Friday, August 26, 2011

Mermaids and Sand Castles

Some years ago it was my pleasure to illustrate Kate's Castle, written by children's book author Julie Lawson. Like many beautiful books it is now out of print, even though the author and I still get requests from parents and teachers who would like to have a copy.

It begins, "This is the castle that Kate built"and builds from there with,
" This is the moat of sandy hue
That circles the castle that Kate built."
"This is the pool of anenomes,
whose swaying tentacles comb the seas
that fill the moat of sandy hue
That circles the castle that Kate built."

Kate's castle gets bigger, adorned with shells, crowned with turrents, waves come rolling in to surround it,
and creatures from the deep, including the mermaid above, swim by for a look.
Although the book is no longer available from the publisher I do have pretty cards with the above images and they will soon be on my Etsy shop.

On Author-Illustrator visits to schools I presented this book to many classrooms of children. They always fell right in with the winning poetry and the theme of sandcastle building and carefree hours on sandy beaches - they were even interested in how an artist makes the pictures that go with the words. I'm glad to hear from teachers that the appeal of books has not diminished, even with the advent of tablets and e-readers.

There was recently a sandcastle building event in the nearby harbour area. Artists set to work and within hours had produced these remarkable sand sculptures.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

"Baby's First" ornament designs

For the first weeks of summer I was busy designing ornaments for a Toronto company for Christmas 2012. Along with angels and sleigh bells were several variations on the theme of Baby's First Christmas. This was a fun assignment, bringing a new twist to a well-known theme. The designs for Christmas 2012 are under wraps for now. Here are a couple of my designs from previous years, which currently appear in the Walperts/SilverTree catalogue:

the Stork,
with a tiny cradle, baby and teddy bearand the Pram,
again with a baby and a teddy, plus a little dove on the canopy.

This week is the 17th anniversary of my own Baby's First event, but I didn't get a Pink package,

the stork sent us a Blue one.