Pandora Destinations 2014

With the Summer travel season in full swing, I'm excited to share this first batch of silver charms I designed for Pandora.  They are part of Pandora's Destinations Collection and are now available in stores and online.  Happy and safe travels out there! 

Special thanks to Ivonne and Lisa @ Pandora for the fun work and all the lovely samples! 

Civil Rights Act 50th Anniversary

Martin Luther King Jr. and LBJ at the White House bill signing.

July 2, 1964

50 years ago today, LBJ signed into law perhaps the most profound piece of legislation the country has yet known, the landmark Civil Rights Act. It outlawed discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin, ended unequal voter registration, and made racial segregation in schools and workplaces a thing of the past. Reflecting on it later that night LBJ said, "W
e just delivered the South to the Republican Party for a long time to come."

Disney Cruise Line

My take on the Disney cruise ship Dream, the largest ship in the fleet. It's part of a Castaway Club series featuring interpretations by five artists, there is a little something for everyone.  Thank you to David for the awesome opportunity, the smart direction, and for sending the lovely samples. Bon Voyage!

Once On This Island (THIS WEEKEND ONLY)

Postcard promotion we designed for the show. 
Thanks for sending Brian! Getting this in the mail, was the highlight of my week! : ) 

The local stage flourishes at Caryl Crane Youth Theatre. Check out their latest production, Once On This Island, this weekend!  If you have a second, read the show's synopsis at wikipedia here. Something about this unique island love story, set in the French Antilles, carried me away. 

-alternative design used on Facebook

Light & Sound


Our story begins with a girl folding origami.

Jasper and Jim experimenting with the pitch of sound.

In books 3 and 4 of the Science Adventure series, young readers explore the science behind light and sound. You can find them on Amazon or at Capstone's website here.  It's been a true pleasure illustrating these books, thank you Ashlee and Nathan for the rewarding collaboration. Also, heartfelt thanks to those friends and family who ordered sets for your children and students, your enthusiasm and support means the world. I hope the books make for hours of curiosity and fun.
Now howabout we make some noise?

Glowing with Electricity

by Thomas Kingsley Troupe
Illustrations by Jamey Christoph
Graphic Design by Ashlee Suker

Glenda's home, a farm house in the country. 

Molly tells Glenda about alternative sources of power.

Molly and Glenda talk about power lines.

Book two in the Origami Science Adventure series, and probably my favorite of the second batch- two fireflies, Glenda and Molly, learn all about electricity, including alternative energy sources. 

Wild Weather (indeed)

by Thomas Kingsley Troupe
Illustrations by Jamey Christoph
Graphic Design by Ashlee Suker

Sonny and Chuck learning about wind.

Chuck telling Sonny about weather technology.

Sonny and Chuck learn about tornados, one of my favorite weather phenonmena from the book.

With Winter behind us and Springtime setting in, I thought it fitting to share one of the childrens books I recently illustrated, Wild Weather. Published by Capstone, this is the fifth book in the Science Adventures series, a recipient of the 2013 Teachers Choice award. Thanks to Nathan and Ashlee for another fun collaboration. You can find each of the books on Amazon or through the publisher here.
Sonny and Chuck heading off on another adventure!

Children's Book Series

My other dog Owen at his favorite spot, the kitchen table. 

I'm happy,  I just got a shipment of samples from my latest children's book series, they are a welcome burst of color on this gray day. Thank you Ashlee - they look great! I will scan the covers in and post pics soon! 

Luck of the Irish 1792

James Holban, wax portrait 1800

I raise a pint today to James Holban, the largely unknown Irish-born architect, who won a national competition and designed the White House in 1792. Holban's iconic design stood apart from the rest, for its imposing central pediment and columns. The only revision came from President Washington himself, who wanted the residence enlarged and embellished. "Washington liked what he saw, a bigger footprint for the mansion and an abundance of frills— roses, garlands, acanthus leaves, acorns, griffons— that would awe Americans and impress the most fashionable European visitors" (Bordewich, 2008). For his efforts, Holban was awarded a parcel of land in the new federal city and prizes totaling $500 (about $20,000 by today's estimate). Proof again creatives, the true reward is often not paid in cash, but in the work itself, something lasting and treasured.

White House Elevation, 1793 James Holban

Court House, Charleston, South Carolina 1790 James Holban 
Washington met Holban while visiting Charleston in 1791, the architect and his work, made a lasting impression. It is interesting to note, Holban's original White House design was also three stories. The pedestal-like first floor and expensive stone flooring were compromised to save money.

Leinster House, Dublin, Ireland, 1745 Richard Cassels 
Holban's inspiration for the Charleston Courthouse and White House designs. Note the alternating pediments above the second floor windows.

A Book of Architecture, 1729 James Gibbs
Predating Holban's design by some 60 years, it is obvious Gibbs had some influence on Holban.

Lastly, I wanted to share one of my favorite things, a plaster model of the White House designed by the British architectural model-maker, Timothy Richards. As you can see, his proportions and attention to detail are masterful. Check out more of his work here.

Bordewich, F. 2008 Washington. New York: Harper Collins.
Additionally, images for this post came from The White House, The History of an American Idea, 2001 by William Seale

President's Day 2014

To commemorate today, I thought it would be fun to share something 'presidential' that I made a few years back, in the first grade.  Miraculously, this clay George Washington face has survived all these years later and now hangs in my studio.  This is for you old friend, Happy Birthday George!