Early this summer I was asked to paint a black-and-white illustration of an Eastern box turtle (Terrapene carolina carolina). I was pretty excited about this assignment. I remember the box turtles from my childhood – they lived in the woods around my Connecticut home, and a few times I escorted one across the road, out of harm’s way. But it occurred to me I really didn’t know much about the species, so this project would be a valuable learning experience. … More Slow and steady wins the race
A beach towel, designed to be a fun learning tool during summer adventures by the sea. … More Who lives at the beach?
What does a chipmunk’s underground home look like? This illustration shows the layout of a typical chipmunk burrow, including the nest and food storage areas. … More A Peek Inside a Chipmunk Burrow
India ink is a very satisfying medium to work with. You paint it on like watercolor, and it flows and bleeds and blends in beautiful ways. But unlike watercolor, once it hits the paper, it’s there for good. This illustration (11 x 8.5 inches) took me about 15 hours to paint, in order to build up … More Light and dark
This is an Eastern hemlock forest (Tsuga canadensis). The illustration on the left shows a healthy forest, a beautiful place to explore on a summer day, to sit quietly and listen to the vireos, and return to with your snowshoes in winter. On the right is what that forest could look like after an infestation of hemlock woolly adelgid* (Adelges … More Illustrating the importance and vulnerability of Eastern hemlock forests
I just finished this preliminary drawing of Oriental bittersweet (Celastrus orbiculatus), part of a series of illustrations about invasive species. While wandering through the forest at Huyck Preserve early this summer, I photographed this aggressive vine and made some rough sketches to try to capture its menacing behavior. It climbs quickly, taking over everything in its … More Drawing a plant’s behavior
Just got back from the Guild of Natural Science Illustrators 2014 conference in Boulder. Luckily there was enough extra space in my luggage for souvenirs, because I picked up two framed prints at the silent auction. Now they are hanging in my studio, among the many other pieces of inspiration I’ve collected. The turtle is the first reptile on … More New animals in my studio
My friend Marcela Staudenmaier, who makes the most incredible illustrations from cut paper, invited me to jump on a blog tour of children’s writers and illustrators. Last week on her blog she gave us a peek at the book she’s working on and discussed her creative process. Marcela and I both studied children’s book illustration at Rhode … More Blog Tour – My Illustration Process
The summer issue of the Coop Scoop has a really great article about the nutritional and medicinal uses of some of the most common backyard plants. How does a dandelion green and violet blossom salad with red clover vinaigrette sound? And those weedy plantains taking over your yard could come in handy the next time … More Clover, plantain, and other useful plants are right in your backyard!
Summer seems to be the theme of my illustrations recently. For two different projects I’ve been drawing children gardening, exploring butterflies, and climbing birch trees. But on this dreary fall day I have a short break to paint something for myself. For inspiration I look through photos and sketches from my time at Huyck Preserve, … More House Wren