Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Hang a wish from me on your Christmas tree

The Verriest of Merriest to all of you! My wish is for the best to you in 2011. Thanks for coming here,  chatting up my art and a special Thanks! for supporting Ripple.   I can't imagine being where I am today if I hadn't started this blog and connected with so many wonderful people.  Next year I'll try to find new ways to shake things up.  - In the mean time, pass the cocoa and cookies and turn on the Nat King Cole Christmas album. -Cheers!-Kelly

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Happy Birthday my half-way Girl!

 Half way. Half way between mary janes and high heels.  Half way between fairies and flirting. Half way between holding my hand and letting go. Half way to being the person I always knew you would be - a caring, creative, book worm with a head of golden curls and a heart of gold.

Mags turns 11 today. We're celebrating at the Harry Potter Park in FL. Today- we stay on the kid side of half way and drink tons of butter beer!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

A Holiday Gift over @ The Sketchables!

I decided to share with you some sketchy characters for the holidays. Have you ever re-gifted?
Been the re-giftee?

I have re-gifted wine. (Un-opened (yes-un-opened!))

There is a crock pot from 1974 that resurfaces in my family some years. It has a red brick motif... I am always afraid it's my year when a big box comes from the UPS man!

Go to The Sketchables- find the link and download high res art!


I was 10 and at tap class getting ready for the Holiday Show, When Margie, my dance teacher came in crying- and said John Lennon had been shot. I don't know how many girls knew- or cared, but my brother and I had been buying Beatles albums with our allowance since I was in kindergarten and we saw Yellow Submarine on TV. By the time I was in college- my walls were covered with his face and his music was always on. I danced to him at my wedding. His picture hangs above my studio door. - It's just never made sense that a man who asked for Peace died the way he did, but He wouldn't want the world to dwell on that- He'd want you to go out and ask for Peace too.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Rejected: My Christmas card sketch

Now Santa was supposed to look - annoyed... tired..... bored.... longing to be elsewhere.....

However- perception was "creepy" "unappealing"

Little girl was supposed to look angry- nasty - in a foul mood - "Naughty"

Perception- "cold" "afraid Santa is going to do something inappropriate to her"

So-  hmmmmmm. Scrap that. Back to the drawing board!

I love his feet tho.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Illustrator Jarrett Krosoczka starts his own ripple... The "Joe and Shirl Scholarship"

New excitement in the world of Illustrator do-gooding is going on!
Ripple's own contributor and Illustrator Extraordinaire- Jarrett Krosoczka has created a wonderful foundation to raise funds to provide scholarships for art studies to kids with family challenges.  The "Joe and Shirl Scholarship" honors the gift his Grandparents gave him- the chance to pursue his dreams - by paying it forward.

All of the info can be found HERE   

The auctions went live today.

I am particularly excited by the chance to be a character in a Lunch Lady book. Ripple had lots and lots of wonderful librarians supporting our cause- I know, in part because of the faboo illustrators who gave original art- So, Come on Back now ya hear? - Seriously, what better thing to do then find a way to give back what we can - especially when we feel so lucky ourselves to be where we are. Give a kid an opportunity to explore art and get some great art at the same time. It's a win - win!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

ahh Life...

I am burnt toast.

Ripple burnt me out. Since September 19th - I have had to get out
the butter knife and try to scrape off the crusty burnt bits and
get back to work.

40 came and kicked my ass.
I have to concentrate a bit less on art and a bit more on
Funny - just as you start to see the fruits of the hours and hours
spent Butt-in-chair drawing, painting and writing... all of those
hours show on that butt and in your blood test.

So I have started 3 days a week with a personal trainer.
I hate it.
I won't lie.
It bites.

But I'll do it for my  health and my life and for my daughter and
will try to regroup and make myself
golden brown buttery good toast again. (OK smart balance
- heart healthy spread good)

Land HO!!!

I had to do it. I had to doodle Steven Page again. If you've read this blog since it started- or if you go back and look- you'll see him make a few guest appearances.

The last time was when The Barenaked Ladies split.
4 in one direction- 1 out on his own.
It's been a long 2 years.

There is a bit of marital discord in my house- my husband stands with the BNL guys and their musical adventure. Me, I waited and waited for Steve to resurface from his voyage of self discovery.

It was so worth the wait. The first listen to his new cd "Page One" and my ears hollered "Oh Thank You!"
It's really really good. Like "Holy Crap" good. It's all that he was these past 20 years and so much more. It's his musical "This is me." 

I saw him at the Highline in NYC a week ago. Sitting center room, the stage was scattered with cool old stuff. The music stands and the fabric all the same blue of his website and his cd cover. Details like this jazz me so much. He has such an eye. The visual impact is very important and he gets that. His opening act was weirdly great and so perfect for what he's doing now. She energized the audience but left us with a feeling of being exposed to something really different- just what we needed to feel as he walked onstage and started with a new song.
 "A New Shore"
It's my favorite song on the cd. It's as cleverly written as anything he's ever written but it's also a declaration. It 's a song that builds to a climax- Land Ho! Land Ho! sung full throttle. He's got balls as big as Texas - walks out there opens that ginormous mouth and WHAM! - a great show has begun. Every new song is good. I enjoyed them more than the old. The band is a quirky crew that I felt complemented him wonderfully. Song to song- the way he talks to the audience and jokes about the last few years is self deprecating without making concessions or apologies. He wouldn't be here- if he hadn't been there. And that's what it's all about as an artist.

It was the best live show I have seen in a very, very long time. Of course I am 20 years emotionally invested in his career, but I would recommend seeing him to any non BNL fan. See him. 
See a Steven Page show.

Steven Page's website: 

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Kelly: Illustration Friday- "Spooky"

I messed up the Sketchables IF link- how?I do not know- I cut and pasted. -So Here is IF this week "Spooky"- here is The Sketchables link.

"YES- Mr. Clown- you are SPOOKY! I hate clowns. Always have. Not funny- not cute- totally completely freaky! -I know I am not alone... kids can be heard screaming and crying at every circus and birthday party all around the world. I don't care how many balloon poodles you make. I don't care how many of you fit in a car. Shoot yourself out of a cannon far, far away from me."

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

"I am out with lanterns looking for myself"

Sometimes you have to scribble something down -fast - either before it leaves you or so that it will leave you alone.

I went to Emily Dickinson's house on Sunday. I do not claim to have more than an AP English high school knowledge of her poems - but I left with the complete works and a new found connection. 

This line "I am out with lanterns, looking for myself.." -  yes- yes I am. Trying to get a book done that I wrote and trying to make it right- and trying to communicate what's in my head feels like a search for myself. So a pause in the work to scribble today- so Emily can leave me alone for now... so I can finish. I hope to come back and do her some justice - want to paint some flame red hair...
This image has been in my head since Sunday- Emily out with her newfoundland, Carl,  at night.. searching... for what was missing for her...  her search was beautiful.

Friday, September 3, 2010

sharing is caring 99.999% of the time

Today- my kid went off to the mall- to shop for school shoes- wearing- my shoes.  For the last year my shoes are fair game as she is 10 and slightly taller than I am.  I share so much stuff with her- as long as she asks politely first. Hairbands - some costume jewelry.. and art supplies.  I have watched many a paint brush die an untimely death at the bottom of a jar as she tried to "wash it real good"; prismacolors- sharpened to nubs; watercolors- mixed in between the pots-ahhhhg.  My nice markers- strewn about no caps on!!! Almost more than an o.c.d Mom-artist can take. But I draw the line- at- my - vellum.  

Tuesday she had to make a bookmark about a book she read this summer. "Mom- what should I use- this sketch paper is too flimsy and I can't see thru it."

"Put it on the lightbox!"

- "Nah, how about........"

(and I turn around- knowing what she's about to say- fearing it......)

-Vellum?"(it's already in her hands!!!AHHG!)

(my inner Joan Crawford in check) -

"Tracing paper!!" "It's around here somewhere!!!!!!"- I tear apart the studio - find it- say "Go to town."

-sigh. Ahhh. Done with so little emotion- as to not alert her to the fabulousness of the vellum. That's it- that's where I draw the sharing line. My drawing vellum. It is off limits - I covet my drawing vellum.

She has a nice art life - being my daughter- so no sympathy for her. Some day she can buy her own vellum.

On a side note: I have a pal- who has a blog.(really? a blog?) yes- we all have them these days- but she's a prize so I think you should check it out.

The Mommy Chronicles

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Happy Birthday to All of Us

The Secret of Life is enjoying the Passage of Time - that's what James Taylor says. The secret  behind the secret is having friends to pass the time with - that make it enjoyable. 2 couples, 4 friends since college- and we are all turning 40 this year feeling like;"How did we get here so fast? "

Her husband put together a book for her birthday and this was my contribution to it. Yes- I made us 2/3rd's on the way to cranky old farts - cause I know- we'll laugh all the way.

As children of the seventies- it is an homage to this:

Simon in the Land of the Chalk Drawings- a series of awesome British animated shorts

Monday, August 23, 2010

Ride the Cyclone

I've never been one to do the things that scare me. I'm the one who'll hold the drinks while others ride.

I don't like the screams - What if it breaks while I'm on it? - I'll wait here, you go.

A roller coaster like this says in a thick Brooklyn accent "C'mon- I dare ya.." "I'll toss ya around- I'll rattle your spine""I'll shake you to the core and just when ya think it's over- it ain't." "No guarantees you'll come off in one piece- the only guarantee is that you'll have one wild ride."

