So, I wanted you all to see this picture I painted for the new book that's coming out soon, called Shovelful of Sunshine. Truly, it's a lovely book that I hope you will see and enjoy - by golly, I hope you'll buy it, too! In the beginning, I became an illustrator of books in order to make a living, and sure, I still want & need to do that, but over the years it became so much more than that. How I have loved the business of reading, even writing a story then visualizing the people and scenes within. What would they look like in life? For many of my books, I've had vivid clues because the people - John Adams, Ben Franklin, Lizzie Cady Stanton, for instance - really lived and while they lived they got their pictures taken or painted. But this child here - Meggie her name is, in the story - I didn't make her up. That was the author's business, but how Meggie might have looked, that was mine. What fun!
Speaking of illustration, one of my very favorite and certainly one whose work influenced mine, was Arthur Rackham.
It was on this day, September 6, in 1939, that he passed away. Look how lovely his work was!
AND, one of my other very favorite illustrators came INTO the world through the door marked 6 Sept, in the year 1863. That'd be Jessie Willcox Smith. If you don't know her name, you certainly know her work. For example:
Aren't I so grateful for their work, those countless hours they spent at their drawing boards.