Friday, September 11, 2020

My new love

     I have been fascinated with miniatures as long as I can remember and have wanted a dollhouse since I was about 10 years old. Well, I guess good things really do come to those who wait. A couple of weeks ago, I was given a dollhouse that had been in the family of a close friend for 70 years! It was built by my friend's grandfather Lloyd Whittington, in 1950, for his daughter Marty. (Marty is the little girl in the frame at the left of the photo.)

Here's the house: 

It opens from each end and already has electricity.

As soon as I found out I was getting the house, I gathered my polymer clays and started playing around. 
As we're coming into autumn, I thought a jack-o-lantern for the front porch would be festive!

Next came the bushel of apples:

I worked on some more fruit, bread, books, etc., practicing and learning as I go along. 
My favorite (so far) is the plate of blueberry pancakes:

My husband and I are going to tackle the house renovations together this winter. 
(Don't tell anyone, but his eyes light up a little at the prospect.)

Everything pictured here has been made by me except for the desk and swivel chair. 
They were made by my own grandfather many years ago when he saw my interest in miniatures.

As a side note, I have been painting. Really. Up until my new love came along. 
I'm still in the honeymoon phase with the minis, so I'm focusing on them. 
Soon, I'm sure, there will be room for both. 
I think.


Saturday, May 23, 2020

While Doodling . . .

      This is the longest I've gone without posting something since I started this little blog almost seven years ago.  I have hit a spell of creative block (and impatience). I haven't known what to do next. I've been itching to get back to good old fashioned painting but my basement studio has taken some damage (I think) with all the rain over the last couple of years and it seems to always hold small puddles of water.  Thank goodness for my iPad! That's where the above little beauty came from. It started in my sketchbook with a Bic pen and no idea what to draw. So, I doodled.

I'll take this opportunity to share a few things I've played around with since February.

Some experimenting with brushes in Procreate:
A couple sketchbook pieces. A frog and a swan. Why? I have no idea.

This next one turned out pretty neat. I did another frog drawing in my sketchbook, cut it out (digitally), and gave it a background in my Procreate App.

Last, I have a very cute little tin that sits on my bookshelf in my bedroom.

I  pulled a photo of a 1966 bug from the internet and sketched it to look like my tin

But, that wasn't enough was it? I wanted to make it my absolute dream car!
I dropped the photo of my sketch into my Procreate App and . . . voilá!

So there you have it. That's what I've been doing while the world goes crazy and falls apart.
Stay safe and healthy! I'm hoping it won't be another three months to my next post but at least you can see I'm not ONLY binge watching Tiger King. Haha!

Thursday, February 13, 2020

So, I Recently Talked to Jimmy Fallon.

First, a big thank you to everyone for their support and well wishes on my trip to New York City. Though my flight, and first Uber experiences left something to be desired, the conference itself was amazing. I did not sign a million dollar contract, (bummer) but gained invaluable information on the business of writing and illustrating for children. I also rubbed elbows (quite literally because the place was crowded) with big names in the industry. Surreal.

My first break-out session was to pitch a book idea to two agents in front of about 40 other hopefuls. I am told that Arthur Levine, JK Rowling's editor, was seated in the back of the room. Thankfully, I did not know that at the time. Holy Cow!!! I am awaiting his call. :)

I'm not gonna lie. The trip was scary. Way out of my comfort zone. But in the words of the great Will Smith - "God places the best things in life on the other side of terror." I am so glad I went.

The day before the conference started, I had a few hours to sight-see with my daughter Louisa. (We made it to Times Square together, Baby Girl!) Thank you to my niece, Tara for showing her the rest of the hot spots!

Louisa and I also toured Madame Tussaud's wax museum. For anyone who thought that was the real Jimmy Fallon - sorry. I lied. But someday . . . after Mr. Levine calls. . . . who knows?

So now, it's back to the drawing board. Time to get some more submissions out there, and start my next projects!

Wednesday, January 22, 2020


Here's the interior of my brochure, highlighting my three completed manuscripts.
Below is the other side (image on the right is the front of the brochure):

I doubt if I'll be posting again until after the conference. I'll let you know how it all goes!
As promised, I added to my website, the contents of the portfolio I'm taking with me. You can link to it here:

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Getting Ready for the Big Apple!

      Just three weeks to go, and I'll be leaving for New York City! I've wanted to attend the SCBWI (Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators) National Conference for years. In April I made up my mind, so with the help of weekly goal setting and daily to-do lists, I'm making it happen!
     My postcards (shown above) are printed. The dummy book for my manuscript The First Pearl has been updated. My portfolio is very nearly complete, down to choosing the last pieces to include. I'll be updating my website within the next couple of weeks to share my choices.
     I'm currently working on a brochure that highlights three of my manuscripts, and hoping to slip it into the hands of any interested agents, editors, and publishers. Cross your fingers for me! I plan to share the brochure with you next Wednesday.
     I'm still doing my sketch practice on a somewhat daily basis. Here's a couple of my recent favorites:

See you next Wednesday!


Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Drawing Practice

     Hi! So far so good with my commitment to practice in the new year! (It's only been a week, Tracy. Don't get too excited.) Among my other projects, I try to set aside an hour or so of practice as a jump start to my day. I'm currently using three books.

This one I borrowed from the library:

An oldie but a goodie. Thank you Mr. Loomis. (And thank you, Misty, for recommending him.) The only thing out of style is the hair-dos.

This one is from my own bookshelf:

This is where I'm getting the faces I'm practicing but as I draw I'm applying the things I'm reviewing in Mr. Loomis's book regarding the understructure.

At the same time I'm working on the realistic, I'm coming at another angle with this, also from my own bookshelf:

An example of my practice: 

And below is an example of what I mean by trying to not just draw but to learn from what I draw.
I drew the first two in a realistic manner. Each of the images takes me probably 10 to 15 minutes.

Then, after playing with some sketches from the cartoon book, I turned around and did this in just a few minutes: