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August 22, 2010

A Lot Of Atmosphere

Illustration Friday's latest challenge, ATMOSPHERE.
Well, how much atmosphere do they want?
Opened up Lynda De Witt's, What Will The Weather Be?
One of the best things about illustrating a HarperCollins
Let's Read And Find Out science book is learning so many
things I didn't know about the subject. In this case, weather.
And weather happens in (ahem) the atmosphere!
What to choose? Finally, I decided this image of a cold
front moving in showed the most atmosphere.
Here are some others choices.

Like I keep saying.... 
I've drawn almost everything in
the world at least once.  ;-)

August 18, 2010

Getting Sirius, Dog Days

(click on images to enlarge)

In case anyone thinks this blog has gone to the cats,
I felt compelled to mention that I have drawn and
painted my share of dogs as well. 
For reasons that will become immediately obvious,
I'm starting with my chapter heading (above) for 
"Siriusfrom Peter Limburg's WHAT'S IN THE 
Sirius being the "Dog Star" after whom these dog 
days of August are named.

This farm dog from my THE THREE BROTHERS,
Whitebird/Putnam hangs around Amos, the youngest 
brother while he does chores. Animals can enliven
picture book illustrations, even when they may not 
mentioned in text.

VERY YOUNG (known in my family as the
Patty Cake Book) Random House, pup enjoys
the game.

This dog "helps" the girl put on a warm sweater
in SNOW, LET'S GOby Karen Berman Nagel, 
Scholastic Cartwheel.

From Baby Bug Magazine. Can you hear the 
puppy panting waiting for the boy to throw the ball?

Doesn't the picture say it all? (check out the dog's
expression). Sample promotional piece.

And In Memorium
left; Buster and right; Sophie Schnauzer Croll, Tizzy and Fred's
Chicago cousins

Sadly, my brother Jonathan sent word today
that his beloved little Schnauzer "Cutie Girl 
Sophie, Queen-of-Almost-Everything" passed 
away this morning. 
Hopefully joining the spirit of her brother, Buster. 
 ^..^      ^..^
( x )     ( x )

August 16, 2010

Little Star Gazing

Colleague Paula Pertile, whose delightful blog Drawing A 
Fine Line at I enjoy,
put me on to 

   This week's topic "Star Gazing" reminded me of 
    Laughing Cloud, Little Star's Mother wishing 
    on the smallest star for a child, my illustration 
    from LITTLE STAR, by Mary Packard for 
    A charming story about a Native American girl, her
    desire for a horse and her special beaded necklace. 

    Initial evidence that I have drawn everything in the
    world at least once.......... ;-)

August 11, 2010

Alarming Fred

Time to make the coffee this morning. 
                     (click to enlarge)

Every morning dear clever Freddie lets me know 
the kettle is boiling. Its also how I know its time 
to clip his claws. Forensics; tiny holes on the upper 
right leg of jeans and work pants match his paw 
prints which match the pin holes in my thigh. 
And now, caught in the act, photo evidence.  =^..^=

PS: DNA match found in claw clippings 

August 8, 2010

CATalog Samples, part I

(you can click on images to enlarge)

Hardly any of my books are cat-less. It all started
when Jane Flory asked me to illustrate her rollicking 
cat tale, We'll Have A Friend For Lunch.

My first picture book. Not too sure what I was doing, 
made a full color dummy and sent it to Jane's publisher, 
Houghton Mifflin Co. in Boston. A very patient and 
humorous Walter Lorraine taught me color separation 
over the telephone and that my 38 page dummy needed 
to become 32 pages.

As author as well as illustrator, in Too Many Babas,
my first I Can Read book for Harper, I gave Baba 
Edis a cat. While the Babas are making soup, the 
cat is otherwise occupied in the pictures only.

Lee Bennett Hopkins supplied the how, what, where, 
when and who poems in QUESTIONS, another Harper 
I Can Read book. Lots of places for cats. This one 
accompanying the poem What Do I Make? by Ilo Orleans.

My, oh, my, watching Grandma make SWEET POTATO 
PIE, from Anne Rockwell's delectable singsong early Step 
Into Reading book for Random House.

Caterina and Pavel wishing for a child of their own, 
see that even the Cat has kittens from THE LITTLE 
SNOWGIRL, my retelling of an old Russian tale for 
Tomie De Paola's Whitebird imprint at Putnam.

The Farmer and his cat hear something spooky. 
From Tony Johnston's very clever/funny/not so 
scary Halloween ghost story for early readers, 
BOO, A Story That Could Be True at Scholastic.

Sometimes a little cat just wants to be there.
THE VERY YOUNG, (which my brother Ted 
calls, "The Patty Cake Book") illustrating
Ride A Horse To Boston, another for Random

Bob Barton's retelling of Paul Gallico's sweet 
story about a boy and his Donkey, THE SMALL 
MIRACLE, Henry Holt. No cats in the story. 
But that never stopped me. That's why there's 
a cat, who looks a lot like Tizzy, watching 
from the window.

There are lots of farm animals in THE THREE 
BROTHERS, my retelling of a German folk tale,
Whitebird/Putnam again. Here is the cat witnessing 
the magic of the ending along with the Father 
and his sons.

Lastly (for part 1) is this cat looking out the window to
see WHAT WILL THE WEATHER BE, by Linda DeWitt, 
a Let's Read & Find Out book from HarperCollins.

Don't know about you, but after all this,
I need a CAT nap.  =^..^=

August 1, 2010

Tizzy Turns Ten

little Tizzy, 20000

This weekend marks Tizzycat's 10th birthday.
His sister Jasmine and brother Silver are also 10.
Seems like yesterday I brought this fuzzy little guy
home from his birthplace down the hall in my
neighbor Irene's apartment. Her son had driven 
from Las Vegas with his unexpectedly expectant
cat, Nutmeg who had gotten out a short while
before departure east and came back just in time.
She never said where she had been or with whom.
Hey, "What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas", right?

Nutmeg (Nutty) Tizzy's Mom
Her condition was revealed by the Vet when she was 
taken to be spayed. Nutty was still practically a kitten 
herself at about a year old.
kittens Jasmine, Silver and Tizzy

She had 4 babies in the back of a walk in closet. 
2 tiger striped, 1 orange and white(who sadly
didn't live long) and 1 tuxedo black and white.
Tiger sister Jasmine (Jazzy) stayed with her Mom. 
Silver went to live with hairdresser Michael. 
Tizzy moved down the hall with me.

kitten Tizzy watching snow fall
Early on, I found him licking then chewing on
a slice of banana in my morning fruit salad.
I chopped up the slice and put some in his
dish along side his kibble. The first time he saw
snow, he chirped with excitement trying to get
outside the window. He'd jump into the tub after
my shower to watch water drops run down the tiled wall.
He tells me stuff all the time, but I have trouble with 
conjugating verbs in CAT. But I've gotten pretty good
at cat sign and body language.
I can't believe so much time has passed so quickly. We
must be having fun.  =^..^=