So, Summer has finally arrived in Vermont, and today we are actually reaching just a little over 80 degrees. The thunderstorms have been a little wild, but, they always remind us, that just as our own storms appear now and then in life, there's always, a rainbow at the end.
|Rainbow over the Green Mountains, Vt., photo by Christine Mix, copyright 2017|
|Mandy & the Little Folk, Christine Mix copyright 2017|
I also love participating in critiques, art challenges and assignments with fellow professional, published illustrators, authors, art directors, editors and agents, which help us hone in our skills.
One of the most repeated lesson's I've been learning are world building and drawing what you love most in your life.
|Character Development - By Christine Mix copyright 2017|
So, I'm working on character development for a new story based on one of our dogs, who passed last year to old age. Then again, as we are about to become parents to a new puppy, I have a feeling her personality will be sneaking in to the character as well. Either way - she'll make a great puppy model for gesture drawing!
The more I draw and develop my new puppy character, the more I think of what her world would be like, from a dogs point of view, and I can't wait to get going! It's good to find inspiration again and the magic of life.
This Summer has allowed me to stop, take time to rest, draw, write, eat, smell the flowers, splash in the water, visit a museum, listen to a concert, weed the garden, spend time with friends, family, love, play music, read and draw old favorite fairy tales and, be happy.
|Scene from Cinderella, pencil sketch by Christine Mix copyright 2017|
Life is good, if you let it be.
Happy Summer, filled with Rainbows to All!
May 9, 2017
|The Old Stratton School House, Stratton, Vt., photo by Christine Mix|
Here is more information from the school newsletter below :
Put this date on your calendar: Next week on Thursday, May 11,we will be having an old fashioned potluck at 5:30, followed by a short exhibition of the students “Windham History Project.” Immediately following we have a short time set aside for square dancing. It should be fun to search books or the internet for old time recipes. This is not exclusively for the school, bring friends, relatives, neighbors, and the more the merrier.
Special Thanks to the students and staff at WES, the local community who shared their time with us, Vermont Arts Council and the National Endowment of the Arts for making this possible - and successful!
April 16, 2017
|Old School House Town of Stratton, Vt. Teacher's Desk|
|Old Gas Light Chandelier, now electric, Windham Church, Christine Mix|
I felt truly inspired by such of an amazing group of students! Not only were they engaged, but, they were so excited to learn and see what their community was like hundreds of years ago!
Soon, once we get all of the photos uploaded, I will share more. The school is having all of the student's final art, stories, poems and hopefully some awesome images from their sketch books, printed and published in a book that will be sold at the local store in West Townshend, Vt., to help support the school. We will also be having a final exhibit and celebration, with an old fashioned contra dance... to be announced soon!
|Old Wood Stove, used for heating School Houses in the Winter, 1800's|
I have to say, the week I spent working with the students and teachers at Windham Elementary, was a wonderful, awesome experience! Made possible through the Vermont Arts Council and the National Endowment of the Arts. Special thanks to all of the teachers and staff at WES, all of the amazing students and towns people who made it such a success! More pictures and celebration dates to come! And thanks to the Brattleboro Reformer for putting the story on the 1st page last week!
On Another Note...
|Grid Exercise, by Christine Mix|
The day after I finished the residency at Windham Elementary, I had another great experience teaching a "Turning Photo's Into Drawings, Drawing With the Grid Method," workshop, at the Gallery at the Vault, in Springfield, Vt..
This was a good opportunity for me to also turn a photo of my Grandmother, Great Aunt an Great Grandfather into a drawing, which I will be painting soon as well. I really enjoyed teaching the class, as we had a few senior citizens who had hardly drawn before, and it was really special to see them turn a photo of their loved ones or pets, into beautiful and accurate drawings, and finding their confidence, and sense of purpose. It was great to see them smile and to take their inked drawings home, free to paint as they like, at their own pace.
