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.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Lyle,Lyle Crocodile 1987

HBO HQ NYC 2010




In my last post I wrote about doing a search on my self and one of the links I found was the IMDb (International Movie Data Base) it listed animated movie project that I worked on. It is not a full list some of the projects I worked on are not there. Back in July of 2009 I wrote about how I was hired to work on "Santa Bear High Flying Adventures" (only found in VHS format) I think I also mentioned about another project going on at the same time (I may have a film credit in this one) called, "Lyle, Lyle Crocodile: The Musical: The House on East 88th street" (only found in VHS format)



Well the other day as I past by one of my favorite book stores called Books Of Wonder I saw in the display window Lyle, Lyle the Crocodile it of course brought back some found memories for me one was of the cast party for Lyle, Lyle the Crocodile hosted by HBO this is also were I meet Bernard Waber who is the author & illustrator of the Lyle series (he signed my copy of East 88th Street that was given out to us).
You don't always appreciate what you have till it is gone. That moment I was on top of the world,
Me @ HBO party meeting Lyle 1987 I am in HBO hanging out with Bernard Waber at a party eating food, drinking.... having a few laughs. I worked with and meet some wonderful people during that time in my life and I am thankful for those memories I wish I had the capability to express it better than I am doing right now.










Monday, June 21, 2010

Did you ever notice?

Did you ever notice?

This is the title from "Brain Cells & Bubble Wrap" my Editor and the President of 4RV Publishing newest blog post.

The post is in part about doing searches on your self and what you will find. When she did a search on her self (Vivian Zabel) not only did 4RV Publishing and all the wonderful books came up but also some one with the same name who is or went to prison not sure which one.

I used "Yahoo" search and came up with something over 2,000 then I tried "Bing" and came up with 1,460 Bing seems to have eliminated some of the nonsense it is much more exact search , and "Google" shows about 4,550 some are duplicates so I'm guessing may be closer to the 2,000ish range.
I mentioned on Vivian's blog that one I enjoyed finding my name on IMDb
(The International Movie Data Base) it has many of the animated films I worked on listed there. But some others I did not mention on her site are "Wikipedia" also "Amazon", and of course just simple acknowledgement from Vivian when I won an award as a
Featured Illustrator that was very cool!
So what can you find?

Saturday, June 19, 2010

You need to check this out


Well don't walk, Run!!... Run as fast as you can.....

Rena Jones has put together fun activities using

"The Marshmallow Man".

fun for all the kids and maybe I might try


Thursday, June 17, 2010

Think Think

So how do I put all this together?
How do I compliment the text with my images?
As I said I spent time looking at other works.
So how am I going to make the chase sequence interesting? Different.
They are running threw the woods and?
"Run Run as Fast as You Can"
I'm asking this question to my girlfriend: How?
my response is a tilt of the head followed by a ???
Then !!! followed by :D
and off running I went down the rabbit hole of my imagination making sure that the wooded path they are running on follows some line from one page to the next with all its twist and turns, of that wonderful game, it was fun plain and simple.
I have to thank my Editor Vivian for allowing me to run with my idea,
also Aidana WillowRaven who designed the text for the book and seemed to follow what I was thinking with out the two of us ever talking about it.
The photo is part of the breakdown of the story some of my thinking processes that took place while creating the artwork

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

How?

(image From "I Know a Story a Wonder Story" (The Wonder - Story Books copyright 1938) )
How do you retell a story that has been retold as often as this one? A search on Amazon comes up with about 379 children's book with gingerbread in it.
Well first you have Rena Jones write it.
Second do your homework. I felt a certain responsibility to what was done in the past.
Fairy Tales are one of my loves so I started looking up other versions of the Gingerbread Man to see what was done old and new.
I wanted to make sure what I did was original with a taste of the past, not copy it.
Also newer versions like the ones done by Jan Brett was an inspiration.
All this information I was gathering was great asset to making this all work. I knew the story was a chase in the woods. But the question was, "How to make it work?"
How do I make it unique?"
(answer is to come hold on to your chair)
(more to come!)

