Blog Archives

World Turtle Day 2017!

Hello Friends,

This is a day late, but I just realized that I missed posting about my favorite animal yesterday!  How could I miss World Turtle Day on May 23, 2017?  Silly me.  I did, though, so here’s to turtles everywhere!

Please enjoy this little video showing some wonderful things that we can do for turtles.

 

Have a wonderful day, and give someone you love a big hug!  🙂

Sea Turtles: Their Journey From the Shore and Back!

 

 

Hello friends!

Yesterday I watched one of the best nature videos I have ever seen!  Turtle:  The Incredible Journey is not only informative, but it features some of the very best oceanography I have ever seen!

It tells the story of a sea turtle’s life cycle from the time it hatches from its egg struggling to make it into the ocean (despite perils that can end its life right away) to when it makes it back to the same beach to lay its own eggs many years later.

Parts of it made me cry, but all of it is truly amazing to watch!  Sea turtles are one of the ocean’s more fantastic creatures in my humble opinion, but if you have kept up with my blog in the last couple of years, you already knew that!

I found this incredible movie at my local library, and I wish I had known about it when it showed in theatres a several years ago! It  would have been a real treat for me to see it on the BIG SCREEN!!  Check it out sometime.  In the meantime here is the trailer.  You will be amazed especially if you don’t already know about the female sea turtle’s life cycle.

Have a wonderful day, and give someone you love a big hug!  🙂

Diver!!!

Hello friends.  I did this painting of a sea turtle diving last week but have been pretty busy since then.

The project I am currently working on is all drawn out and I am excited about getting it painted, but it is a secret project for a friend.  So I can’t show it to you until I give it to her.

In the meantime, I may do another sea turtle….

Have a wonderful day, and give someone you love a big hug!  🙂

 

Diver

 

Eric Carle…More Encouragement from a Wonderful Artist

Hello friends.  I came across another video of Eric Carle talking about his own work as  well as the work of Franz Marc who was an impressionist painter.  He painted blue horses among other things.  Apparently his work inspired Eric Carle to write and illustrate his own book called “The Artist Who Painted a Blue Horse.”  I had never heard of this book, but it sounds wonderful!  Well, back to Barnes & Noble soon!

Have a wonderful day, and give someone you love a big hug!  🙂

 

franz-marc-blue-horse-i

Eric Carle: An Inspiration to “Starving Artists!”

Hello friends.  Today I found a great video of Eric Carle talking about his work and a special treat during his talk is that he reads a few excerpts from “The Very Hungry Caterpillar.”  I had never heard of this book until I went to college at 30 years old.  In fact it wasn’t until about a year or so after that when I began taking Child Development classes and working in the Child Study Center at Los Medanos College in Pittsburg, California, that I heard this book read aloud by one of the staff instructors.  From then on I was hooked on Eric Carle.

When my first child was about a year or less old in 1997, I began reading him this book.  I also read two other books to him by Bill Martin, Jr. that Eric Carle illustrated called  “Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?” and “Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do you Hear?”  But the one that Eric Carle wrote and illustrated that my son still remembers that he loved was “The Very Busy Spider.”  I have board books of all of these except The Very Hungry Caterpillar.  I have a larger picture book of that one!

When I was still in college I also took a short-term class with Ed Lewis who was one of the main Child Development instructors called Story-Telling.  He taught us how to tell a story as you read it, but also how to tell a story without reading a book.  I was single without kids at the time so it was pretty challenging for me.  I had never really read books to any kids at that point, but once I had my first child, it came easily.  Fortunately, even as a toddler he loved to sit and listen to books.  He even began using the excuse “read another story!” to stay up longer!  And to this day he still loves to read and is a writer himself.  I am proud of him needless to say.

Well, I didn’t plan to write so much about myself, but I want to share this video of Eric Carle because you will not only get to hear his faint German accent, since that’s where he grew up as a young child before coming to America, but you’ll get to see a glimpse of the process of how he does his art.  He paints white tissue paper with acrylics in all kinds of ways, draws his characters, then cuts and pastes each piece to the drawing.  It is pretty tedious but amazing!  I love his art very much.  In fact I checked out his book called “The Art of Eric Carle” published in 1996 from the library a while back and then had to buy a copy, because I want to be able to read it again.  What I loved about it most is the middle of the book!  It has two fold out pages that show him creating his caterpillar step-by-step and a picture of his art studio.  Very amazing indeed!

Soon I am planning to do a little art Eric Carle style just to go through the process.  I know myself, though.  It will probably feel much too time-consuming to me, but watch for something soon!  In the meantime enjoy these videos!  The first one is of Eric Carle.  Also, if you have time,  the second one is a video I stumbled onto of a live presentation of the story of The Very Hungry Caterpillar by some children from Woodhaven, Queens, NY, who made this video through their local library.  It’s adorable!

And oh yes, have a wonderful day and give someone you love a big hug!  🙂  

http://www.projectwoodhaven.com/2009/November/hungry-caterpillar.html

Liza Hamilton, Needle Felt Artist

Hello Friends!  Last Thursday my family and I visited Ashland, Oregon.  While we were walking around that great town, we found an awesome art gallery called the Ashland Art Center.  You can go to their page here:  http://www.ashlandartcenter.org/

It was pretty amazing.  It is two floors, very wide open spaces with many artists of different varieties.  Oil painters, watercolor painters, sculptors, etc.  The most fascinating one I was impressed by though, was Liza Hamilton.  She does fiber art which I wish I could have seen a demonstration of.  (Only one artist was there that day working on an acrylic painting.)  Some artists have their own spaces where they are set up to demonstrate their art techniques and/or teach classes.  I didn’t really ask enough questions.   I plan on going back some time and taking more time there.  Plus, there was another bookstore/coffee shop George and I wanted to check out that we didn’t take time for either.