As I once heard Ken Burns say, about his documentary on Thomas Jefferson, "If you don't know where you've come from, how can you know where you are going?"
|Sketch from President Obama's Farewell Speech, by Christine Mix|
|Random sketch from my pocket sketch book, Christine Mix copyright 2017|
Happy Winter to all!
|Is the Puppy Asleep? Pencil sketch by Christine Mix copyright 2017|
Living in the Northeast, I find myself always looking forward to Winter, where the snow, ice storms, and sometimes, even the flu bugs, slows us down.
|Snowy Vermont, by Christine Mix copyright 2017|
Here begins the season of hibernation, a time to take a look at our lives from the past year, or maybe even, the years before, and find ways to rest, re-think and revise. And, what better way to fill our cups again, then with a few good books to read, audio books to listen to, movies to watch, along with snowy walks and visiting with long lost friends?
As our cups refill, our imagination becomes alive once more, and encourages us to re-organize, line up our stories, pencils, pens, paint brushes, computers, and enjoy the free time to create. It's also a great time to fine tune, revise and finish those manuscripts and dummies to get ready to submit for the Spring and Summer.
|Revision of DS spread from Spike & the Wee Sea Folk, by Christine Mix copyright 2016|
As we come to the near end of February, I find it's a great time to start planting seeds - not only for our gardens, but, for all of those new ideas of stories and drawings that come to us as we rest, walk, play, cook and even shovel snow. A great time for new sketches, drafts and new beginnings.
Happy Holidays to All!
|Ship in the Bottle and the Fairy, Pencil, photoshop, by Christine Mix copyright 2016|
|It's Santa! by Christine Mix copyright 1995, watercolor|
|Silver Harmony, watercolor, by Christine Mix, copyright 1998|
|Spike's Christmas in the City, watercolor, by Christine Mix, copyright 1996|
|Spike Break's Free! Watercolor, DS WIP, watercolor, by Christine Mix copyright 2016|
|Model Sheet - Character Development, pencil, by Christine Mix copyright 2016|
|The Three Little Pig's and the Wolf, watercolor, photoshop, DS, by Christine Mix copyright 2016|
Life is always changing and when pets come in to our lives, they bring us so much love and joy. And when they leave, they remind us that life is short, and that compassion and kindness should be part of our lives everyday. Animals know how to love unconditionally and they can teach us a great deal, if only we listen, look and open our hearts.
Here are some sketches that I recently drew of three of our pets who have filled our lives these last few years.
Not only have they inspired us, but, their love and memories live on in our hearts - always.
|Mandy, 2005-2016, pencil sketch by Christine Mi copyright 2016|
|Buddy and Honey, Best friends, pencil sketch by Christine Mix copyright 2016|
To Day Job, or Not to Day Job?
|Double Spread WIP for Three Little Pigs - CBIG Illustrator Day, 2016, by Christine Mix copyright 2016|
This Summer and Fall have been filled with library programs, camps, seasonal day jobs, and of course, lot's of learning opportunities!
I feel like the ghosts, October flew by and the wind brought in November. I have, however, been sketching, revising, participating in critiques, on-line and off.
And I have to say, there is something about having other work, besides one's illustration, it always serves as inspiration for future stories - and working with great people a few times a week is a warm welcome from the isolation of an artist's studio!
Although I haven't been able to post on my social media as often as I should, I have been sketching and painting away behind and between, the scenes...
|Little Folk in the City Series, Sketch, Ink, for Inktober, 2016, By Christine Mix copyright 2016|
|DS Revise in progress, Spike and the Wee Sea Folk, By Christine Mix copyright 2016|
|DS Revise in progress, Spike and the Wee Sea Folk, By Christine Mix copyright 2016|
September is finally here and Summer is starting to cool down here in Vermont.
August 2016 - The End of Summer...
|Kid's Cartoon / Illustration Camp, Wilder Library, Weston, Vt. Summer 2016|
As I think about what to write for my August blog post today, I realize, it's almost like writing one of those essays we had to write on the first day of school as a child..."How I spent my Summer Vacation..."
