Wednesday, May 27, 2015

rabbit with melty grape Popsicle and cow bouncing on pogo stick

Today's unusual holiday is Grape Popsicle Day! I combined that with the Illustration Friday prompt this week, "melt," to create this portrait of a young rabbit with melty grape Popsicle:


Now I want a grape Popsicle!

Over the weekend, I drew a cow bouncing on a pogo stick, for the SCBWI illustrator prompt, "bounce," for the June news letter (also working on a postcard with this cow):


There are a lot of different and cool responses to this prompt! Check out the #scbwidrawthis hashtag on Twitter and other social media to see more.

Want to see more of my unusual holiday art? Please click here.  

To learn more about my books or see my portfolio art, please visit my website, sruble.com.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

unusual holidays featuring: strawberries, seagulls, bears, turtles, and snails

This week I made more art for unusual holidays - and now it's been a whole month of every day holidays!*

Wednesday was Pick A Strawberry Day. My first thought was strawberries picking teams for a game, which is how this painting happened:


Thursday was Maritime Day, which was a good day for this seagull to give a salute:


This is part of a larger image. The hippo and the seagull on the right are jealous of the hat the hippo on the left is wearing (it's a Hippo-Ship Hat):


Friday was Waitstaff Day. This bear is a good waiter. He will NOT eat the pie before he serves it to the customer (maybe).


I didn't intend to put in the text or thought bubbles, so they didn't fit as well as they would have if I'd planned them. I still like it though, because the words being spontaneous is just like the bear's decision to eat the pie (or not). Here's a close up of the sign and the bear's thoughts:


Yesterday was World Turtle Day. I celebrated by drawing some turtle love (another paint test paper drawing):


Last, but not least, did you know that today is Tiara Day and also Escargot Day? I didn't either, but when I found out, I decided to draw this royal snail (more drawing on my paint test paper here):


Want to see more art for holidays you've probably never heard of? Please click here to see my art for unusual holidays so far.*

To learn more about my books or see my portfolio art, please visit my website, sruble.com.

*I'll continue to make holiday art, because it's fun and I've been doing it for a long time. I just won't be doing it every day.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

unusual holidays: tree love, pigeons with cake, and cows

The last few days had even more unusual holidays to make art for!*

Saturday was Love A Tree Day (one of my favorite pieces of holiday art so far):


Sunday was World Baking Day, a perfect day for these pigeons to bake a cake (or find one). This is a sketch from 2012, but I still love it and it fit for Sunday's holiday:


Monday was Museum Day, and another piece of art from 2012. This cow inspired by Stenberg Brothers exhibition that was on display when I worked at MOMA many years ago. I wrote a blog post about this image, the original movie poster that inspired it, and an earlier version of my cow poster.


Today was Devil's Food Cake Day, and this Little Devil Moo loves Devil's Food Cake!


I just realized that three of these four images feature cows.** Go Cows! Moo!

I'm still making art for holidays you've probably never heard of. Please click here to see my art for unusual holidays so far.*

To learn more about my books or see my portfolio art, please visit my website, sruble.com.

* My one month of daily unusual holiday art is almost up! I'll still be making and/or posting art for unusual holidays, just not as often.

** I like to draw cows. You might have noticed. Or not. Cows are fun to draw. You should try it some time, if you like drawing and you want something fun to draw, like cows. Did I mention that cows are fun to draw?

Friday, May 15, 2015

unusual holidays: jumping frogs, dancing chickens, a penguin barbecuing, eggs, dot day, and IF

The number of unusual holidays and what they're for continues to amaze and inspire me. I don't make art for every one of these holidays, just the ones that are fun to draw! And if a day doesn't have a fun holiday, there are always monthly celebrations that catch my eye.

This week was a mix of daily and monthly holidays, and a drawing experiment to see if I can make art with the colors left over on my painting test sheet (where I paint a line or spot to see what the mixed color is or how much color is saturated on my brush).

First up is a penguin who loves to barbeque, for BBQ Month, and also for the Illustration Friday prompt this week - pet - I'd like to have a penguin for a pet! (I really like how this one turned out):


May is also Egg Month (not quite as successful as the penguin, but still fun):


Wednesday was Frog Jumping Day (I drew a ton of jumping frogs on my painting page - this one is my favorite):


Thursday was Dance Like A Chicken Day (I drew a ballerina chicken that didn't quite turn out, and this dancing chicken - the middle pose is my favorite):


Today is Endangered Species Day (there were so many animals to choose from - I couldn't resist painting this Sumatran Elephant):


The other art news from this week is that I was asked to do a celebridot!  (For my dot, I re-imagined the back cover of Ewe And Aye. Instead of drawing a new adventure, they are drawing the story of the adventure they had in the book.)


