7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #57: Featuring Up-and-Coming Illustrator, Courtney Pippin-Mathur

h1 April 6th, 2008 by jules

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.

* * * eisha’s kicks * * *

The Sweet Far Thing1* 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!

* * * Jules’ kicks * * *

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?

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12 comments to “7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #57: Featuring Up-and-Coming Illustrator, Courtney Pippin-Mathur”

  1. Happy Sunday!

    Yes, it’s shocking that it’s already April. How fun to see Courtney’s work! Love that wild hair in the second painting. Jules, that is so beautiful that your brother made those tapes for you. Eisha, hope you had a safe trip to Rochester and loads of fun with Adrienne!

    Le kicks:

    1. DH gave me some gigantico pink roses.

    2. Also loving the Knopf email poems, and all the great poetry being posted all over the blogosphere.

    3. We have a new yard pet — Chipperdee the Chipmunk. (I shouldn’t have named him, because we’re trying to trap and kill him before he eats our front porch.) Still, he is adorable.

    4. Warm blueberry muffins and tea.

    5. Our azaleas are blooming. Seeings lots of flowering trees everywhere.

    6. Be bopping around the house with Sam Phillips the past few days. My current faves are “I Need Love,” and “Baby I Can’t Please You.” Amazingly Beatlesque. Need to get “A Boot and a Shoe” next. Thanks for the recs, Jules!

    7. Aunt visiting from Massachusetts.

    Wishing everyone a good week and a happy April.

    Oop! Just got hit with a cashew . . .


  2. The intensity of the illustrations are lovely. I love the frog. Eisha, I hope the slumber party was a blast. Jules, Go, Dog, Go, what fun.
    My kicks:
    1. Seeing family in NJ.
    2. Traveling with my aunt ot Catawissa, PA. My g’ma went to Bloomsburg College over 100 years ago so I saw her stomping grounds, however, I am sure it has changed. But that who area reminded me of The Curse of the Rumbaughs by Gantos.
    3. I am also getting the poem a day by Knoph.
    4. On track with writing a poem day.
    5. Invitation to my friend’s daughter’s senior photo exhibit at U of W, Seattle.
    6. Hanging out with Chuck and our granddaughter yesterday who does a mean monkey imitation,
    7. My tulips in the front planter box.
    Have a great week.


  3. Sorry about that cashew monster, Jama. He gets around.

    “I need love / not some sentimental prison / I need God / not the political church / I need fire / to melt the frozen sea inside me.” Some of her best lyrics ever! Do you know that last line is a Kafka reference? “A book must be an ice axe to break the sea frozen inside us” (or “A book must be the ax for the frozen sea within us” — various translations). A snippet of that song ended up on some perfume commerical once — I think it was perfume. Calvin Klein? Do they do perfume? Shoot, I dunno.

    Pink roses. Nice.

    Jone, I wanna see Chuck’s monkey imitation. You should YouTube it.


  4. I love the colourful illustrations today. Good luck with the book, Courtney, it’ll be great to see more of the frog!

    Eisha, hope the slumber party went well and no one pulled each other’s plaits.

    Jules, the monster book sounds like a winner. Even if the cashew monster sounds both scary and yummy.

    1. There was snow today! Admittedly very light snow that didn’t really settle, but still! Much more interesting than rain.
    2. My tulips have started to open up! They are purple rather than the yellow and red stripes on the packet, but are lovely anyway.
    3. More seeds sown and plants potted, summer should be pretty!
    4. I managed to line up and attend some useful meetings this week, and after this week things should be far less madly busy
    5. Yummy chocolate brownie ice-cream last night
    6. I was lucky this morning and managed to have long chats with both sisters and my dad (it’s great when I get more than one person at home on a weekend day when one party doesn’t have to watch the clock for the time to head off to work).
    7. We found cute town near us that we hadn’t discovered before and then had lunch in a country pub (huge traditional Sunday dinner…no need to cook tonight!)

    I’ve just figured out I probably won’t be around computers on the next couple of weekends, but will still try to come read everyone’s lists during the weeks so I still get my kick quota!


  5. My life has been all about this move lately, and I’ve missed the past few Kicks. But we are slowly making some sense of order from the chaos. It’s great to be back, and hear all of your kicks. Eisha, have a great trip to visit Adrienne. And Jules, I’m glad that you were able to listen to and enjoy those tapes from your brother.

