This is my September hedge a gram. When I was a student I wanted information on
what it was like to be a professional, making my living from artwork. Now that
illustrating is my job, I write this hedge a gram to give you an idea what it's
I am half way through my new book, which I'm calling THE EASTER EGG for now.
Like most of my books, it has a center panel and a smaller illustration on each
side, showing the action in other places. The fun of it is that the characters,
rabbits and robins, don't know the whole story until the very end. The reader
can put the pieces together and guess what it is. I like putting clues in my
artwork that help tell the story. The borders are made up of pussy willow
branches, one of my favorite botanicals. They start out small and grow as time
goes by. By the end of the book they are long pale green catkins, hardly
recognizable as the soft furry-like gray buttons that first appear. In this way
I can show time passing.
In my top border I show a robin pair nesting. While mother robin is sitting on
her nest a pair of troublesome squirrels go chasing through and knock one of the
eggs down onto the forest floor. This sequence will be in the top border. I like
having three stories in one, that all resolve on the last pages. Many people
have asked me how I got started putting borders in my work. I remember as a
child when I loved reading. I didn't like the feeling of suspense though, like
most kids do. I'd also read the last page first to see if anything really bad
happened. Then I'd go back and start reading from the beginning and really enjoy
Now, when I give hints about the end of the story, it seems like the kind of
book that I would have liked when I was six or seven. I still am more interested
in the telling of a story that of the outcome. One of the fascinating aspects of
reading many different authors, is to experience the many styles they have. I am
drawn to books that create such a believable world that when you close the cover
of the book, it's a jolt to go back in your reality, like awaking from a dream.
I would love for you to take a few minutes and think about the stories or
artwork that you have created. Sometimes it's a mystery to know why we are
pulled toward certain colors, images and different kinds of stories. When I look
at a class's drawings, it's astounding at how unique each picture is even though
I know that art is a way to express yourself. It's always an inspiring surprise.
I hope you will try really hard to assemble some art materials and give yourself
some pure time, unspoiled by TV or other people's games and voices, so you can
play around with your ideas. Or, if you are more of a writer, give yourself that
time to describe some of the characters or plot ideas you may have been thinking
Good luck in September, in creating a new unique project.