Well, actually, I didn't have a Summer Vacation - instead, as a teaching artist, Summer is the busiest time for me as library Summer reading programs and children's art camps are in full bloom. This Summer I offered two programs - Cartoon and Illustration and Create Your Own Game Boards. (See the post from July, below for the children's game board programs.)
|Create Your Own Game Board Program, Joslin Memorial Library, Waitsfield, Vt., 2016|
It was even more fun watching children open up as artists, discovering their own potential and diving into the art of picture story telling, creating their own characters, finding themselves and making new friends.
It was truly an honor to be able to teach so many young aspiring artists, illustrators and cartoonists.
Even if not all of the children follow the path of art as a career, they have just found another way to communicate their ideas in all areas of life, developing self confidence and courage. They also have a found a safe place they can call their own - and that is in creating art, writing and reading books.
|Children's Cartoon / Illustration Camp, SVAC, Manchester, Vt. Summer 2016|
|Children's Cartoon / Illustration Camp, Poultney Free Library, Poultney, Vt. Summer 2016|
|Kid's Cartoon / Illustration Camp, Wilder Library, Weston, Vt. Summer 2016|
|Children's Cartoon / Illustration Camp, Poultney Free Library, Poultney, Vt. Summer 2016|
And I am happy to say, being around such young, fresh talent, inspired me to keep up with my own drawing and picture book dummy revisions! Below are some possible revisions for my PB dummy, featuring Spike, a young, clumsy dragon.
|Spike Breaks Free - watercolor character study, by Christine Mix copyright 2016|
|Spike Meets Ripley, pencil study for dummy, by Christine Mix copyright 2016|
This Summer has been a very busy so far, filled up with Summer Reading Programs at libraries everywhere! In Vermont, this year's theme is On Your Mark, Get Set... Read!
So I came up with a Create Your Own Game Boards program, inspired by my favorite game as a child - Candy Land! It was such a classic game and still is. I hadn't realized how much the art from the game, influenced me as an artist, all of my life. I was even more inspired when I read that Candy Land, the Great Lollipop Adventure, was designed in 1948 by Eleanor Abbot, while she was recovering from polio. The game was created for and tested by children who were on the same ward in the hospital as Eleanor, in San Diego, California. It was published by the Milton Bradley Company in 1949, and then Milton Bradley Company was sold to Hasbro, in 1984 - and the rest is history! As for the art in the original game, some believe that Eleanor created the art herself, but, it is more widely believed that the original artist for the game - remains a mystery.
I've had a great time teaching this program so far, and it's so much fun to watch children take the game, and create their own theme for it! Children are amazing, and make the best teachers sometimes.
|Spike and Ripley Reading on the Seashore, watercolor, by Christine Mix copyright 2016|
And, I've managed to finish a couple of new illustrations earlier this month, and am, as always, revising new ones! You can find the earlier WIP's of these in my earlier posts below.
|Champ and the Mermaid, watercolor by Christine Mix copyright 2016|
Spring has finally arrived in Vermont, and Summer is just around the corner - which means lush growth everywhere! I thought I'd share a little picture of our back yard, where we care take for a 19th century farm house. The view is always inspirational... and the animals and birds are abundant! And we had beautiful blossoms on our apple trees, which should mean - a good apple crop this year!
|Spring in Vermont, Apple Tree's in Blossom. photo by Christine Mix copyright 2016|
|The Magic of Bees, watercolor by Christine Mix copyright 2016|
|Borrowing the Magic Book, watercolor, by Christine Mix 2016|
Well, that's all for now. I am fixing this blog and will be adding new posts, links, illustrations, works in progress and hopefully some interviews this Summer, so stay tuned!
Well, it looks like May has finally arrived in Vermont, as the Daffodils and Tulips are in bloom and fiddle heads are in season. Last April was full of changes as we had a family emergency, and our little cat of 16 years old passed away. Life is amazing as these things keep us going, and during the last month I found myself being able to focus on the pleasant things of life - like drawing and painting. Focusing on creativity helps us to keep our balance and gives us strength to help others. Below are a few of the projects I've been working on and some are works in progress.
Not only did I focus on new promo pieces, but, also on new story ideas. There's more in the works, so stay tuned!
|Abby - Pet Portrait / Sketch by Christine Mix copyright 2016|
|Spike & the Wee Sea Folk - Character study, pencil by Christine Mix copyright 2016|
|Spike & Ripley, Work in Progress, watercolor by Christine Mix copyright 2016|
|Spirit Dancer - Boy, Ink, by Christine Mix, copyright 2016 - B/W|
|Spirit Dancer - Boy, watercolor / Ink, by Christine Mix copyright 2016|
|Spirit Dancer, by Christine Mix copyright 2016, watercolor|
I also was happy to be tagged in a 5 day Art Challenge on Facebook, by the amazing and fun children's illustrator, Patricia Keeler, http://patriciakeeler.blogspot.com/ . Along with the image above, here are four more images I drew for the challenge, below.
|Champ and the Mermaid, Ink, by Christine Mix copyright 2016|
|Charlie's Ship in the Bottle, pencil, by Christine Mix|
|Mouse Encounters Pencil, by Christine Mix, copyright 2016|
|The Magic Wagon Show is Coming to Town! Pencil, Christine Mix copyright 2016|
Happy New Year 2016! Changes...
|Spike's Halloween with Ripley, the Ghost, Christine Mix copyright 2015, Ink|
|Jack & the Beanstalk, Outside Jack's Window, Ink / watercolor by Christine Mix copyright 2015|
|Jack & the Beanstalk, Jack Steals the Goose, Watercolor / Ink, by Christine Mix copyright 2015|
Illustrations of fairy tales for a contemporary audience by 20 artists of the Children’s Book Illustrators Group (CBIG). Youth Wing
|Princess Irene & the Old Staircase, by Christine Mix copyright 2015|
|Princess Irene & Her Great, Great, Grandmother's Ring, by Christine Mix, copyright 2015|
|Jack and the Beanstalk, water color, by Christine Mix, copyright 2015|
Master Storytellers exhibit of children's illustrations, curated by amazing illustrator and visual artist, Donna Miskend, of CBIG-NYC, at the Poe Park Visitor Center, 2640 Grand Concourse, Bronx, NY. The show runs through May 30, 2015. For more information about Donna Miskend and the wonderful show she has curated, visit http://www.donnamiskend.blogspot.com/ For more info. you can also visit: www.cbig-nycExhibits.blogspot.com or http://www.nycgovparks.org
Happy Spring Everyone!
It's good to be back again, after a long year of Winter and some health issues I had last Summer and Fall. Good news - I am all back to par and began this Spring with my 1st solo art exhibit of children's illustrations in the last 5 years, at the South Londonderry Free Library, in South Londonderry Vermont. The show runs through the end of April 2015, so if you live or are traveling through Vermont, stop by, check out our local charming library and catch a glimpse of Spring!
With the start of a new Spring season, I am happy to be sharing the final version of one of the illustrations I've been working on, Jack and the Beanstalk, (written by Benjamin Tabart, 1807, and Joseph Jacobs, 1890,) for The Master Storytellers exhibit of children's illustrations, curated by amazing illustrator and visual artist, Donna Miskend, of CBIG-NYC, at the Poe Park Visitor Center, 2640 Grand Concourse, Bronx, NY. The show run April 1 for - May 30, 2015. For more information about Donna Miskend and the wonderful show she has curated, visit http://www.donnamiskend.blogspot.com/ An art Reception with special guests, will be on April 11th, 2015. For more info. you can also visit: www.cbig-nycExhibits.blogspot.com or http://www.nycgovparks.org
|Jack and the Beanstalk, illustrated by Christine Mix, copyright 2015, watercolor / ink|
Spring is just around the corner!
Last month I had so much fun participating in #kidlitart28 February Twenty Eight Day Art Challenge!
