watercolor and tempera

Made a Mess

The more I look at it the uglier it gets

Sometimes ugly art happens but I will give it one more try. Yeah cover the whole thing up with some tempera paint  and add some flowers. 

Now that I think of it, I’m tired. I’ve been working on my three books for along time. It’s been intense. 

-there are no impossibilities 

thoughts are things

I’ve been painting…

some old sketchbook designs. I’ve had these for years,  but I’ll keep painting them because I want to. 

5 minute draws, words and a new collection for the shop? Yeah sounds like a good idea. Let’s do it.

book projects

Book Process (Part 2)

Oh my gosh working on the final stages of my books drove me crazy. There was this battle inside of me. 

I keep editing because well, I don’t want to publish a book with a misspelled word. On the other hand,  I stall when I’m on to SOMETHING. I do this all the time. Only these days I recognize this resistance as lizard brain. 

I will never forget the day I thought I was done and IT FELT GOOD. What do I do? I delete the file I’m working on. I I actually published my first book with highlights. Yikes! Thank goodness it was an easy fixable e-book. Imagine if this edition had gone to print. 

There’s so much involved in working on a chapter book. I need to find a new program to help me put together the book layout. Word is terrible. I would edit a picture and the whole layout would shift. 

The best part is I completed my goal. All three books are done. I realize more than ever that I don’t need to draw or paint like my favorite artists. The world already has them. I can make mistakes. 

I have lots of designs that I sketched years ago. It’s only after these books that I can share them. I’ll never make that mistake again. 

What a roller coaster ride…

 there are no impossibilities 

wise trees book

Picture Book Process

Step 1 thinking map for Wise Trees 
Create lots of bigger sketches
test color  

another map  to create a book dummy

Oh I forgot the first step is to let go and write a story. My best stories happen when I let them. 

In between the painting I tweak the story.

Next I scan the art, enhance color and remove the backgrounds. Finally I create a digital layout of the book and paste everything in. 

Last I choose the font, layout, cover and color. 

Next is the wait. I take a break, then come back with a fresh pair of eyes, grammar and theme. Is the language right for the audience. I analyze the characters and several rounds of editing. I get why other artists say that not every part of the process will be fun. This process is so emotional. 

-there are no impossibilities

book projects

How do you get better?

Some OG art…gosh I need to paint this. 

People always ask this question, expecting a magical answer. They expect a cookie cutter plan. The truth is simple. Show up. Show up in every sense of the word and PLAY.

Nothing more than writing three books has helped me understand this.  That’s it , nothing fancy or crazy. Just show up with an idea. Most people show up for a few days and then give up.

I have learned to recognize resistance, Lizard Brain. 

The way I see it is you can play. Immerse yourself in your idea and let that emotion pour out on the canvas.

Canvas can be a song, a book, or anything really. Yes, it’s how you say it. Yes, its how you feel. 

Or, and here’s the ugly truth,  you could  edit, overthink, analyze, doubt, fear, put-off, deny, forget, lie, erase…its all the same. 

My best work happens within the very first rounds. I create this idea in my mind, paint and there it is. Ok, maybe there’s a little what am I trying to convey here. 

Problem is for those firsts to be awesome, lots of showing up has to happen.   I get that now. 

-there are no impossibilities

book projects

Art is?

I believe everyone is an artist.

I just hit the submit button,  on my third book. As I read the final words, my mind wandered.

I’ve spent a lot of time on this book. I rewrote it many times Ana was originally supposed to be a bee.

George well he was inspired by Elvis.  He still is 

That all changed.

I’m happy with the final edition. I keep thinking about how much work goes into writing a book. I can’t imagine authors who write chapter books.  How do they do it?

I know more than every, that once you start writing the characters, and the story takes on a life of its own. Its like this force takes over . You have to write. You’re tired and your eyes hurt but you have to finish it. I think I even dreamed about these characters.  

I want to gaze upon a rethogot tree. I want to attend the jolly jam. I want to paint more trees.

I hope my readers feel the same.

-there are no impossibilities

thoughts are things

Thrill of it all

My eyes are tired. I spent hours rectifying a stupid mistake.

The book was done.

Sure I had a few pictures to clean up and edit one last… few times BUT it was done.

I got home yesterday with this excitement. Today is the day…it was suppose to be.

I had been working on another book and saved the final manuscript under the file name Ana & George. I deleted A& G .

Lots of deep breaths and a heart ache later I realized I’d have to start over.

I did have the paper copy and an old file version but what happened to me.

Was it resistance? Lizard brain? Or just my own dumbness as a result of working so hard to finish all three e-books in a matter of weeks. Probably

I’ve been taken out of my comfort zone. I’m tired. I’ve got passion in my heart. I want more. This is good.

-There are no impossibilities

thoughts are things

say what?

So here I am reading a book, Creative Inc. and researching Banksy. The artist pops up here and  there with something to say. His ideas are original. Banksy ideas are thought provoking. He’s an artist.  

…which makes me ponder the meaning of my art. What do I hope to achieve? I hope to speak to those who are tired of reading the same old self-help books. You are not broken. You are beautiful so create like it. I want to let the kid play. I want to let the world know there’s room in the sandbox for all of us….

And I take a deep breath…alright

-There are no impossibilities

book projects

make that two e-books

what could be better than publishing two books in a matter of  weeks. I have been working on these books for a long time but these past few weeks I’ve been working like crazy to finish these books. 

I published them days ago. People love the book cover and the idea.  It made me smile…made me laugh…made me happy.

-There are no impossibilities 

wise trees book

Just get it done.

I had a busy week. Got up at 5:30-6:00 am every single day with a plan. I painted, edited, scanned and set up the layout for Ellie. I never realized how much work goes into scanning all the artwork and preparing the files.

I went back and forth publishing and updating Wise Trees. I shared the book with art friends and it felt good to have them excited with  me.

And then the stupid book cover didn’t upload. It just wouldn’t load. Something went wrong with the file. There it is, I had it all done, worked out, finished and the cover wouldn’t upload.

Oh but I finally got it right.  I finished Wise Trees!  I have been working on these books for months, two summers and …..I  am reminded of some words from The Nose Knows podcast.

You get to a point where things get crazy, and you just got to get things done. You have a deadline to meet.  Your adrenaline is full speed. You have to trust your instincts because there’s no time for fear or doubt. 

Two days later I’m done DONE with Ellie.  And done with Ana and George. That’s it DONE. 

I’m  using my old sketches for the artwork.  These sketches are pretty good. 

Scan these sketches  in as images? Redraw some of the messy ones. A full color page and title page? Maybe I should outline each art piece with full color . I do like the sketches in The Giving Tree. But I want to add a little color. I have to meet this deadline.  I’ll have to think about that, but yeah, I think this will work. 

-There are no impossibilities