New Summer Stuff

So, it seems that after an eternal period of bad and/or middling weather, it’s finally summer! Let us celebrate, shall we?

Maybe you’ll hit a Newport Creamery sometime soon, and grab an AwfulAwful… while you’re there, pick up one of my children’s menus. This one is Block Island themed. It was fun for me to work on this one, as I spent many summers out there courtesy of my uncle, Captain Nick.




And maybe, in your beach bag you’ll have a copy of the current July/August 2014 issue of Rachael Ray magazine. If so, you may find one of my design items in there… it’s TingTing Tongs, which are salad tongs shaped like one of those cymbal-bashing monkeys. Thank you Rachael and staff for featuring it!



Recent Highlights

Happy, happy, joy, joy!

Here is some recently published artwork, as seen in various magazines in the Highlights family!

First up is a Find It feature from the December 2013 issue of Highlights Hello magazine:




This one came in a cute envelope that had a little preview of the feature:


Next is a Look and Look Again feature from January 2014’s issue of Highlights High Five:

HighFive_WhatsCooking_Jan2014_LO(I was really happy o get the chance to do anthropomorphic mice for this one!)

And finally (for now), here’s a rebus feature called “Family Band” that is in the February 2014 issue of Highlights:

Highlights_FamilyBand_Feb2014_LO(I have often done pieces for the younger kids’ magazines, but this is the first time doing a feature page in the “big kids” Highlights.) 

Have I mentioned lately how much I love all the Highlights magazines?

Well, Hello, Little Highlights!

I got a happy surprise in the mail today- it’s Volume 1, Issue 6 of Highlights Hello magazine for toddlers- with my art on the cover!

I did this piece quite a long time ago, well before the magazine debuted in January 2013. It’s great to finally see it “in action”!




These nifty little magazines come in a protective sleeve, so they are fresh and ready to be handled by your baby when they arrive. Here’s what the sleeve looks like:



It is a treat and an honor to have my art front and center like this. Thank you Highlights, for always creating quality material for children!

Blizzards, Then and Now.

So, we have a blizzard occurring at the moment here in RI. Anytime there is a serious quantity of snow, those of us who were alive at the time remember the legendary Blizzard of 1978. I know I do! I was 11 at the time, and it made a huge impression.

So, when asked to come up with a winter themed Newport Creamery kid’s menu, I thought it would be interesting for todays’s kids to hear about the storm that many of their parents lived through. A lot has changed in the meantime, especially the ability to know a storm is coming well in advance. We all have SO much information these days that it’s hard to envision a time where we could literally be caught off guard by weather!

The menu cover shows what I remember it being like (sort of). There were actually no cows or other farm animals at my house then. But snowdrifts halfway up the house? Yes! A mom who barely made it home on time? Yup. A dad who got stuck downtown at the Providence Marriott for 3 days, and then decided to walk home to Scituate? Yup. There was no school for days on end, and no power either. We had a fireplace and could cook some things in it. I remember making impressive snow forts and sculptures after all was said and done.

So, after THIS blizzard passes through, and you find yourself in a Newport Creamery, check out the kid’s menu. Go ahead, just ask for one. Here’s a peek at the inside. J. Joseph Garrahy, the Governor of RI at the time, appears inside since he was the one who had to deal with the situation. I hope kids will like this issue, and that it sparks conversation!


Why, Hello, Little Magazine!

I am happy to say that my artwork is currently appearing in a brand NEW little magazine published by our friends at Highlights.

Highlights Hello is designed for the youngest babies and toddlers, and is even printed on rip-proof coated paper and stitched like a little board book.

I love illustrating for this age group. Here is my “Find It” feature, which is like baby’s first Hidden Pictures!




Draw Like the Wind!

It’s been a wee bit busy around the studio lately. I have been working on educational art, new product designs, a trade book, attempting to update my website, and stuff like that. Oh, yeah, and writing.

Rough sketches for educational workbooks.

I tend to sketch on tracing paper for rough stuff, and usually clean the drawing up onto marker paper, using a Cool Grey 90% Prismacolor pencil. Actually, a lot of them.

Even these little babies are still usable, though- see those wooden things at the bottom of the picture? Those are General’s pencil extenders! They are nifty little devices that your pencil nub fits into to give you a new handle. They let you sharpen the last bit out of your pencils. And that’s good, because there’s a lot of drawing still left to do. Yes, indeedy.

Illustration Friday: Surrender

The cookies are just sitting there, unattended.
You know you are powerless.
Surrender. Surrender to the sweet, sweet call of the cookie!

I tried to not “overthink” this and just sketch quickly. It has been noted recently by my
art gal pals that even my rough sketches look finished.

I guess it’s true. I surrender to my own style!

Piggy New Year!

Well, what do you know? It turned into another year! As I was poking around looking at vintage images, I found a bunch of New Year pig images:

Pigs. For New Year. Hmmm.

It appears to have been an all-Europe phenomenon, imported to the US.

I am surprised I never noticed this ‘gluckschwein’ (lucky pig) imagery in conjunction with the New Year before.

By luck, I happen to have a pig book coming out early in this New Year- in a mere 17 days! This is what my little pig guy looks like.

With maybe just a little more luck, it will be discovered and enjoyed by actual kids.
Happy New Year everyone! Oink!