school visits, I have not taken the time to blog lately.  Today, I took a little break to tackle a house project, replacing grout that had cracked in one of the bathrooms.  I have never done this before, but I actually enjoyed mixing and applying it. It reminded me of clay.  The only part I did not like so much was the clean up.  I have learned through the years, though, that everything in life has the less enjoyable parts, so the best thing is to just move forward, knowing it is simply all part of the job.  I took another break and read this article about a mother and daughter who both write and illustrate children's books.  Refreshing!  The article, that is, not the grout.
Shirley Hughes and Clara Vulliamy