I've been to Coney Island many, many times. 

I rode the Cyclone for the first time. I chose the wild ride - finally.

Bring it on 40. - I dare ya.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Tired - inspired - and a little quaqmired SCBWI LA 2010

Quagmire: (from webster's online)
Main Entry: quag·mire 
Pronunciation: \ˈkwag-ˌmī(-ə)r, ˈkwäg-\
Function: noun (Not an adverb-or verb or adjective Kelly made that up- report her to the grammar police)
Date: circa 1576
1 : soft miry land that shakes or yields under the foot
2 : a difficult, precarious, or entrapping position : predicament

I am back!! Today- back into my studio- and my "mental studio". I got back from LA on the night of August 3rd. The next day friends from Texas arrived- and we did a whirlwind tour of Coney Island, the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island and dinner in Times Square. The next day- my brother and his family came in from Chicago. Needless to say - I have not unpacked - 6 days later. I have not digested all of the talks- all of the break outs- all of the meeting new people and hanging with friends.
This was the first conference I was not nervous about. Ripple has kept me so busy- I had to throw away my pre-conference "To Do" list. Which eliminated quite a lot of stress.  I flew out only nervous about the flight- but it was fine.
I met Aja Wells at the air port- we used to be in a crit group together. I opened my hotel room door and there was my roommate Heather Powers. She was a great roommate - we had a lot of laughs. Starting at the bar with some bad food that first night.

I did not eat breakfast - the food/rushing around/stomach issues will be a running theme thru this report.

I met Priscilla Burris at check-in. We've gotten to know each other thru the Sketchables but OH! How nice to actually see her with mine own eyes! - She is her artwork - all personality and energy.
Heather is the RA for San Antonio, TX- she "walked the line" the first morning and told me she was going to say "Ripple" as her first word. When she did - I heard a large round of applause - and got all choked up. That should have been my first clue that there were a lot of Ripple artists amongst the LA conference goers!
The kick off by Jon Sciezka - was great. Funny and what a way to start off with a BANG! - then we took a turn and wound up in Delaware with M.T. Anderson. -  I think Delaware must be in the Twilight Zone or they slipped something into my iced non fat vanilla latte - cause the whole room got trippy and there was some singing.... I think...... about Delaware- with a lilting  middle eastern tinge..all that was missing was a sitar. by now- I'm sure Mr. Anderson has learned to play one.

I went off to Stephanie Owens Lurie's talk on "How to think like a publisher".  - I like her. I like people who like Disney-work for Disney and wear Mickey stuff- we are proud mousketeers.  She's a positive voice in publishing and she was refreshing to listen to after the past 2 years of lots of doom and gloom. what a wealth of experience she has. 2 of my best friends went into publishing out of college- and I actually thought(don't shoot me ) "How boring"- what a dummy I was. (I also was broke- broke and dumb) but I digress...
LUNCH!-Starving at this point.... run! RUN! to the mall food court!- ok, no running- but get there- get your food , eat - go back. Must have protein- will have burger- num num num.... back to the big room...

Panel of editors - Like the old game show "TO TELL THE TRUTH" - these are always interesting...

Off to the break out! - here's some fun. Priscilla Burris  is ready to let us draw! Oh Thank heaven!! I get so tired sitting and listening for so long. I want to "do"! I consider it an exciting opportunity to draw here- a room filled with people "my tribe" and we are drawing together- this excites me. We work on expressions and emotions and it's about 1/2 the breakout- I could have easily done this the whole time.  Next David Diaz does a painting demo- which is wild to watch but not enough time to really experience it.  So I think these guys could have easily done an hour each- and it would have been groovy.

Priscilla did kindly ask me to tell the room about Ripple at the beginning of the session. So- I did- and I seriously need some public speaking help!

Back into the big room. "The Hills are alive... with the sound of Tractors....." I will sing the praises of Loren Long and his  philosophy of "If I can do this- Why can't you?"- of his wanting to make books like the ones he loved as a child- Like Ferdinand the Bull. He is such a down to earth fellow... and I completely dig his being influenced by the art on "Good Times"- which was not really painted by JJ "Dyno-mite" Walker.  You can see Thomas Hart Benton's influence.... and for sure  Mr. Rockwells'  a homey - timeless or time we long for quality in his work.  He gets a gold star in my book. I dig him big time.

Wine and cheese are waiting....  and Dan Santat's Ripple card was going up for sale @ 7 PM!- Speaking of Dan - A word of advice from me to all future conference attendees: when meeting someone you admire- first make sure they have not just put an entire cracker with cheese in their mouth as you touch their shoulder  and introduce yourself. 
His book OH! NO!- could have gone on to be his last and I could have been the culprit.  I'm sure he could have parlayed it into a hilarious book called "There are always lots of Heimlich maneuvers at the conference" - It was nice to meet him tho- he is a nice guy.

