Final Photos From Lantern Asia, Norfolk Botanical Gardens.

*This exhibit is closed.

These photos were all taken with my iPhone 5s, at the Norfolk Botanical Gardens, Lantern Asia Exhibit, Spring 2016.

These are the final decent shots I got on the walk.  If you have the chance to go to this exhibit, trust me, these photos do not do it justice. Go!




You love Me


sulk with sad eyes

pleading Me to stay

as I dress to leave


I love You


I leave You

alone forever

again and again

You meet my return



with joy

Nails hitting linoleum

Behind the door

Jumping paws

Beating the rhythm


Happy Barks

jd sleeping

This poem was written for a college English assignment.  My fur babies –

Dream Goals Update

So, what have you been doing?


I researched how to get my illustrations (awkward art) into picture book form.  I took a course on picture book illustration through Children’s Book Academy.  The esteemed Mira Reisberg and her faculty have more knowledge and experience than you can shake a stick with, at, or accumulate.  Unfortunately, I didn’t learn half of what they presented.

They blew my mind.  So many self and influenced walls of concept regarding illustrations, picture books, and story writing were smashed.  I can’t thank them enough, and the fellow students. Students isn’t the right word.  These were artists who were gifted.  I was not in their league, but they were gracious and helpful.

So, my initial confusion is slowly giving way to trial and error attempts at not just the illustrations, but now how to get those paper drawings into an ebook format as well as one that will upload for printing purposes.  Whew!

The first thought was scanning the actual images and creating the files needed. Problem?  In order to make up for my lack of abilities in the art department I learned that proportion can be my friend. Making the illustrations much larger and using a wonderful gadget I learned about from Mira, a proportional scale (found at Hobby Lobby of all places back between the drawing and drafting supplies).  Book page size in contrast to the size drawings I need that will scale down and make small errors less obvious.  (A true blessing to someone with my rough, unskilled attempts.)

The needed scanner would have to be a large flatbed to produce decent files.  That was going to be expensive and just sitting.  What if I never do another picture book? Never pick up another paint brush?  That would be rather foolish spending.

How else could I get what is needed?

Digital photo.  AH! Now we are talking. Though none of our ‘cheapie’ cameras could produce the intricate files that I need to work with, more limitations.  Sigh.

Discussion with Anthony led to searching the internet for a decent camera.  Further research led us to purchase a Cannon T5i.  One we can use for art, and life.  Even if I never draw again, we have children, grandchildren, and holidays. You name it, we can still make use of the camera.  So for the last few months pricing was the big hurdle.  Finally found an acceptable price for my Mother’s Day gift. Perfect!

Now to work on learning to use software to tweak the digital files to the best possible with my education and understanding of how it all works.  There is now a production schedule in place for getting the illustrations completed, photographed, edited and compiled.

So, maybe, just maybe, this is really going to happen.  Will keep you updated.

Character map and thumbnail sheet from Picture Book Illustrating course from Children's Book Academy
Character map and thumbnail sheet from Picture Book Illustrating course from Children’s Book Academy color wheel and proportional wheel purchased. 


Ideas From Real Life

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A hike in the Garden of the Gods, a part of the Shawnee National Forest in Herod, IL was not only an opportunity for pictures, but as I continue to work on illustrations on the picture book, it gave me ideas.

I wonder if anyone else can look at the photos and let their imagination run wild as it did as a child.  Do you see the faces and beings that could be a part of a scary bad dream?  This hike shifted my viewpoint from an adult to that of a child again.

How I look at the illustration of the story has shifted a little.  On the right track, but really couldn’t see how to make it come together.  This little adventure proved to be a compass to help me find the right trail.