It’s the first Sunday of the month (is anyone else astounded it’s already April?), and so it’s time again to feature an up-and-coming illustrator, someone new to the scene or a student of illustration. This week it’s freelance artist and art teacher, Courtney Pippin-Mathur, who grew up in Texas but now lives on the east coast with her family (and where she “now paints, teaches, loves the fall season and misses tex-mex.”) Featured above is “Jazz, Music for the Soul.” And, now, here comes trouble:
Here’s a bit from Courtney, a little peek into her background and her plans for the future:
Courtney made the decision to become an artist while at the University of Texas at Austin. She switched from Liberal to Studio Arts when she re-discovered her childhood love of drawing. She underwent four grueling and fun years covered in charcoal and paint splatters and learned to draw, paint, critique and photograph.
Right after graduating with a BFA in Studio Art, she got married, had a baby and moved to the east coast. She forgot about drawing amongst dirty diapers and moving boxes. After about a year, she stumbled upon Illustration Friday and was inspired to combine her love of watercolor with her love of children’s book illustration. She set up a blog, started attending conferences and researching the field of children’s illustration.
The rest is history in progress, with sweat and tears and big dreams.
Here’s one more, entitled “Why So Sad?” (and, for those who want to know, all these illustrations were created on 140 lb. cold press watercolor paper with black ink):
Courtney’s currently working on a new children’s book idea, which involves the seriously-bummed-out frog pictured here. I’m sure she’ll keep us updated on this project at her notebook, where you can see some of her other frog sketches and paintings. Many thanks to Courtney for stopping by to share her images with us, and we wish her the best.
As a reminder, our weekly 7 Kicks list is the meeting ground for listing Seven(ish) Exceptionally Fabulous, Beautiful, Interesting, Hilarious, or Otherwise Positive Noteworthy Things from the past week — whether book-related or not — that happened to you (as well as featuring new artists like Courtney). You — yes, you reading now — are more than welcome to leave your kicks from the week, whether you’ve ever done so before or not.
1* Spring! Well, sorta.
2* Jules and I are cooking up some joint projects that I’m getting excited about. Not sure what direction they’ll take, but the gears are whirring away…
3* I finished The Sweet Far Thing by Libba Bray. *sniff* There’s a lot I want to say about it, but I don’t want to spoil the ending for anyone.
4* A friend reminded me of something, completely out of the blue, that could have been disastrous if I’d really truly forgotten to do it.
5* My husband had to drive 4 hours to NYC, strike a set, and drive back in one day, and he made it home safe. He’s also gotten whispers of some interesting future design jobs, if he can figure out how to pack them into his already full-to-bursting schedule.
6* I’m typing this really early (Friday night) because I’m about to drive to Rochester to hang out with WATAT’s adrienne! I just packed my backpack, and I feel exactly like I’m going to a slumber party. Don’t be surprised if you get a prank call.
7* And I’m going to see Libba Bray at the Teen Book Festival, so maybe I can ask her what’s up with the ending of The Sweet Far Thing. I mean, c’mon! She can’t do that to me!
Eisha, hope you and Adrienne are having fun! I wish I were there. I’ll take a prank call any time.
1). I’ve had a very Moongirl kind of week. I’ve been sitting on this short film for about, oh, a year-and-a-half now, I guess, after receiving this as a Cybils review copy the year before last. But it wasn’t ’til this week that I finally pulled out the DVD (of course, I’d already read the book, which was my Cybils responsibility) and watched it with my daughters (I’m just really slow sometimes, but mostly I wasn’t sure if that Gargaloon wouldn’t scare the holy crap outta them when they were younger). It’s a very short film, and I think I’ve watched it approximately seven skerjillion times this week, as my daughters think that Leo is side-splittingly, devastatingly funny. It was created by the same company that’s about to do Coraline (slotted for 2009 — you can see a little preview at their site, as well as click on “Moongirl” and see the first part of the film with Leo night-fishing that makes my daughters almost soil themselves laughing).
2). My oldest made a Monster Book this week, including her drawings of some original monsters: The BooHoobogloon and The Cashew Monster! Yes, he will spit cashews at you, I suppose, until you are mortally wounded. He even has cashews for teeth!
3). Getting some beautiful art in the mail.
4). Going today to see a children’s production at The Nashville Children’s Theatre, the oldest children’s theatre company in the U.S. They do good stuff. I won’t be around in the afternoon to respond to comments and kicks today, but I’ll be back to do so after we’re done seeing a stage adaptation of P.D. Eastman’s Go, Dog, Go!
5). This might seem like a bit of a downer, but it’s a kick to me, ’cause it took courage: I listened this week to some mixed tapes my brother made me before he died. He was on a mission to give me some decent instruction in classical music and put his favorite compositions on several tapes for me. I pretty much just can’t listen to them without my heart breaking all over again, but I did this week. The Lark Ascending, Invocation et Danse, and Arvo Pärt’s Cantus in Memory of Benjamin Britten. Pärt’s has to be the most beautiful piece of music ever, ever written. He himself described it as “like light going through a prism.” Yes. That. And that bell in the last couple seconds of the piece is the best sound ever.
6). Speaking of music and on a lighter note, hearing Jeff Buckley and “Where the Streets Have No Name” on the radio this week while driving (there are some advantages to having a broken CD player in one’s car). Sure, I have these CDs, but catching them on the radio and turning it up reeeeally loud is fun. (My husband, I might add, likes to rub it in that he saw U2 and The Pixies live in Atlanta once. I repeat: U2 AND THE PIXIES. Dude.)
7). Knopf’s Poem-A-Day emails.
8). Two more quick things: Eisha and I will be guest-blogging over at School Library Journal a couple days this week at Practically Paradise. That’ll be fun. And cloudscome at a wrung sponge agreed to a blogger interview (we haven’t done one in a while, since we’re waiting on a couple others to get responses back to us. So, I went ahead and asked cloudscome, and she said yes!). How fun will it be to get to know her better?
And — just ’cause I mentioned them — you have two video choices today, if you’re inclined to hear some music: Classic U2 (I know I mentioned “Where the Streets Have No Name,” but “In God’s Country” is probably my favorite U2 song ever) or Janine Jansen and the BBC Concert Orchestra performing The Lark Ascending (the approximately-eight minutes of beauty, which constitute part one; part two is here). They are below.
What are your kicks this week?