Sunday, July 2, 2017

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Learning to Share

This is the second layout for a short visual story of two young children learning to share.I have one last playground scene to paint and then I'm ready to start on my new website.  

Wednesday, April 26, 2017


In keeping with the theme of the blog, creative explorations, I thought I would post about an exploration I had recently. I'm pretty sure it does not fall under the creative category, but definitely an exploration. I took my husband to the airport, which I have been to a hundred times, on a clear beautiful dark morning, 5:00 A.M. to be exact. After I dropped him off, I noticed some serious lightening followed by some serious rain, so intense that I could not see the road well. Somehow, I took a wrong exit and could not figure out where I was. I have only lived in this city all my life so it is certainly understandable. I finally recognized an exit, or at least I thought so. After driving about four blocks, I realized I was in the  part of town that is often the subject of our local evening news. I finally found a highway and eventually figured out how to get home. What should have taken me 30 minutes, took me over an hour. I am blaming it on waking up at four in the morning and driving in blinding rain. Yep, I am.
On a more creative note, I have just finished about thirty sketches for a new project and I'm now painting seven drawings for my portfolio. I will post some pictures of everything soon.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

March Chagall

March Chagall has always been one of my favorite artists. He was Russian born but studied art in France. Most of his work is an expression of his Jewish roots and childhood memories. In his words, "If I create from the heart, nearly everything works..."

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Monday, March 27, 2017


Another subject I have decided to explore and post a little something about is artists. I love teaching children about artists!
Let's start with Rembrandt, one of my favorites!  He loved creating drama with light and shadow. I'm thinking he would probably be a movie producer if he lived today.

Non Profits Helping Children

I have started a series of sketches of non profit organizations that help children.  I wanted something more than just showing my work in progress when posting on social media.  I guess I want, need to say more.  So here we go..the first three.

Compassion International is a ministry that helps children all over the world break free from poverty.

Embrace Grace is a non profit organization that equips churches to love, help, embrace girls with unplanned pregnancies.

Samaritan's Purse, among many, many other things has a field hospital in Mosul saving the lives of wounded civilians, many who are children.

Monday, March 6, 2017

SCBWI Conference Texas Brazos Valley

I attended  the Brazos Valley SCBWI conference this past weekend in College Station. The speakers were illustrator, E. B. Lewis, author Kathi Appelt, editor Karen Boss, agent Jennifer Soloway, and author Donna Cooner. I missed Donna Cooner because I was in the second session of E.B. Lewis's presentation.  All the speakers I heard were packed with truly helpful information.  E.B Lewis shared a DVD called Everyday Creativity and told us about another one called Celebrate What's Right With The World. Both are on You Tube and are narrated by Dewitt Jones, a former National Geographic photographer. So good.

The main takeaways for me from the conference:
1. Care deeply about your work and the people your work is for.
2. Illustration and writing are storytelling. Both are treated in much the same way, starting with first drafts, on to revising and revising, taking things down to the essential story.  Every scene is moving the story forward and emotionally engaging.
3. For portfolios, in every illustration, show a narrative, action, emotion. setting.
4. Take every picture and look at it from a new way, push harder and don't just settle with the first few ideas. This holds true in both writing and illustration.
5. Hook your reader into the story right away.
6. Think about what you are trying to say and do it in the best way possible. Make it a truly engaging story both in words and in pictures.

Perhaps none of those things are new, but they were said in a different way and shown in a new way that helped me catch hold of them. I guess that was a good object lesson for writing and illustrating a story.

E.B Lewis also does mentoring classes on line. He showed us some of his student's work and the improvements they have made. I do not know the cost, but it looks really awesome, like he works his students really hard.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Thursday, February 9, 2017

New Sketch: Swinging

Here is a sketch I plan on using to learn a few new things in photoshop.  This is an image I have had rolling around in my imagination quite awhile.  It is nice to start the process of getting it out of my brain and onto paper.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

A Favorite Artist

Minnie Evans is one of my favorite artists, not so much for the art she did, although it is very intriguing, but because of the life she lived.  She is a bit of a mystery, and who doesn't love a mystery. Whenever I share her story with students, they are all ears.  Minnie did not even start creating art until her late forties and never had any formal art training. In fact, she only had a fifth grade education. She could not afford drawing paper, so she drew on thrown away pieces of paper and most of her early art was created with crayons.  Just that alone makes me love her.  She was fiercely devoted to her husband and three boys and her Christian faith.  All her life, she had unusual sleeping and waking dreams she claimed were from God and that is what inspired the pieces she made.  Many, including her family, thought she had lost her mind the way she constantly started drawing all the time. Although she never made enough from her art to quit her job as a gatekeeper of a public garden, she kept creating art in her eighties!  One pleasant surprise I had while in New York was finding one of her pieces at the MET.  She created art with everything telling her she couldn't, she shouldn't.  She was an uneducated black woman with no formal art training and she drew pictures of things no one really completely understood.   She loved to create: she believed it pleased God and it did not matter if she were ever famous or not.  She did not leave her family or become melancholy.  She just loved to create the art that she was passionate about.   I love Minnie!

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Advice from Barry Eisler

Such good advice from Barry Eisler on his website,

Never give up. Let's face it, not everyone will get published. Getting published takes luck as well as discipline. But finishing a manuscript? That's entirely up to you. If you don't get published, don't let it be your fault. You'll regret that. It's not failing to get published that should frighten you; it's knowing that it was your fault, and dealing with associated regret. If you do everything you can to make it happen, you should be damn proud, no matter how it turns out.
Never give up. Keep practicing.
                                               Barry Eisler