Celebridots are created by authors, illustrators, and celebrities to celebrate International Dot Day, inspired by Peter H. Reynolds' picture book "The Dot". I'm honored to have been asked and to have my dot included in the celebridot gallery. Check out the website to find out more and see all the celebridots.

I'm still making art for holidays you've probably never heard of. Please click here to see my art for unusual holidays so far.

To learn more about my books or see my portfolio art, please visit my website, sruble.com.  

Sunday, May 10, 2015

a bittersweet mother's day

Today is Mother's Day. It's a bittersweet one for me this year, as it's the first year without my mom. May is bookended by memories of her. Mother's Day is at the beginning of the month, and her birthday was May 30th (or as she would say, "the real Memorial Day"*). My mom's name was Shirlee.***

Shirlee was a book lover, Jane Austen fan**, and children's librarian. She also had a large collection of book t-shirts, and t-shirts with my art on them (many of those were book related and she loved telling people that her daughter made the art on her shirt). Here she is with three of those t-shirts:


1. (top left) says: "So Many BOOKS ... So Little TIME."
2. (top right): This is my art. It's a picture of a superhero cow jumping over the moon.
3. (bottom): Me not wearing a book shirt, and my mom's shirt says: " A Book Is A Present You Open Again And Again. Read Books.

Shirlee loved travel and adventure. She got to go on many adventures, and was always up for another one. She even got to go ziplining in her 70s! Here she is in Alaska (top left), in a pool (top right) ... not sure where, but I think it was Mexico or on a cruise, and with me on the Staten Island Ferry (bottom):


She didn't get to go all the places she wanted to, but she traveled to many more places through books (sometimes traveling in real life and through a book at the same time):


I miss my mom, and wish that she'd been able to stick around longer, so she could do all the things she wanted to do. I also wish I'd been able to spend more time with her. I'm grateful that I got to spend the last six weeks with her, and that I got her this dog after one of her surgeries (my mom loved dogs, cats, ducks, many other animals ... this dog was an impulse purchase and one of the best gifts I ever bought her, because it was big enough to hug for comfort, or put over her like a blanket for warmth):


If I could talk to my mom or send her a card today, I'd say: Happy Mother's Day, Mom. Thanks for being a wonderful mom and for passing on your love of reading. I love you and I miss you. xoxo

* Memorial Day used to be on May 30th, every year. Now it's celebrated on the last Monday of the month.

** My mom did her dissertation on Jane Austen, and the last book she finished was Longbourn, by Jo Baker.

*** My mom was named after Shirley Temple, as many girls her age were. She did not go on to have a career in the movies, but she did end up changing the spelling of her name, to Shirlee, to stand out from all the other Shirleys, and possibly to annoy her parents.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

trains, lost socks, birds, bears, readers and triangles

I'm continuing to make art for unusual holidays. Here are a few recent holidays you may or may not have ever heard of:

Today is 3 holidays! It's Lost Sock Day -and- Train Day -and- Migratory Bird Day, so the birds are following the sock train (driven by the bear who liked blueberry pie in April, and who is confused by coconut pie below). Note: the car with the lost socks has single socks looking for a match, and the found car has pairs of socks!


Yesterday was Coconut Pie Day. The bear is confused about which pi day it is:


On Thursday, I celebrated Get Caught Reading Month and Children's Book Week with a tree full of readers. (Note: the colors of the original painting are better and have more contrast. I think I might need a new scanner.)


Did you see Ewe and Aye in the tree? Here's a close up:


 The prompt for Illustration Friday this week is triangle. I noticed recently that I like to draw and paint triangle shaped ears for dogs (probably because many dogs have triangle shaped ears - cats too). Here's a blast from the past picture of puppies with triangle ears (the image also has a triangle shaped design, formed by the crossing of the soda pop bottles on the bottom and the puppies on the top). This is also the only gouache painting I've done that I've ever liked (not a huge fan of painting with gouache - I like the colors, so I wish I liked the medium better):


Here's another old example of a puppy with triangle ears (this painting is acrylic, not gouache):


If you want to see my previous holiday art, please click here. I'm still making art for unusual holidays, so if you enjoyed these, please visit again!