    1. My new bookshelves came yesterday. I’ll get some pictures up this week. They are so so beautiful, even empty.
    2. I’m sitting in my kitchen right now at the new place. When I look to my right I can see baseball on TV, and when I look to my left I can see hills (including, sometimes, cows, though they aren’t visible right this second – they move around a bit). Kind of makes all the moving stress worthwhile (almost, talk to me when I actually have all of the boxes unpacked, and when the Red Sox are actually winning).
    3-4. I finished the Kerry Madden’s lovely Maggie Valley trilogy, which languished a bit, because I had so little reading time during the move. Funny story about that. There was a printing error in the third book, such that the last 30 pages were missing (replaced by a duplicate copy of the second to last 30 pages). Discovered this late in the day, couldn’t find the book at either of my library systems, or local bookstores, and was saddened at the idea of making and waiting for an online purchase to read the last 30 pages. Then I thought of Amazon’s Search Inside the Book feature, and that came through. I was able to search by page number, and read all of the missing pages. So that’s a bit of a kick all by itself, that this worked.
    5. MotherReader announced the next 48-hour Book Challenge!
    6. Mheir brought me back mint chocolates from a trip he was on, and they are to die for.
    7. I splurged and got a new, tiny MP3 player for listening to audiobooks, because my Audible Otis finally wore out after six+ years (the buttons were hard to use, and the screen no longer displayed, making book selection a bit of a guess). And it’s so cute! I got a Sansa Clip, the newest one that just came out.

    Wishing you all a happy Sunday!


  6. Jama, blueberry muffins, tea, and pink roses – what a lovely combo.

    Jone, writing a poem a day is an awesome accomplisment. And I second the vote for a YouTube video.

    emmaco, we’ll miss you. I always love your kicks – all full of flowers and food and explorations.

    Jen, you survived! And it sounds like you’re in a very nice place indeed. Congrats!


  7. Eisha, I’m so jealous–a slumber party with Adrienne! Jules, I know your brother wanted you to hear that music, and I can only imagine the guts it took to finally listen.

    Can’t wait to read more guest-blogging and the cloudscome interview, too!

    Today was pretty kicky. There was the meeting of the DC book club, where we discussed The Princess Bride and paged through Susan’s ARCs she brought from her bookstore. And my lovely friends who were helping me last week with decorating came back and hung even more desperately needed curtains. And tonight, I get to eat Indian food with them. Yum, yum.


  8. Go Courtney!


  9. Emmaco, we’ll miss you the next couple of weekends, but do come back.

    Jen, good to have you back. I also finished the Maggie Valley trilogy and plan on interviewing Kerry soon. I love those books. Glad you got to read the final pages. Congrats on the new home!

    Sara, Indian food = one of my all-time favorite cuisines, if not my favorite. Enjoy.

    Can I just say that during Go, Dog, Go! today, two actors pulled out a long strip of bubble wrap (you know those things that are addictive to pop), and then two other actors (blue dog and green dog, I believe) tap-danced on it. HOW COOL IS THAT? It was the best sound of the day.

    And, to boot, my husband cracked a great joke about waiting for Go, Dog, Go, since we had to sit and anticipate the curtains opening for quite a bit.

    Bah-dum-ching. Anyone else get it? Theatre nerds?

    And I think I lost about 10 pounds just watching those actors run all over the stage today.

    Glad you all came to list kicks. It’s otherwise relatively quiet today, huh? I hope everyone is outdoors, enjoying spring.


  10. I *definitely* want to read about that depressed frog.

    Jules, Good for you being brave. I can see why listening to the songs from your brother would be hard, but what a wonderful thing to have from him.

    I can’t even tell you all my kicks this week, there were so many. The end of my trip was tiring, but amazing. We found wonderful kind people all over the place, and we saw so many interesting things. Then I came home! Then Eisha came to visit!! Then we went to the Teen Book Festival!!! THEN WE WENT OUT FOR THAI!!!!

    It was a great week. I am just as happy and content as I know how to be.


  11. Theater nerd here. Tell your wise-cracking husband that if he gets any smarter or funnier, we’ll expect a children’s book out of him.


  12. Sara, if you’re offering Indian food, I might come down to help hang curtains too.

    adrienne, that Thai food was incredibly kicky, as was the whole visit. And the kidlitosphere is very glad you’re home and blogging again.


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