Sunday, December 28, 2008

"How Mildred Became Famous" Our First Children's Book

Here, we finally are, in the printing phase of our highly anticipated first children's book, "How Mildred Became Famous". The pastel illustrations exceeded our expectations. As with most things at first attempt, the learning curve can reach heights of a Mount Everest.... and we finally made it to the top with a lot of hard work and multiple delays along the way, but we finally made it. Please enjoy several images of some of the illustrations below. We'd love to hear what you think. Let us know.
Illustration for pages 12-13

Illustration for pages 14-15

Illustration for pages 20-21

Illustration for pages 30-31

Take a look at some of the illustrations closeup.............
A closeup of an ant crawling on a raspberry.

A closeup of a buzzing honey bee.

A closeup of Mildred after molting with her beautiful new wings.

A close up of a fat hairy fly on a flower.

We can't wait to see it all in print. The next book begins with layouts in March where Mildred meets Terie the Salt Creek tiger Beetle and learns all about this endangered tiny beetle and her habitat. Hopefully, I will have time to blog the progress of the next book on a weekly basis since we have cleared our schedule for 2009 just for the production of book II. Happy New Year. Until next time......

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Bug Hunters Ananymous!

Hi all! Finally back online. Thought in some spare time of the midnight hours I would blog that is what my world has come too these days. I chose to blog about some of the awesome insects we caught and photographed while we performed in Muscatine, Iowa during the crazy floods and heat of the summer months of 2008.

(Pictured Below) I captured this Katydid nymph on the little bush right outside our front door on my way to the Art Center in early June. I couldn't believe his color, nor his coloring for such a little stinker. No bigger than a quarter of a penny, he sure posed for the camera with plenty of Napoleon attitude.
(Pictured below) I finally have captured the notorious eluding "scorpion fly" on camera. Believe me, I've been trying a long time, and not only that during the capture of this one, I managed to stay out of the poison ivy to get the shot...that in and of itself is a miracle! Isn't she an awesome insect?

(Pictured Below) This curious creature below was one that James and I had never encountered before in all of our travels. One Monday morning, we set out to go bug hunting at the Muscatine Nature Center and stumbled upon this awesome fly. He glistened gold and had the strangest posture holding his abdomen in a crescent moon shape the entire time I photographed him. We did indeed collect the specimen and he may be a painting in the near future.

The first Mayfly of the season.....did infact show up on time despite the flooding on the Mississippi river just 7 blocks away from our apartment. Photographed on the Lilac bush outside our humble labode....I thought he appeared quite regal, angelic and beautiful for a 24 hour lifespan.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Wilbur the Luna Moth Pastel Study

Hi everyone! We arrived in Muscatine Iowa about 3 weeks ago and have been busy ever since. In fact busy isn't even the word! This town is great! Right on the Misssissippi River, and full of great people and places to go. James is performing over 100 programs in this area of Iowa over the next few months as I paint a 108" x 72" Luna moth named "Wilbur" (as pictured the pastel study to give you an idea). Tonight was our opening reception, and it was fantastic! Thanks to all of you who helped and gave efforts to help us install, and plan. We give you our deepest gratitude. I begin tommorrow morning on the giant canvas, and have a group of 3rd graders visiting the Art Center after lunch to take in the presentation and performance of Wilbur coming to life on canvas. Our schedule is so full, for the summer, but I will do my best at blogging when I can.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Ward Parkway Art Fair 2008

I thought I would post some pics of James and I performing and exhibiting as Featured Artist at the 45th Annual Ward Parkway Art Fair in Kansas City last month. It sure was a cold couple of weeks up there, but it was great! Thanks to all of you that came out to see us, many of which I haven't seen in years. We also would like to thank our huge supporters in donation of their time and efforts helping us install, man the gift shop, and help pack up at the end. And the huge applause goes too: Dave, Junior, Nic , Ryan, Robert and Teri for the awesome photos! We love you guys! And last but not least, Thanks to Jamie for getting us up there for this event. We know how hard you worked for it:o) See you all in August.

Friday, March 21, 2008

It has been almost a year!

Wow has it been a long time. I'm not sure I even remember how to do this bloggin thing! So we will give it a whirl. To catch up on some news, James has been painting in pastels and creating some awesome works. I too have been painting but mostly getting ready for our exhibit coming to Muscatine Iowa and Powell Gardens happening this spring and summer 2008. Below are some of what we've created, starting with the grasshopper pastel that James finished last month (only his 5th painting).
Below is a finished pastel that James did....isn't it awesome! His very first one to boot. It is a Polythemis moth some of which we hatched and reared back in 2005. They are huge moths found in the Midwest US.
This pastel was quick-1 hour and came out great! I caught the cactus in bloom right outside our RV before we left for Denver in spring 2007
And finally, below is the finished pastel of the prior blog from 1 year ago. I actually did finish it! Unfortunately haven't had any time to take that easle out into the desert this past winter or spring. Maybe next winter:o) Until Next time!