Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Happy Holidays!

I have been so swamped but there are still a couple more Romania posts to go. I will get to them soon. I am also doing a travelogue.

I hope everyone is having a wonderful holiday! Here are some pictures from our trip to NYC to celebrate my mom's birthday. I got a bit of sketching in and this picture of Grand Central Station seemed to capture the spirit of the season.

Location shot!
Mom had her birthday dinner at the Breslin where we had a whole pig. It was amazing!
I cannot remember a time when the city was more crowded with tourists. The holiday season is the time to be in the city I guess.

We had a lot of wonderful food, drink and company.

Sketching at the Lucky Cat
Troy and I at the Rockefeller Center tree

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Trip to Romania Part 3: Painted Monastaries

Me Sketching at Voronet

We went to a lot of monasteries old and new. Of course the star monasatries are the old ones...

Above is Voronet Monastery in the Moldovan area of Romania. It was built in 1488 by Stephen the Great. The painting have survived war, weather and disuse. They are now restored including the paintings on the inside. They are not restoring the exterior paintings as far as I know which I think is a good thing.

This was the only place where we ran into an American tour group.

Detail from the exterior of Voronet. All of these churches have paintings of the Last Judgement... This is the place you want to avoid...


This is from the Humor Monastery located in Mănăstirea Humorului.
Me sketching at Humor Monastary

Detail of the battle in Constantinople.

Above is the Humor Monastery, a painted monastery located in Mănăstirea Humorului.  The frescoes were originally painted in 1535 and this one shows Constantinople defending itself from a Persian invasion in 626. The Persians were illustrated as Turks which is proof that the news is always prone to revisionism even if it is really old news

A lot of the monasteries had these cool seraphim images depicted as wing clusters with lots of eyeballs.


I know I have been slow to post these images. But there is MUCH more! Next up, the Merry Cemetery and a stones throw from the Ukraine border...

Monday, October 20, 2014

Trip to Romania Part 2: The Carpathian Mountains and Piatra Neamt

Sketch of the Museum of History and Archaeology in the city of Piatra Neamt.
More from the Romania trip!

Piatra Neamt: We loved this city so much, we stayed for 2 nights at the Grand Hotel Ceahlau and took a lot of time to sketch. They have the cutest gondola up to the top of the mountain.

Recently restored fortress that was much more vertical than the sketch suggests in order to defend from the Turks.
Sketch of the Carpathian mountains before a hike on September 7th.

Picture on location from the porch at our little pension. I sketched during breakfast.
Just call me Indiana Wald! Hiking over a safe but rickety looking bridge in the Carpathians

I was sad not to see any brown bears in the mountains. We did see their scat though…

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Books by the Banks!

I will be at Books by the Banks this year with my 3 books out in 2014!

I hope to see you there! I am excited to get a couple books signed by John Scalzi if I can sneak away from my table!

A Cool Summer Tail



Animal Atlas

And, just out this week!

Macarooned on a Dessert Island


Monday, September 22, 2014

Trip to Romania: Part I

Red line shows our itinerary...
I just got back from a 2 week trip to Romania with my friend Ioana who is working on a plant field guide to the country. So much fun touring the country and seeing castles, churches, villages and fortresses.

It was a whirlwind! We were on the road a lot so we could see as much as possible. But, in the short time, it was just tastes of different regions. 

We first went to Romania in 1998 to be in George and Ioana's wedding. The country has done a 180 since then and is growing in leaps and bounds. Unfortunately, the guys could not join us this visit.

We did not get to revisit the seaside town of Constanta or the Dacian ruins, but next time...

Our first stop was Brasov and OF COURSE Castle Bran in Transylvania. We did not see Bran last time since I had to pick one castle to visit and that was Peles. So this time, we made sure to cover it.

Brasov is an amazing town. I hope to go back and sketch more! We only got a little taste of the city.

The Brasov town square

While I sketched this, they were giving a free opera concert. It seemed to cover a lot of the greatest hits and was a bit of a sampler platter of songs.

A peacock is a good image in Brasov. It is a proud and beautiful city.


Did you think I would not sketch it?

Queen Marie's Chapel we thought... Gorgeous with all the moss...
Me, walking up to the castle...
If you are curious and want to know more, watch this amazing series about Romania called Wild Carpathia. They go to a lot of the places Ioana and I went to and talks about how they are trying to conserve the largest areas of virgin forest in Europe.

http://youtu.be/jvDIpOPlWJ8

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Travel Madness

It has been a CRAZY summer! I am REALLY behind on posting here.

I went to Portland in July for ICON the illustration conference and just got back from 2 weeks in Romania. I am now digging out from under a TON of work.

So, enjoy these ICON and Portland sketches.

ICON was a great time. I met a lot of cool artists and got to visit LAIKA studios.

I do wish they had a set up that involved smaller groups rather than a lecture hall for all the presentations one after the other. I know there are a lot of challenges putting up an event like this, but there was an impersonal, lecture hall freshmen 101 feeling to it that would have probably been helped by everyone picking 3 or 4 smaller sessions a day to see.

It would have also been less overwhelming.

The speakers were very good for the most part; there was just a fatigue that set in when you watched so many in a day.

The workshops were set up more in that way and were excellent.

More soon!





Chinese Gardens









Thursday, July 17, 2014

Animal Atlas Featured in The Guardian Summer 2014 Best New Children's Books Supplement

The book I illustrated for Bloomsbury written by Anna Claybourne was in a supplement for The Guardian featuring the Best New Children's Books Summer 2014.

Here is a scan of the page. They used one of my favorite spreads.


Friday, June 20, 2014

Sketch Workshop in Chicago


I am finally posting all of my sketches from Chicago. I have been buried since my return in work. (I have some amazing projects on my plate at the moment.)

But, it was wonderful to have a weekend devoted to just sketching and hanging out with wonderful friends.

You can see photos from the seminar here: http://chicagosketchseminar2014.wordpress.com/
and some of the Cincinnati group's photos and sketches here: http://cincyillustrators.blogspot.com/2014/06/urban-sketching-seminar-in-chicago.html

See Vanessa's sketches here: http://nessydesigns.blogspot.com/2014/06/urban-sketchers-chicago-2014.html

and her incredible photos here: http://nessydesigns.blogspot.com/2014/06/chiacgo-urban-sketchers-trip-photos.html

My favorite sketch from the weekend. This is the Holy Name Cathedral where Roger Ebert's funeral was held

Another church on the church architecture tour


Porsche at what the locals called 'Viagra Triangle' which is a good description
Big statue next to the hotel
A bit of sketching between bites of Garrett popcorn
Detail of the facade
Part of the Newberry Library