7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #239: Featuring Shelley Davies

h1 October 2nd, 2011 by jules


(Click to enlarge)

Happy October, one and all. I think this may be my favorite month of all, and I cannot believe October of 2011 is already here.

Since it’s the first Sunday of the month, I’ve got a beginning illustrator visiting today. Painter and illustrator Shelley Davies is not new, by any means, to making art, but she’s got her mind set on doing children’s book illustrations and is here today to share some of her artwork. Shelley lives on the western coast of Canada with her family (here’s her self-portrait)—pictured above is her own Mad Hatter tea party—and I’ll let her tell you all about her background and what she wants to do next:

Having spent many years in the animation industry, making everything from feature-length animated films, Sesame Street shorts, and T.V. commercials (yes, I took part in the production of Freddie & Eddie, The Dancing Shreddies…sorry…), progressing to scenic painting for theatre, film and television, I’m now pursuing my abiding love of illustration. Currently, I’m creating editorial illustrations for newspapers and magazines, while working towards a career in children’s illustration, a long-held dream of mine.

I work in paint, collage, and cut paper — the brighter, the better. I adore the hand-made: the brushstroke, the splodge, the handwritten, the juxtaposition of collage elements that surprise and delight. I use a huge pair of scissors to cut as many tiny details as I can cram into a picture, which readers can discover as they roam around my illustrations, inviting repeat visits. Some of my fondest memories are of spending quiet afternoons with my sons when they were small, pouring over children’s picture books together. The more details, the better; a treasure hunt in a book was the best fun! More discussion, more cuddles, more pleasure in sharing a book. And that is my aim: to make colourful, joyous, and witty picture books that delight both children and adults alike.

I started an art and illustration blog this year, where I can share both my own work and that of others. There’s just so much great work being done today, and it’s been a pleasure to come into contact with so many creative, like-minded people who love illustration as much as I do. Please come on over for a visit!

Thanks to Shelley for visiting, and best of luck to her. Below is more artwork. You may click each image to enlarge and see it in more detail.

All images are copyright Shelley Davies and reproduced with her permission.

Note for any new readers: 7-Imp’s 7 Kicks is a weekly meeting ground for taking some time to reflect on 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.

* * * Jules’ Kicks * * *

1) I spoke about picture books and illustration at Vanderbilt University’s Peabody Library this week, and it well. I had a good time anyway, and I hope the students got something out of it.

2) What is not a kick is that we lost our cat, Lyra, to cancer this week. Here’s an older pic of her.

But what is kick-ish, despite the absence of Lyra around here, is that—long story—we got a new kitten yesterday. Here we are picking her up from our friends Wes and Ritchie, whose cat, Mia, had a litter recently.

Meet Pumpkinfacehead:

He’s resting here after a stressful day of being taken away from his mama, getting shots at the vet, and entering a new home with a growly monster (the older cat, Arabelle).

3) Sam Phillips has been quiet on her Long Play, but this weekend she released a re-working of an older song called “Plastic is Forever,” and it’s kickin’-good.

4) I’m very happy to be an advisory board member for Poetry Advocates for Children & Young Adults. More later on this wonderful group.

5) The Autumn weather around here is pretty great.

That’s about it this week. What about you?

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14 comments to “7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #239: Featuring Shelley Davies”

  1. So sorry to hear about, Lyra, Jules. May Pumpkinfacehead bring joy to you and your family. I saw Lion King 3D yesterday, so the “circle of life” is on my mind.

    My four kicks:
    1. Poetry at Play remembers Aileen Fisher:
    http://poetryadvocates.wordpress.com/
    2. Sometimes you just have to elect yourself and be the change you want to see.
    3. I will meet the cartoonist Sara Varon today:
    http://chickenopolis.com/
    4. And I drafted a new poem:

    My New Cell Phone
    By Steven Withrow

    When my new cell phone
    Dropped and popped in half
    My mom and dad
    Bought me a telegraph.

    This ancient old machine’s
    The worst thing, ever.
    Instead of touchscreen apps
    It’s got…a lever?

    Instead of texting IMs
    In a flash
    It vexes you to tap out
    Dot-Dot-Dash.

    Instead of playing Angry Birds
    I’m edging to explode…
    ‘Cause no kid in my class
    Can read Morse code.

    And even if they could
    They aren’t able
    Without first hooking
    Handhelds
    To a transatlantic
    Cable…

    So if you get this message
    I insist there’s nothing wrong:
    My tel-e-graph sent
    Laugh Out Loud
    But spelled it
    Short-Short-Long!

    Copyright 2011 Steven Withrow, all rights reserved


  2. Love Shelley’s Mad Tea Party! So fresh and vibrant.

    Sorry to hear about Lyra, but welcome to Pumpkinfacehead! *pat pat, stroke stroke*

    Glad your Peabody talk went well, Jules. ☺ Hope you’ll someday post a short video of you booktalking something here at 7-Imp! A Coffee Chat!!

