About Me

My photo
A little about my artwork: I interpret the words written on a page by telling the story behind the story working with pen and ink, watercolor and Photoshop, I fuse old techniques with modern ones to create a world that every drawing can speak to a child or grownups.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Merry Christmas


Wishing everyone
 a very
 Merry Christmas
&
 Happy New Year !

Saturday, December 18, 2010

December issue of Berry Blue Haiku

(Book marker inside this issue)

The December issue of
is now available at


 I found Currclick is a little difficult to use.
 But the magazine is more then worth it and at $1.95 for the issue
you will not go wrong.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Thank You

As a massage therapist I deal with a lot of  Poop!
But not today
this is why I do what I do

Thursday, December 2, 2010

The Midwest Book Review & "The Giving Meadow

4RV's Publishing Editor Vivian Zabel sent me this yesterday  



Established in 1976, the Midwest Book Review publishes the following monthly book publications specifically designed for community and academic librarians, booksellers, and the general reading public:

Thank You! Midwest Book Review for reviewing
"The Giving Meadow"   

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Cyber Monday @ 4RV Publishing


What I just read,
4RV Publishing is offering 10% off on all books until Christmas!  
please visit 4RV Book Store for all the details
Happy shopping

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving!  


Instead of the usual drawing I thought I would share some photos I took of the foliage from around my neighborhood.





Have a safe and wonderful Holiday  




Thursday, November 18, 2010

"The Lisa Lisa Show"

I have a friend Lisa Zilker one day she said to me "I wish I had a radio show" She has felt for a long time that she has a lot to say and thinks her opinion should be heard.
 and Why not!  
 So I introduced her to "Blog Talk Radio" and I have to say she has been doing a
 Bang Up Job!
with her 1/2 hour talk show.

 Lisa is one of those personalities that you fall in love with, you have no choice but to love her and respect her hard what appears to be her never tireless attempt to get her artwork out there for the whole world to see it.
 I can't wait for the day when I can say I knew her when.  
Buy her artwork  :-) 

Friday, November 12, 2010

July 15 2011 Pooh is BACK! :)

Well mark your calender because on July 15 2011
 "Winnie the Pooh" is back!
 with all his friends and there relations in a new Walt Disney Animated film.
 According to the article from Ap Associated Press it has been thirty (30) years since they did the last big screen "Pooh" adventure. It does not surprise me they are working on a new film considering that "Return to the Hundred Acre Wood" was just published back in 2009. What I do find surprising and thankful is that they are bring back the old charm of the original films and it will resemble the the classic shorts from the 1960s and 1970s I can't wait!!!!!
 I'm not a fan of  some of the newer version they created with computer generated silliness


And this is the original
"The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh"
That I grew up watching.


Click: The link to see the trailer  the trailer looks wonderful
I hope the rest of the movie is as charming


Monday, November 8, 2010

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Sketching

I think one of my favorite parts of creating artwork is sketching out the ideas. I truly love it!
There is a certain freedom that goes with sketching. You are just not concerned about the finished product,  you grab your paper and pens or pencils or what ever you work with and your imagination. I think if I could find a job that allows me to sketch all day I would take it. I had a teacher at SVA who made us work only with a Bic black ink pen. He wanted us not to be concerned about the finished product just be free with your ideas. This lesson is part of my work and I rarely use a pencil.

  Here are some sketches from my most recent project that I'm working on called "Why Am I Me?" 
by Wayne Harris-Wyrick.  It is a very good question to ask at any age.


Friday, October 29, 2010

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Golden Kite Award

Well today or tomorrow
"The Giving Meadow"
written by Stephanie Burkhart
illustrated by Stephen Macquignon
will be in the hands of the Judges for the
Golden Kite Award. 
The book will be judged by my peers on the illustrations I did for the book.
 the Golden Kite awards are sponsored by the
 I am keeping my fingers crossed that all goes well. 
This is the link to the rules

