May Memorials

Halloo there blog readers,

I posted earlier in the month about Maurice Sendak, but between stitches and life keeping me busy, I didn't have a chance to write about a couple of other May memorials. May was a sad month for the children's book community.

In addition to the loss of Maurice Sendak, on the 15th, Jean Craighead George passed away and on May 26th, Leo Dillon. 

Jean Craighead George (picture courtesy of Books of Wonder)

Not sure how many of you read Julie of the Wolves or My Side of the Mountain, but George was responsible for both of those titles and over 100 others. I remember reading My Side of the Mountain outside in my backyard. I was enchanted, pulled into Sam's world, where you could escape suburban and city problems. It was the kind of book I just couldn't put down. Imagine it! Living in a tree! In the woods! On your own!

I also remember reading Julie of the Wolves; Julie was required reading in school, but I also read it with my mom. When I was little, my sister and I would burrow up against my mom on her bed at night, and we would read together. Sometimes we would take turns reading from the book-of-the-week, others, my mom would read to us. (She also did voices!) Nights spent reading with my mother are some of my favorite childhood memories. There were a handful of special nighttime moments when we would come to the end of the chapter, and I would look at my mom, knowing it was already waaaay past bedtime. She would look back at the book and flip ahead counting the pages. "Well, just one more," she said before plunging back into the story. Pure magic.

Leo & Diane Dillon
Leo & Diane Dillon (picture courtesy of Books of Wonder)

I actually had the pleasure of meeting Leo Dillon last year at an event at Books of Wonder. He was an inspiration. I'll never forget how encouraging he was when I told him that this - illustration, writing, work for children - is my life's passion. With his wife, he illustrated over 100 titles, including my dog-eared version of A Wrinkle in Time. 

Maurice Sendak
Maurice Sendak (picture courtesy of Books of Wonder)

Though so unbelievably sad, it comforts me to know that I will always be able to find all three of these children's book greats, pulling Where the Wild Things Are or Why Mosquitos Buzz in People's Ears from my bookshelf or curling up with My Side of the Mountain.

New work!

Hey there everyone,

My thumb's on the mend, and I was approved for some light drawing and computer whatnot by the doc last week. Getting back to work has been wonderful but slow. Though I can still draw, it takes longer to warm up. But! The stitches come out on Thursday, so with a little more care, I should be back to normal work soon. (Side note... This week I also adjusted my lastest to do list with a new number one slot: become ambidextrous. If you're feeling ambitious, try showering one-handed and lefty. Ooof.)

But I digress. Because I was okayed for some light work, I took some time to put the finishing touches on a piece I was working on pre-injury.

A sample spread of Randall and Euphoria.

Mother's Day

Happy mother's day to all of the excellent mama's out there!

I've been a bit quiet of late and will be taking a forced break from making things for the next few days... I had an unfortunate run in with a mason jar on Wednesday night. Two and a half hours and x-stitches later (I don't actually know how many... I wasn't looking when the doc stitched me up), my thumb looked like this:

Which means I've been working lefty, and this is pretty much what I can manage right now...

Happy Mother's Day!


Busy, busy day today... but still plenty of time to do a wee birthday painting for the best sister a girl could hope for.

Happy birthday D!


Halloo everyone,

You might have heard the news already - one of the most influential illustrators in the world of children's illustration passed away today. Maurice Sendak inspired so many of us, igniting our imaginations and feeding our creative spirits. Where the Wild Things may just be the perfect picture book. I, for one, remember the first time I heard those delicious words, Let the wild rumpus begin. Pure magic.

But rather than provide my own longwinded obit (there are plenty already out there), in honor of Mr. Sendak, I give you some new work, a giant alligator who may or may not end up eating someone. (The manuscript for Randall and Euphoria Jones' adventure is still in progress, and that naughty plot twist has yet to be determined...)

RIP Maurice Sendak

More new things!

Halloo everyone,

I've been playing a bit lately, using a few new characters to experiment with technique and composition. This one just recently came off the drawing board. It's an illustration for a story I've been messing around with. You might recognize the oversized alligator from here. Since that post, the story has undergone some major revisions, so Randall - our large green friend - is mostly unchanged, but Euphoria has had a bit of a makeover. Alas, she is no longer pith-helmeted. She does, however, sport a spiffy spike-y sweatshirt. I'll get my sketchbook pages scanned in and show you some of the character prep work soon. Until next time!