I had a $10 glass of blechy wine and one smudge of brie on a shingle. 
I sat in the lobby bar and sold Dan's art on Ripple in 4.4 seconds. I earned my pina colada , baby. I have waited all summer for it. I brought a bag of my own paper umbrellas and headed up to the illustrators social- it is 7:30 in the evening... 12 hour day so far.....
This is fun. I met Kim Fleming - a Ripple artist here all of the way from Australia- so cute! Here's where you see faces you know and didn't know were going to be at the conference. We get men-tees and talk them thru their first conference- it's fun. I met more people from NY this year which was nice.I am all about bringing the illustrators together more. They should have this 2 nights- maybe we can pay to have a dinner in there?- dinner?- oh yeah..

Around 10:30 I ate spicy chicken lumps at the bar with a few chopped up cucumbers. Off to bed- knowing sometime tomorrow I would hear in my head that sound submarines make- the alarm when everyone yells DIVE!DIVE! - as my stomach does not travel well. 

Up and dressed and at Starbucks by 8:00 for a Ginormous Ice coffee and a fiber muffin.

Gordon Korman was an enjoyable speaker . I took away from his talk to stay in touch with what YOU thought was cool as a kid.  So... roller disco , hmmmmm...

Agent panel! These panels feel like Hollywood Squares- they need light bulbs and buzzers and that skinny microphone with the little grey ball on top. - One of the agents had the deepest voice- it was like turning the bass all the way up- you could feel the frequency... it was hypnotic. They had good stuff to say too. Hot Hot Hot middle grade - esp boy stuff. That Percy Jackson has stolen Harry's thunder! I'd like to see them duel.(team harry) All about the chapter booksand young MG , Picture books are "tough sell".

Breakout - Pat Cummings and Cecilia Yung  "Illustrator Tips on Portfolios and Promotion".  The day before there was another portfolio break out that I did not go to. Perhaps- there should be 2 illustrator tracks? more options? One for "newbies" - One for the mildly published - who want to move to the next level-I have already been thru 9 conferences and 16 portfolio info sessions.

off to get a sandwich.....

I enjoyed lunch with Angela Matteson and Linda Silvestri- and a table full of illustrators.

Big Room : Marion Dane Bauer - hit this Mom's heart hard. Tears flowed. Further proof that authors have a mythical mojo that is other-wordly. She poured out her heart in her speech and her books must be amazing.
And then there was E.B..
I don't even know what to say. He's the kind of man you wouldn't want to disappoint. Like your favorite 4th grade teacher. Or your beloved coach -Or your Dad. He sets a standard and you feel like "Yeah- that's where I should be- I'd better work my ass off to get there or else." 15- 18 hours a day in the studio. (Wow. Yeah- that would get me in the zone and keep me there... I long for that. But can I give that as a mom of a 10 year old?- no. But I feel like that's a key to it- that I am missing.)

He said things like "Do you TRULY want to do this?" (um, yes- I mean YES!Yes Sir!)
Passion- Passion is key. His "Icons" on lottery cards- his need to express what he believes- what he teaches - what he feels about kids- is remarkable. I counted the hours until his breakout.... 
But meanwhile Loren Long awaited in his breakout and he was like a cold slice of watermelon on a hot summer day. Are you an illustrator who wants to write?(yes) Well- it's about ideas. (He's kinda the Jimmy Stewart of children's books) - When you write and illustrate theres' no other "pesky" name on the cover!;) Jot down every single idea- just know they are mostly bad ideas. Keep it simple!-Cause most of the best books are just that- simple. Cut- and cut and cut to get to the heart of the story... (Oh agony agoneeeee- this is what I am doing at home next week)

He ended the session with his belly on a lady's head to show cast shadows- and how to not draw every little detail...and it was funny cause it was so awkardly innocently strange... and we could have stayed there all afternoon with him.
And then the Submarine alarms went off and I cut out until the portfolio showcase.....  I know when to say "Uncle" to too much inspiration for one day... put on my pjs and laid down. Apologies to Gail Carson Levine - who's books my daughter loves.

THUNDER DOME (the portfolio showcase)

To me- this is the reason to come- if you have to boil it down to one reason. This is the main event and all else is gravy. In one hour- you have more important eyeballs on your work than you are going to get in a year. And like the NY lottery says- "You gotta be in it - to win it".

Show tunes come in very handy as you walk Thunder Dome: 
I like Westside Story....
Who knows....
There's something due any day;
I will know right away,
Soon as it shows.
It may come cannonballing down through the sky,
Gleam in its eye,
Bright as a rose!

Who knows?
It's only just out of reach,
Down the block, on a beach,
Under a tree.
I got a feeling there's a miracle due,
Gonna come true,
Coming to me!

