Small Star, Big Deal

I’m thrilled to share the news that The Nature Explorer’s Sketchbook, due out November 1, received a starred review from Kirkus Reviews. This professional book reviewing service is a big player in the book world. Over the years, Kirkus has established a reputation for exacting, frank reviews. Earning a Kirkus star is coveted top honor. Like a Michelin guide for books, Kirkus Reviews helps good books get attention and offers booksellers and librarians a way to sort through all the new books published and select the ones they want on their shelves.

The Nature Explorer’s Sketchbook will appear in the October 1 issue of Kirkus Reviews Magazine.

I thought you might like a glimpse behind the scenes to see how a book page takes shape from rough idea to final artwork. I wanted the book to have the look and feel of a sketchbook, so I started with thumbnail sketches to consider artwork possibilities, text, and layout. The best thumbnails became more detailed pencil sketches, and then full watercolor illustrations. (Click to view larger.)

Coming Soon! New online class: The Art of the Bird: Eggs, Feathers, and Nests offered at the Winslow Art Center; Tuesdays, Nov 10, 17, 24, Dec 1, 6-8pm (EST). Registration opens later today or tomorrow and will be limited to 12 participants. I’ll also be doing a FREE Art Chat on November 5 at 1pm (EST).

Ode to Joy

Sledding Illustration

I have many fond memories of sledding as a kid: steep hills, thrilling descents, and inevitable wipeouts were all part of the fun. Sledding is great, in large part, because it packs so much emotion: anticipation, fear, exhilaration, wild abandon. I felt especially challenged to capture some of that experience in this small painting, which I did as part of a Christmas book commissioned by my cousin for his daughter. Sledding is one of the things they like to do together– so although I don’t typically paint people or snow, I resolved to illustrate the scene. My reference was the view from their backyard; the rest I had to imagine.

Wishing you a sense of wonder and bit of wild abandon in the New Year! Thanks for following!