Anyway, please check out this artist’s website, because her art is incredible!  And…..you will get to see what I got to see in person!  I was in awe as I stood gazing up at the one I loved the most.  It was hanging from the ceiling!  If I could have afforded it, I would have bought it on the spot!  Check it out!  (Of course, if you went to the art gallery website, you probably can guess at what I loved already.)  But check out Liza’s website here: http://wooliza.com/index.php/big-animals/

See?  Well, everyone have a wonderful day, and give someone you love a big hug.  🙂

And Jill, I didn’t keep you in suspense too long, did I?  😉

Octopus on the Loose!

Octopus

Hello Friends!  Here is another pen and watercolor doodle I did the other day.  I have been reading about octopuses lately and decided to try my hand at drawing and painting one.  It was a challenge, but a lot of fun.

Now I know their “mouth” is not a human-like mouth located on their head like this, but I added it for animation fun.  Somehow I thought it made him look happier.  I haven’t thought of a name for him yet.  Any suggestions?

Have a wonderful day, and give someone you love a big hug!  🙂  (Although, if you are hugged by an octopus, be careful!)

New Sea Turtle Doodle!

Hi everyone.  A couple of days ago I decided to doodle in pen and ink AND watercolor!  It was so much fun.  I bought some new Micro-Line Pens that a friend on Facebook recommended to me.  I really like them, too!

So I also squirted out some watercolor paints and this was the result!  (And this sea turtle has a friend!)

Have a wonderful day, and give someone you love a big hug!  🙂

Sea Turtle and Hermit Crab

Writing With Pictures

Hello friends!  I hope everyone is having a great week!  I am so far.  I have been busy with many things, but now it is “hump day!”  Yippee!

I wanted to share with you about a book I found at the library.  I like it so much that I bought a copy online and received it in the mail on Friday.

It is called “Writing With Pictures:  How to Write and Illustrate Children’s Books” by Uri Shulevitz.  Here’s a picture of the cover.

Writing With Pictures

Part One is titled “Telling the Story.”  Included in this chapter are the main aspects of putting together a picture book or a story book.  A picture book has a certain format, and the story ideally should be able to be told without words.  However, as we know, most picture books do have text to go with the pictures to tell the story effectively.

The story must be clear and readable.  There needs to be a sequence of events not only in the story but also in the pictures.  For instance, if you are writing about someone travelling in some fashion, you need to show a background that visually advances the airplane, car, or person.  The example Uri uses is a car driving down the street.  If the sequence has no visual frame of reference for how the car is driving, then he says, “we cannot tell whether the car is moving at all.” (pg. 21)

Part Two is titled “Planning the Book.”  This includes how to make a storyboard and a book dummy; the size, scale, and shape of the book; and the structure of a printed book.

In my picture book about Larry the Lonely Leatherback, I have been working on trying to keep it as simple as possible.  However, I am discovering that I  am not sure I have enough action going on in the story or pictures.  I don’t want to bore kids and parents to death!  I do have one sequence of something Larry does that I have not posted yet.  I like it, and I think the pictures and description of what is happening in the story are presented clearly.  However, I am thinking it may be one of the things that has made my book so long.  It is about 40 pages right now.

Some picture books can go up to 48 pages, however, the average length is 32 pages.  This length includes the end pages which are located at the beginning and end of the book and can be blank or have pictures, the copyright/dedication page, and the title page and the story’s pages.

Part Three is titled “Creating the Pictures.” It instructs us in the process of doing illustrations, covering topics such as picture space and composition, principles in technique, style, and much more.  Since I am primarily an artist, I have been concentrating mainly on the drawings.  Now I am working on my story to make it more interesting.  Writing AND illustrating is much more difficult than most people think.  I have read in many places that a lot of writers think writing a picture book is a piece of cake.  I am here to tell you IT IS NOT!  There is so much to think about.

How does the story flow from beginning to end?  How do the illustrations tell the story? What is the theme of the story?  My story is about a lonely Leatherback sea turtle finding friendship.  Friendship is a very common theme in picture books for the very young which is my target audience.  Yet what will happen to bring that about?  Even small children feel lonely at times even if they don’t know what their feeling is called.  I want to convey this through an animal that is not seen much in picture books.

Part Four is titled “Preparing for Reproduction.”  It covers printing basics, color preseparation which is somewhat outdated now, but can still be useful knowledge, and techniques for reproduction.

Finally in the Appendices, there is a section about finding a publisher.  Of course we have many, many more options now than we ever have, but again, still useful information.

I hope this post doesn’t sound scattered; that is kind of how I am feeling at the moment. The book I have been talking about has so much more to offer.  I have barely scratched the surface.  Also, I read a lot of reviews about it on Goodreads, but many were not favorable because they felt the illustrations he includes in his examples are “outdated.”  As far as I am concerned, that is really irrelevant.  I think this is a wonderful teaching tool for all of us who have ever wanted to write and/or illustrate a children’s book.  I am enjoying it, and I would encourage you to check it out!  There is a great deal to glean from this man’s knowledge.

Well, that is all for now.

Have a wonderful day, and give someone you love a big hug!  🙂

Picture Book Rough Draft. So far………

LARRY, THE LONELY LEATHERBACK….By Patsy H. Parker

 

© Patsy H. Parker

 

Page 1Page 2

 

Page 3Page 4

 

Page 5Page 6

 

Page 7He swims

Page 9Page 10

Page 11Page 12

Page 13

What is his favorite food?  To be continued………..

 

Have a wonderful day, and give someone you love a big hug!  🙂

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