Could it be? Yes, it could.
Something's coming, something good,
If I can wait!
Something's coming, I don't know what it is,
But it is
Gonna be great! 

(If you are feeling slightly sad at not winning a prize or men-tee spot... perhaps looking forward to what might be....)

There's a place for us,
Somewhere a place for us.
Peace and quiet and open air
Wait for us

There's a time for us,
Some day a time for us,
Time together with time spare,
Time to learn, time to care,
Some day!

We'll find a new way of living,
We'll find a way of forgiving
Somewhere . . .

There's a place for us,
A time and place for us.
Hold my hand and we're halfway there.
Hold my hand and I'll take you there
Some day,

Anyway the cookie crumbles it's a great experience to put yourself out there - and into Thunder Dome. How do you match up? Where do you fall? What are you missing? What can you work on? Why did they win? What am I damn good at?-  all are spoils of Thunder Dome. 
And then the party... 15 minutes later. I ran up to Tina Nichols Coury's room for a pre-party bash. It's like the Mummer's Parade Exploded in her room. Glitter! Sparkles! Blinky Lights! Pink Champagne! She is quite the hostess and is a warm and welcoming presence out in LA. She had assembled a group of McVeigh Agency peeps and it was a nice opportunity to meet everyone.  A glass of champagne on an empty stomach... down the elevator...
....outside It's shove a fajita down your gullet so you can have a cocktail and not find yourself dancing on a table naked covering your parts with giant heart sprinkle cookies.  
That DID NOT happen.
I did have my picture taken with many many people. Through the course of the party I met many many Ripple artists and it was a blur... of red... until bed. Sleep.......... getting up very early to have a real breakfast with Heather and Priscilla. 
 It was SO nice to sit and talk with Heather and Priscilla over a real meal. Coffee and toast and eggs and conversation. 3 of the Sketchables together!

Heather and I went out to play hooky and sit in the sun and sketch. I was feeling toasted. I was looking forward to E.B. Lewis' breakout session. and it didn't disappoint.

E.B. Strikes Back
I just could listen to him all day...
Tidbits of wisdom... that flows freely from him..
 "Chubby Checker Syndrome" - don't do the same thing over and over- Chubby Checker at almost 80 is still singing "The Twist"
Be your own worst critic.
One bad line can destroy an entire piece

Dig deep-research, scratch and dig at whatever the subject of the story is

Don't put in every single detail (Loren said this too)- "Leave the Gap"- like NC Wyeth - work in the shadows

Don't look at who won the award- (I needed to hear that after Thunder Dome)

As a parent- I really agreed with his saying that we "Monitor" kids more than parent them. How many kids I know that are in front of the TV - computer - DS - on the cell phone- constantly at activities while the parents are doing something else. We need to engage with the kids- shut everything else off and be face to face- having conversations.
And then my moment of blubbering.. (I took this from my Ripple  blog post)He brought up the oil spill and said- "What are we as artists going to do about it?"  (I'm paraphrasing...)  He went on to say "My father said there are 3 kinds of people- Sub Humans, Humans, and Super Humans". "Sub Humans are like Hitler or Osama Bin laden- people who do harm, cause pain and suffering.""Humans are people who exist- but don't do anything- don't act - don't stand up and make a difference." "Super Humans are the ones who say "I will not sit by and do nothing""They are the ones who try to make a difference."  -  I burst into tears. Like a fool... I hope he didn't notice...
I have been so busy running this- the absolute SCALE of what Ripple has done- what it has become- and what it continues to do-  hadn't hit me until then. As I sniffed and calmed down- my friend Amy Farrier- quietly said, "Kelly Light- super human" -and the tears flowed again.

You get the feeling E.B. Lewis eats paint- brushes his teeth with a sable brush -  sleeps on canvas - and showers in watercolor... I mean this man lives it. He does not make art- he lives it. He's quite an inspiration.

We had the Golden Kite Luncheon next. Filled with good stuff.

I went to Steven Malk's talk as last years' was very informative. He's a good guy- he breaks the biz down- and makes it seem so doable.  I have 2 pages of notes- He's generous and says- He's here to help. And I believe him. Raised in kids' books- he's a great resource to hear speak.

Awoooga Awoooga! - submarine siren going off again- head pounding off I went. I was tired and emotional from E.B. - I felt wasted. I was asleep by 7. 
 I felt much better the next morning. I needed that sleep. I guess this is jet lag + Ripple lag + inspiration overload.  I got to Starbucks and got that ginormous iced coffee again and a scone. I doodled all day thru the presentations- those pages can be seen on The Sketchables.  I was looking forward to ending the conference with Loren Long's last break out- but we decided to sit down and eat a lunch- and it took so long- we missed 2/3's of Loren. - sorry to have missed that!  

