Thursday, July 28, 2011

Page 9 of the children's book, "And Candy Smiled" written by Carole Sarkan

Life is so funny.  I really do believe that everyone we meet has a purpose in our life.  Everyone from the casual encounter to long term friendships are gifts from God.  A year and a half ago a friend from highschool, who I had not seen in 20 years, introduced me to her dear friend Carol Sarkan on Facebook.  She thought that Carole would enjoy hearing about how I had written my ghost tours. I had no idea that Carole's husband was my brothers closest friend, and that she has known my family for years, but had never met me! We have become very close since then, since we had many things in common.  One day a few months ago she became very excited when she realized that I was the one she wanted to illustrate her children's book.  I was hesitant of course, I am not an illustrator, but a portrait artist.  I know NOTHING about illustrating children's books! I had not even cracked open a children's book in at least 10 years. She had to talk me into it at first, but after reading her book I was moved to tears by the story and realized that I was meant to illustrate this book for her.  I really have no idea what I am doing, I am just letting my heart guide my hands.

This is page 9 of about 25 pages.  It is slow progress.  It takes me around 6-8 hours per painting.  Each painting is done on very thin watercolor paper.  I use professional grade Winsor and Newton watercolor paints, graphite, pen and ink as well as gouache.   After completing about 75% of the painting I cut it out with a small #11 exato  knife and embroidery scissors.  I mount it onto black mat board and then finish the painting.  This style of painting is called "Scherenschnitte", and is an old German form of folk art which was brought to the United States around the mid 18th century by German and Polish immigrants.  Carole had seen a few of these Scherenschitte I had done before, and was absolutely certain that this is what she wanted for her book. 

Look for "And Candy Smiled"  by Carole Sarkan, coming to book stores near you soon.

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