January 15, 2013

The Sketchbook Project

As a participant in this year's The Sketchbook Project, my sketchbook ended up being the first childrens book I've both written and illustrated! It was much fun!

The idea started with drawing birds from the photos I've been taking of pigeons flying by my windows. The various shapes and gatherings of these amusing birds inspired this story. It then evolved into a new style... in just black and white, I combined tonal, abstract-ish, bird shapes with silver line patterns. The graphic lines help to lead the story from beginning to end, while also serving a different purpose on each spread. 

Tiny, silver beads were scattered onto the title page and last spread to tie in the meaning of "To Be..."

Enjoy the story! The whole book (plus text included in the captions) can be viewed on my website in the Sketchbook section. In a couple weeks, it will also be posted on The Sketchbook Project's website.

January 13, 2013

Some Comments to Share

Along with some charming compliments, were some surprising reactions as people looked at my artwork during last year's exhibitions. I will remember them all fondly, as they really do solidify that my work is worth making. Like the 21 year old college student who immediately smiled ear to ear, saying "You are amazing!" and continued to laugh as he found subtle squirrels within the Maples paintings. And the woman who stopped in her tracks, as her eyes widened and mouth dropped, completely speechless before whispering "They are all so... beautiful!"

These are comments to look back on while I'm tackling those inevitable moments of doubt and "artist blocks":
Magnificent. / You're the best artist I've seen here. / Ethereal. / So clever, I love it. / Your paintings make me think of water, rain, spring, summer... everything, it's elemental. / Delicate. / I feel so happy! / Lovely. / There is so much going on and so much to see but without being cluttered. / Beautiful. / Absolutely fantastic. / Fresh. / It looks better than life--than the real thing.