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

RUN RUN

"Run, run as fast as you can;"
How many times in your life have you heard those word?
According to Wikipedia The Gingerbread Boy made its first print appearance
before that the story appears to have been past down from one women to another;
in the introduction they say from "great, great- Grandmother told a little girl ever so many years ago"
So you must of heard it a lot, I know I have. And what makes this version different then the others? I was wondering that myself when I was given the text. Yes the Gingerbread Boy/ Man is now The Marshmallow Man, but it goes beyond that Rena Jones retelling of this children's classic is fantastic! I laugh through the first reading then the second and enjoyed ever word over and over again as I plotted out the illustrations, I was cracking up so much while working on one of the sketches tears were in my eyes.
Let me be honest The Gingerbread boy is not one of my favorites, thinking back I may of been put off by how he was eaten by the fox, even after newer versions came out when he does not get eaten it still bothered me but this story has changed my view of the original story.
(more to come stay tuned)
Also please check out Rena's website for fun activities using "The Marshmallow Man"

Monday, June 14, 2010

June 6th & The Marshmallow Man


Just a note for those who have asked he is doing well!
This picture was taken on June 6th he is back to walking with out my help =)
Also "The Marshmallow Man"
is now available
"Run Run..."
&
pick up your copy today
(Stay tuned more to come about the Marshmallow Man)
Available at 4RV Publishing, Barnes & Noble, and Amazon


Saturday, June 5, 2010

Maurice Sendak & The Giving Meadow


At The Morgan Library was an exhibit of Maurice Sendak original artwork from his picture book "Where The Wild Things Are" this was at the same time the movie version was in theaters.
It was a great treat for me because I am such a fan of his work. The show had selected original pieces from the book also sketches and some of his writings. the only thing separating me from the artwork was a piece of glass I just stood there and looked, I let other people walk past me and drank it all in it was great!
I was working on the illustrations for "The Giving Meadow" I was inspired!
What an affect that show had on me, it comes across in the artwork I did for the book.
Thank you
Mr. Sendak
"The Giving Meadow" Caterpillar's adventure begins when he pops from a tiny egg. With the help of some friends, his adventure continues until ... His friends can't find him. What happened to Caterpillar?
written by Stephenie Burkhart, illustrated by Stephen Macquignon
published by 4RV Publishing
Available at 4RV Publishing, Barnes & Noble, and Amazon

Friday, June 4, 2010

I swear he sleep walks


I swear he sleep walks since Monday I have been sleeping in the living room looking after my dog. And every night he get up and paces back and forth from the living room into the kitchen. Back & forth, back & forth, back &..... Grrrrr! I look at him ask what he is up to? And nothing I finally put my hand on his back as he passes me for the one trillion time and then he settles back down on his bed and falls asleep with his ducky,

If he paced before the seizure I didn't know about it. He likes to sleep away from every one else so I have no reference point All I know is I'm grumpy!

Anyway, the illustration is a pen & ink with water color I did back in 2007 or 08? called "Sleeping Under the Moon" I have used it as my avatar ever since and never get tired of looking at it.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Hamlet

(click on the drawing to enlarge)
I have decides to post sketches, drawings, and photos of Hamlet that I have created or taken over the years. They will not be in any kind of order just whatever I dig up first.Since his seizure on Monday, he has been getting stronger and is starting to stand on his own again. Also Hamlet is taking longer walks with the aid of a harness for his back legs not bad for a dog who is 14 years old, over all I am happy on the progress.
This is a water color sketch it is part of an idea I had for a picture book called "Tricks for Treats" Hamlet is the one with the flower costume in the lower left hand side of the page pulling his wagon. The wagon is a on going joke in his life part because he is half Husky and could pull you down the street. The closes thing he ever really got to pull was a red plastic car that my nephew was sitting in when they were both very young

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Memorial Day


On Memorial Day while most was out and about I was at the NYC Animal Hospital with my eldest dog. He is 14 years of age and has several health issues all under control until yesterday when he had a Grand Mal Seizure that freaked the poop out of me he is doing better today still not 100% back but better I really thought I was leaving the hospital yesterday with out him ever coming home. But now only time will tell if he will re coop to were he was before the occurrence. They did a great job taken care of him I thought they were very caring & professional I feel very lucky they are located in Queens.
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