I needed to take a creative break from work and rediscovered floorcloths. I started making them about 20 years ago and love them. They are fairly easy to do and surprisingly versatile. I get a roll of 12 or 14 oz primed cotton canvas and cut out pieces, usually for table runners, pet bowl mats or door/kitchen sink/shoe mats.
I paint with acrylic, often using characters from my stories. Then a coat or two of varnish and outline with a sharpie and another coat of varnish. Here’s one for my cats’ bowls:
And my front door WELCOME mat:
I put some plastic, grippy carpet stuff under the mats so they stay in place and feel a little cushy under your feet. AND…you clean them with your favorite spray cleaner. Easy. Once I finish the elephants and the cats in the second picture, I’ll do a #giveaway on Twitter to celebrate :))
I was experimenting with different coloring techniques on a black and white photocopy printed on Staples’ best card stock. The cats were done in watercolor and sharpie. Then I added some rubber stamping and sharpie pointillism for a different background, plus details and cat colors in metallic gel pens. If you’d like to try, here’s a pdf of the design:
Hat’s off to Dani Duck who started the “Bad” Picture Book Blog Hop last week. The idea is to share our earliest attempt at writing/illustrating picture books.
There are already lots of terrific posts to check out:
So now here we go. First, a big thank you to my mother who kept my pictures & books so carefully for these many years and who sent them guaranteed holiday delivery because my own stuff is so disorganized. First up is a collaboration with my younger brother Hans. He was almost 2 & I was 6. He dictated the text for AUTOS and added crayon color to my marker drawings:
My absolute favorite book when I was 8 was The Thirteen Clocks by James Thurber with incredible illustrations by Marc Simont. Here is my version:
I was terrible at spelling in 3rd grade, and I still am!
Finally, I’d like to share Count Rinaldo & Princess Salamanda. I think I was about 10 or 11 when I wrote/illustrated this one. Clearly, there are heavy influences from The Thirteen Clocks, plus, by now I was really interested in the Tudors. The count, depicted on the second spread with the red hair, resembles my then hero, Henry VII.
It is exciting to me to realize that I actually have not changed much in my tastes or style. And humbling to see that the problems that plagued me then still plague me. But now, I hope I can fix some of them!
Thanks again to Dani for putting this fun tour together and if you haven’t yet, check out her work as well as that of Becky and Marcie and Mandy and Sylvia and Rachel 🙂 And definitely tune in tomorrow for the baaad book of:
Feb 18: Teresa MI Schaefer