Thursday, April 29, 2010

SCBWI Illustrator's Gallery

The Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators has a great new venue, an illustrator's gallery. That's right, you can put your work on display. You don't even have to be a member of SCBWI to look at it. Just scroll down to their link (under links for illustrators). When you bring up the site, click on the box that says 'for illustrators'. Next click on 'The SCBWI Illustrator's Gallery'. How easy is that. To look up an illustrator there is an option to either put the name in a search bar, or look them up alphabetically. I just added my name this morning, but you have to be a member to add a portfolio.

When you are looking at a portfolio, you can click on an image to enlarge it, thus seeing more of the incredible detail.
Putting your work on display like this is a great way to share your work with other illustrators.

On an SCBWI Illustrator's blog, I found the following quote by Patrick Collins, the Creative Director at Henry Holt Books,“A portfolio should include about 10 pieces of your best work. Be selective. Don’t include more than 20 pieces. At least 3 of the works should show characters, people or animals, in scenes or poses that tell a story. The characters’ faces and body language should express emotion and attitudes in such a way that the image establishes a mood and tells the story. Portraits, landscapes and florals don’t do the job in this business.”

So here is the challenge to all you artsy types. Get out there, join SCBWI and get your work up where people can see it. I did.

Friday, April 16, 2010

The Naked Writer

Driving in my van (Vanessa), this afternoon, I dug around in my purse for a notebook, in case I had any ideas I needed to write down. Alas, I couldn't find even a scrap of paper. "I'm naked!" I screamed. And that's actually how I felt. It's a good thing I didn't have any kids in the car. Although at this point, they probably would have taken it in stride.
How would you feel as a writer without a pen or a pencil and something, anything to write on. Writing is darn well addictive. You have to do it. And when the urge strikes, what ever is available will do.
What have you written with or on that wasn't conventional?

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Mrs. Fix It

Here's my list for today.1- Put up a new light fixture outside our kitchen door. 2- fix the kitchen drawer that fell in on itself. 3- Drill a hole for a knob on the cabinet door I replaced a few weeks ago. 4- Put a new screw in the little decorative shelf that fell off the wall. 5- Sew buttons on several skirts and pants. 6- Hem the bed skirt that is about an inch too long for our bed. 7- Finish the laundry because the boys have run out of socks.
Where the heck do I fit writing in there. Life is full of so many demands on our time.
What do you do to balance 'The list' with your writing time?

Monday, April 5, 2010


Easter weekend and my kistka was flying. A kistka is the tool that you use to make pysanky (Ukrainian Easter eggs). Yes, I know it’s not exactly illustration, but it actually is a form of story telling. Did you know that the work pysanky comes from the latin word pysaty – to write. So these eggs are in fact written eggs. They are eggs with a message. The colors and symbols on the eggs have different meanings to them.
Some basic color meanings are: White – Purity, Yellow – Kindness, Orange – Endurance, Green – Spring, Blue – Truth, Red- Eternity.
Symbols are divided up into animals, plants, geometric patterns and religious symbols. A few of their meanings are: Spider – Patience, Grapes – Fellowship, Horse – Prosperity, Fish net – Bringing men to Christ.
The eggs are made with a wax resist process. The kistka which is a brass funnel on the end of a stick, is heated over a candle flame. When it is hot, you fill it with bees wax. I love the smell of bees wax in the morning. You use the kistka to draw thin lines of bees wax on your egg where ever you want to leave white lines. Then you dip it in a light color of dye. You go from the lightest color to the darkest, adding more wax and then dipping progressively in darker colors. At the end, you melt off the wax, varnish the egg and blow it out.
Be careful, this is an addictive craft. Once you start you will find that you want to try more and more patterns.
The best place to find supplies is They have an extensive supply of what you will need and they ship it in a timely fashion with very reasonable prices.
If you have any questions there is a superb website It has lots of great information, even places in Utah where you can take classes. You will find me listed as an instructor.
So next Easter try something new. Or better yet, don't wait. I make pysanky all year round.
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