New Set of Specimens

Well I had a baby 6 weeks ago and in 1 week I’m participating in APE. I couldn’t wait to participate in APE when the year began but, I didn’t quite realize how close it came to my baby’s birth. However, I’m not going to let that stop me from making new work! To celebrate I decided to get some new jars to provide a whole new set of Specimens for the show. Here is the first round of the new creatures:
Specimens APE

I have long thin corked jars:

frog green tongue

and shorter-smaller wide corked jars:

the mediums

and micro jars!


I am so excited for these new sizes. These new jars woke me up creatively and I hope you all like the outcome. I kind of don’t want to let these little guys go but, I’m sure each will find a good home.

I’m table 501 at APE. Please stop by and say hey!

Taking Back Ground

I seriously misjudged how I would feel the last month of pregnancy. I only remember working almost 9 hour days the last month of my last pregnancy so, I didn’t see it coming that I would not be able to keep up with my own work this time. However, chasing a kid all day and trying to finish all my client work before baby’s arrival is a different set of circumstances.

I’m going to try to get myself set up this week to ensure that there aren’t more big gaps in blog posts. We just have to see if labor cooperates, I think it will.

I finished the hippo piece that I was having a lot of fun with. It has been delivered and now I can share it. Of course, you know my pregnant brain forgot to scan it! So, we have to wait for the person who received it to send me a photo. However, I do have my pastel color comp for you first.



I loved drawing these sassy dancing ladies.

Cowboy on a Parrot


I am so grateful for Alicia starting Twoodle. It has been a wonderful exercise for making new illustrations and finding new members of the community. Thank you for pulling us all together.

This is my finished illustration of last week’s twoodle, cowboy and parrot. For my current twoodle go to my tumblr to see my sketches for this week’s.

Masked Storytelling and Little Books

At my son’s preschool Monday I helped to lead activities for the day. My partner and I set up two prepared art/creative projects for the kids, 1) making masks we designed and 2) creating one-piece-of-paper books. My partner lead the children in their mask creation and I managed the book building.

To set up the masks my partner and I split the character list in Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People’s Ears by Verna Aardema pictures by Leo and Diane Dillon. We then created simple designs that a 3 – 4 year old could build in under an hour. Given that the characters are shape based I chose to cut out brightly colored simple shapes similar to the illustrators’ drawings. I created a sample mask of each kit, then prepared 2 kits for each character all contained in one baggie to be doled out by my partner.



It was such an enjoyable experience to build simple masks from the beautiful designs of Leo and Diane Dillon, I kept going and made a few of the background characters in the book. These were used as extras for parents in the room and children who did not choose to make a mask.


My favorite moment with these extras came at the end of the reading. The little red bird is not a speaking character in the book. The boy who received this mask during story time questioned where his character was. This little red bird is actually on every page of the book. I consider him a secret character that helps us as readers go through the story. Given my audience I hadn’t planned to mention this; it gave me so much pleasure to have this question. Because of it, I was able to share with these children a in plain site secret most illustrators use. The underlying character or background story that can be searched for in every book they read.

Our second project, a one-piece-of-paper book, I led. This required minimal set up but, more devotion and interest from the kids. The last time I did this project was with 10 – 14 year olds. It was totally unclear to me as to how it would be appreciated by 3 – 4 year olds. The answer was outstandingly well. My table stayed busy for the whole hour with some children returning multiple times to make books for additional family members.

To make this project attainable to these kids I gave them tools that I felt would best help them approach the paper without being overwhelmed. Crayons, markers, and stickers and two options for a book, a very simple fairy tale, the Three Little Pigs/Los Tres Cerditos and a blank page. I would have included magazines for cutting out pictures but, with time restrictions and mess factor with glue, I decided to leave them out. However, with more time, they would have been great.

Now I’m sure some of you are curious about how to make a one-piece-of-paper book. Here is a step by step:

Step 1: Get a sheet of paper and draw a line to 3/4’s down the middle of the page or fold the page into fourths by folding the paper in half then each half in half making a “W” with the paper.



Step 2: Cut down the line or to the last fold in the paper. If you have no preprinted words you can start a either end. If you have preprinted words and are going by the folds, be sure to cut from the end with page one.

paper-pants  paper-pants2

Step 3: Make the last fold by folding the paper in half on the last fourth that is still connected. Making the paper look like frog legs.


