Category Archives: Photos

Flint Hills Discover Center Exhibit–Rags the Dog Illustrations

This is a really fun project I worked on this summer, that was special in several ways. First, it was for a museum display; second, it was a character development project; and, third, it was going to be large! From the photos taken by my client, Roy Garrett, the Sr. Exhibits and Operations Manager for the Flint Hills Discovery Center in Manhattan, Kansas, it turned out well!

The image of Rags the Dog (According to wikipedia, “…a mixed breed terrier who became the U.S. 1st Infantry Division’s dog-mascot in WWI.”), was commissioned for the children’s area of the temporary exhibit, “Duty First: 100 Years of the Big Red One”. The children can participate in the “Rags Confidence Course”, part of the Camp Funston display, where “Rags” (via my illustrations turned into poster-size stands) encourages the kids as they go through an obstacle course. I also drew the Camp Funston gate part of the display.

I heard the over-all exhibit was well received, and that the little kids loved doing the course! It’s always a pleasure to see (and hear!) how a project turns out in the end!

(Photo credits: Roy Garrett)

My sketches and some final art, below:

I gave the client several character options, displayed below:

Highlights for Children Illustrators’ Party 2010

This past weekend I attending my first Highlights For Children’s annual illustrators’ party. What fun! The fine folks at Highlights throw this bash every year at their offices in Honesdale, PA to show appreciation to the freelancers they hire throughout the year. I haven’t had the opportunity to attend until now, so myself and illustrator Susan Mitchell made the long trek down for the event. I met for the first time most of the editors and art directors I work with throughout the year, multiple other illustrators whose work I see in the magazine & some of the other Illustration For Kids girls (Jennifer & Jannie, as well as Susan). There was great food, square dancing, portfolio sharing, and a costume party. So a big thank you to Highlights and all the individuals involved who make this happen year after year! You rock! And I also want to mention how wonderful it was to finally meet people who’s work I admire (e.g. Julie Fortenberry, Karen Lee, Liz Goulet, Jennifer Thermes, Chuck Dillon…just to name a few!). I have posted some pictures on Facebook, so those can be seen here, if you are part of that social networky-thingy.

Now it’s back to the drawing board–though feeling much rejuvenated and refreshed! So I leave you with this little video I took on the fly during the costume party. Just illustrators being silly!

Urban Sketches: A Corner in St. Anne

I hope you had a pleasant Labor Day weekend. I know I did. : ) I’m posting a few sketches I did the last few weeks, just so they see the light of day. Below is from a moment I sat in front of a depanneur (convenience store) in Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue and drew the adjacent corner.

The photo below shows the sketch and corner:

I included a photo (below) of my art supplies. That paint set is probably several decades old at least. It came to me from my grandmother after she passed in the early 90’s. And I remember seeing them in a drawer at her home for many years before that. I like the sentimental aspect of using them. I can remember her fondly while I paint. I carry the set and water in a backpack, which I drag around with me when I go on outings. I also have books and other stuff in there, just in case I want to simply sit and read instead.

If you would like to see my sketchers and sketchblogs, check out the Urban Sketchers site. There are lists of people from all over the world who are being sketchers of their environments.

Urban Sketches: A Late Lunch at Herb’s Restaurant

I wanted to post some sketches I did a weekend or so ago before too much time passes!

I see no date on this sketch, but I think this was on August 22. I had taken a sketching excursion that ended out in Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue. By the time I got out there it was 3 p.m. and I was hankering for some grub. So I tried this little place called “Cafe Herb’s”. That was the day that was overcast but it didn’t rain until after sunset. So there were people getting in their outdoor activities–like these three. They were in bicycling gear and enjoying lunch when I sat down. I pulled out my sketchpad, pen and watercolors to give the scene a go, below:

Below: A photo to document the scene and completed sketch. I hate that old watercolor set!

