Today’s the day the Teddy Bears have their picnic

Assignment: Paint a picnic basket for the Henry Sheldon Museum’s 26th Annual  Pops Concert and Fireworks Display summer fundraiser.

Materials: basket, gouache paints, love.

Process: Get an idea, do some research, make a sketch.

You know me and bears, we seem to be inseparable lately.  So it wasn’t much of a leap to choose the lyrics to Teddy Bear’s Picnic as my inspiration. This version by Anne Murray is lovely, but beware–it is a major earworm!

20180330_094150_resized_1

I did a rough little pencil sketch, added some color and was set to do the finish.

30442674_10156145122964871_2056877194017243136_o

I painted a sunny background, leaving the edges of the lid showing.

20180330_094200_resized_1

Once the background was dry I added the bears, flowers and more flowers.

20180330_122942_resized

Some bees create the lines for the text: Today’s the Day the Teddy Bears Have their Picnic!

20180331_095137

And what is a picnic basket without a yummy surprise inside?

20180331_094057_resized

This basket is beautifully lined with padded linen and has the nifty chain to keep the lid at a comfortable angle.

20180331_095215_resized

Making the handles jolly with multicolored stripes was the final touch.

20180331_095232_resized

Summer seems WAY far away in this neck of the woods, but I know it’ll come someday and If you go down to the woods today, you’d better not go alone!
It’s lovely down in the woods today, but safer to stay at home!
For ev’ry bear that ever there was will gather there for certain, because
Today’s the day the Teddy Bears have their picnic!

20180331_095031_resized

20180331_095433_resized

 

Advertisements

Joining the team at the 2018 Tunbridge World’s Fair

Teamwork is everything in my business of creating picture books. The author/illustrator team, the author/editor team, the illustrator/art director team, all of the above, plus the marketing team, bookstores, librarians, teachers, parents, grandparents–ALL of us are on the same team–to get good books into the hands of children.

So imagine my pleasure when I was asked by Robert Howe, Tunbridge Fair’s postermeister, to join his team and design the official poster for 2018. The theme is Celebrating Working Teams.

Of course the word Team can mean something different at the fair, but I still took it as a good omen.

The 1st time I went to the Tunbridge World’s Fair was with my parents, back in the early 1970s. We camped at a friend’s farm in nearby Chelsea and drove over to the fair, always held the 1st weekend after Labor Day. In those days there were still girlie shows at this and other Vermont Country fairs.

fair

The Tunbridge World’s Fair was, and still is, a genuine agricultural experience, set in a lovely, narrow river valley.

Tunbridge2015 copy

There are horses, cattle and sheep, pigs, chickens, goats and rabbits proudly on display.  There is a midway with rides and game booths, and all the greasy, sweet fair food you could want.

Nowadays, I go to draw the animals and the people.

Gabby and the Girls

So it was no surprise that the poster I chose to design featured both.

sketch_1

I was lucky to be given excellent reference photos by two fair photographers: Nancy Cassidy and Mark Dixon. Drawing from elements of these and my own research material, I created a rough sketch.

cass.boykissox

Photo by Nancy Cassidy

cass.oxen.parade

photo by Nancy Cassidy

dix,2ox.heads

photo by Mark Dixon

B&Wprint

Once I had a B&W linoleum print,  I painted it with gouache, layered a little painted carousel onto the girl’s tee, and added text in Photoshop.MGRTYPEgaptooth_1

I began by trying to match this old-timey font, found in the background of a photo, as my poster display type, but it didn’t enhance the finished artwork so I switched to Linolschrift for the finish.

photo 2

The last adjustment was to eliminate the “gap tooth” on the little girl. The consensus was that it made her look a little too young.

gaptooth_1

I’m pleased with the finished product. I hope 2018 fair goers are too!

poster2018

 

 

There’s a Fungus Amungus

There are mushrooms EVERYWHERE! Days of rain here in northern New England have produced a sprouting, thrusting crop of fungus, some of them edible and choice.

MUSHROOMS

Though I haven’t spotted any Chanterelles, like the ones Pumpkin is picking.

The shapes and colors of mushrooms make them fun to draw and paint. I have probably drawn them my whole life.

Lately I’ve been imagining them as tiny, secret houses.

You can own your own, hand painted mushroom cottage here.

Happy Hunting!

 

Taking to the Ice

In the summer my front yard is a huge body of water, a playground for boats, swimmers and fishermen.

In the winter that water gets a hard shell of ice and becomes an entirely different playground, a brand new piece of “land” where we can walk, skate, and even drive snowmobiles and pickup trucks. Fishermen set up their shanties, forming cozy little villages.

As children we skated here with our mom and dog Lumpy.

skating

When I illustrated my 1st book in 1983 I remembered times spent skating with my dog.

ayob

Cardinals in February from A Year of Birds by Ashley Wolff

During this Christmas break we got some lovely light snow and my sister and I set out to make this our new front yard.

We walked across the lake, following coyote tracks, and noticing where a bird landed, leaving wing and tail marks in the snow.

15626518_10154405424534121_4554678800588113289_o

We made snow angels ,

angel

built a buxom snow maiden,

maidens

did donuts,

donuts2

drank cocktails,

cheers_3

and lost our balance!

ashfall

Happy New Year.

Keep the wine handy.

We’re going to need it!

If you enjoyed this post, please  follow me here: Ashley Wolff Art on Facebook, my webpage , my Etsy shop, or Instagram. You can follow the blog by hitting the “follow blog” button at the top of the sidebar.