Doodle-A-Day 8

My last prompt, so I had to deviate. No ‘s’ today, but NOTAN. And don’t feel bad, I also hadn’t heard of this Japanese design concept involving the play and placement of light and dark as they are placed next to the other in art and imagery (definition from Wikipedia). Not until someone mentioned this book about it.

Another friend (Hi Lori!) bought it and decided to do some of the exercises with her aspiring-artist daughter. Which inspired me to get it from my library  – and I am fascinated! It strongly reminds me of my training in composition during my first year studying advertising design at FIT (we were not all fashion freaks there!). I had a wonderful teacher whose name sadly eludes me. She worked us hard, and I believe it paid off. But with this book I feel like I’m taking a refresher course, and I wanted to share it with the doodlers. For those in the know, yeah, it’s all about positive and negative space – the bare essentials.  I won’t attempt to explain more (watch video below!), but I’ll list a bunch of links at the bottom, in case you’ve been ‘ignited’!

A blog called Notan Drawing

Virtual Art Academy Notan Painting Lessons

Notan Expanding the Square


I’d like to thank Alison Hertz again, for helping me get back to doodling, and all the members on our facebook page, who inspire and encourage each other every day!

Doodle-A-Day 7 (and a book review!)

Doodle-A-Day prompt for July 7th is…..STORM. Another ‘s’ word. S looks a lot like 5, and I am suggesting 5 days worth, so. . . No, not really a good excuse, is it? Too late!

If you’ve got a hankering to join the doodlers – go to Alison’s blog HERE.

And a HAPPY BIRTHDAY wish for my sister!

Taken right after a powerful one swept over last week.

Taken right after a powerful one swept over last week.

Photo by Richard Ford, found at


This picture book is just right for this prompt!


Author: Linda Ashman
Christian Robinson
Houghton Mifflin, 2013
Age Level: 4-8
Themes: rain, friendship, grumpiness
Opening: “Rain!”
Summary: (From Amazon) One rainy day in the city, an eager little boy exclaims, “Rain!” Across town a grumpy man grumbles, “Rain.” In this endearing picture book, a rainy-day cityscape comes to life in vibrant, cut-paper-style artwork. The boy in his green frog hat splashes in puddles—“Hoppy, hoppy, hoppy!”—while the old man curses the “dang puddles.” Can the boy’s natural exuberance (and perhaps a cookie) cheer up the grouchy gentleman and turn the day around? Scroll down on the Amazon page under Editorial Reviews for cool info and pics, like alternative covers and preliminary sketches.

Why I like this book: Recently I went to talk to first graders about making picture books and I took this one along to help discuss how the pictures can tell or add much to the story, so that’s one reason! It’s chock-full of story-telling images. It is also just plain sweet! I am just discovering Robinson’s picture books and am in awe. (Click on his name above for more to look at too.) And I am strongly reminded of Gyo Fujikawa in these illustrations, whose work I also greatly admire. Visit this pinterest page to view some of Fujikawa’s work.

Click on this image for another review on storyteller John Weaver’s blog

For my fellow PB writers: Linda mentions this about the text on her site: “There are just 78 words in RAIN!, but the manuscript submitted to editors had more than 1,000 words. Feel free to take a look at the manuscript below. And check out my messy storyboard as well.” So head over by clicking on her name above!

Doodle-A-Day 6

SAD, not really, no. But illustrators need to work on facial expressions and postures that convey feelings, emotions.

And since I already had two words that begin with ‘s’. . . well, why not have a good cry.

To find out more on the doodlers, visit Alison’s post HERE.

AND a book suggestion: My Neighbor Is a Dog, by Isabel Minhós Martins and Madalena Matoso

The parent’s attitude made me sad, quite frankly! But it’s definitely a vibrant, well-designed book with quite the tale to tell!

Click here to read more at goodreads

Doodle-A-Day 5

Prompt for July 5th. Hoping participants are in full SWING

Winslow Homer: Girl On A Swing

from the movie Swing Kids, 1993

Here is the cover of a very special book – very close to my heart, which I read again, and again! I’ll review it in full when PPBF starts up again in the fall.

To find out more on the doodlers, visit Alison’s post HERE.

Doodle-A-Day in July

Happy Fourth of July! Today I begin my prompt contributions (5 in all), as the Doodle-A-Day folks are at it again this month. See Alison’s post HERE

Get out there and SPARKLE!

from – click on the photo to get more

And if this book ever comes out in English – I WANT IT! Sparkles in it’s own right!

Fortunate Sentiments and SkADaMo 10

Biddy, a character from a January ’12 draft, is here with me to share my sentiments – she is my only MC that writes! (Please excuse the smudge on her chin – from a Porsche seat description on the other side of the scrap paper!)

I have everything to be grateful for at the moment, and for all the WONDERFUL gifts received this week I would like to give thanks:

I believe it started on Monday afternoon – Diane, a fellow 12x12er from the Land of the Long White Cloud, at, bestowed 6 others the Lovely Blog Award, including yours truly. To accept I must share seven things about myself: I could eat pizza every day if I had to; I love to wear wool – doesn’t scratch me in the least; I have two favorite colors: green and red; I have had four casts to mend broken bones and things; I completed an apprenticeship as a Fleischereifachverkaeuferin; I love to pull carrots from the garden soil; I’m always looking at cloud formations!

I am still overflowing with joy after fellow citizens voted on Tuesday: to give our President (Bronco-bama!) four more years, to provide New Hampshire with the nation’s first all-female congressional delegation, and 20 female US senators in 2013- a new record!

On Wednesday I won a copy of Sea Cutter, Book One in the Chronicles of Nathaniel Childe, by Timothy Davis from Erik on Read his review here.

As  an active participant in Julie Hedlund’s 12x12in’12 Challenge, I won, in another random drawing on Thursday, a 30-min. marketing and social media consultation with none other than Dianne de las Casas, founder of Picture Book Month! (Click on the ambassador badge in the sidebar to link up with more info!)

And I am now famous (Already? Yeah!), because on Friday my entry in Susanna Leonard Hill’s Halloweensie Contest won FIRST PLACE! I will receive 5 fabulous books from 5 fabulous authors: Marathon Mouse by Amy Dixon, The Three Ninja Pigs by Corey Rosen Schwartz, Puzzled By Pink by Sarah Frances Hardy, Flap! by Alison Hertz, and The Monster Who Lost His Mean by Tiffany Strelitz Haber!  And After I give each of those books a BIG hug, I will share them with elementary schools and their students in the Poudre School District of Fort Collins. It feels great to get a lot, and even better to give a lot!

To ‘top’ off – Equinox had a fresh batch of Space Ghost ready to tap on Friday evening!

Thank you everyone, you’ve added swing to the beat of my heart!