Below: And it wouldn’t do to not post a post a pic of my lunch: a tomato and (Swiss?) cheese sandwich with some sort of lemony herb-seasoned pasta salad. And water. It filled the hole. : )

August Break: August 24th

August Break: August 23rd

Is tonight a full moon? If not, it must be close. We went for a sail tonight and I took pictures of this tanker going through the channel, with the lovely moon rising in the sky. Pay no attention to the big lizard. I don’t know where that came from.

August Break: August 22nd

August Break: August 21st

Going to the marche in Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue was just one of several things I did on Saturday. All of these are photos from my iPhone since the battery in my point and shoot died on me. Yay iPhone for coming through for me!

Samples: Greeting Cards in Borders Books

After noting that illustrator Kathy Weller had spotted some greeting cards I did at a Borders book store (thank you, Kathy!), some other greeting cards I did were spotted at Borders in Saratoga Springs, NY!  And, yes, there were two on the rack!

So how about that! Yes, they are on the bottom rack, but they ARE on the rack! And that’s a good thing. : )

August Break: August 18th

Urban Sketches: Celtic Music in the Park

Yesterday evening, I bicycled over to Beaconsfield to sketch and listen to the last of the summer concerts in the park, featuring a Montreal-based Celtic band called Celtic Mindwarp. At a picnic table near the water, I set out my pens and watercolors and sketched.

Below: Initially, I had a lot of lights and shadows as the sun was setting. But I quickly lost all of that as it dropped behind clouds and trees. I was rapidly losing my light! I felt I had to work really fast, or completely lose the moment. I’m still working out what watercolors to bring with me. I tried a new set up, but, again, the paper is absorbent and not made to take water. That was a little frustrating. Then I realized that I didn’t have a black. When I was making my watercolor paint box, I had tons of tubes of color, but no black. I had placed a block of what I THOUGHT was black in the box, but it turned out to be an indigo blue. Frustration again. Oh. But the music! Fan-tastico!

Below: Accompanying photo showing sketch. The colors are really that saturated. But I can’t pull that off with the materials I have.

Below: Then I turned and faced the water and sketched. I also couldn’t simulate the pale blues, oranges, yellows, & pink hues in the sky. Even the camera failed to pick it up.

Below: Accompanying photo.

And some video. Such a talented bunch, these guys!

I’m getting a backlog of these now. I still have sketches from Sunday that I want to post. I hope to get those up at some point.

And I encourage you to get out there and enjoy the summer before it’s gone. Go sketching yourself…or take a book, music, food, a drink (or just yourself!)–whatever helps you relax–and enjoy the last of August!

August Break: August 16th

Centennial Park in Beaconsfield. I listened to a Celtic band while I sketched.

Urban Sketches: Centennial Park in August

I went on a sketch outing this past Sunday afternoon, and this time I took watercolors and colored pencils with me so I could colorize my ink drawings on the spot. I wasn’t sure how it would go, as I’m not used to using washes or pencils when out sketching, the watercolors are an ancient set, but (sort of) usable, and I’m not using a sketchbook with paper suitable for watercolor. Despite that, I went…And had a pretty good time at it! I also took photos of the sketch and object of my sketching. So below is the first sketch from Sunday.

First, Centennial Park in Beaconsfield, QC. I’ve done a lot of sketching here in the past, and even some using watercolor. It was an over-cast day and looked like it wanted to rain almost all day but held off until the evening.  I think that kept most parks and the usually crowded outdoor places devoid of people, as there were only a few other people in the park. I was feeling particularly impatient drawing, evidenced by not caring to get details accurate (blocks under bench, bench legs right, etc.). I discuss that with myself in my sketchbook notes. I speculate it was due to too much coffee from my late morning breakfast. Four cups, was it…? Then I decided to try and draw the folks at a nearby table setting up for a picnic. I picked a photo that was taken prior to my finishing the page as this photo was the best of the batch. I added the third man (seen in white) as well as leaves on the first guy. And I thought I’d add this photo since I found it humorous. You get’m, Squirrel-Boy! More sketches to come. Stay tuned. : P

August Break: August 16th

August Break: August 13, 14 & 15th