To learn more about my books or see my portfolio art, please visit my website, sruble.com.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

wiggle kitty for illustration friday

The prompt for Illustration Friday this week is wiggle. I woke up this morning with an image of this wiggling cat in my head and had to draw her:


I'm still making odd for holidays you've probably never heard of. Please click here to see my art for unusual holidays.

To learn more about my books or see my portfolio art, please visit my website, sruble.com

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

holidays for nurses, teachers, birds, orange juice, Star Wars, and different shoes, oh my!

I'm continuing to make art for unusual holidays. Here are a few recent holidays you may or may not have ever heard of:

Today is Nurses Day. I met so many wonderful and caring nurses last year, who were not only good at their jobs, but also made life easier for my mom, and family while we were there with my mom (and did the same for every other patient they were caring for at the same time). Thank you to all the nurses for your care and your compassion! You make a world of difference to people who pass in and out of your lives every day. I made a heart to celebrate nurses today:


Yesterday was teacher day. Teachers are amazing and can make a real difference in the lives of their students. Two teachers who made a difference in my life were:

1. My first grade teacher, Mrs. Ralston, taught me to read books and encouraged me to keep reading.
2. My high school art teacher, Mr. Halstead, encouraged my art and told me I had talent, which was important because the other high school art teacher told me I didn't have any talent and should never make art again (but that's another story). He also let me hang out in the art room and make art whenever I wanted, which was awesome!

One teacher can make a huge impact, whether good, or bad. I'm thankful to have had both of these teachers in my life. Without them, I wouldn't be creating books now.


Monday was a mash-up of holidays. It was Star Wars Day ("May the fourth be with you."), Bird Day, and also Orange Juice Day! Therefore, I painted a large bird with a lightsaber and a glass of orange juice:


Sunday was Wear Two Different Colored Shoes Day (really, it was):


If you want to see my previous holiday art, please click here. I'm still making art for unusual holidays, so if you enjoyed these, please visit again!

To learn more about my books or see my portfolio art, please visit my website, sruble.com.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Independent Bookstore Day, guide dogs, shelter pets, and Mother Goose!

Today is Independent Bookstore Day! It's a great time to show your local indie some love if you can. Lots of stores are hosting events or have special gifts with purchase today, and of course, they have books! I've been continuing to make art for unusual holidays, and couldn't resist making one for Independent Bookstore Day today:


Yesterday was a holiday mash-up, with three holidays all combined into one piece of art! It was Mother Goose Day, Tuba Day, and Space Day ... so here's Mother Goose playing the tuba under the stars:


Thursday was Adopt A Shelter Pet Day, which made me want to juxtapose a puppy and kitty waiting to be adopted with images of them after they found homes (for more information on shelter pets and where to find a shelter in your area, check out The Shelter Pet Project):


Wednesday was Guide Dog Day. I couldn't resist painting a few little guide dogs in training (they have to start somewhere):


There are many more unusual holidays coming up, so I might have to make art for those too! If you want to see my previous holiday art, please click here.

To learn more about my books or see my portfolio art, please visit my website, sruble.com.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

unusual holidays featuring a penguin, puppy, birds, and a bear - plus art for ABFE auction

In my last post, I made art to celebrate Pig In A Blanket Day, and Arbor Day.


Since then, I've found there are lots of daily celebrations I've never heard of before. I decided to make art to celebrate those holidays too!

Saturday was World Penguin Day, and National Telephone Day. It seemed like a good opportunity for a penguin to catch up with all her friends and family on the phone:


Sunday was National Pretzel Day, and National Kids And Pets Day. This puppy is happy that his girl shared her pretzel with him!


Monday was Tell A Story Day. These little birdies are telling a story, and reading a story (EWE AND AYE). This painting is also going to be at the ABFE auction at BEA* (note: the colors look better in real life than in the scan).


Today is National Blueberry Pie Day! This little bear has a powerful nose that can smell blueberry pie from miles away:


Tomorrow is bound to have another celebration I can illustrate too! (And the next day, and the next day, and the day after that ...)

* I have a second painting for the ABFE auction at BEA. This year they're honoring Judy Blume. I had several ideas about what to draw before deciding to paint a girl reading a Judy Blume book (ARE YOU THERE GOD? IT'S ME, MARGARET), with a stack of her books to choose from when she's looking for another book to read.