Illustrating a children's poem

Yesterday I had an Open Studio to introduce the children's book that I illustrated, and to exhibit the paintings. It was really nice for me to see them framed and hung on the walls, as I had otherwise just looked at them one at a time.

Here is the cover of the book. Mrs. Pippycocky (www.mrspickycocky.com) is a no-nonsense grandmotherly rabbit who spins tales to tell to her children. Illustrated with twenty original watercolor paintings, this book shines a bright light in a dark corner and is filled with the kinds of stories children love to make up to shoo away the ghosts and goblins of dreamland. It is filled with magical moments of riding a shooting star, lassoing the moon, sleeping with a cuddly lion, and oh so much more.

As people came yesterday, several wanted to know how I came up with the scenes to go with the verses. The book is in the form of a poem, with a painting for each verse. I had found all of the sketches and drawings that I had done during the three months that it took to do the paintings. There are a lot of them! I basically just sat down with a big pad of newsprint and started drawing ideas that came to me as I read the verses.

It was such fun to re-visit that process and tell people about using photos of my children and grandchildren, how the toys and bookshelves in the paintings were all upstairs in our old farmhouse, and that each of the objects were things that had sentimental value to someone in the family.

All of the books and games belonged to our children, and the grandchildren have played with them for years. The little windup donkey with clown on the second shelf was my father in law's Christmas gift in 1901. The green elephant with red wheels was a token given to my husband when he got a new pair of shoes as a child. The only thing that is imaginary is the lion! My friend, Victoria, posed for me with her little granddaughter.

Of course some of the paintings are all out of my imagination, such as the pig in a bathtub, or children bicycling across the moon - these were great fun, too!

Teachers have told me that the blocks of text are very good for children learning to read as they can focus on two words, rather than a long sentence. Very happy to hear this!

I'm thrilled to say that for every hard copy that is purchased, a paper back book will be donated to any children's organization that is specified by the purchaser. The author's wish is that as many children as possible should have a book, and a dream.

You can order the book through Amazon or Barnes & Noble, or through your favorite bookstore. Thank you!

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