Friday, February 25, 2011

Travel, Contest, Articles, oh my!

I have no idea who this girl is,
but gosh can I relate to her.
Stepping forward, backward and off the road. Roads and how we take them are such great metaphors.

The Gotham Writing Contest announced the top six out of 20 winners today. I wasn't one of them, but I feel like being in the top 2% really told me something and I've put a lot of work into my next book. It was the kick-start I needed to embrace pausing my progression on one novel to work on another.

I have traveled to two schools this week to read and promote my "Through Endangered Eyes" book. A third grader (who I met last year at the school doing a reading) came up to me today after my reading and told me that I inspired her to experiment with acrylic paint and she loves it. I think it's those kinds of moments that make it all worth while.

I also had and opportunity to visit my nephew's school Rancho Rosal school in Camarillo,California and had a wonderful assembly. If you would like to read more on the event, click here (the photographer that covered it took some amazing shots.)

I am working on my next  painting for the desert book. The desert pupfish is taking on a unique set of colors:) I'm really excited to update the site next week with a possible finished image!

The last bit of news is in regard to an article I wrote about my technique for Wildscape Magazine a conservation wildlife art magazine in England. It is due out in Europe in a couple of weeks. I'm really looking forward to seeing the issue when it is released.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Cheetah Book Illustration & Contest Semi-Finalist

I have two blogs. Each with their own direction, and each indicative of the motivating facets of my life. My art blog has had only a few entries, while my writing blog is consistently 3-4 times per month. 

I've often thought about doing just one that combines all of my work, painting, writing and little thoughts every now and then. And then I think, does anyone really want to see my my children's art plans? And then I remind myself that the blog is really to organize me.

So, I have just decided to combine them and keep up with one. There, I've made a decision while literally biting my lip - ouch.

To start off - I thought I'd post the first painting for my "Through Desert Eyes" book. I won't post all of the illustrations, since of course when it comes out in 2012(?) you'll want to buy it to see them all and read the poems. 

The Cheetah (8"x16") Acrylic Paint
I love big cats, and I love to paint big cats. It was a great way to get me excited about these illustrations. I really feel like my technique is blossoming. All this teaching art to kids and practicing has really paid off. I was nervous that the small cheetah wouldn't work, since my dots are so small on it, but I'm really pleased with the results.

I left space for the text in the upper left hand corner. Building a painting with exact dimensions of the page spreads is new to me. I got custom-made canvas that would be the size of my finished book spread and take into consideration the gutters and bleeds. I really wanted the text to sit on my canvas, to enhance the relationship of the words to the illustration.

On another happy note - I am a semi-finalist for the YA Discovery Novel contest, hosted by Gotham Writer's Workshops, Inc. Out of about 1,000 entries my first 250 words of my YA novel "Only on Mondays," made the top 20.

I'm really excited about this book. I love the story and my characters. I have gone back and forth between my two YA novels, but "Only on Mondays," is my top priority. 

Here is my pitch: 
Chloe, a fourteen year old witch, finds a spell that can bring her mom back from the dead. With her power limited to Mondays, she has only eight days to do the spell and needs to convince four other witches to help her. Chloe's long-time enemy is one of the witches that can help, but the girl refuses. As time starts to run out for Chloe, a tragedy forces the girls together. Can they work together to save a life and will that person be Chloe's mother?