I confess - I did not know who Ashley Bryan was before this conference. "He's a national treasure!" my roommate told me- well- He certainly looks like one! -I said.  He gave us a taste of the "Ashley Bryan Experience" during the Golden Kite luncheon. His closing keynote was a "happening". He was a force of nature. He's changed forever my appreciation of poetry. He brought it to LIFE! I will tap the book to the beat and stretch out the sounds til the senses experience the words.  It was a joyous big room goodbye.

Now - Go forth and create.
I filled out my comment sheet w/ a few suggestions for illustrators at these big conferences. I'd like more drawing- life drawing session?- Gestures? - a sketch crawl? ... generally  more hands on- workshops. I've been to the Florida SCBWI summer conference twice and it's a great one. Friday is a full day workshop - that spills into Saturday. Like the master class ideas - but breakouts as options for those who have already done the basics of breaking into the industry.

And as I finish this it is August 11th. My quagmire: I may be about ready to tear apart that PB dummy and get it finally paired down- scratched-dug deep- down to the heart of the story. 

I took 3 pictures in LA - 2 of which are of pina coladas.

Friday, July 23, 2010

To market- to market.....

I made my promotional goodies for Los Angeles so fast. 3 days to make a little book- sketch to color- to printer. I'm really happy with the way the little books came out. It looks so much better than in a portfolio- it's an actual book! I did the quickest postcard I've ever done- 3 hours start to finish to printer. I put the postcard image on the back of the little book. I did a Ripple business card which is just the banner from the blog - all black front and back (back has contact info). And a bookmark. I just ripped funny characters out of illustrations. I used Got Print and am extremely happy with the printing for the money!!! last Xmas- I used a local printer with devastating results- never again. I've also used a printer that prints the most gorgeous cards ever for 4 times the cost of these- so never again- this is just right.

So- now do I do the last minute freak out art or not- I shouldn't -but it's like an OCD thing- so compulsive!!!  - Just say no Kelly....

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Thursday is Sketchables Day

Over at the Sketchables the sketches are flyin'!!!  My turn today to throw down some pencil. I opened the vault into my sketches from a past life....

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Embracing the mess of my sketches

I finished up the little sample book. 6" by 9". I did this so fast- I kept my sketches in- cleaning up only the lines that created tangents and cut thru features.  So busy with Ripple- I couldn't give it a full color teatment- so I thought about books I had as a kid- I would get them from Scholastic Book clubs.. little white softcover books- with spot colors. Colors that were not neatly applied within the lines. I dumped "Mr. Sprinkles" (Ice cream sprinkles) on the scanner to get the colors. Does it work for me? - Kinda- maybe -hope so...'cause it's done. I have to find a quick turn around printer tomorrow. And do a postcard... fast.

Thursday, July 8, 2010


Thursdays are my day over at THE SKETCHABLES - today- sketch to finish!

Thursday, July 1, 2010


Hey All! it's my turn over at THE SKETCHABLES!!

This is a great group of illustrators and I am fortunate to spend time with them. We all are doodling fools and love to talk about artists' sketches. Keep your eye on the blog as we share more each week!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Goin back to Cali - SCBWI Style

Ripple has raised $6000 as of today!!! - Amazing. I have- not drawn in a month... kinda a biproduct of do-gooding. So This weekend I worked on something new for the L.A. conference- a mini- book. I'm basing it on the sketch I did about my cousin and I'm calling it- "HEY! CUPCAKE!" - I hope it will be a little somethin' somethin' printed and a hand-out. Here's some of what's done.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Summer reading for the kid

What do you do with a 10 year old voracious reader?? Of course- as a Mom- you're thrilled. It can be challenging tho, when she's read so much that is age appropriate already - and finds many books in her words "too little" for her. She's devoured Harry Potter already a year ago. The Penderwicks were visited both on summer vacation and at Gardam Street. She's gone up the mountain to meet the moon and Percy Jackson was an affair to remember. Black beauty-Black Stallion anything with a horse has been read. Lately- we've been trolling the library shelves with me encouraging her to try anything... it doesn't have to be a book with "buzz"- it's like discovering treasure!!!But lately... her eyes turn to the YA.

Oy Vey!!! Not yet!- We will get there- -let's just get to middle school ok??? She's a dystopian fiend - put the kid in another reality - wizards- Olympians- EGYPTIAN GODS(yup Mr. Riordan -she's all over the new series) - she eats it up. She read "City of Ember" as part of her "Voyager Program" at school. Really? Wowo- post apocalyptic stuff floats her boat too!?

The school sends home a list- 2/3's of which she's already read. 1/3 of which she considers too little. -So it's the books of Ember so far. We made a trip to the Comic book shop- so we've got all of Bone to go through. She loves graphic novels - I try to keep up on them.

I may start the timeless Judy Blume run of puberty books at the end of the summer- it's about time. -oy vey. I loved those books - so I know where we are headed.....