Step 4: Your book should now easily fold in on itself on either side of the last fold making a tiny book.



Step 5: Create your book making a cover and interior images and text, if no text was previously applied.


I had many favorite moments while sitting with the kids as they made their books. One was enjoyed with amazement at a 4 year old who completely understood the  project and made a book! She drew a cover then wrote words, as best as she can write words, throughout each page. I had not at all expected to see this happen. Then a boy, whom I have not been able to draw out of his shell before, came back to the table again and again to make more books. These experiences as well as all of my time spent with this group making books was very special. I’m so happy to have had the chance to do this.

Happy Lunar New Year!

This is Slick; she wants to say Happy New Year!

She is a snake I created when I was 15. I started with Sprout and decided he needed a gang of friends. I went through auditions with characters, call backs, and finally chose the cast of 7. This picture is missing a couple of people.

Slick started with some crazy dark eyes. I was going through a phase and these eyes were all over my sketchbooks. For this image of Slick I updated them to still have a similar feel but, look more like my currently illustrating. It’s odd to look back at these kid drawings! I am amused by my limited skill. I had had one art class at this point and my sketchbooks. There wasn’t a fully fleshed out art department at my high school because it was brand new and they hadn’t been able to fill out the facilities yet. My literary magazine teacher was the most encouraging to my drawing but, I was figuring everything out on my own with the How To Draw Books.

Do you think I was influenced by the Muppet Movie?

It’s fun to bring her back and look through my childhood sketchbooks. I think snakes are neat but, I’m actually rather fearful of them. However, I used to love them when I was a child. I had pet green snakes all the time as I found them around rocks on my Great Grandmothers land. However around 9 years old something happened and they started giving me the willies. To this day I wouldn’t want to have one as a pet but, I still think they can be beautiful and deserve more love.

From all of us Happy Valentine’s Day!

Eric Carle inspired painting of Valentine Bug Puppets. We watched Mr Carle painting one of his big canvases then got to work!

Octopus Snowflakes

Happy Holidays from over here at

I hopefully will be coming at you with a brand new regular schedule with more consistent art in the new year. Thank you for anyone still reading a long, I appreciate your patience.

It has been a year of lots of transitions and loss. I want share and write a full post about it but, it has been sitting in my drafts for 2 months. I’m just not sure I can properly sum it up into words I’m happy with. I believe the worst is over, life has turned to a much more even keel since mid December and I feel I can say with confidence the regular drawing is almost here.

Again thank you for patience those following along and all your support.

Now for some OctopiSnowflakes!

All the best for 2013!

Slow down, it takes a lifetime

I was once told a story about Picasso. He was in the park sketching people using only one line. A passer by inquired about it and Picasso drew them in one line in just about a minute. Awed the subject asked if they could have the sketch. Picasso said yes for $5000 or some other large sum. The person was taken a back and commented that it had taken Picasso so little time how could it cost so much. To which Picasso responded it took so little time because I spent a life time learning how.

(I know this may not be the exact story and he is known for saying “it takes a lifetime to learn to draw like a child” but this is what I heard and what has stuck with me)

I’m in the middle of my lifetime learning. Gotta practice, practice, practice.


(my posts are going to be a little here and there until I get a new scanner. more frequent posts are happening on my tumblr and group tumblr CaseyG Draws and Fanartica. Follow along!)

Final Destination, Finally!

Boy tomorrow from Tuesday, turned into Friday fast. California time is way slower and laid back. We have apparently acclimated to it quickly or we have actually stayed rather busy the past couple of days. Two visits to Hicklebee’s thanks to twitter friends, meeting new friends at the pool, lunch with crafter friend Eling and husband Dane, and signing papers on a house!

First lets go back to June during which, I was pretty quiet online. The month was completely absorbed with packing (packing my studio took over a week!) and visiting with as many folks as possible. The last week in Boston I had three places to go everyday, this is not a complaint but, I spent every energy cell for traveling and socializing I had. I’m somewhere in between introverted and extroverted, I’m a loud mouth for sure! but, I need too-myself time. Generally I only plan three outings a week or just one place away from home a day, that could be as simple as grocery shopping. June was a special circumstance and I wouldn’t have done it any differently but, I am loving resting my brain with quiet sketching, endless podcasts and Friends, and teaching my son how to swim.

