I’ve been playing around with digital collage this week. This illustration, called One Yellow Flower, is the result of my first attempt at digital mixed media collage.
I started painting my own papers to use in collage illustrations last summer. I’ve been scanning those papers, along with pieces of fabric from some of my favorite sweaters, a pair of jeans that were wearing out, and other materials and photographed elements.
I’ve been learning and having a lot of fun. With the learning curve and the time it takes to “cut out” the different pieces by erasing around the shapes I draw so I can isolate them and add them to my “canvas” piece by piece, it would be faster to use physical paper. But this way I simply hit “undo” if something doesn’t turn out right. AND I can keep an endless supply of my favorite painted papers 🙂
I may eventually prefer one method of created collage artwork more than the other (working with digital elements versus working with physical elements). But, in the meantime, I’m loving every part of the creative process–and the endless options that collage makes possible.
Readers’ Favorite is one of the largest book review and award contest sites on the Internet. They have earned the respect of renowned publishers like Random House, Simon & Schuster, and Harper Collins, and have received the “Best Websites for Authors” and “Honoring Excellence” awards from the Association of Independent Authors. They are also fully accredited by the BBB (A+ rating), which is a rarity among Book Review and Book Award Contest companies.
“Reviewed By Gail Kamer for Readers’ Favorite
The cover of Ten Swishy Fish (Bite-Size Books for Beginning Readers) by Bernice Seward is a hook in itself with huge-eyeballed fish swishing here and there. No fish on a hook here but certainly the reader is hooked. The rhyme and rhythm of the story encourage the reader and the listener to swish to the right with the fish. Oh, wait. The fish see teeth creeping to the left. Will the little fish become shark dinner? Swish right in to read Ten Swishy Fish to find out.
I loved Ten Swishy Fish (Bite-Size Books for Beginning Readers) by Bernice Seward. It’s a fun read and the illustrations are beautiful. In addition, Ten Swishy Fish shares the story as a counting rhyme. The ending is so cute and just a bit unexpected. Ten Swishy Fish alone encourages a discussion of prey and predator. Ms. Seward includes enrichment activities at the end of the book which relate to story structure, personal opinion, artwork, body movement and mathematics.
Ten Swishy Fish has a listening level for very young children and an independent reading level of about kindergarten. Given the beauty of both the written word and the illustrations, older reluctant readers will love reading this book “on their own.” Ms. Seward has included her website URL. On it she provides information for writing using a graphic organizer that children will easily understand. I highly recommend Ten Swishy Fish (Bite-Size Books for Beginning Readers) by Bernice Seward to anyone looking for a fun read.”
My newest book, entitled At the Haiku Zoo, released today!
The book was inspired by a trip my family took to Busch Gardens in Tampa Bay, Florida. Busch Gardens has a wonderful balance of amusement park rides and animal habitats–which energized the thrill-seekers in our group as well as the animal-lovers. I could have spent days there!
The biggest challenge in writing this book? Narrowing down which wild animals would inhabit the pages! I love involving other people in the writing process, so I conducted two surveys to help with this. I posted the first survey on Facebook, asking people to name the five animals they most liked to see on a trip to the zoo. Here are the results of the Facebook survey:
Using the results of the Facebook survey, I made a list of 18 animals and asked early elementary students to vote for their favorite animal. Here are the results of the student survey:
Although none of the students voted for the giraffe, I took the liberty of making sure one made it into the book–after all, they’re one of MY favorite animals to visit:-) Also, if you look, you may notice a correlation between the students’ survey results and the cover of the book.
Haiku is such a beautiful form of expression. It invites us to extricate ourselves from the busy rush around us. To focus on the here and the now of a little slice of life–a slice we might miss out on otherwise. Like a photograph, a haiku poem creates a snapshot–a word snapshot–of a moment in time.
I hope that you enjoy the word snapshots in At the Haiku Zoo.
This is an illustration I did for a Christmas coloring book. It was fun to read the Christmas story in Luke Chapter 2 and to imagine what transpired around the time Jesus was born. I don’t think I’d ever realized how long the trip was that Mary and Joseph took until I worked on this project–they traveled 80 to 90 miles to get from Nazareth to Bethlehem!
A trip of 80 to 90 miles is nothing for us with our current forms of transportation, but for Mary and Joseph–who may or may not have had a donkey to help with transport–it was quite an undertaking. Especially since baby Jesus was due anytime. Having had four children of my own, I can’t imagine making a trip like that in the last few weeks of pregnancy!
Anyway, I wanted to take a moment to say Merry Christmas, and to give you a little gift. If you click on the image above, you can download a free coloring page for Mary and Joseph’s trip to Bethlehem.
You may have noticed that I’ve been pretty quiet lately. Whenever that happens, you can be sure that I’m hiding away, working so hard on something that all my time and creativity are funneled toward that task.
And that task is now complete–hurrah!
For the past year and a half or so, I’ve been working on the story for Duck’s second picture book. This story originated from a vivid memory an aunt (I love you,Auntie Jane!) has about a certain “frog incident” that occurred when I was too young to remember (or to know better, hopefully). Said incident involved a cup of coffee and a frog and you can guess who instigated the incident (or find out by watching the video above or by reading this blog post).
I’d worked on the story off and on, but the details didn’t “click” until this fall when I discovered what Duck’s problem REALLY was (I already knew what Auntie Duck’s problem was :-), but she wasn’t the main character). Now that the last details have been completed and the book is available (ask for HAVE YOU SEEN MY FROG? at your favorite bookstore or find it at Amazon.com here), I won’t be QUITE as quiet.
In fact, over the next couple of weeks I’ll be posting some of the behind-the-scenes stories that have been percolating (watch out, Auntie Duck!), some ways to use HAVE YOU SEEN MY FROG? to create teachable moments with children, and other goodies pertaining to the story.
Enter to win an autographed copy of The Very Hungry Duck!
Entry begins April 21, 2015 (12:00 am) and ends May 1, 2015 (11:59 pm).
Just click on the following link: a Rafflecopter giveaway and follow one or more of the instructions listed there. You can enter every day!
After you enter to win this copy, you can increase your odds of winning another book if you go to Goodreads and enter a separate giveaway there! This link will get you there ASAP: Goodreads giveaway for The Very Hungry Duck.