[This is the second post about the creation of Ellen and the Winter WolvesEllen and the Winter Wolves. You can read part i here.]
After finishing the text for Ellen and the Winter Wolves, I thought I would simply crank out twelve to fourteen illustrations and be done. (I thought twelve to fourteen would be the perfect number because that seemed manageable with my schedule.) So I sat down and broke the text up, attempting to make the breaks at natural transition points. I ended up with fourteen pages.
A problem quickly became apparent to me, however. As I sat on the floor reading the pages aloud, I realized if I was reading this to a kid, each page would take way too long to get through. They would be bored. This story is somewhat text-heavy (at the time it was around 3,400 words) and so fourteen illustrations wasn’t going to be nearly enough.Read More
Over the years people have encouraged me to do a picture book. I love to paint and I love to write, so why not put those things together? And I’ve wanted to, but I simply haven’t. Other projects have crowded it out, or I’ve started and then given up, overwhelmed by the enormity of it all.
But now I’m in neck-deep. I’m doing it. And I want to share with you what the process has been so far: the ins and outs of creating a book, and in creating it, what’s been good, what’s been okay, and what’s been unexpectedly terrible.
There are several ways to go about publishing a book. I’ve decided to self-publish. This means I’m not submitting my story and art to a publishing company or an art director. I’m not relying on professionals for design input or editing. I’m doing it all myself. Which means I have a lot of work to do. It also means it could look like garbage, and it would be all my fault.Read More
Here’s the progress of Forest Boy, finished in May 2015. The unframed image is 12″x16″.
(Click any image for a larger view).Read More
Earlier this month I traveled to Albuquerque, NM for an arts festival. As I prepared my pieces for display, I tried to figure out how I could inject a little more story into my paintings. And so I decided to write a few lines that I would print on the back of the 2.5″x4.5″ title/price tags. These would be story seeds, words to stir the imagination, a few lines to trigger the mind of the viewer.
Well, they ended up inspiring me as well. These lines, written in haste, almost as an afterthought, have helped me (once again) to see that writing is not this massive and unmanageable undertaking.
And so I’m writing. I’m taking a couple weeks off painting (so my Instagram feed is going to be quiet for a time) and I’m going to get a story or two out that I can turn into a picture book. In the meantime, here are a few of my favorite story seeds and the images they accompany.
“I hope I’m not too late,” Stella whispered. “How long will it take to find your places again?” After a moment she added, “We need you, you know. Father can’t find his way home without you.”
She liked the hat because it looked good with her coat. And it was warm. And it helped her see in the dark and hear the whispers of the animals in the forest.
“I think you will find,” said the owl, “that we have gone farther than you could possibly imagine.”
“I doubt it,” said Ellen. “I have a very active imagination.”
“Tell me,” said the owl, “do you recognize these stars?”
Here’s the progression for Fox Girl, finished in January 2015. Images are taken at different times of the day, resulting in slightly different colors. My apologies. The unframed image is 12″x16″.
(Click on any image for a larger view).Read More
So here’s my latest painting, The Voyage of the Peacock. It’s 20″x 20″. This isn’t really about how the idea of The Voyage came to be, but the formation of the painting itself. Basically I’m going to take you through the different stages of the painting and what went on in my mind as I was painting it. So let’s start, shall we?
(Click on any image for a larger view).