Tuesday Tea Time

My shop is now open on Etsy with a selection of sixteen limited edition signed prints. Included currently are food related illustrations and lots of tea cup prints—or coffee, if you prefer. The photo above shows how great they would look in a simple frame. And more of my work is coming to the shop soon!

Our Boy Bob on Kickstarter

Exciting news! I just launched a Kickstarter campaign for my children’s book project “Our Boy Bob”!
I wrote the story and sketched the pages years ago and it lingered in a folder waiting for me to finish it. The time has come. My resolution this year was to finish this book and get it published, and after lots of thought I decided to self-publish and fund it through Kickstarter.
I am so happy to share this with you!
Please check out:
“Our Boy Bob” on Kickstarter.
If like it please share this with everyone – facebook, blog, tweet it, etc. to help me get the word out.
I truly appreciate your support! Thank you!

Symbolic Stars & Stripes

As we approach this all-American holiday weekend I was remembering that I had painted elements from the flag in my illustration for the Utah Opera’s production of the “Grapes of Wrath”. This is a truly American story of persevering through hard times. My illustration portrays Tom Joad alone against a landscape that cuts through him as a symbol of his dependence on the land for his very life. The parched colors of that landscape portray how the drought of the 1930s has made his life impossible. A simple house that sits alone in the background was his family’s home, now left behind. Small overloaded farm trucks travel under the big sky and across the dusty brown and ochre ribbons of plowed land that become the stripes and stars of the American flag, the promise of a better life. Joad is dominant in the center of the illustration, symbolizing the strength and will of the dust bowl migrants. The billowing clouds overhead represent hope and possibility.

Expanding Possibilities

At the beginning of a new year the sense of possibility is potent. You and I know that if you focus your attention you can create something new or change what isn’t working. I like to set goals for myself each year, and these past few years I find I do better when I track them. I usually improve when I follow my progress until a change I want to make becomes a habit or routine. I have a specific and detailed list, but basically my main goals for this year are to grow my body of work by painting more and creating more of my personal illustrations, to learn more, to expand my audience, to connect and share more (hence more blog posts). Also to earn more and be more organized. So hopefully by the end of this year I will BE more. Since anything is truly possible if you focus your attention and effort on it, barring any major obstacles, I am enthusiastic about the days, weeks and months ahead and will track my progress. As my dear friend Emilie always said when we would raise our glass to toast, “Here’s to more!”

The image above is my painting “Possibility” 18 x 12 acrylic on plywood

New Orleans Lil’ Easy Bus Illustration

I did a project last month that was an enjoyable challenge and a perfect fit for me: an illustration to wrap buses in New Orleans, featuring jazz music. Some of the New Orleans neighborhoods are still sparsely populated and are bouncing back from hurricane Katrina. These new Lil’ Easy buses transport people from the neighborhoods to the larger transportation connection areas.

It was great working with Creative Director Dave Malone for Veolia Transportation. These are some of my thumbnail sketches as composition options for the art:

The Lil’ Easy Sprinter buses are now driving around New Orleans neighborhoods with my illustration on the sides. I hope these colorful buses brighten peoples spirits and make getting around more pleasant!

Three Cheers & A Trio

I have a wonderful client with a retail store that I have worked with for many years and I every year I create a postcard invitation for their holiday open house sale event. They loved this illustration so much they have wanted to use it for three years in a row, so I changed the colors each year to make it look fresh. The above illustrations show how it’s evolved from two colors to full color.

A few nights ago we went with friends to see the Jeff Hamilton Jazz Trio. All three musicians are very talented and played some of the best jazz we’ve heard in a long time. I was inspired by their performance and just had to create this quick image of them.

Illustrating New York City

This is my gouache illustration for New York City, Real & Imagined, a collaborative book project organized by Julia Breckenreid as part of the Illustration Conference — ICON 5/NYC 08. The hand-bound book showcases original paintings and drawings of each participating illustrator’s individual perspective of New York City. It will exhibit in September at Maryland Institute College of Art.

In the Garden

I love to spend time in my garden and always find inspiration there. I have coffee every morning in the back yard and my two cats watch while I water the flower pots and read or paint in my sketchbook. We grow mostly flowers but also have a small herb garden and a couple of tomato plants. We don’t have space to grow our own vegetables but we do enjoy the abundance of fresh vegetables and fruits at our local farmers market.

Jazz Festival

I love jazz music and especially hearing good performers live outdoors at a summer concert. I have had the pleasure of creating the art for the Salt Lake City International Jazz Festival since 2003. It’s been a rewarding challenge to come up with a new image to represent the festival each year. Here is this year’s poster and a couple of the t-shirts.

New Textural Digital Images

I usually create images digitally with solid color, but recently have been adding texture and a painterly quality to my digital illustration. I love how it looks. These are “Summer” and “Winter” of four seasonal book illustrations I have done (you can see the other two seasons on my website). This series is my newest using this technique.