Of course when opportunities arise I take them. Visiting people is on the list of important to me. I don’t say no to friends visiting from out of town or new friends inviting me to fun local events. Getting out is a part of getting comfortable in a new place and not letting rest turn into zoned out from the world. Two of the friends met through twitter are helping make the transition into this area that I have been to twice very pleasant. Those being Tracy Bishop and Laura Zarrin. Thank you Tracy and Laura for inviting us into San Jose! This week they met up with me twice to go to Willow Glen, the home of Hicklebee’s. Willow Glen will be an easy drive from the home Matt and I are planning to rent. This morning we signed papers and as of August 5th we will begin the process of fully settling into San Jose.

In the mean time we are at an apartment complex living out of six suitcases. Originally we were supposed to be able to access our pod of stuff just a few days after we arrived in California but, that hasn’t happened yet. With only two weeks left until a full move in I’m enjoying figuring out how to get by with what we have. I feel very free having a limited supply of dishes, clothes, and towels to manage. Then per art supplies I have two sketchbooks, a pile of colored pencils and pens, and a travel watercoloring kit. I find with these limits I am actually sketching more because, I am not overwhelmed with all the options in my studio. There were a couple of needs, I left without a lap drawing surface and tracing paper. This gave me the opportunity to search out a local art store. I was looking for a small lap drawing board anyway and you can’t have enough tracing paper.

Outside of materials, I have found setting up wherever I can is the only new problem to getting creativity flowing. When you are sitting on a bed or couch instead of at a desk TV, books, and laying down to nap are harder to fight against. You are also missing that muscle memory that makes you comfortable and feeling like it’s time to draw. It hasn’t posed as an insurmountable problem. Getting started is still coming up against regular issues, online distractions, day to day responsibilities, and making sure to carve out time each day to draw.

Being in between places and moving to a new home is disruptive. You have to find a new day to day schedule. For me I think it could be a good opportunity. I don’t like sitting still so, I will fill my time with activities. This had happened while living in Boston as I rolled from a full time job into being a full time mom. Being that it’s what I’m used to I can see myself already beginning to look for this full schedule here. At this time in my life I would like to spend more time illustrating. To do this I am going to have to make it a priority and be sure it holds a big spot in my new schedule.

That doesn’t mean I’m not ever going to go out! This weekend I hope to make it up to San Francisco for Renegade. Another artist, who is selling there has shown me a warm welcome to the Bay Area, Emma SanCartier. And as a bonus two friends from Boston will be selling there too Mimi Kirchner and Eling whom I mentioned before. Lucien and I were lucky enough to get to have lunch with her and her hubby today.

I know I need to keep these outings in check but, I know that part of my creativity comes from the warmth and support of my friends. I am so grateful to have people reaching out and welcoming us. California is such a foreign land to me. Living on the East Coast is nothing like this. Yet I already am starting to feel at home. Thank you all for making this move easy.

ps after reading this blog post back to myself, I’m pretty convinced I am a full extrovert! I feel like being an introvert is a right of passage to being an artist. How did I become an illustrator? Who else proclaims they are extroverted?

Where Have I Been?

I can’t believe a month has gone by and then again I really can. My family and I finished packing up our belongs put them in a pod and the car on a truck and shipped them across the country. As our belongings made their journey we made a side flight to Europe, specifically Romania! Our friends invited us out for their wedding. The friends all arrived a few days early so we could travel out to Transilvania (spelled as they do in Romania) to see the castles that inspire Haunted Castles.

It was a wonderful trip. There was sketching of the architecture, furniture, armor, pictures of the Carpathians! I am so happy to have had the opportunity to travel to Romania. I loved it. We made friends with locals. Since, the bride is from Bucharest she introduced us to her friends. They welcomed us with open arms showing us around and helping with the language.

If you have never heard Romanian spoken is sounds a bit like Italian smushed together with Russian. It is absolutely beautiful. Noroc was one of the most commonly used phrases amongst us as we toasted our friends through their 12 hour wedding/celebration. At 4am we helped them close down the establishment.

Noroc AJ and Lumi! and Multumesc for taking us to Romania!

Tomorrow the story continues as we landed back in the states then, within 24 hours flew across the country to begin our adventure of living in California.

Also once I have a scanner again there will be a follow up to Romania.