September 21, 2017
I have just submitted my first grant request. It is for funds to attend the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCWBI) winter conference in NY. I’ve been dreaming of going to the conference for a few years. Awhile back I began to look at the costs to get there and realized that it […]
September 18, 2017
Published as a trading card for Banned Books Week at the Chapel Hill Library. If you’re in town, come join the opening Friday, Sept 22 7-8pm I depicted the Rabbit’s Wedding by Garth Williams. In 1958, it was banned for promoting interracial marriage. Official library invite:” Banned Books Trading Card Project http://chapelhillpubliclibrary.org/…/banned-books-trading-…/ and they will all […]
September 11, 2017
Pondering Scientific Method. Always begin with curiosity and daydreams.
September 8, 2017
More motion in everything. I have launched my illustration focused instagram feed: https://www.instagram.com/serena.fenton.art/ I can only say that it was painful to get art from my computer onto a platform that is dedicated to mobile apps. Now that it’s there, I have linked up my fave illustrators and children’s book publishers – and wow! It is […]
August 31, 2017
Getting into the groove of drawing groups of children, I tried my hand at a Welcome Back illustration. The original was done in watercolor with watercolor pencils and ink. Then the scanned version was touched up in PhotoShop. I am loving my digital tablet!
August 26, 2017
Today is national dog day. How did I not figure that out until 5 pm?? Oh wait, I know. I bought a new graphics tablet and have been working to get it to behave with WIndows 10. (Ahem – Wacom – not all artists use Macs). I finally won, but it involved doing a lot […]
August 22, 2017
In North Carolina, school is back in session again. Is it cruel or kind to keep kids indoors when the temperature and humidity are in the mid-90s? There is the distraction factor of math and spelling.
August 19, 2017
What’s a cat to do when the mouse refuses to run? Playing dead just isn’t any what kitty has in mind.
August 17, 2017
Some watercolor exercises of kids being kids. Possible book spot illustrations. These were done as two separate pieces, but they seem to get along well.
August 15, 2017
It’s raining and Allison has bright new red rubber boots, which are perfect for puddle splashing and explorations. My exploration in this piece was how to paint rain. From the back of my desk, I unearthed a rather motley looking brush that I bought years ago at a hobby store. It’s labelled Filbert Wisp. I […]
August 14, 2017
Seems like it would be impossible to be a children’s book illustrator without being able to draw and paint a decent mouse. This one is out for a Sunday gallery tour.
August 12, 2017
Caturday again… time to get fuzzing.
August 5, 2017
Happy Caturday . Summer is passing. Get outside while the getting’s good.
August 3, 2017
Last night I went to a grants funding workshop. They pounded home one thing over and over: the artist must have a consistent body of work. If you have work in multiple categories, even if you have very good work in multiple categories, you will not be taken seriously by a group of reviewers. “Find […]
July 29, 2017
Milleau (synonyms): environment, sphere, background, backdrop, setting, context, atmosphere Sometimes the wallpaper is your milleau. Another celebration of the weekly holiday, #Caturday
July 27, 2017
Midsummer in the south is unbearably hot for most of the day, but fabulous in the early morning hours. It’s a magical time. Walking in the nearby woods, you can hear crickets and frogs; birds are singing their walkup soliloquies and baby birds are shrieking for breakfast. If you look hard, and are lucky, you […]
July 25, 2017
Years ago, when I first began painting, I was obsessed with paintings of the early Renaissance. I had a huge admiration for the artists of that era and for the whole notion of rebirth. I had been attending art classes at the University of Oklahoma, where abstract expressionism was the password to success. Realism was […]
July 24, 2017
Breaking away from the experimental book format, I have stepped up slightly to 140 pound cold-press watercolor paper with collage, acrylic paint, colored pencils and neocolor crayons. The cake just snuck in there. Probably too much Wayne Thiebauld in my youth. Besides, as we all know. everything goes better with cake.
July 22, 2017
Mixed media party with cat in hat. Lots of layers here- some glazing with pthalo blue in the final steps to make the background recede. Al, the party cat is an older, wiser cat. Sometimes all this fun just stuns him a bit. He might rather just be taking a nap.
July 18, 2017
This blog has gone to the dogs again. Mixed media experimentation with a wide-eyed, innocent chihuahua. This may be one of my last book experiments for a while. The seam in the middle is beginning to irritate. This picture began as a collage: magazine page close-ups of precious stones provided the deep reds and blues. The […]
July 17, 2017
Experimental goal for this exercise was to use a rubber stamp. In a lonely drawer in my studio, I located a chrysanthemum rubber stamp. I loaded the stamp with acrylic paint and deliberately printed only part of the flower. Hindsight, I should have used the entire stamp. It gets a bit too abstract to really […]
July 15, 2017
Happy Caturday! Inspired by my own kitty, this is (C.A.T. or Cheerful Art Thing) . C.A.T. is another page in my art experimentation booklet; acrylic, colored pencil, and neocolor crayons.
July 11, 2017
In trying to paint loose, one of my hesitations is the cost and storage of the painting surface. I typically have been using water based media on watercolor paper. Not expensive watercolor paper. But I can get a bit OCD about any material. This winter, a group on the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill Triangle area put out […]
July 8, 2017
No real explanation here, just experimentation; possibly not a total success. Bruce Mau once said in his Incomplete Manifesto for Growth: Love your experiments (as you would an ugly child). Joy is the engine of growth. Exploit the liberty in casting your work as beautiful experiments, iterations, attempts, trials, and errors. Take the long view […]
July 5, 2017
One of my key goals is to get looser in my painting. This requires not worrying about the cost of materials for creations that will likely never be seen outside of my studio. So, what can I use that will have some of the fun and looseness of Jane Davies‘ paintings? Davies uses good quality […]