I have a new studio mate! This beautiful boy joined our family on a sunny morning in April. He clearly did not get his elf ears from me...
For a book jacket with text by Lorne Auber.
Sketches for an illustrated story about inter generational love by Bill Richardson, published through Groundwood Books next year.
This magical story is a finalst for a very fine prize!
Here are a few storyboard sketches for Ulysse, a musical take on the adventures of Odysseus by musician and storyteller Suzanne De Serres. She collaborated with the children from La Maison des Enfants to create the text, based on her musical performance Ulysse with La Nef. It will be published in early 2018 by Planete Rebelle.
My favorite part of working for the TDSRC was meeting incredible children and librarians during my library visits in Alberta. The children drew their favorite place and the creatures that live there, real or imaginary. In the Crowsnest Pass we were a tiny group, and in Calgary south 30 children from very diverse backgrounds attended the activity. When I asked how many people in the room speak a language other than English at home, over half the hands in the room went up including mine :)
The theme of the 2017 TD Summer Reading Club is Canada Salut! Organized by the Toronto Public Library in partnership with libraries around the country, this free annual program engages with children through interactive, hands-on literacy activities. I'm crazy happy about having been asked to illustrate the children's materials which include a notebook, stickers, coloring pages and an interactive website.
I'm learning about the beautiful animal, bird and plant emblems representing the various provinces and territories. These tiny sketches for stickers and reading prompts feature Canadian wildlife icons like the gray jay (a.k.a. whiskey jack, camp robber, moose bird) and the puffin.
Bird-symbols include the snowy owl for Quebec, the common loon for Ontario and the raven for the Yukon. BC is represented by the spirit bear & the red cedar, and Nova Scotia is home to the mayflower.
I wanted to show children at play in a nurturing environment, like a giant book of nature they are learning to decipher and love.
For Nathaniel. Mixed media. 14" x 14"
I made this poster for the BC Health Sciences Association's annual commemoration of workers injured or killed on the job. The HSA is a union representing over 17,000 health science professionals in BC, working at every level of health care including child development centers. The Day of Mourning is commemorated nationally every April 28.
The initial idea for this image was very colorful, then transitioned into the more muted grays of graphite. The final version emerged as a compromise between the two.
Sketches and cover illustration for a picture book inspired by a Dene legend. This collaboration with Planete Rebelle is scheduled for release in 2017.
Having to whip up 20 storyboard sketches within a few weeks is a challenge, but also good practice! One trick I learned the hard way is to develop solid character studies at this stage to avoid re-touching multiple final drafts. Deciding last minute for example that a character's outfit needs a fur collar means having to go back and modify every image that character appears in. At this stage I'm ironing out the details for the sequence of images to form a coherent universe in harmony with the text, while leaving wiggle room for change too...
My friend Manica Musil turned me on to the breathtaking work of Slovenian artist Alenka Sottler. The surreal landscapes in her fairytale illustrations have a dark undercurrent that resonates with the somber tone of the older fables where children get lost and body parts chopped off.
My favorite are her illustrations from Poem for Lyra published by Pivec, narrating the story of Orpheus and Eurydice in verse. In her native Slovenia Alenka is a superstar, but sadly her illustrated books are not currently available in English. Thank you Alenka.
a little honeymoon painting in celebration of summer
My beautiful sister Lubka wearing two of my watercolors printed on large 35 x 35" squares of mulberry silk by Etoile de Marie. Based in the Luberon region of southern France, Etoile de Marie's owner Marie-France and her team hand crafts women's and children's clothing using linen, silk, cashmere, alpaca, old lace... Included is a sketch that I really like but that never made it to the final stage.
Last year I traveled to the Spiti Valley to attend a conference on prenatal awareness. A high altitude rock desert, this valley near the Tibetan border is home to the 2nd highest village in the world at 4205 m! Winter here is a real killer and buildings are not equipped with running hot water. The few courageous locals who stay over the winter months do a lot of knitting and storytelling :) Tabo Monastery founded in 996 AD is the oldest continuously functioning Buddhist monument in India with 9 chapels containing original wall decorations, the earliest of which were executed by Kashmiri craftsmen. Because of the extreme climatic conditions and the seclusion of this location, Spiti's economic & social structures are similar to the conditions which existed 1000 year ago.
I couldn't leave India without visiting the Taj in Agra, white marble mausoleum inlaid with semiprecious stones so breathtaking I had to cry.