So any suggestions for an advanced 10 year old reader??? I'm not letting her read Twilight -I'm a big bad mommy who believes in letting kids stay kids for as long as possible - no sexy vampires yet.

I'm open to hearing about the books you loved as an 11 year old.

Friday, June 25, 2010

My favorite art to look at??Artists' sketches - sooo why not make...

"The Sketchables" a new blog featuring Heather Powers, Priscilla Burris, Diandra Mae, Joy Steuerwald and ME.

We all have something in common - a fierce passion for sketching and looking at other artists sketches. We hope to share our own and the sketches of lots of others with you. Keep checking back as we launch this exciting new project!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

establishing family resemblance

Working on a book that follows one family through a hundred years - is well - insane.
I did this this morning to help me sort out how I am keeping the family resemblance alive thru the generations. I have a family tree I'm working on too- cause Wow- it gets confusing- who is who's kid and who is who's grandma and how does it all branch out.

I've tied the family together in a lot of ways. Facially- I've tried to repeat certain features- nose shape, head shape, mouth shape- eye shape and expressions and attitudes. They're such a fun bunch!;)

You know the old saying "tortured artist" well I'm a self torturing one! But I have a need to tell this story so- I'm gonna get it done and then I will feel as if they've been done justice. I start each week talking to the main character in my head saying "Tell me your story".

Friday, June 4, 2010

On the drawing table

Still working on my PB dummy. I am closing in on the last 1/3....

Thursday, June 3, 2010

The Gulf Sketchcards - are causing a RIPPLE

I'm moving the sketchcard effort HERE

The new blog "Ripple" - is nothing fancy. I didn't spend a lot of time on the header. I don't spend a lot of time on the sketches. I want each small act to build upon the first - and through doing them- something bigger can grow. Like ripples in water. Like I said- it's hard to cause ripples in OIL SOAKED WATER. But, with help, we can.

Thanks everybody!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Good Stuff Goin On!

Off to Hot Dog House for the next week - by myself to dream-to write- to draw and to Brimfield Baby! 5 football fields of antiques-- drool.

I was in Publisher's Marketplace this week! I had no idea my agent was going to put an announcement about the little Goldilocks Book in- Thanks Mark! What a nice surprise! - Anyone have a print copy- save it for me!-- Have an awesome week all and again Happy Mothers' Day. -Especially to my Mom who really is the Mom of Moms.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Mother's Day - An Oldie but goodie

When Mags was small - I was not working- not creating much art at all. It drove me batty. So- I would draw what I knew- little black and white cartoons about motherhood.

Happy Mothers' Day to all! We deserve it!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

How long on one illustration is long enough??

I'm not a fast painter. I'm a fast sketcher. Going to color- I'm a sloth.

3 months to do a whole book- sketch to final was TOUGH!

So more food for thought - when deciding on deadlines - both as the editor/art director and as the potential illustrator - consider how long it takes to paint each page.

In the best of situations I take 3 days each. Say 4 months would be fab- sounds reasonable I think. I had two weeks. I had to do two a day for this project and in my opinion it shows. Live and learn.

Every experience gets you somewhere. And even if I trip over my feet and fall on my face - I am still moving forward. Onward!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Sketch of the day!

I have a cousin Jeff -He's 4 years older than I am. Which- when you're little is just older enough for you to think He is the biggest (6'4") -coolest - guy around. When we were young, he was obsessed with the Minnesota Vikings - and his room, which I was always locked out of- always smelled of sweaty football uniform. These days- He's a Dad of 11 year old twins a boy and a girl. Which He takes equal delight in coaching the football team and watching the dance recitals. One of the reason's I like Facebook is that- these days- family is so spread apart and we just don't get together much. But there I can read his proud papa posts AND most interesting of all: his posts about his fervent love of cupcakes.

So I took a few minutes and was inspired by this big tough guy with the sugary sweet insides.

(Jeff- this drawing does not imply you have little T_Rex bippy arms!);) -XO

Monday, April 26, 2010

Sketch of the evening

What if Medusa and Aphrodite were Bff's growing up? - Two unlikely friends - who care about eachother despite their differences? Hmmmmmm... Telling myself stories again.

color sketch

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Illustration Friday "Detective"

Bringing this back for IF this week. This is my husband's absolute favorite thing I have ever drawn. I should have it printed and framed for him. - There's a whole story that goes along with this illustration... Someday.. I'll get the dummy done!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

They Draw and Cook

Nana and I are up on "They Draw and Cook"

This is a very clever new art blog started by Nate Padavick and Salli Swindell. "They Draw and Cook" Visual artists do like to express themselves in many ways. Sometimes- after a huge deadly deadline it's a good idea to put down the pencil and do something else to express yourself. Cooking is a very meditative, soothing way to do it!- and You get to eat the results- Bristol board never tasted this good!;)

I do prefer baking to cooking a nightly meal- unless I have a whole day to think about the dinner- and that only happens at Christmas. But baking! It is so unnecessary and indulgent and comforting and usually- I bake from recipes handed down from other great bakers. My Mom - Queen of cookies. My Great Grandmother on my father's side was Italian. I have yet to summon the courage for some of those recipes. I do have a recipe for peanut butter chocolate chips that I guard with my life that came from my Mom's grandmother.

