Friday, December 22, 2006

How Do You...

...replace the template title with one of your own on blogger? Can someone share a link to instructions? I'd like to make an illustrated title to make this place more 'my own'. I'm sure lots of other Fox and Socks readers wouldn't mind knowing either. :o)

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Four More Books!


I guess it pays to be available during the holidays. I have received four more early ready assignments for McGraw Hill's Decodable book series. Yay! This illustration is just a color study for one of the books, so I can publish this without any contract issues.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Illustration Friday: Hanna and Emma




I think Hanna would much rather spread around the leaves than clean them up!

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Illustration Friday: Help


Sometimes, help can come from the most unexpected places.

*Click to enlarge*

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Mrs. Krista's Class

Need Imput From Fellow Children's Illustrators



My belief is that as soon as you begin expressing yourself through art, you're officially an artist. But it's not always that easy. I didn't really begin to FEEL like a real artist or illustrator until I achieved certain things in my career. I wasn't being overly critical of myself, it was actually a way for me to push myself to learn more.

The reason I'm bringing this up is because over the last few months, I've finally felt like I'm an honest to God children's illustrator. I've worked hard towards certain goals both professionally and draftsmanship-wise, and finally achieved them. This isn't to say I'm done putting my nose to the grindstone, but I've won my own little medal -- one that is more important to me than a Caldecott any day.

Anyways, I'd like to post a collection of quotes from other children's illustrators about the moment they realized or felt they were a true artist or illustrator. And if you still don't feel like you've achieved that yet (it took me quite a few years of hard work to feel it myself), then explain what your goals are to get there. I'll of course post your blog or regular site, along with your name and quote and a small sample image of your work. Please give me a good week to get it all together - Christmas time is a little busy. Send all quotes to: paige@paigekeiser.com

Include small jpeg sample of your work, your name and blog or website address.

Title your email: Illustrator Project!

Thanks! :0)

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Seesaw


I've always wondered about the origin of the word 'seesaw'. I even tried googling it to no avail.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Illustration Friday Theme: Mask

A mask doesn't have to be as obvious as something you wear over your face. A mask can also be in the clothes, uniform or costume you wear. A Police uniform can make a normally cowardly person feel brave and courageous. And a pretty outfit might make an awkward girl feel beautiful and graceful.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Magic Gumball Machine

Click to enlarge:

I have to go shopping at the mall tomorrow. It's going to be crowded. I hope I find a magic gumball machine....

Thursday, December 07, 2006

A Christmas Story




I made this card for my Dad based on something that actually happened when I was little. At the age of 9 I became fascinated with being an archer. I sometimes carved my own bows and arrows with a pocket knife, or used my neighbor's hunting bow. This may sound a little dangerous, but I was a very careful kid. I never once cut myself with my pocket knives, as Dad showed my how to carve properly (always AWAY from the body etc..).

So anyways, for Christmas that year my parents bought me a compound bow--basically a hunting bow made up of wheels and pullies that give it extra power. Dad took me out in front of the house Christmas morning, and set up the foam target. He showed me how to pull the arrow back, and hold it correctly....but there was a problem. The bow string was set at such a weight that I could barely find the strength to hold the arrow back. I tried my best to aim, but was tumbling around, and my little muscles were giving out. Suddenly I just let the arrow fly. This was followed by the sound of breaking glass. I can still hear Dad clearly in my mind, yelling,"Holy COW, Paige!!!" with his hands on his head.

We went to investigate the damage, and saw that the arrow had gone clean through the dining room window, across the room, and feather deep into the wall. Let's just say if someone had been standing in there...well....it wouldn't have been good. The hole in the glass could have been made by a glass cutter....there was no shattering due to the velocity of the arrow.

I spent many fun hours shooting foam targets with that bow (which I still have) and the story made for great entertainment during family events.

Puppies!


Which would you pick? :0)

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Snow Is Coming!



Okay, I am very very excited about the possibility of snow flurries this Thursday. My favorite thing to do (if it snows at night) is to take my dogs out for a walk alone through my neighborhood. Almost everyone living around here puts up lights after Thanksgiving, which adds to the already amazing and breathtaking view. I like to pay special attention to the way my boots sink into the first inch of fresh snow. It seems to hold my weight until I'm about put my next foot down, and then it collapses with a 'crunch'. Of course there is no echo without hard surfaces for sound to bounce off, so it's a muffled crunch. And as I look up beneath a street light, the snow falls in patterns that surround me, and the atmosphere is as quiet as my ears have witnessed in a long time.

