New Children’s Book

There has been a lot going on here of late, enough so that I have not been able to contribute to this site in a while. Coming soon: some photographs and notes on the Ukuleles that were described in the last post, and some updates on the boat page, but for now; let me plug a new children’s book. Cat In the Clouds.

 

                This is the fifth book I have illustrated and the second children’s book. The book is about Nin, a lost cat who finds a home at the Mt Washington observatory, on the summit of Mt Washington. Nin is a real cat, he lived on the summit for twelve years, and the book’s author, Eric Pinder knows Nin well.  Nin is quite a local celebrity, so much so that when he retired from the summit, the news made CNN!

               I like the challenges presented by illustration work. I like trying to create images that catch the eye but that do not necessarily give away what is in the text. I also like trying to find a style that compliments the writing. Cat in the Clouds is, essentially, a true story, so I tried to make the watercolors true to the setting, while keeping the focus on Nin. This presented a constant balancing act between those images that were more panoramic and those that were more about Nin.

                I have worked, and do work, in a number of mediums. Watercolor has become one of my favorites. I like the spontaneity and the immediacy of watercolor, but I also like the challenges. For example, unless you are just trying to get beautiful big splotches of color (and some painters just want that) it is an extremely difficult medium to master. I think part of the reason for this is that there is a continual tension for the painter between a well thought out approach to a subject, knowing what areas to leave light and where to apply darker colors to the composition, and an ability to take advantage of those moments when the combination of paint paper and water does something unexpected. Another way to look at this is that if you just want to be surprised, watercolor is easy. If you are actually trying to achieve a specific look, it is much harder.

 

Front piece from Cat in The Clouds

Front piece from Cat in The Clouds

From Page 11, Cat In The Clouds

 

 

In case you were wondering each watercolor took on average four hours.

 

            So now you know what happened to at least one month of my winter. The book is available here through Amazon.com, or you can go direct to the Publisher, The History Press.


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One Response to “New Children’s Book”

  1. Aaron Clow Says:

    Just wanted to say thanks for the wonderful illustrations. I’m from NH and my wife picked up this book recently. We read it at least once a week to our 3-year-old at bedtime. Every year we vacation in the White Mountains, but have not yet taken him to the top of Mt. Washington. I think next year will be the year. Unfortunately, there will be no Nin there, but hopefully we will all have a blast at the top and he will recognize a lot of the surroundings from your fantastic artwork. Cheers!

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