Monday, October 11, 2010

Thanks Diana for the insperation


Thanks Diana for the inspiration,
Well it is done! the illustration that I'm nicknaming "Chasing the Balloon (Dream)" is finished.
 In a way aren't we all chasing a balloon? Trying to reach are next goal in are lives. When I started to work on this piece it was just to have a little fun with a good friend, colleague, and very talented artist who I have enjoyed knowing for some years now.
Then I realized after a slight bump in the road that this illustration is my dreams that I'm chasing. And along the way there are disappointments like not being excepted into "The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art"  because I am not a major player and there is limited room available.
I would also love to see the books I have illustrated on a bookshelf (outside of my own) I have contacted some book stores with no one yet returning my emails.
Another dream I have is illustrating a hard cover picture book 8.5 x 11 in size with a dust jacket, I really want the dust jacket!  But that may not happen as well. According to an article in The New York Times picture books are on the decline some of that is do to bad economy, another reason is parents are not buying their kids picture books (Click here for full article).

I am starting to illustrate my ninth book with 4RV Publishing called "Why I Am I Me?" written by Wayne Harris-Wyrick,  I have done a total of eight picture books and one YA novel. all paperbacks,
out of the eight that I have done seven are available for purchase and the eighth should be out sometime early next year (2011) called "Libby the Odd Squirrel"  More to come on Libby when I find out more.
Thanks for the ear
&
HAPPY COLUMBUS DAY!
     

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Diana is to blame

You can blame Diana for this one.  
Diana Navarro illustrator of "Priscilla Holmes, Ace Detective",  
wrote a comment that said
"I love the movement in this sketch and I hope to see you go further with it"
well I'm now working on it.
So this is the Pen & Ink version, I'm coloring it now.
Just remember not all your artwork becomes a portfolio piece,
sometimes you need to do it just for your self .

Happy Drawing!
&
Buy her book 

Can someone validate my parking ticket?

Monday, October 4, 2010

Angeline Jellybean & Halloween

"Angeline Jellybean"
 is the first picture book I illustrated for 4RV Publishing.
It is also the only picture book I did that has some of the holidays as part of its story,
the themes start with Easter and ends with Angeline Birthday.
(I know not really a holiday (except maybe to Angeline))
But the book is fun to read and the illustrations are not bad either.
With Halloween around the corner it made me think of a couple of the pages in this book,
and how this picture book could be given as a gift almost all year round   
You can check out the reviews on Amazon reviews
Written by Crystalee Calderwood, illustrated by Stephen Macquignon
published by 4RV publishing
to purchase this book there are many ways to get it
and of course Amazon
(you can find a link to this book as well as others on the top of my blog under "My Picks")

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Autumn

Happy first week of Autumn 

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Censorship

Censorship,
 In the past week or so I have posted three separate comments on other peoples websites and or blogs.  Not one of them has shown up; at first you think well it takes time for someone to approve the post then when you see others peoples post times are after yours you think hmm "didn't like what I said?"  "Tobe ignored or not Tobe ignored that is the question?"
This is also the time I wished I kept a copy of what I said so I could share them with you (when I wrote them I thought they were brilliant! if I looked at them now maybe not). But all I can do is give you a general out line of my ideas and the link to the post; the comments I tried to leave are about massage therapy. If any one has been reading some of my past post you will know that NY State law for massage therapy will be changing in January of 2012.

So my first one was to the S5431C- NY State Open Legislation site: this was my second comment I was posting the first one did go up, It said something along the line "That  I was frustrated with the fact that not one politician has returned my emails and if any lawyer out there want to take this on?"

Second went to the "Time Newsweekly.com" this local new paper posted what Governor David Paterson signed into law. I expressed how I felt about it, no sense to repeat what I have already written in  past post (Click Me and Me part2).

Third goes to "Shine"  in their post they comment on a new report written in the New York Times. The study was done on the benefits of massage therapy. Of course there were post by others who have no real idea about massage and in a strong way I tryed to educate the other people who left comments. I even included a link on how to find me, the link is from Spa finder  it has a couple of reviews about me as well. But it did not show up.  I guess they rather post "with or with out a release?" then me writing  "If your therapist is hearting you. You have the right to stop the massage".
Any one who blogs can and have censored what can be said on there site, so far the only thing I killed were two links to porn sites But in all three cases except about the lawyer thing I don't believe I was being negative or inappropriate, honest yes but not mean.


