Friday, April 24, 2015

a felt sense of it

"[W]hen I was a dancer, we were always encouraged to fall in rehearsal, so that you could know what the tipping point of any given movement was. That way, when you did it on the stage, you could be sure you were taking it to the edge without falling on your face. It sounds like a cliché, but really it's just physics— if you don't touch the fulcrum, you'll never gain a felt sense of it, and your movement will be impoverished for it.”  


Last weekend I had the honor of having my portfolio chosen as the 2015 Art Portfolio Show Grand Prize Winner at the SCBWI WWA spring conference.  There was so much beautiful work on display, and I'm thrilled and grateful to be part of this incredibly talented and supportive community.  

Thank you SCBWI!

And thanks as well to Kyo Maclear (author of the extraordinary book Virginia Wolf, illustrated by Isabelle Arsenault) for the above quote.  She has a lovely collection of quotes and images here which I recommend checking out.

Illustrator be Nimble! Homework from the SCBWI WWA 2015 illustrator's Intensive.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014


"But every raw soul has it own secret advantages. Elena had hers, 
and those advantages might as well be termed perplexity. 
Perplexity isn't as noble as conviction, but perhaps more good is done 
in the name of muddling through uncertainty 
than is done hacking away with the righteous sword of self-confidence.  
I don't know.  And that's my perplexity."

- from Egg & Spoon by Gregory Maguire

Here's to another glorious year of uncertainty...

Happy New Year!  


And here are a few other book that I've been lucky enough to read over the holidays and happily recommend:

An Invisible Sign of My Own by Aimee Bender
Zlateh The Goat And Other Stories by Isaac Bashevis Singer, Illustrated by Maurice Sendak

Wednesday, December 24, 2014


One of my favorite things about the holidays are all the lights....

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

something new

"Perhaps the excitement of a new idea 
comes partly from the feeling of freedom that accompanies the loss 
of the previous idea." 

 -John Tarrant  
Bring Me The Rhinoceros

 Something new, from this week. A girl and a dragon...

Tuesday, November 18, 2014


"Oh," said Sister Marie out loud in her sleep, in her chair by the door, 
"how wonderful.  Didn't I know it? I did. I did. I knew it all along."

-Kate DiCamillo, The Magicians Elephant

I've been delving into a world of blackness and stars and flight as I work on a new story.  And so it feels like a good time to share this excerpt from Kate DiCamillo's book, The Magician's Elephant. The beauty of the language and storytelling took my breath away the first time I read it.

"As the snow fell, Sister Marie, who sat by the door at the Orphanage of the Sisters of Perpetual Light, dreamed too.  She dreamed that she was flying high over the world, her habit spread out on either side of her like dark wings.  She was terribly pleased, because she had always, secretly, deep within her heart, believed that she could fly.  And now here she was, doing what she had long suspected she could do, and she could not deny that it was gratifying in the extreme.
Sister Marie looked down at the world below her and saw millions and millions of stars and thought, I am not flying over the earth at all.  Why, I am flying higher than that. I am flying over the very tops of the stars.  I am looking down at the sky. And then she realized that no, no, it was the earth that she was flying over, and that she was looking not at the stars but at the creatures of the world, and that they were all, they were each- beggars, dogs, orphans, kings, elephants, soldiers- 
emitting pulses of light.
 The whole of creation glowed.
    Sister Marie's heart grew large in her chest, and her heart, expanding in such a way, allowed her to fly higher and then higher still- but no matter how high she flew, she never lost sight of the glowing earth below her.  "Oh," said Sister Marie out loud in her sleep, in her chair by the door, 

"how wonderful.  Didn't I know it? I did.  I did. I knew it all along."
-Kate DiCamillo, The Magicians Elephant


Sunday, November 16, 2014

when we no longer know

"It may be that when we no longer know what to do 
we have come to our real work 
and that when we no longer know which way to go 
we have begun our real journey... 
The impeded stream is the one that sings."

-Wendell Berry, Standing By Words

Thursday, October 23, 2014


"Perfectionism is a mean, frozen form of idealism, 
while messes are the artist’s true friend."

-Anne Lamott

A few happy messes, from my sketchbooks: