Saturday, December 11, 2010

Winter Wonderland & St. Nicholas, Snow!

 Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Mysterious and Lovely Solstice, Delightful Snow and general best wishes for It's a Wonderful Life, for everyone.

New Cover for "The Baker's Dozen"

       "The Baker's Dozen: A Saint Nicholas Tale" is back in print --
just in time for Saint Nicholas Day! A paperback 15th Anniversary Edition is available in the U.S. right now at and, and also for special order from your favorite bookstore. Over the next few weeks, it should become available on other Amazon sites worldwide.
        The new edition has a brand new cover and the lush, vibrant colors ofthe original. You'll also find one very nice addition: a bonus cookie recipe and pattern for Saint Nicholas cookies. The pattern was
contributed by the book's illustrator, yours truly, while the recipe comes from Gene and June Wilson of HOBI Cookie Molds, as modified by Anne L. Watson, the wife of the author, Aaron Shepard, for her new book "Baking with Cookie Molds."
   I am thoroughly delighted that this book is back; alive and well in the world as, of the books that I have had the honor of illustrating, this is one of my favorites.

    Happily, there has been more praise from others for "The Baker's Dozen":

    "The goodwill of legendary Saint Nick resonates in this tale about the origin of the term "baker's dozen".... Shepard's easy-to-follow retelling has an appropriate Old World flavor"- Publisher's Weekly

" A particularly nice holiday story accented by paintings full of detail"....Well-paced and a good length for groups or individuals, this is right on target for audiences. Edelson's artwork is filled with marvelously-alive characters who almost step from the pages"- Ilene Cooper, Booklist

"A lush new version of a traditional tale....A treat for the holiday season"- School Library Journal

" A story with a message to be heard during the holidays and all year long"-Children's Book Review

  American Bookseller Pick of the Lists
  Trumpet Book Club selection

click to see me larger

........and a Winter Woodland painting......


   May your Holidays be beautiful and filled with Love and a sense of Wonder, love Wendy

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Going to The Dogs....or It's a Dog's Life....or something about Best Friends

 "The dog is man's best friend,
He has a tail on one end.
Up in front he has teeth,
And four legs underneath"
     Ogden Nash  ' An Introduction to Dogs '
 Not too terribly long ago, I was a unacquainted with dogs and had only given my heart to a series of Maine Coon cats, including my current Coon, Stella Carabella.
My heart was stolen one day in Elmore State Park in Vermont by a beautiful golden wolf hybrid who had run away from someone, somewhere and adopted me, who I grew to love and named Daisy and who's death put a sad hole in my heart. After Daisy, I adopted Baci, the iconoclastic floppy ear-ed, fluffy, tricolored Corgi, who spends his days in my studio with me and his night curled up on my bed.
I am now an official Dog Person.
 Right now I am taking a break to paint bunnies, lots and lots of bunnies, Virginia Bluebells, ferns and violets and Spring mushrooms and pussy willows but I have been busy busy busy painting dogs.......and will go back to them again soon, then more bunnies, then more dogs, then bunnies
"Bulldogs are adorable, with faces like toads that have been sat on."
- Colette

Henry the Eighth and his Yorkie

Portrait of Gracie, a Chihuahua-Poodle cross

"When a dog wags her tail and barks at the same time, how do you know which end to believe?"
- Anonymous

 Dog - a kind of additional or subsidiary Deity designed to catch the overflow and surplus of the world's worship.
Ambrose Bierce
          If you think you might like a portrait of your dog, I'd be happy to hear from you and talk about what you have in mind! Please see my Pet Portrait blog Love Unleashed for more dogs......and cats.
          Thank you for visiting & I'd love to hear from you, don't be shy!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Two New Books! (and a Golden Moonbeam....and more!)

They've finally arrived, two boxes of books!

    What a lovely way to end the Summer, with two brand new picturebooks.....they are:
     Bartholomew's Gift
        Written by Diane Dignan
             Published by Ferne Press
                 July 2010
Little Bartholomew is bestowed with a unique gift at birth - an ability that his loved ones do not possess or understand. There is excitement and wonder when, as a child, he discovers the meaning of his gift and wishes to share the joy it brings with others. Misunderstood, he withdraws and denies his experiences until the gift disappears forever. Or does it? This story is for anyone who searches for wonder in everyday life.
  Purchase Bartholomew's Gift here or here

       and.....I am thrilled and honored to report that I have been awarded the Gold Medal in the Best Illustrator category of the 2010 Moonbeam Children's Book Awards for my illustrations for  Bartholomew's Gift!
 “The Moonbeam Children’s Book Awards are intended to bring increased recognition to exemplary children’s books and their creators, and to support childhood literacy and life-long reading. The Awards recognize and reward the best of these books and bring them to the attention of parents, booksellers, librarians – and to children themselves.”
       Thank you to everyone who has been involved in honoring my work in this way, and thank you to Diane for writing this book.....without which, of course, these pictures would never have been created.
        Sometimes, working long, l o n g hours through the night, one wonders, when the project is finally finished and pushed from the nest and published, if anyone else will care about the characters and the paintings that have become ones friends and family. 
      The true Gold is awarded when someone tells you the work has moved them to tears or a child decides that this book is their favorite and pours over the pages...but a shiny gold medal and golden stickers for the book cover are sweet reminders of those things in solitary hours.

   and I am humbled to add that Bartholomew's Gift was just chosen as a Finalist in the BBAs, the Best Books 2010 Awards for both Best Cover Design and Best Childrens Picture Book, Hardcover, with Audio categories ! 
     I am beyond grateful.
Pobble's Way
Written by Simon Van Booy
Published by Flashlight Press
        July 2010
A perfect bedtime story, this gentle tale follows Pobble and her father as they stroll through the snowy woods near their home one evening and, in Pobble’s imaginative and unique way of looking at things, nature transforms: a winter mushroom becomes frog umbrella, a floating leaf turns into a butterfly boat, and a feather is a tickle stick. In the excitement of imagining worlds transformed, Pobble does not notice when her pink mitten falls from her pocket. Soon the woodland animals gather and begin to wonder whether the soft, pink addition to the forest is cotton candy, a mouse house, a wing warmer, or a fish coat. With luminous paintings and lyrical language, this picture book celebrates family, nature’s beauty, and the power of imaginative thinking.
  Purchase Pobble's Way here

      I hope you enjoy these books!
    Thank you from the bottom of my heart to both Diane and  Simon

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Christmas In Summer aka My First Fabric!!!!!!

Hooray Hooray Hooray...
I am so excited, I feel like a giddy schoolgirl about to go out on her first date, or the way I felt when I  saw and held my first published book!
I had wanted to create fabric collections for a long time, ever since I had first learned that there was such a thing as licensing....and happily, I can now say that I am doing that very thing and I love, love, love it.
 My very first collection, Cookie Jar Treats for Wilmington Prints is available now.

There are projects to make and Border Stripes and 15 different prints and color-ways
  Pardon my silliness, I promise this is the only time I'll do this......but here is my very first selvage, kind of like people with new businesses frame their first dollar and hang it on the wall!
Christmas Cookie Apron Panel
I haven't quite gotten the knack of how best to shoot fabric yet, but here are some of the pictures:
Border Stripes
Various prints and colorways
I wish I still had a sewing machine and more available time to sew, it would be great fun to make a quilt or something else fun from  my own fabric.......maybe that will happen, we'll see. second collection, my Animal ABCs, now called "Alphabet Soup" will be available shortly ....I'll be posting that collection soon!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Pasta Al Limone for Breakfast

I'm busy working on projects that I can't post about yet, artwork that I can't show yet...and while my first cherry tomato and newborn green beans, less than an inch long thrill my soul......I don't pretend that in a world of green thumbs and happy  modest vegetal progeny would impress anyone other than myself.....
   a happy coincidence however has offered me an opportunity to post a new bit of art.
Today's theme for Illustration Friday is Breakfast and my contribution to Nate Padavick's wonderfully entertaining blog They Draw and Cook, which showcases illustrated recipes by different artists, illustrators and designers has been posted today resulting in the altogether possible  Pasta al Limone for Breakfast.
 While likely to be eaten al fresco under a cloudless blue sky or a canopy of stars as a midday meal or later in the evening, it is perfectly lovely anytime and would make a perfectly delightful change from ordinary breakfast fare......Perchè No?

Monday, June 14, 2010


Like many people, fellow artist, Kelly Light was devastated by the recent oil spill in the Gulf but she decided to do something about it,  and the especially wonderful thing about what she that it gave a lot of other artists the opportunity to do something about it, as well!
Kelly started a site called Ripple. On it, she is selling sketch cards created by her and many other artists, with 100% of the proceeds going toward helping the wildlife victims affected by the spill.
The pieces of artwork below are my contributions to Ripple. They are the size of trading cards...2.5 X 3.5. I really enjoyed painting this small, there was the sense of creating a tiny treasure, a small was really intimate and immediately gratifying to be finished with an entire watercolor in such a short time!
Visit the site to buy some great artwork and help out a good cause!