This came from Nana. She is my husband's Grandmother. She welcomed this Shiksa with open arms from day one. She lives in Florida in a nursing home now. We haven't seen her in two years. We call on the phone but sometimes she drops hers in the toilet so- you can't always reach her!
She is a treasure from a disappearing generation of Brooklyn women. Yiddish flows and so does guilt but all gets washed away by love. Everything about her is larger than life- her voice, her jewelry and her boobs. Here's to you Nana! You're turning 89! Happy Birthday!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Return to the Land of the Reject Sketches

More rejected sketches. My fave? The three at the bottom. They were my "Jersey" Bears- I could hear Papa bear w/ his James Gandolfini/Tony Soprano voice- and Mama- well she'd be table tipping when the porridge was eaten.

The Land of the Reject Sketches

Just like the Land of the Misfit toys- there should be a place where rejected sketches go to wait for a time before they get thought about again for a new project. (changed significantly ofcourse-cough cough)

Tuesday, April 6, 2010


Give us any chance, we'll take it.
Give us any rule, we'll break it.
We're gonna make our dreams come true.
Doin' it our way.

Nothin's gonna turn us back now,
Straight ahead and on the track now.
We're gonna make our dreams come true,
Doin' it our way.

There is nothing we won't try,
Never heard the word impossible.
This time there's no stopping us.
We're gonna do it.

On your mark, get set, and go now,
Got a dream and we just know now,
We're gonna make our dream come true.
And we'll do it our way, yes our way.
Make all our dreams come true,
And do it our way, yes our way,
Make all our dreams come true
For me and you.

I've been sooo busy. I just completed a project that I had 3 months to do. A picture book/illustrated play of Goldilocks and the Three Bears. I will show some of the work when I'm given the ok to do so. It was a lot of work in a very little amount of time. The last week I found myself talking to myself- yes I was going a little crazy - and finding ways to urge myself on- @ 2 am night after night, to keep going.

When this theme song popped into my head.

I've been singing it for days and it has kept me going. Inspiration can be found in the oddest of places. Who knew Laverne and Shirley could be my patron saints of meeting a deadline?

The words- if read by Patrick Stewart or Anthony Hopkins in a dramatic reading could take on a whole new life. And so I give to you- The Gospel according to Schlemiel! Schlimazel! - If you can get the voices of those two Milwaukee girls out of your head- read them. Maybe you'll find the inspiration to do it your way - make your dreams come true.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Hurray for Love!

I was listening to "Chiu Stream" this past half hour. 'Cause Bobby Chiu was interviewing his other half- Kei Acedera- who's art makes me very happy. I was listening - sketching- and started sketching her- she's far cuter than my sketch! But she was shy.. and he finally gets to the point about them being a couple - a POPS the question!! So sweet! - sigh. L'Amour.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

All in a dream...

Last night I dreamt about a little girl who had a pet wooly mammoth. It was found in her backyard frozen and defrosted. So she kept it. Having a wooly mammoth as a pet presents a lot of issues - with the neighborhood kids- with the school - in the house- and forget about the cat. It was a great dream.

Yesterday's Snow Day Doodle

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

It's 2010 for a while already!

Hello blog. I have been neglecting you. So sorry - Life has gone into over drive. The holidaze over-BAM! -into 3 projects for three months.

Project - Top Secret -for now.. an illustration one. Here are some sketches of a character design that was rejected. I will post more about this when it's over.

Project Two - I'm bringing the talented Jarrett Krosoczka in to Lynbrook N.Y. - to wow! the kids at Marion Street School!! It's Parp week- "Parents as reading partners". Lots of bulletin boards to fill with Lunch Lady fun!

Project Three - Our new house in Amherst MA. It's our "Escape from New York" - sans Kurt Russel. It' s a fixer-upper of the 250 year old kind. Holy Mackeral we have bitten off a lot! -But it's wonderful!!!!! It's on a three acre farm we share with one neighbor. Wooded and situated off the beaten path but near all of the great things to do in the Pioneer Valley. We have already had great weekends up in Northampton and Amherst. It's gonna be fun! I am decorating the house in a fun - non traditional way. I will nod and wink to it's age- but this is my chance to fill a small home with the fun. Brimfield here I come!!

So- I may be blogging a bit less until April. But I will have lots to share then!