Sleep

It’s late November here in Vermont ~ the time of year for hibernation.

Who hibernates? Bats, Bears,skunks, bees, snakes, and groundhogs to name a few.

Since moving from a mild California climate to the stricter seasonal progression of northern New England, I’ve become much more sympathetic to the concept of hibernation!

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On the last day of Baby Bear Counts One, Mama and Baby Bear are ready to curl up and sleep the winter away.

Showing the process of sleeping is relatively easy, but showing dreaming was a challenge in Only The Cat Saw.  When I was a child I often dreamed of being near the ocean or swimming when I really needed to get up to urinate!

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Enter a caption

Holly Taylor modeled as the sleeping Amy, way back in 1984

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Amy, dreaming in Only The Cat Saw. Acrylic on paper

Of course, we sleep all year long, and humans enjoy it as much as animals. Mostly sleep happens when it is too dark to draw, but sometimes a nap overtakes us, and when it does I seize that moment of daylight stillness to draw.

Since the late 70s I’ve drawn people and creatures I love while they were sleeping.

Here is a selection.

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watercolor sketch of my sister Peregrine, asleep on the couch after wisdom tooth removal..

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watercolor sketch of my sister Peregrine.

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this drawing of Rowan reminds me of Amy’s pose. Colored pencil on brown paper

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Brennan, asleep. Colored pencil on brown paper

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Rowan, asleep. Colored pencil on brown paper.

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Sabin, asleep. Marker on brown paper.

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Tula napping. Watercolor on brown paper

Cat sleeping page

Nutkin, sleeping. Acrylic on paper.

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Wildridge kitten, sleeping. Gouache on brown paper.

A Mural for Karla’s Room

I grew up with a fold-out frieze of Noah’s Ark running around the top of the walls of the room I shared with my sister. Gazing from my pillow on the top bunk, I studied every detail of those animals. I’m sure that must have influenced my choice of subjects to this day.

Last summer I painted a fantasy mural of a clearing with a pond, horses and some little houses for my grand niece Julie Anna. Her family had a new baby on the way and this summer,  7-month-old Karla got her own fantasy mural.

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To prepare, we set up lamps and a worktable, and draped the room with sheets.  

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I began with an spongey oval to echo Julie Anna’s  Pastoral scene, but I decided to go underwater this time.

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I added a sandcastle in the background and built up turrets and windows and seaweed until I was happy.

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Now it was time to introduce the star–a fat, little mermaid with long dark hair.
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Of course she needed an entourage of sea creatures,

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including a whale for Julie Anna, a dolphin for Karen, and an octopus for me.

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My other favorite bits now are the pearl in the oyster and the eel in the cave.

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Karla seems pleased. No smiling for the camera this time–she only wanted to pat, pat, pat her little mermaid.

 

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Life With Dogs-Part 6: Creatures Between the Dog Years

In 1992, Pumpkin died from old age at my mom’s house in Vermont.

I entered the longest dog-less period of my life.

 

When my boys were little I didn’t want

one       more       single      solitary      thing

to care for. Not even a house plant.

 

Cut flowers were too much trouble.

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It was lucky that Pumpkin, as my alter ego, was far more energetic and willing to entertain.

In her world we were visited by frogs,

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Lobsters,

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sheep,
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chickens, and

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Beavers!

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Homemade Christmas Stockings

When I was born my grandma made me a Christmas stocking.

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It was probably made from a kit-the elements may have been the same on ALL the stockings made for children that year, but mine has a little, pink angel, a lavishly decorated tree, a white house with a red roof, and a train, trailing tiny seed-bead smoke.

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I think emptying my stocking was my favorite part of Christmas morning. My sister and I always got candy and fruit. In this photo I can see walnuts, cumquats, tangerines, and maybe mini marshmallows.

Peri had her own  Grandma-made stocking but it had a few crucial differences and we spent HOURS comparing and contrasting the stockings. I still think mine is better.

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Later I began to ask for sour things: cocktail onions, lemons, pickles and homemade vinaigrette.

Hey, maybe there is something in there now…

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Uh-oh, those look too empty.

Let’s hope they fill up on Christmas Eve!

If you enjoyed this post, please like Ashley Wolff Art on Facebook, visit my webpage here, my Etsy shop, Instagram for plain old gorgeous nature photos, or follow the blog by hitting the “follow blog” button at the top of the sidebar. 

At Julie Anna’s House

Julie Anna is my Grand Niece.

She is two.

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She is going to be a big sister.

Her baby sister is due around the New Year, and Julie Anna is moving into a new room between now and then.

Her new room is pretty plain at the moment.

The walls are blank and boring, so I painted a mural for Julie Anna.

I called it Julie Anna’s House.

Step one: To get my client onboard, I let her handle my tools.

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Step two: Get some paint on the wall. Use sheets to keep the rest of the wall reasonably clean.

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Step Three: Add loads of little details for your client to stare at as she goes to sleep at night, or is failing to take her nap.

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Step four: Show your client the finished mural and see if she approves.

JulieAnnaMedley

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Step five: Give her a hug and wish her luck as a big sister. It is a wonderful thing to be.

Update: Julie Anna’s Daddy installed chair Rail and painted. Her Mommy Karen painted an old desk in purple with a white overcoat and distressed it. Her room is really coming together.

JA'sroom

Further update: Baby sister Karla Whitney Wurzinger was born on 12/30/13 and already has found a good place to be, on big sister Julie Anna’s lap.

JulieAnna&Karla.b.12-30-13oldweb

 

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

 

Full Circle with Baby Bear Counts One: Part 1

Making a book is a long road.  

The idea, the writing, the revisions, the further revisions, the submission, the offer, the contract, the negotiation, the signing, the dummies, the finishes, the year of waiting…

And it came to a satisfying, and timely, conclusion for me yesterday. 

I got my finished, bound book in the mail…BBCOFinishedBook-web

…along with a super sweet note from my editor, Andrea Welch, at Beach Lane Books

Every book begins somewhere and mine began visibly with the 1st dummy.

It will change enormously, but page 2-3 started out looking like this on my 1st thumbnail storyboard.

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I enlarged that little thumbnail and experimented with adding the text.BBCO2-3-type

But the text seemed squashed so I shifted the bears around,

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But now, to make the story fit, I had to leave space on page 2 for the copyright and dedication.

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So the final composition sketch looked like this.

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And the finished print like this!