Original post was in "The New York Times" news paper a great read by the way.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

A few updates


Tree on house most cut away
Nothing to over the top is going on at this time,
hear are some pictures from the tornadoes that touched down in Queens on September 16th were I live.
 I was at work at the time and did not know what happened until I got home., I work in Manhattan two stories underground and none of the clients I worked was aware of how strong the storm was all I knew for sure was the "F" train subway line was flooded and service was suspended. But by the time I was done working it was functioning again.  I was told by my girlfriend when I got home about the strong winds & rain but it was not till the next day I realized how much damage was done.
 Hear are some pictures I took the day after and a few days after that  
this was the day after red car under a tree
Same car two days after the storm
most of the tree is gone except from on top of the car
 
front of car
                


Also something fun I did a few illustrations for a online magazine called 
"Berry Blue Haiku"
I believe it come out quarterly
you can pick up your copy online by clicking
 I'm on page 10-11
I hope you purchase the magazine to see what I have done

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

"The Marzipan Pig" part 2



More artwork from the
"The Marzipan Pig"
Nothing to add just found two more storyboards and wanted to share them.
 The only thing I can add is that I colored them with magic marker & color pencils  

To see this scene of the pinky-orange hibiscus  flower  just "Click"  and it will take you there enjoy the day!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The Marzipan Pig 1990

So once again I'm stepping back in time. The year is 1990 the place Michael Sporn Animation Studio NYC.
After my interview with Wendy Sargeant about the animation industry and a few other random happening in my life for last few days, It made me pause and reflect on were I was and why or how I allowed to lose contact with people I cared about. Good question maybe one day I'll give an answer.
But what I will share is this. For those of you who have HBO Family channel you may of seen on August 16th "The Marzipan Pig" it is a 30min adaptation of Russell Hoban book done for HBO.
One of my favorite jobs was being a "Color Stylist" I would take the story boards and start breaking down how a movie will get colored. This Story board was drawn by Tissa David in the animation world she is a big fish. A fantastic artist that I truly respect. I don't have the black & white version to share.
"The Marzipan" book is black and white so I had no color guide to work from and I think I'm in my early to mid 20's not a life time of experience that I thought was required to take on this job. I was living in Brooklyn at the time with its row of brownstones this type of reference was a great help looking into other people window (wha?) to see the color of the drapes and bits of furniture.
This is the finished background done by one of the following Background Artist that we worked with 
Laura Bryson, Carol Kilbanks, or Charlotte Cary-Booth. The movie came out beautifully with the help of a lot of talented people. A must see! it is timeless story and it does not date itself one of my favorites that I worked on. 
                                                          
       

Monday, August 16, 2010

Happy 50th

Happy 50th
Anniversary
 "Green Eggs and Ham"
what more can I say instead I decided to post a couple of  video links
Saturday Night Live Rev Jesse Jackson reads "Green Eggs and Ham"  
& the animated version





Saturday, August 14, 2010

I'm in Australia!

I'm in Australia!
 well almost I have been interviewed
 by Wendy Sargeant 
on 

I also want to say Thank You
Stephanie Burkhart
for having me be part of
"The Giving Meadow"
blog tour
It was a lot of fun to put together the post. 
Now go read the interview, go buy the book and enjoy the rest of the blog tour & your day

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The Giving Meadow on Tour with Stephanie Burkhart


"The Giving Meadow"
was a joy to illustrate, there is such a flow to the words that the images really just came to me very easily; putting it down on paper was another matter.  But all the hard work was worth it.
A few things helped me make this book the best it could be. 

1) Stephanie wrote a simple tale with a lot of heart and it did not require a lot of text to make it work, which gave me more room to create the illustrations without worrying so much about where the text will fit.

2) In June of this year I did a little post called "Maurice Sendak & The Giving Meadow" it was about how seeing the Maurice Sendak artwork on exhibit inspired me to take my own artwork to the next step. If you ever get a chance to be that close to someone who inspires you Do It!

