Working on Book Three

 Page Three


Now, back to the bears. My piece is more of a Hybernation Hoe Down, a feast, a bash, a celebration...AND SO IT BEGINS... WITH some simple line drawings.


Oh, do you see the little smear across the paper?

That is the fault of Esther.... she is staying in the studio with me as her wing heals. She is a baby Starling that was attacked by one of my mother hens. I am taking care of her until she is ready to care for herself

 Now, back to the dancing bears.



My bears are eating pies....

 A lotta pies....

 Drinking apple cider....


and making merry.

 In the end, all my piece has in common with William Beards piece, is the fact that I have bears, in the woods having a jolly good time.

 The look is entirely my own, and when painted, my colors will be warm autumn reds, yellows and rust.

Here is Esther, all healed and flying beautifully .She likes to fly around the studio and sing to classical music. She has not learned to feed herself yet. But we are working on that!


Most of the time, she would rather just sit on my head.

 Today I begin the most important piece of art in a book, The book Jacket.


I have a few ideas swirling around, but I really need to get out my sketch book on this one. First, i make notes on all the elements I wish to include on my jacket art. Here is my list:

Avenue of trees,  the 2 bear, bear canoe, birds, geese, beaver,nests, vines, stichery, autumn colors. Now I need to figure out how to put ALL that together in a pleasing and eye catching way. In the case of a storybook, you CAN judge a book by its cover.

June 10th

 News flash! I have decided to do at least one painting, before I begin my book cover. I am just itching to paint. And  I want to think a little more on my jacket.

I am starting with my Title page. I have taped my drawing to a hard board, wet the paper and it is now dry and ready for paint. Usually a apply either a warm wash or a cool watercolor wash on the entire page. BUT this page will have a white background so I avoid the wash.

I am starting in the corner with Dimity Dormouse

little by little....

Dimity Dormouse comes alive. I love this part! Watching my little folk  become real.

Now for her little companion.

a lovely bluebird.

Finished with these two.

Esther gives her final approval!

I am going to paint for at least 10 hours today, I really want to finish the Title page.

Here is the wee shrew, ( she hasn't a name yet) and Dimitys Cousing Demelza.

A charming chippie hackie.

  Little yellow bird needs a lot more work.

One more day of painting and this will be finished.

Sometimes Esther just gets in the way


It occurred to me today that I started work on this book a year and a half ago!!.. Some may wonder what is taking so long. Well, the fact that I also participate in 20 or more art festivals each year, in addition to school visits and book shows, certainly accounts for a lot of time away from the work table.  Suffice it to say, that my intentions are to create the  best illustration of which I am capable, no matter how long it takes.  Good Art should not be rushed.

Just ask my little buddy, he knows.

(By the way, when this book is finished, I am planning something special, and you are invited!)

I AM BACK! Back at my table and in a different studio. I moved from my little room at the top of the stairs, to a bigger room at the top of the stairs. It is hard to believe that I started work on this book so long ago. What a busy year it has been, it is now December 7th 2011, and my shows are over for the year. Now, I have 4 beautiful, free months  to FINISH this book!

It took me 2 days to clean the studio from all the miscellaneous work, I have performed in here over the last few months.

 I created over 100 miniature scherenschnitte bookmarks, finished two cat paintings, created 3 major painted paper cuttings and various projects that I needed to complete this year. Now you know why I have been absent from this page.

I moved everything from the little studio, into this room. It is 3 times bigger and was used as a guest room. But only a few times a year, what a waste of good space. This room has a totally different feel to it. The light is not as bright, even thought the room has 2 large windows. The ceiling is a mustard color and the floors are painted the same barn red, just as they were 100 years ago. The wallpaper is twining vines of Ivy. It has a warm and cozy feel to it. Perfect for wintertime painting. There is a thick Oriental carpet on the floor which is perfect when I need to do a spot of exercise to loosen and stretch after sitting in the same position for countless hours

Here is where my antique game and toy collections gather. I love the graphics on these boxes and I surround myself with these visual treats. I think it is inspiring.


Tomorrow, I will be ready to sit down with my MAMSEY again. Oh how I have missed her!!!

Now, to the book cover. I have measured and cut my paper to the correct size. This piece of paper must be large enough for the front and back and the book flaps. Also,I have added an additional inch on top and bottom because this artwork will have to "wrap around" the hard board used on the book . I have been sketching ideas on a small sheet of paper...

Because the book cover art is so important, I have been trying to analyze just what makes for a GREAT book cover. I have pulled out several different books from my vast collection. These are books that I believe have fantastic covers. Now, I have to figure out  how this was achieved.

Each one of these covers was created by a different artist, all have a different style. But there are some things they have in common. There is a separate and distinct artistic border around the main artwork, but it does not detract from the center theme. Rather, it reflects an image of coming attractions, often introducing  a pattern or a theme which will later be seen inside the book. Each one of these beautiful covers says to me," Come in, explore further, read on....." They are so inviting, I crave more.  I think you have to become a pretty good designer ( as well as an artist) to create a wonderful book cover. I don't think the covers on my first two books were at all great... in fact, they are sorely lacking. This time, I want to do a better job on my cover, so I am going to be REALLY, REALLY conscientious.

Back to my sketch. I know there are many components I want to include here. 

1. I want  to show the  2 main characters.

2. I want to show the time of year, using

Autumnal colors and natures finery, mushrooms, acorns, oak leaves, etc.

3.Because Mamsey is a needle-worker, I want to express this in some way along my border.

4. I wish to include a few secondary characters, discreetly, in the border,  for interest.

Starting with an idea and the lines begin to take shape... but things may change along the way. You never know quite where that pencil will take you. Sometimes it takes a different path than first intended.

I am starting with Mamsey and Mopkin, of course, as my centerpiece.

My husband does not like Mamseys clogs... but she finds them quite comfortable, and so they shall remain.




    You can see where I am going with the main center image, and now I'm messing about with a side border. I am thinking here of repeating a design from my book pages, where a tree is covered in bird carvings, I will also use some "needlework" designs, also a repeated design from my pages


I just received a package in the post. A thoughtful friend has sent me the perfect gift, I hope she  knows how often this cup will be filled with teas and coffee (and eggnog, when I really want to splurge). It is HUGE!  Thank you dear Mary!




Working On Book Three:

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