* Carmen Beecher * Carol Schiff * Denette Schweikert * Donna Vines * Mary Warnick * Kathy Garvey *Fay Picardi * Jean Thomas

Monday, July 6, 2020

In further shameless self-promotion, this is the back cover of Country Music's Greatest Lines: Lyrics, Stories & Sketches from American Classics, which I illustrated in collaboration with the author, Bobby Braddock. The blurb endorsing the book is by the awesome author, Malcolm Gladwell.


Friday, July 3, 2020

Big News from Carmen!

Announcing the publication of a new book, Country Music's Greatest Lines: Lyrics, Stories & Sketches from American Classics, written by Bobby Braddock, with over 80 illustrations by yours truly. We are so excited to have our hard work come to fruition!

Bobby Braddock is a longtime friend, and a member of the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame, the Country Music hall of Fame, and the Songwriters Hall of Fame in New York, with many notable hits, such as “Time Marches On,” “He Stopped Loving Her Today,” “Wanna Talk About Me,” and “People Are Crazy.” Braddock is the only living person to have #1 songs in five consecutive decades. Also notable, he discovered Blake Shelton and produced several #1 one hits with him. Naturally, when he presented his idea for the book I jumped at the chance to illustrate it.  

Available July 6 on amazon.com and arcadiapublishing.com, the book gives an insider's view of classics from Hank Williams, Roger Miller, Kris Kristofferson, Taylor Swift, Eric Church and more, and spans decades from the 1940s to present. 

To quote Bobby: “ By featuring songs and song lyrics that span the early days of country radio to present-day downloading and live-streaming on the Internet, hopefully there's a little something here for everyone: an illustrated brief history of the words of country music, and the songwriters who created those words and made them sing.” 

Book signings at the Country Music Hall of Fame and elsewhere had to be canceled because of the pandemic, but thankfully, we have the internet.

Here is a sample illustration. Can you guess the song? Hint: It's by Marty Robbins.


Tuesday, June 30, 2020

The Challenge for June: Turn Your Back

This month we are challenged to pick a subject, study it carefully, then turn our back on it and draw or paint it. With no peeking.

Kathy's response to the challenge:
Source Photo: Grabbed this photo found on one of my favorite Facebook sites: "Birds." 

Process: Studied it. Turned my back.  Drew with some fun Tombow Dual Headed Brush Pens on 6"x4" Strathmore Toned Blue paper ... all from Ralph's Art Supply.
This is pretty much my default behavior. I usually study a plant, animal, etc. and then stylize without looking at the source, especially if it's a photo. Since I put him a little too close to the right of the paper, added a few weedy stems for him to add to his nest.

Kathy Garvey 

"Adeline and Jake"
by Denette Schweikert

This is a "painting" of my grandchildren who live in Seattle.  As you tell, I don't do well painting without seeing a photo right next to me.   


Carmen's response to the challenge:

I stared at this photo and thought I could remember all the elements in it, but in looking at my painting, I was surprised that I forgot all about the proportions of the building and the tree. Both are too tall! Also, I didn't remember that the treeline tapers down to the left of the tree. 

It's amazing what you don't remember even though you were concentrating. It can shake one's belief in eyewitness testimony!

Carmen Beecher

* * * * *

 Mary answer to the Challenge.  I loved this challenge as it really teaches one to be more observant.
I didn’t love my result, I need more practice.  For some reason the pictures will not upload.

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

30 Faces in 30 Days: Day 30

This is my last drawing, number 30, and for some reason, it was the hardest one. I thought I'd finish with the iconic Bob Dylan, whose timeless song, Blowing in the Wind, is so meaningful today, even though it was written 58 years ago.

Yes, how many times must a man look up
Before he can see the sky?
Yes, and how many ears must one man have
Before he can hear people cry?

Yes, and how many deaths will it take till he knows
That too many people have died?
The answer, my friend, is blowing in the wind
The answer is blowing in the wind.

Saturday, June 20, 2020

30 Faces in 30 Days: Day 28

This is a little Navajo toddler. The Navajo Nation is in great danger from COVID-19, having more cases per capita than New York or New Jersey. South Korea has sent 10,000 masks and other PPE to the Navajo, honoring their service as "code talkers" during the Korean War. Native American soldiers cleverly used their native language as code for radio transmissions for the American military.


Friday, June 19, 2020

30 Faces in 30 Days: Day 25

Time for me to lighten up, and Mr. Bean is always good for a laugh. I managed to spill water on my drawing before I got to the shading and the paper got wavy, but I like it.