3) Also, on a personal note, the reference material I used for the snake in the story came from my cousin Joey who owned the snake. He past away in a car accident only a day or two after I finished some of the first pages of the book when the snake comes into the story.  I never got a chance to share it with him. But I will be able to share it with his son.     


I just want to thank Stephen for having me today on my blog tour for my children's book, "The Giving Meadow."
Just a little about me: I was born in Manchester, NH but live in Castaic, California with my husband, Brent, and two sons, Andrew and Joseph. I have fond memories of Manchester, but have made California my home. I earned a BS in political science from California Baptist University in 1995.



I have been writing since I was 5, first making homemade comic books. Now, I work on creating short stories and novels. I spent 11 years in the US Army and over 7 years in Germany. Writing is a passion that still challenges me. The Giving Meadow is my first children's book and my first book with 4RV Publishing.


THE BLURB:
The Giving Meadow is about a caterpillar who hatches from his egg in the middle of a meadow. As he travels through the meadow, he meets new friends who learn the value of sharing.


THE INSPIRATION:

I go to Blessed Kateri Catholic Church (in Santa Clarita, CA) and I'm involved in our Sunday Preschool program. We call it Little Church. The program works with 3, 4, and 5-year-olds. I help to teach the 3's along with 3 other talented ladies, Shirley Chang, Maureen Dunahoo, and Mary Tesselaar. Every year I help to write the Easter play for the children. In 2009, "The Giving Meadow" was our Easter play.


After I wrote it, I showed Vivian at 4RV. She's also a moderator at Writing.com and I wanted her feedback on the story. She offered it a contract! I was tickled pink. It was a nice, unexpected surprise. I can't thank Vivian (Gilbert Zabel, publisher, 4RV Publishing) for believing in the story and wanting to bring it to life.


GOODIE TIME: Leave a post here on the blog. I'll pick two lucky winners to receive an autographed postcard of the cover. Winners will be drawn out of a hat, and I'll return on AUG 13th to announce them.

Next STOP  Crystalee Calderwood on August 13th

Were else you can find Stephanie Burkhart on the Web:
Blog site ,WebsiteFacebook, & Twitter 

To Purchase a copy of "The Giving Meadow" please follow one or all the links below:

4RV PUBLISHING: BARNES & NOBLE:, and Amazon

Saturday, July 31, 2010

The Plaza and Eloise



The other day I read in a news paper something fun.  The Plaza Hotel in NYC is opening "Eloise Suite"
Eloise is a children's book about a little girl who is six years old and lives at
The Plaza, written by Kay Thompson and illustrated by Hillary Knight.
 What fun would that be sleeping in a room that is designed like one of your favorite books, kind of blows away Spider Man bedsheets doesn't it?
I personally never read any of the books written about Eloise (even though I may pick up a book now after reading about how the story came about) and  I do enjoy Hilary Knights artwork and have always recognized the book. I even had lunch once at the Plaza and somehow new Eloise story was based there.
It made me wonder how it must feel to have that kind of impact; that a story of as little girl living in a hotel could become so famous. Who knows maybe one day I will know for my self. (okay you can stop laughing) 
More about Eloise story can be found at her official web site "Eloise Wed Site".
  


Wednesday, July 28, 2010

So what is going on?

Not much at the moment like everyone else the heat has taken a lot out of me, I'm trying to get back into the swing of things and do some original artwork but it has been very slow going. I realized that even though I have done a lot of artwork over the last several years very little has been just for for me.   
So were to being?  I'm looking at older work to kick start me creative juices also need to go to a museum and or art gallery would help.

 Quick up date Hamlet is doing well.
After his seizure on Memorial day. He is walking on his own, we are not walking as far but he is doing it on his own power with no help from me. I have to say this has aged him between the the heat & the seizure certain issues he had before all this happened seem to be more prevalent.  But nothing can be done about that.



             07/11/2010


                "The Giving Meadow" 
Will be on a blog tour in August. I will be hosting or letting Stephanie Burkhart take over my blog on August 12th. When I get the dates of the whole tour I will post them.
Well that's it for now
stay cool!
Stephen



Saturday, July 24, 2010

Rena Jones is Running a Contest!

