Pre-Thanksgiving Morsels

Instead of turkey, how would you like lamb chops and frog legs for Thanksgiving this year? Oh. Not so enthused? How about the meal menagerie before instead of for Thanksgiving? Take it or leave it–that’s what I’m serving today.

First on the menu, some lamb–a snapshot (yes, it was taken with a camera) of a scene from my latest commission, The Littlest Sheep. Our protagonist, alone, struggles against the wind and rain to climb the mountain.

LS_climb

Second menu item: frog legs. The first leg is that the autumn issue (37:3) of Frogpond (The Haiku Society of Ameria’s literary/poetry journal) arrived the other day, and page 40 is garnished with my first professionally published short poem:

H_FP37.3

(This is the one that rocked the poetry reading opening night of the haiku conference I attended this summer.) The second frog leg is that today I received an email accepting a haiku for the next issue, too.

Have a joyous and blessed Thanksgiving!

Pandas on Parade

Within a few weeks and without road bumps, expect to find the first pack of Pandagrams printed for purchase!

These black and white ink paintings feature panda pals engaged in potentially punny and otherwise adorable antics. Each set contains cards featuring 6 different illustrations. The première pack includes Pandaikon, Frying Panda, Baby Butterfly, and 3 more. Further details, such as the number of cards per pack, the inclusion of envelopes, and the possibility of purchasing single original illustrations to be determined.

PandaW-btrf01

Panda Preview: Baby Butterfly (left), Pandaikon

To promote this panda-demic species, I will venture into the jungles and bamboo groves of digital marketing and social media further than ever before. Special thanks to a friend for suggesting some potential venues for these monochromatic mammals. Once things are underway, I will add links here for easy access should you wish to send them to others.

There will be at least 2 more packs of Pandagrams. Try guessing the other titles and offer suggestions below! (Yes, leaving comments can be fun!)

Paints, Pebbles, and Progress

Here’s a smattering of updates for your perusing pleasure:

Alice Moran painting: Slowly but surely, she’s coming along. Finished underpainting & non-churned water (more or less), started background details (city & sky). Remember all those remarks about dormitory lighting when I was working on the M. Moran? My latest location isn’t any better. Here’s a snapshot of the mildly methodical madness from a few days ago:

amoran_p1
The mildly methodical madness goes like so:

  1. Lay down a colored wash
  2. Get those big blocks of color painted (water & sky)
  3. Apply detailed layers from background to foreground
  4. The intervene-whenever-you’d-like step: when done for the day, say “Gosh, look at all those leftover bits of mixed paint on the palette,” and use them somewhere before they dry out.

Do You Have a Pebble in Your Pocket?: Finished revisions & started transferring images to canvas paper. That means I’ll be able to start painting tomorrow or Saturday.

Seagull & Spoon: I revised the story a few days ago and have since relegated it to the backburner whilst I figure out a title and just what to do with this quirky turkey.

Cartage: Continuing to develop designs. Last night I spent the better part of an hour researching and sketching shopping cart designs for a high-speed chase scene down the deli meat aisle. (There’s not actually a chase scene, but there is a rollicking ride on a shopping cart.)

Hopping Happenings

It’s hard to believe we’re already more than halfway through June! Things are hop-pening as I bounce between many projects every day. Here’s the latest.

Do You Have a Pebble in Your Pocket?: Met with the author last week to review rough drafts. No major compositional changes are needed–hooray! The author also explained her vision for the artwork, which was helpful as I finalize the spreads before painting. Consequently, I borrowed some field guides from the library to research what plants, animals, etc., I could incorporate. Learning about regional wildlife is fun, too.

Alice Moran: After a lot of sketching and rethinking the composition, I’m ready to start painting.

Cartage: My graphic short story project (“graphic” as in “graphic novel,” and “visual,” not “gory”). If you’re wondering what a graphic short story is, good question! It doesn’t actually exist as a genre yet. I came up with the idea 2 1/2 years ago and recently resumed figuring out just how it works. Last month, I submitted Cartage (text only) to a short story contest; in the meanwhile, I decided to move the art part along–currently designing characters and learning to draw a Mojave Wrangler. It doesn’t look like this. =)

Splugger

Other Story Endeavors: Completed a rough draft of a children’s book about a seagull and a spoon, which has turned into a bit of an odd bird (the book, not the spoon–the seagull is already an odd bird). It could either end up demonstratively quirky for elder children or significantly reduced for younger ones. Or both. We’ll see where, if, and when it goes. For those of you who are familiar with the event that sparked this story, yes, the spoon is plastic and orange.

Additionally, I’m working on plot outline for a new script and revisiting some John Churchmouse; once some other projects are nearer completion, it’ll be his turn again to hop on the scene.

Hop, hop, and away!

Goats, Boats, and Other Notes

Goats:

Spent several hours this week sketching rough drafts for another illustration commission, Do You Have a Pebble in Your Pocket?, a book to teach small children counting through representation. The premise: A farm boy keeps a pebble for every goat he has in his pocket; then, when each goat returns to the barn, he places a pebble in a pouch. At the end of the day, he still has one pebble in his pocket and sets out to find the missing goat.

Here are clickable splendid scribbles of the present cover and title page designs:

GP-rd_cover  GP-rd_titlepg

Boats:

Started work on the next tugboat commission. The Alice Moran is taking shape on the sketchpad. After working out a few more details and drafting a background of New York Harbor, I’ll do at least one more clean draft, then transfer to sturdier paper and bring out the paints.

If you haven’t seen the final, framed M. Moran painting (or images of the earlier stages), you are welcome skim through prior posts in the Captain’s Log (click and scroll down).

Other Notes:

At this point, Terry Treble Music Adventures I & II are still just for sale through me or MusicLearningCommunity.com staff directly. (No online order form just yet.)

I plunged into yet another revision (the fifth major one) of my opera libretto, an adaptation of The Antiquary by Sir Walter Scott. Good things are happening: crisping up some dialogue, incorporating more rhymes and wordplay, and reworking some arias. It’s nearly finished!

Among other projects started and standing, fleshing out and finalizing, I began reviewing two stories I’ll intertwine for a film script. But mum’s the word for now and awhile since it’s just getting underway–that gives you incentive to come back!