Here are a few more sketches from last month, all are works in progress. As we go through March, I'll be posting the finished versions here on my blog -so stay tuned
Meanwhile - enjoy!
|Jack and the Beanstalk, Ink, Pencil, by Christine Mix, copyright 2015 - Feb 26|
|Jack and the Beanstalk, Pencil, by Christine Mix, copyright 2015, Feb 13|
|Rough Sketch of Spike the Dragon, Pencil, Christine Mix, copyright 2015, Feb 24|
|Rough Sketch, Spike in the Park, by Christine Mix, copyright 2015, Feb. 28|
I've been working on a few sketches and revisions between shoveling approx. 18 inches of snow these last couple of days. Here is part of a new sketch I worked on today and yesterday, featuring Spike the Dragon, for #kidlitart28, February Twenty Eight Day Art Challenge! Thanks to Mercury in Retrograde, my wacom pad is not working this evening, or my mouse, so I can only post 1/2 of this sketch... stay tuned for the full revised version coming soon.
|Spike in the Park, by Christine Mix, copyright 2015|
Happy Winter! Feb. 6, 2015
Here's a new pencil sketch for today's #kidlitart28, February Twenty Eight Day Art Challenge! Jack and the Beanstalk, by Christine Mix copyright 2015. It's a work in progress, and the finished painting will be on exhibit in the NYC area, April - May. Stay tuned for more info. as we go into Spring! To see more sketches and drawings, by lot's of awesome children's illustrators, participating, in the Feb. 28 Day Art Challenge, visit: #kidlitart28 on Twitter!
|Jack and the Beanstalk, by Christine Mix copyright 2015|
So happy to jump in for #kidlitart28 February Twenty Eight Day Challenge! Here is a new rough sketch of my favorite character, Spike the Dragon. I am currently revising Spike's first picture book dummy. To learn more of Spike, check out his own post in the side Bars.
|Spike's Story Hour, by Christine Mix, copyright 2015|
Now that our computer is working again, here's a little tribute to today.
"Take the first step in faith. You don't have to see the whole staircase. Just take the first Step." Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929-1968)
|A scene from "The Princess & the Goblin," written by George MacDonald. Illo by Christine Mix copyright 2014|
Happy New Year 2015! )
We've got quite the snow up here in Vermont, and below 0 temps, but, we are warm in our hearts and studios.
We've also been re-building our computer for the New Year and it's almost done. It's good to be back on-line and to start anew. We're just trying to fix some issues with my photo shop and hopefully I'll be posting new sketches and work soon. Till the next time I post - May the new year bring lot's of art, books and creativity to all.
Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and Happy New Year! 2014 has been a year of changes and growth, all for the good. I wish everyone a new year of peace, love, joy, beauty, laughter, good health, harmony, creativity and abundance, in 2015. Cheers to all :)
Happy Winter Holidays to All! Dec. 12, 2014
I am so thankful that last month, I was able to get down to NYC for the CBIG -NYC Portfolio Review - It was well worth the trip. The event was wonderful and everyone was very professional, worked so hard and had a great time. It was nice seeing old friends and making new ones. I had to stay an extra day, and am so glad I did, because it gave me a chance to see The Original Art show, featuring illustrations from the years best children's books, at the Society of Illustrators. Visit http://www.societyillustrators.org/ for more info. The show runs through Dec. 20th, 2014, so there is still time to catch this inspiring show!
Now that I'm back and settled for the Winter, it's time to get working on the revision of that PB dummy - featuring you got it... Spike the Dragon!
Meet My Character Blog Tour! Oct. 27 2014
Happy Monday to all!
I am happy to present my part of the Meet My Character Blog Tour, which has been passed on to me by amazing children's illustrator and author, Ginger Nielson. Ginger is an ole critique pal of mine from the Visual Storyteller's Studio days, and she's also in the CBIG-NYC, as well as, SCBWI. I'd like to send Ginger a big THANK YOU for tagging me and giving me a chance to talk about my character, Spike.
