SCBWI Conference

I’m excited to be attending the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators conference in New York for the first time!  I’ve spent the past few months organizing my printed portfolio for the showcase, and creating a dummy book based on Lewis Carroll’s “Jabberwocky” poem.  I thought I would post some of the newer narrative illustration pieces I’ve done over the past few months here, as I add them to the portfolio section of this site.  The first two are samples from Jabberwocky, and the three after that were created for the Folio Society’s illustration competition based on Jane Austen’s Mansfield Park.

And this guy here is Krampus.  I didn’t include him has part of the portfolio for the children’s book convention, because he’s kind of scary, but this illustration was done for Faerie Magazine’s recent Winter issue.



Holiday Portrait Commissions

A reminder that December 1 is the deadline to place orders for portrait commissions needed in time for Christmas!

If you are local and can pick up in person from Abingdon, MD, I may be able to accept some last minute orders, depending on work load.

Also, please come shop a selection of  sale prints, note cards, jewelry, and originals at the Authors & Artists holiday sale at the Bel Air Armory on Main Street on Saturday, December 3, from 10am-3pm.  I am trying to clear stock of items that came back from consignment locations this year, so there are deals to be had!

The James Webb, again

I got to talk to Outdoor Painter’s “Plein Air Today” newsletter/blog about my experience painting the James Webb Space Telescope at NASA Goddard!

Here also is a collected post from NASA about some of the art projects coming out of the event.


NASA Plein Air

Today’s experience attending the James Webb Space Telescope artist event at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, MD was incredible!  23 artists from different disciplines and parts of the country were selected from those who applied.  There were artists creating in all different media, including painting of many different styles, printmaking, jewelry, sumi-e, and even poetry and songwriting.  Some folks from the “How Stuff Works” network were also present (I recognized Holy Frye of the “Stuff You Missed in History Class” podcast by her voice alone! What an unexpected fun meeting.) We had a few hours in the observatory overlooking the clean room where the James Webb Space Telescope currently resides to create art from life and take notes and photos. The time from the call for entries to the selection and the actual event was quite short, because NASA’s social media team didn’t know for sure until the last minute when there would be a day where the mirror of the telescope would be in the upright position and easily visible.

We also heard from a few different scientists who are working on the project.  James Webb will be the successor to the Hubble telescope.  It is larger and more powerful.  Because of the time it takes light to travel through space, James Webb will actually be able to look “back in time” and see the moments right after the big bang, which we have never been able to do before.  The main mirror on the telescope is made up of gold-plated beryllium panels, which are light and strong.  It is designed to fold up like origami for its trip into space in 2018.  You can read more about the James Webb Space Telescope on NASA’s site. 

I was able to create a “plein air” painting from life of JWST in about two hours.  It’s a 22″ x 15″ watercolor painting.  Capturing the hexagonal mirror sections and the subtle parabolic shape of the mirror, as well as a sense of the scale of the telescope, was a challenge.  It was also rather emotional being able to paint something that is such a huge technological feat, and which will show us things we’ve never seen before.  As one of the scientists put it, JWST will “answer questions we have not yet thought to ask.”

I’ve decided to make my painting available to freely share and publish under a Creative Commons license with attribution. I have a high resolution copy available upon request for print publication. I am also selling signed prints of my painting through my Etsy shop.
























It was also possible to take a “selfie” IN the mirror of the JWST from the observatory! At the end of the event, many staff members were lined up to do so, since the mirror being in the upright position is a special occasion.





James Webb Space Telescope NASA and Inktober

I feel so honored to be selected as part of a small group of artists visiting NASA Goddard tomorrow to view and be inspired by the James Webb Space Telescope. I’ll be doing a painting and sketches of JWST from life, and then creating some additional illustrations about the experience. You can look for the hashtag #JWSTart on Instagram and Facebook tomorrow to see what the artists in attendance are creating! I am so excited about this incredible opportunity.

“Inktober” and “Drawlloween,” the drawing challenges I was participating in on Instagram for the month of October are officially over.  I really enjoyed the experience of quickly creating something new each day (or in some cases, planning ahead to do the drawings I needed in advance).  I flexed my quick thinking and quick drawing muscles, generating new ideas and new compositions that are exciting and unexpected to me.  I also connected with a lot of new Facebook and Instagram followers by posting new work every day.  I’m hoping to keep the mojo going by choosing a new personal challenge for November- each day, I’m going to work on concept and compositional sketches for a personal picture book interpretation of Lewis Carroll’s “Jabberwocky.”  You can follow along on Instagram, or check back here at the end of November for a gallery of sketches.

Here are all my Inktober drawings.