Rena Jones
 is
Running a contest!
So off you go to her blog site 






Run, run, run, as fast as you can,

You can't catch me, I'm the Marshmallow Man!

I'm sure most of you have heard of that goofy, flat Gingerbread Man and how he ran all over the place trying not to get eaten up by all those shady characters. But ... have you heard of The Marshmallow Man? Written for kids ages 4-8 years, this is a retelling of the classic story, but with all-new hungry characters and an all-new, twisted ending.

I've decided to run a contest for an autographed copy of my third picture book, The Marshmallow Man. There are two ways to enter ...


1. Leave a comment here on my blog telling me something about marshmallows. It can be anything you want to share -- a story, how you like to eat them, a favorite recipe, a childhood memory, etc. (Rena's Blog Site)



2. For those who have read the book already, you can be entered a second time simply by leaving a review on Amazon or Barnes & Noble. You can give the book as a gift, to your child's school, or keep it for yourself.


Pretty simple, huh? The contest will run for two weeks, ending Friday, August 6, 2010. I'll pick a winner (from a hat) that night and announce it the following Saturday. Please help me spread the word by telling your friends (your kids can enter too!), posting on your blog, on Facebook, etc. And don't forget, the book can be ordered through my website, 4RV Publishing, LLC, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, or any bookstore. And finally, I have some fun activities on my website for kids to do, so don't forget about those. Thanks and good luck!


Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The View

Petitions by Change.org|Start a Petition »




   I posted a couple days ago about a wonderful review I received from a client about how they enjoyed my work as a massage therapist, it made think maybe I should do more post telling about why I became a therapist maybe tell some of the funny and frustrations of being a licenced massage therapist living and working in Manhattan. Something to break up all the posting I do about my artwork to see more then one side of me. To educate others to show how what I do can be beneficial to  the wellness in your lives.
Maybe get people to realize that how we are not always portrayed in a good light by TV, movies, and by those who are just ignorant.
Well this was sent to me the other day just in time for my first post.
 I still don't plan to make it a habit on talking about my work as a therapist but I think from time to time just to break things up a little bit will be okay.
This type of ignorance is insulting to my profession.






Monday, July 19, 2010

Cold Spring NY (book shelf)

Well it's not B&N but its a shelf,
 in the heart of
you will find many charming stores and restaurants. You will also find now
"Angeline Jellybean", and "Would a Kangaraffe Make You Laffe?"
(Q) Where?
(A) Sandy's Casual Corner Antiques 93 Main street  book shelf  of course.

If all goes well more of the books I illustrated may find its way there  


Friday, July 16, 2010

My other life

I do not speak often of my other passion, I seem to focus more on my artwork on my blog site. But yesterday I was sent a link that is special, it's about me and I thought to share it with all of you.
I have been a NYS Licenced Massage Therapist since 1994, except for the term Masseuse it's a great review.
(Click on Spa Finder)

  

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Picture Book Cover Art



It's amazing what a picture can do.
For about a year there was no image (cover art)  for this book.
 Yes frustrating, how can you sell a book on Amazon or Barnes & Noble web sites and not have a front cover being shown. Somehow it was lost in the wash so to speak, I was busy working on illustrating other stories so I did not pay close attention to how long ago the book was published, and the publishing company has there hands full as well.   
It was not till I finished "Libby the Odd Squirrel"(maybe coming out in September) that I realized how long it has been, So after sending out some emails inquiring on the book cover. Then latter posting what I've done to promote the book and  letting who ever reads these post that there is still no image for the book, someone Anonymously made a simple suggestion on how I can fix it on my own.


Well the Book is not  ranking at #1 but it is now ranking at #1,653,874 in Books and it is ranked the top seller of the books I illustrated.
This is in no way saying that this picture book is better then the others because they are all special in one way or another and even though I have my favorites, I will never tell because I don't ever want any of the picture books get jealous of one another.
Happy Reading! 

Monday, July 12, 2010

Well I didn't win

Not to long ago I did a contest to see if I could win a "albino python"
for my nephew
Sorry to say it didn't happen
But here is the artwork!
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