For some reason, nine seems so much older than eight. I know it's just one year, but the idea of my son turning nine is harder to wrap my mind around. I'm pretty sure I've already said this, and that I'll say the same thing next year. It's hard to accept that time just keeps ticking on, seemingly faster and faster taking your children with it.
Sweet, sweet, Finn. You're my snuggle buddy, my prankster, and my deep thinker. You can be quite shy at times, but never at home. You're a confident user of large words, half of which you're unsure of the definition, but you don't let that stop you. If you don't know how to do something, you'll boldly state that you can teach yourself. You are also very good at explaining how things work, even if you don't know how they work. ( I believe this is a strong trait from a particular side of the family. :) I love your confidence, your mind, and your sweet heart, Mr. Finn. And of course, I love you!
WARNING: You are about to witness a random bombardment of pictures from our life. If your eyes are light sensitive, or if you suffer from motion sickness, or are easily nauseated by the prospect of being forced to view a lot of pictures of someone else's goofy family life, then you might want to refrain from reading this post.
As you might have noticed, these pictures are from Christmas. I'm a bit behind (just 3 months or so) on posting on the "Life" portion of my blog. This is my desperate attempt to play catch up. I realized, though, that the amount of pictures I was originally attempting to post was bordering on ridiculous, so in order to preserve your eyesight, time, interest, etc., I will post a second edition of a random collection of pictures that make me smile and feel so blessed to be a part of the unique cast of characters that is my family.
Conference weekend is over, and now comes the fun part...processing everything I saw, heard, ate, and learned. There's always an overwhelming amount of information presented at these writer's and illustrators conferences, so much so that I feel like I just received an entire education crammed into two short days. My brain is fried, but thankfully, I took copious notes, so after a short detox, I'm going to dive into my notebook and bathe my brain.
One of the events in the conference was an illustrator's intensive where we were given an assignment to illustrate a specific sentence in the Pied Piper story. We were instructed to submit sketches to Kristine Brogno, the art director at Chronicle Books, to which she offered feedback. Then, based on her feedback, we created final art pieces which were presented at the conference.
This was my sketch:
The feedback included varying the ages of the children more, as well as the expressions on the adults. Overall, she liked the movement of the piece from left to right, and the environment.
Here's the final:
Overall, she said the piece was very nice. She liked the diverse characters and the movement in the piece, as well as details like the ballerina which she said kids could relate to. While I did change the expressions on the faces of the adults, I could have pushed their expressions and body language further, as well as the expression on the piper's face...she commented that his expression seemed a bit basic.
Other comments from illustrators were to change the red-headed boy's striped shirt because it was too similar to the piper's, reposition the little girl in front to de-emphasize her as the focal point, and to clarify the vignette of the man standing in the window above the piper.
After finishing the Pied Piper piece, I liked the colors and the feel of the piece so much that I wanted to do more. So in the week before the conference, I worked up another illustration from the story where rats are taking over the city because who wouldn't want to paint a plethora of rats?
This illustration still needs some finishing touches, like about a dozen more rats, but the deadline of the conference forced me to call it quits. Deadlines can be a good thing, otherwise, I might still be painting rats!
Just wanted to share this little fox painting I finished last week. It's going to be one of a series of woodland creatures. I hope to get the others painted soon, but right now I'm working on a couple of illustration projects in preparation for a Society of Children's Book Writer's and Illustrator's conference I'll be attending in a couple of weeks. I've been painting like mad, and I can't wait to show you the new illustrations, but for now, you'll have to settle for a fox...
Does anyone else feel like they need to restart the New Year. I feel like we've been rushing and running so much that I didn't get my year off to a good start. Here it is, the end of February already, and I haven't even made my list of resolutions. As a matter fact, when I uploaded this fox picture, I realized I still had pictures from Christmas on the camera. So I have some catching up to do with this here blog. And just for the grandparents...
I can't tell you how much joy this little cutie brings to our lives. He certainly keeps me on my toes, but he's quite charming even when he's full of mischief.
This is my latest digital illustration. I love this little robot. He is the main character of one of my books. This is the first time I've attempted to paint him digitally, and I'm pretty pleased with how he turned out.