Model Airplane Contest

Monday, December 04, 2006

Flags Of Our *munch munch munch* Fathers



You know how you're trying to listen to a very serious film, and somewhere, sitting a mere few yards away is a noisy eater? Crinkle! Crunch! Smack! Slurp! You want to say something, but know it will cause a ruckus, and then you would REALLY miss the movie. Well I was that noisy eater. I bought a sandwich with VERY crinkly paper (argh). "Flag Of Our Fathers" is a serious film - up there with "Schindler's List". I was starving, my stomach felt like an empty cavern; I pulled out that sandwich and ...CRIIIIIINKKLLE! Oh no, I thought. I waited for moments of loud drama, or music, during which I would hastily unfold this chinese paper sculpture of a sandwich. Then, quiet dialogue..I would stop. More loud music, more unfolding. Oh it was dreadful! So finally, after very careful timing, I finally got the sandwich out!

But then...crunch crunch crunch....darn those cucumbers!

Excellent film by the way.

Who's Walking Whom?


This actually happened to me. I have a petite Jack Russell Terrier, and a 130lb Coon/Shepherd mix. Following a squirrel spotting, they both took off like bats outta you-know-where. My back has not been the same since. Yowch!

Friday, December 01, 2006

Thursday, November 30, 2006

School's Out!


This is how I used to feel that last day of school before summer vacation.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Illustration Friday Theme: Invention


Pets in a way are an invention. Someone had to come up with the idea of actually taking a wild animal and letting it live in their house. Not to mention the relationship that develops--so much so that the pet becomes a member of the family.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Vroooooooom!



I'll Miss You, Friend


When I'm sad, I tend to draw sad pictures. I don't think I gained any sort of catharsis with this particular drawing, but at least it came from deep within.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Friday, November 24, 2006

Check Please



Should lions be allowed to drink coffee? Hmm..

One Man's Trash......


You know that famous question, "if you could be a fly on a wall at any moment, where would you like to be?" I'm sure there are a lot of amazing times in history I would pick, but on the subject of art, I would love to sit and watch the experiments of some of my favorite illustrators. It's nice to see the finished product, but what of all the sketches and pictures that didn't make it in? That coveted waste paper basket full of rejected art work. Maybe even diamonds in the rough that never see the light of day?

Today my brother Duane, who's visiting for Thanksgiving, was doing another painting for his A Painting A Day blog. He worked for several hours - it was of a flower vase next to a mirror. From what I saw it looked beautiful. Next thing I know he's heading up stairs. "Are you done?" I ask. He walks into my room and asks for a paper towel.

And that was it - he wiped the entire painting off the board, and it was gone forever.

I'm sure my brother and I are not alone in this. Right now there are illustrators and artists working feverishly on new styles, new colors, new ways of applying medium, burning the midnight oil in their studios. And we all have our 'filled to the brim' waste paper baskets of rejected art work. I guess it's all part of the process of growing as an artist.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Saturday, November 18, 2006

A Visit To The Museum

It's Been A Warm November!

Mia Hamm As A Little Girl


I've been slightly obsessed with soccer lately. I'm willing publishers with the power of mind control to send soccer themed book assignments, pig books, or bear books.

:0)

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Don't Walk On Dudley

Dudley in Trouble

Illustration Friday: Clear




"Aunt Rita ain't seein' so clearly now that she's lost her glasses. Why, just yesterday she hung Dudley up on a clothes line, thinkin' he was an extra warm pair of undee'wear."

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Illustration Friday: Smoke




"I think your Mom's trying to cook again."

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Illustration Friday : Wind



I lived in Belgium when I was a kid, and I remember gusts of wind that were so powerful, they would practically lift you up off your feet. The above picture is what I hoped would happen in those instances.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

The Ghost Story


This is an illustration I finished today for an early reader:

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Watch : The Great Pumpkin


This is a nicely done flash-animated version of "The Great Pumpkin". I looooove Halloween and Autumn. I'm eating this stuff up :0)