Saturday, August 9, 2014

Tomie dePaola Contest Entry

I'm so excited to be selected as one of the finalist of the Tomie dePaola SCBWI illustrator contest. 

The prompt was to tell a story in 4-6 panels with no words.  I had already been playing around with this idea while working on a picture book with a sheep wearing a sweater.  I had a couple of people express concern that a sheep would wear wool (one of it's own kind!) So with this story, I wanted to illustrate that sheep are not harmed (just maybe a little embarrassed) in the process of getting their wool.  *No sheep were harmed in the process of making this story!

After getting Tomie's feedback on this piece after the contest, I made a few changes with the color and the girl's nose.  We will receive our next prompt in the near future.

The final winner gets a trip to the SCBWI Conference in NYC and lunch with Tomie dePaola!  Whether I win or not, this has been a great learning process.  Anytime you work on something (whether it's successful or not) and stretch yourself to try new techniques, your skills improve and you have that knowledge to take to your next project.  I also have two fantastic SCBWI critique groups who aren't afraid to "tell me like it is," and make me push myself a little more.

You can see the finalists here: http://www.scbwi.org/2014-tomie-depaola-semi-finalists/

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Summer

The theme for www.illustrationfriday.com this week is summer.  This is a 24" x 36" collage/mixed media piece I did of the Riva Row Boat House on the waterway in The Woodlands, TX.  I used a Woodlands park map along with other misc. papers such as colored tissue paper and sheet music.  I added watercolors, ink and charcoal.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Meet Alicia Salazar

I'm involved in a blog project where each week a new blogger is introduced and tells about his/her writing/creative process.  I would like for you to meet Alicia Salazar. Alicia is a writer and teacher in my critique group.  Find out more about her at http://www.alicia-salazar.net/
 
 
 
I was born in Texas on Groundhog’s Day. 
Writing and the ocean were my two childhood loves. I studied Marine Biology at Spring Hill College in Mobile, Alabama and spent summers at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab exploring wetlands and guano islands and dodging alligators. I came home to study Oceanography at Texas A&M University in College Station where I experimented on one-celled plants called phytoplankton and got the chance to participate in research cruises which tracked sperm whales in the Gulf of Mexico.
I decided to share my love and knowledge of science as an elementary school teacher and  I currently teach third grade math and science in Houston.
My combined love of the ocean and of writing led to my first children’s story called Dover’s Dilemma about a dolphin with serious trash problems and to a story called Dino, about a dinoflagellate with an identity crisis.
My stories are not just about the ocean, however.  I find inspiration in all of my favorite things.: Travel.  I wrote Brooklyn after my first trip to New York City;  Christmas.  Reindeer Poop is all about the magic of believing.;  and last but definitely not least, daydreaming.  All of my stories begin with my number one favorite activity!

Sunday, June 22, 2014

My Creative Process


I'm an artist/writer living in The Woodlands, TX with my husband and two dogs and two cats. My two children are grown and I recently stopped teaching to focus on my writing and art full time. This is a dream job, and even though I spend long hours creating, it never feels like work.

My Creative Process
"Creativity takes courage."-Henri Matisse
 
What am I working on?
I am presently working on illustrations for “Hound Dawg!”, a children's book written by Patricia Vermillion to by published by TCU Press. I'm also working on some mixed media pieces for a commission for a neighborhood bank as well as two picture book dummies of my own.

How does my work differ from other genres?
Illustrating and writing seem to go hand-in-hand for me. I like for my illustrations to tell a story and when I write a story it often begins with a series of pictures. I'm a big fan of Melissa Sweet and Susan Roth because of their use of collage and unconventional materials used in their artwork. When it comes to composition and color, I'm inspired by John Singer Sargent, Charles Russell, and Frederic Remington. When I need an idea for the gesture or expression of a character, I can always count on Norman Rockwell.

Why do I write (create) what I do?
I like to write and create art that children and adults can appreciate. I also like to use a sense of humor in everything I produce. I want my love for art and life to show through everything I create. Mainly, I create because I'm too cranky if I don't. It makes me happy.

How does my writing (creating) process work?
I don't work in the traditional way that most artists probably do. I like using a variety of materials in my artwork. I never met a piece of paper I didn't like. I often use newspapers, paper sacks, pages from phone books (yes, they do serve a purpose!), tissue paper, greeting cards, and catalogs. Sometimes I use other nontraditional materials such as fabric, yarn, salt, buttons, game pieces, and other discarded tidbits around the house or in the garage. My studio is a little bit of a mess at times with paints, papers, inks, charcoal, etc. Thankfully, my studio is a little room off of the garage that no one else has to see. My house is very neat and minimalist, but you would never know that from looking at my studio space. “A true Gemini” my mother likes to say.

When I am working on a piece of art, sketching out ideas, or working on a story, I need a large block of uninterrupted time to play and experiment. It's very important that my inner critic is shut out at this time so I can create without fear of failure. Once I'm ready, I have two critique groups and family members who are always ready to give truthful criticism. I also attend life drawing groups for practice with my drawing skills. There's one thing about an artist (and I guess everything else in this world): there's always more to learn.
My art studio.
  Work-in-progress: 
I start with a sketch, but will play around with the composition by adding
and taking away pieces and rearranging before gluing anything down. 
 

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Survival

The theme for this week on www.illustrationfriday.com is SURIVAL.  I don't think there's much chance for survival for this dragonfly.  This was created with paints, inks, and collage papers.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Voice

The theme for this week on www.illustrationfriday.com is Voice.  I painted this with acrylics and inks for a picture book dummy I'm preparing for the Houston SCBWI Conference.



Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Search

This weeks topic for www.illustrationfriday.com
is Search.  This illustration was created with newspaper and magazine clippings, tissue paper, a metal washer, foil, some grid sticky tape I found in the garage (what that is for, I have no idea!), paint, ink, and charcoal.  This guy is searching for trash, much like I had to do for this illustration.  You can find more of my trashy illustrations at http://cherylpilgrim.com/illustrations