To see and learn more of Ginger's books and illustrations, and her character, Lenny, visit: http://gingerpixels.blogspot.com/
|Spike's Halloween Hat, ink & wash, by Christine Mix 2014|
|Spike and the Wee Sea Folk, from PB dummy, watercolor, WIP, by Christine Mix ocpyright 2009|
|Spike Bumps into a Star, by Christine Mix copyright 2009|
What is the name of your character?
When and where is the story set?
What should we know about Spike?
What messes up its life?
What is the personal goal of your character?
Where can we read and learn more about Spike?
You can learn more about Spike on Spike and the Wee Sea Folks page on the side bars. I'll be posting more images of Spike's Magical Halloween, work in progress, so stay tuned!
I am happy to pass along the Meet My Character Blog Tour to a wonderful children's illustrator, Alison Lyne. I know Alison from the Visual Storytellers Studio Showcase and I've always admired her work. Look for Alison's introduction to her character on her blog next Monday, Nov. 3rd. Here is a little more about Alison:
Oct. 16, 2014... INKTOBER
Here's another little micro pen sketch for Inktober! For more info. and to view some awesome ink sketches, by some very talented illustrators, visit http://mrjakeparker.com/inktober
and check out #Intober on twitter!
|Fall River Fairy, sketch, by Christine Mix copyright Oct. 2014|
Happy October and #Inktober! (Oct. 9, 2014).
It's good to be back to drawing, painting, writing and bloggin. Like so many other wonderful Illustrators, I've jumped on the train and started drawing random ink sketches for Jake Parker's Inktober drawing challenge. To learn more, visit http://mrjakeparker.com/inktober . You can see more Inktobers on Twitter - #inktober
Happy Fall everyone!
|The Air Book Plane, by Christine Mix, copyright 2014.|
I'm on the up swing again, so stay tuned as I update my blog, including my Illustration Friday theme, my website, along with Pinterest and Deviant art. There are some new illustrations to post and in the making... Meanwhile - cheers to all!
Here's a piece I finally finished in August 2014. The Steam Engine Train Book, by Christine Mix, copyright 2014. Stay tuned for more revisions to come!
I am so glad I got to get down to NYC for the CBIG Illustrator Day this month - I learned so much. The art directors were amazing, honest, insightful and very generous with their advice for illustrators, it was well worth the trip. I am also glad that I took time out to visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art - (I haven't been since I was in college) - taking in the Pre-Raphaelites, (my favorite - Sir Edward Burns,) along with the Medieval, Renaissance and the Armor & Weapon Collections... truly inspiring. July 22, 2014.
|June 22, 2014 - Here's a new illustration in progress that I worked on at the Vermont History Expo., Tunbridge, Vt. (above).|
Here is a sneak preview of one of the watercolor illustrations I worked on during the Demo., and am still working on as a personal project.
|by Christine Mix, June 26, 2014 - work in progress... stay tuned!|
|The Lorax & His Friends Come Back, painted in honor of Dr. Seuss, by Christine Mix|
Proceeds support ABFFE's defense of the free speech rights of young readers. ABFFE is a co-founder of the Kids' Right to Read Project, which supports students, parents, teachers and librarians fighting book challenges around the country.. To learn more visit http://www.abffe.org/?page=Auction
I'm so happy to be able to participate for such a good cause!
Here's a new character sketch for the back of my new post-card!
Earlier Rough Sketches are below.
|Character Sketches by Christine Mix copyright 2014|
To start, here are some current character sketches (above), that I am working on. The top sketches are the 1st drafts - which I used my own photos for reference. The bottom sketches are the 2nd tracings - which I will clean up and add details, etc... there are more characters to come...so stay tuned!
|Little City Folk by Christine Mix copyright 2014, new work hot off the drawing board!|
Most of my colored illustrations throughout this blog are painted in water color and some are mixed with a little photo shop magic. Most of my black and white illustrations are created in pencil and photo shop and I'll be working with ink more.
We've moved as of last Nov., 2012, so my contact info. has changed - which is listed at the top sidebar.