Thank you!

Friday, May 07, 2010

Sungold, First Flower!!!!!

   My little garden is just outside my studio window, and several times during the day, especially when it's warm and sunny.....I am drawn, HA! seduced, compelled.... to go outside and peek at the new seedlings.
   A few minutes ago I did this and was looking at the tomato plants, still in their pots, as the evenings have been too chilly to plant them out  yet and well WOW!.....there in all its optimistic, joyful Glory was the very first sweet yellow Flower, dangling from a Sungold plant! Most of the others have little buds but this was the very first valiant and darling actual flower......the promise of a tomato, of Summer, of expectations realized!
   I love portents and signs and am more than happy to see miracles around every bend.....this one put a song in my heart and made my day. It is sort of like a baby's first tooth.
See, in the upper right quadrant:
Welcome Flower!

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Sparkly Saints and Lambs

I promise, really I do........I will post some art soon, really soon.
I am finally working on the paintings / finishes for a book that has been in my studio far too long.
Also, two other projects ( fun!) that are firming up in comical slow motion, I am convinced that I am perfectly justified in blaming it on that astrological bugaboo, Mercury Retrograde......but it's all okay, fine as other details have taken up my attention and there is that aforementioned book that keeps being put aside while I attend to other projects, allowing me to get a good start on it which will, hopefully, create the momentum to keep it moving forward.
  In the meantime, Spring here has turned fickle and chilly, windy with dark pewter glowering skies, only to suddenly break open in glorious blue and warmth, delighting the tomato plants and letting them stay outside another hour and coaxing slow seeds to finally sprout.
  Everything has sprouted, white and purple scallions, Easter Egg radishes, red, orange and purple carrots, spinach, 3 varieties of arugula, lettuces and mesclun, Argento Swiss Chard and Bright Lights,
Peppermint and French and Lemon Thyme, Chives, Marjoram, Italian Parsley and Rosemary,  Hot Pink and Blue Petunias, Black Eyed Susan Vine, Cream, Pink and Violet Nasturtiums, Heliotrope, Night Scented Stock, Jasmine Tobacco and 5 varieties of Cosmos and Sweet Peas and 8 Heirloom Tomato Plants...everything up and running and looking pretty darn wonderful......still to come Basil and Cucumbers......maybe tri-colored pole beans......a Mandevilla Vine, Alice DuPont which is beautiful and the glorious, intoxicatingly fragrant Datura Meteloides........then my little garden will be finished.

I came across a picture of my old garden in early Spring in Vermont, and the statue of the Goddess Flora.......I loved that garden.....this one will be a bit more modest......but still a source of great Happiness!
Speaking of Happiness, the farm across the road has a meadow full of lambs......they're about as sweet and innocent and charming as one could ask for.
Lastly......after promising myself for four years, I finally turned my old Vermont blanket chest into a Pink, Glittery, Sparkly extravaganza of religious iconography....I have a special affection for Saints, I love the imagery, along with roses, beams of celestial Light, the occasional Angel and the Virgin Mary and the Baby Jesus....all bedecked with brightly colored plastic gemstones and holy medals dangling from the lid and on the drawer. I did a version of this on a wall in my house in Mexico but, of course, couldn't bring it with now, here it is....
Back to more painting tomorrow, will post some soon.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

