New Project Doodles

I’ve been doodling at the table in our dining nook lately.  I find it’s a little more fun than drawing in the office because it reminds me of being a kid.  Also, I like drawing while Alissa cooks.  These are  exploratory drawings for a project later in the year.  I’m trying to find a comfortable style for rabbit anatomy that expresses personality and dynamism, but that doesn’t look like a rabbit head dropped on a human body.

rabbits2 Rabbits1

Captain Blue Jay Fan Art

My wife and I are reading through Scott Nash’s fantastic book The High Skies Adventures of Blue Jay the Pirate.

We read a chapter a night.

This book seems completely uninformed by what I perceive to be conventional publishing wisdom.  It doesn’t feel all that contemporary.  It’s a mix between Treasure Island and Wind In the Willows.  It possesses a perfect mix of whimsy and seriousness.  You get the sense that Scott Nash is writing a book he wants to read.  He’s not trying to appeal to kids.  He’s trying to appeal to human beings and I can only imagine that kids appreciate being treated like human beings and not like narcissistic, self-interested, non-curious, rebellion-mongers.

Scott Nash’s illustrations are also a delight, and I am burning with admiration for Candlewick Press.  They steadily put out a stream of books that treasure Timelessness over Timeliness and I think that’s gutsy and profitable for children and adults alike.

I did an old-school take on a Blue Jay Brigand in admiration for this charming book.  My wife and I are only half-way through (she forbids me to read ahead, though I have glanced ahead at the pictures), still if the second half is anything like the first, this book deserves the widest possible readership.

SCBWI

I’m going to the local SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators) conference in Charlotte for the weekend.  Looking forward to meeting up with other illustrators in the Carolinas.  Oh, and here’s a spread from a long-awaited nearly completed project.

 

Update

For those of you nice enough to wonder about the pixie-book progress, let me just say that it is nearing completion.  I’ve had a good bit of work lately, but it has taken some time away from the book. Here is part of a drawing before I hit it with photoshop sauce.

Check back for updates.

Cardinals

A year ago my wife and I spent five dollars on a bird feeder and a couple more dollars on bird seed.  We put it outside the window of our dining nook and have since watched every species of bird promenade through our back yard.  We quite often get cardinals, and they regularly appear in pairs.  When it gets colder and the other birds move on, Mr. and Mrs. Cardinal will still appear and entertain us while we sip our tea.

Goodbye Old Friend: Taurus 1999-2012, R. I. P.

Two years ago, the mechanic said that my ’99 Taurus had about six months left in it.  Wednesday night, the mechanic confirmed, after several hundred thousand miles, my Taurus is no more.  This car was legendary.  Despite the enormous abuse heaped upon poor Taurus, it seemed to always respond, “that all you got?”

  • In Lancaster PA a girl spun out on the icy road in front of me and sat perpendicular to traffic.  My brakes offered no help as I slid into her, damaging the driver’s side headlight.
  • On the interstate in Richmond VA, a truck in front of me kicked up an enormous tire remnant which hung suspended in the air like a ribbon and crashed on my windshield destroying the wipers and cracking the glass.
  • In Greenville SC in the parking lot of the old Portland Studios, Youths took rocks and a bat to the windshield.
  • In Columbia SC a well-meaning driver waved me on, encouraging me to make a left hand turn into a gas station.  I waved ‘thank you’ and started the turn just as a pest control truck zoomed past and took off my bumper.  I watched the thing twirl in front of my car like a baton.
  • Then, two nights ago around midnight on the way back from Alissa’s mother’s house, I swerved to miss a big tire piece from a truck tire, and ran bang into another tire piece, and by far the bigger of the two!
  • Taurus drove me around Lancaster Pennsylvania, New Hampsire, Columbia SC, Indiana, Alabama, and Greenville, soldiering on without a peep or a murmur, but even the bravest eventually succumb to death in the end.

At ease, Soldier. Your work is done.

Me and my wife posing by our shining chariot.