Wednesday, July 29, 2009

sketch from a postcard

So we stayed with a friend and his two boys in a little cabin on the Oregon Coast, and my husband Markus wrote a thank you postcard which I was to sign. I often draw pictures of the dogs in lieu of a signature.

In this case, as two recipients of the post card are ages nine and almost seven, it was even more important I draw a picture. George and Charlie are in love with the dogs. And instead of fighting over one dog (this does happen, as Lulu is more malleable), the boys share, and take turns. So sweet! Anyway, here is the little sketch of Maximo and Lulu.

Monday, July 27, 2009

color monday: oceanshells

Markus, Maximo, Lulu, and I were invited down to Arch Cape a couple weeks ago. Arch Cape sits between Cannon Beach and Manzanita, on the incredible Oregon Coast. It's super close to Oswald State Park. It has hiking trails, cliff views of the coastline, overturned trees with root balls bigger than houses, and a surfing beach. And tidepools. And schools of slender fish flashing silver in the currents.

I picked up a few shells on the beach. A razor clam, a mussel, and a pretty, swirly-topped shell that looked like a pointy turban. The two little boys we stayed with claimed that these pointy turban shelled creatures put up sails then ride the waves.

The shells, that came from the Pacific, and now sit empty on my desk, are the inspiration for this week's color palette. Calciferous and colorful, I call them oceanshells.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

to meet the agent of my dreams

It's settled. I'm going to LA for the SCBWI (Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators) Summer Conference in West Hollywood.

My mission: to meet the agent of my dreams. These dreams just started, and I haven't slept well since.

At our last critique group it occurred to me, even though I had received a personal invitation from Editor X to submit my graphic novel directly, this might not be the best plan for me or my graphic novel, though this was the only plan I had.

I saw the wisdom in representation. I just couldn't commit to the idea of an agent for myself. I had an invitation to submit directly to an excellent editor, and finding the right agent has been compared to dating. We all know how that goes. I wanted to bypass any potential pain.

But now I see the wisdom in finding representation for myself, especially as a first time writer/illustrator. An agent has your back. An agent gives you options. I don't care how long it takes, I want to enter this market like a heavyweight contender with my agent in the corner, and my work in the ring.

There are eight agents on the LA faculty. Will one of them become my agent? Stay tuned for the next installment of the agent of my dreams.

Monday, July 20, 2009

color monday: anna's hummingbird

How I came to have this Anna's Hummingbird, one of our northwest natives, is a sad story. It flew into a newly washed picture window, so the window reflected the sky. The bird died.

To assure the accident wasn't repeated, I made a long string of prayer flags out of translucent trace. It zig zags across the window to warn other birds: no fly-through!

I dried the hummingbird, and now it sits in another window where I can admire it's beautiful feathers. In different shifts of light, it's back shimmers like new leaves in spring, or green glass bottles, or the gleaming blue of an aqua sea. It's throat is studded with tiny ruby feathers that glow like orange embers at the slightest shift of light.

On this Color Monday, I am making a study of this exuberant palette, and paying tribute to Anna's Hummingbird, whose colors are take your breath away beautiful.