25 Aprile,La Festa della Liberazione ed Il Mio Compleanno!

I am happy for so many reasons....I love that my birthday falls on Italian Liberation Day, someday I would love to be there, in Milano or Torino, on my birthday...and celebrate another year on this beautiful planet and also the liberation of Italy in 1945 by the Allied troops with the help of the Partigiani Antifascisti ( the Partisans in the Italian Resistance ).
Grazie a loro.
Today, the day before my birthday.......I barely painted at all...I am loving replenishing wherever, whatever it is that holds the key, the repository of dreams, daydreams and flights of fancy that are the fodder of the imagination. After four years without a day off basically.....a day without drawing or painting feels peculiar but I know that next week the deadlines begin anew so I am luxuriating in the planning/planting of the little garden.
This evening I made Vinegar Chicken, a rustica dish of a whole chicken hacked in 2" or 3" pieces, sauteed in olive oil and then, when brown, salt and pepper. Two large pans are necessary so the chicken pieces are in a single layer, and they can brown. Then scatter chopped garlic and red pepper flakes and about 2/3 cup of good red wine vinegar in each pan, scrape all the brown bits up, turn the heat down a bit and cover and cook, stirring occasionally for about 20 minutes to half an hour. Cook until the chicken is falling off the bones and a delicious vinegary, garlicky, spicy mess.
I had this with a bowl of arugula and peppery olive oil and lemon juice and salt.....heaven.
For my birthday I treated myself to a new pair of cowboy boots.......for some reason they are my absolute favorite footwear and while I didn't have the budget for these boots...YET:
I was able to put an end to my boot drought...a dog ( NOT Baci! ) chewed my last pair, tooled Old Gringos with red roses, to irreparable disasters and purchased these, on least these Lucky Stars by Tony Lama have rhinestones and pink stitching until I can splurge on something a bit more over the top, and!
They arrived today and along with the eight tomato plants that will begin spending their days outside tomorrow.....Striped Roma, Fourth of July, Sungold, Black Plum Roma, Dona, Sweet Millions, French Carmello and a new one to me, Odoriko.....I think my kitchen table looks quite festive!
Who knows what tomorrow may bring! I'm excited and looking forward to the coming year......magic is afoot, surprises too, I can feel it.
Baci appears unimpressed by this...his birthday is May 11, the same as my Dad's was, perhaps he will be more interested in that one. He will be 3. My Dad would have been 87......I miss him.
Next time........some painting.....drawing, art.
For the moment, the rest of life is what is going on. Feels good, a long time coming.
 alla prossima

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Happy Spring, so happy to be here!

     Finally.........the towering mountain of work is behind me ( for now )  and I'm allowed the luxury of dipping a toe into the pool of thoughts unrelated to the project at hand or the painting currently on the drawing board, so posting on this sadly neglected ( since December 12! ) blog or updating my even more ignored website  or....reading books, working in my little garden, spending time with real human beings, painting my toenails scarlet or doing something spontaneous all become options.
    The slightly spooky thing is that part of me actually likes the schedule I've been accustomed to for the past 6 months, year. couple of years, ummm, a lot.....what does that mean? Nothing probably...other than that I love painting, am a bit of a recluse...probably from being an only child and working mostly all the time makes life very simple...
     Since the last time I was here, I moved.....just about 4 miles from where I was living before. I've been having fun taking some pictures while taking Baci the Fluffy Corgi on his morning walk.
I noticed several small silver metal disks, maybe 2.5 " in diameter....affixed, kind of bolted, to the paved road, before it turns to dirt.....I'd never seen anything like these before and took a photo of one. It seems as though I've truly been in a world of my own....along with some inevitable nearsightedness from a lifetime of drawing and painting small details......I  thought I was seeing something curious and remarkable ( to myself )  and ironically amusing. This is what I was seeing:

"Why" I wondered to myself "why would there be a silver disk in the road reading "Perfect Control"?
 Needless to say, I seriously doubt the very existence of "perfect control" in our happy, messily ordered Universe and so passing it made me giggle ( obviously, so much work made me exceedingly easily amused! ) but then also wondered about who would place, bolt these disks into the road and why would they read that? It was entertaining pondering this every morning and the whole idea of control, perfect or imperfect. Well....when I download the photos from my camera, I could easily see that actually this is what I was seeing, while believing I saw the disk above:
So, much less interesting and much less romantic and a lot more mundane....this little disk reads "Perteet Control" It seems Perteet is some sort of engineering concern that has to do with water  and roads and that sort of infrastructure and nothing that would normally cause one to ponder Universal Truths.....or X File types of imaginings. In the spirit of complete transparency, I admit to altering the Perfect Control disk in PhotoShop so you could see how easily one could make this fanciful error!
 Here are a few more photos of burgeoning Spring on this sweet road:
This is Lucky. He was given as a gift to the man who "owns" him for his 50th birthday by the man's wife. He is sort of the mascot of the road.......we stop and give him some carrots or an apple every morning and now Lucky comes running to meet us at the fence , licking his "lips". I never had a steer joyfully run across a field to meet me before.....

I especially love this gate. is some of what i have been working on:
 This 28" Uber Cupcake will become a shaped jigsaw puzzle
.........and here, below, are all 12 of the finished Animal ABC illustrations. The client will add the letters to the artwork and there will be a half inch border around each one with all the words depicted in each image, that start with the letter /letters in the square. I put them all together here like this, for fun:

So there you have it.........a bit of what I've been doing.
I also finished two picturebooks and am finally getting to painting the art for a third that's been patiently,,VERY patiently, waiting to be finished.
.......Happy Spring