    I like October too. My kicks revolve around cider, popcorn, cupcakes and a deep blue blanket of sky. 🙂

    Miao . . . . .


  3. Love the playfulness of Shelley Davies. I think her take on the Mad Hatter table.
    So, so sorry for the loss of Lyra. They always break your heart but Pumkinheadface is a delight and it looks like he’s already fitting in.
    Love the poem draft, Steven. Ah, the original texting machine.
    My kicks:
    1. Cybil nominations are now open. WOOT!
    2. The Poetry at Play Blog. Love it.
    3. Reading two great YA books: Daughter of Smoke and Bone and Running Wide Open by debut author, Lisa Nowak.
    4. My husband’s ciabatta bread w/ bacon, lettuce and fresh garden tomatoes on it.
    5. Teaching fifth graders about banned book week and First Amendment Rights.
    6. My grand girl invited us to dinner tonight before asking her mom if it was okay.
    7. Her mom said it was okay.
    Have a great week.


  4. Jama, missed you. I want the deep blue sky and cupcakes.


  5. Just wanted to say hi everyone!!! And that Shelley’s work is impressive and Lyra was such a pretty cat. :o)


  6. Shelley Davies’ work is fantastic! Thanks for sharing.
    Lyra was a beautiful girl — so sorry you lost her. Little Pumkinfacehead is a lucky kitten.


  7. Hi everybody —

    Shelly Davies’s work is a kickin’ good choice for today, Jules! (I loved her self-portrait, which looks like it must have been huge fun putting together. With all those things labeled favourites — and one least favourite — it was diplomatically reassuring that she didn’t declare a favourite measuring system, but gave equal space to inches and centimeters. :))

    SO sorry to hear about Lyra. (Our last cat will probably pass in a week or so.) But having a Pumpkinfacehead (presumably “Pump,” to those who know him well???) waiting in the wings marks your family as blessed in the pet department!

    As you know, I’m a latecomer to Sam Phillipsdom. So I missed its first incarnation, but the new version of “Plastic Is Forever” perked me right up, from the very first line.

    Some kicks…

    * It takes a while to load, and — at least when I visited — performance was reeeeeeal sluggish. (And it is, at heart, just a commercial for homeowner’s insurance.) But this cracked me right up. You provide — privacy alert! — a last name and a street address. IF there’s a Google Street View available, it then creates a mini-disaster movie featuring scenes from your neighborhood, on which are superimposed alien robots and explosions.

    * And as long as we’re talking commercials, it’s good to see the return of the Super Bowl ad featuring the little kid in the Darth Vader outfit — who “starts” a VW Passat via the Force, during the re-release of the complete Star Wars saga on disk.

    * Had a family visitor last weekend. Considering how long we’d looked forward to it, those 4-5 days passed in an eyeblink. But a sweet one.

    * Progress, of the “slow and steady wins the race” sort.

    * PoochWalk™ this morning the first in a long time requiring a PoochJacket. Ah, autumn.

    * A dream featuring someone I don’t know (and who may not even exist) but wish I did.

    * Finally found an album of OLD (i.e., nearly all pre-me) family photos, presumed lost for several years. Almost fell over when I opened that drawer.

    Have a great week, all!


  8. Lyra: You are missed.

    Dear family of Jules: I am so sorry for your loss. My thoughts are with you. If you or the girls need a shoulder to lean on, I’m only an email away. Big hugs all around. I know the new kitten will give and get a lot of love and energy from your household. Special hugs to Arabelle.

    Jules: I hope the event was wonderful! Congrats also on being on the advisory board.

    Hello, Shelley! Thanks to you and Jules for inviting us to your mad tea party. I really like the image you’ve shared of Alice and the White Rabbit. I also enjoy the piggie. 🙂

    Steven: Three cheers for being the change you want to see in the world.

    Jama: I love saying hello to the sky in the morning.

    Jone: Have a lovely dinner.

    JES: Sending strength to your cat and your family.

    My kicks from the past week:
    1) Playing (safely) with fire
    2) Knowing
    3) Sweet dreams
    4) Believing
    5) Working hard
    6) Checking up
    7) Checking in


  9. I am going to look forward to seeing more of Shelley’s art one of these days. I particularly love her take on Alice looking down the rabbit hole.

    I am so sorry about Lyra, but Pumpkinfacehead must be a happy distraction. Are you all managing to do anything besides watching her? I have a hard time with that every time I bring a new cat home.

    My Kicks:
    1. I’m reading The Basic Eight by Daniel Handler, which is one of those books that is not for everyone, but which I am really enjoying.
    2. After a very busy week, I sat myself on the couch Friday night with a big bowl of buttered popcorn and watched Conan O’Brien Can’t Stop, which was just what I needed–not mentally taxing, but interesting and funny.
    3. Like everyone, I am enjoying fall. We had cool-and-rainy yesterday followed by cool-and-sunny today. I think I’m going to get out the pumpkin lights later.


  10. Well, I had fun this morning exploring Shelly Davies cut-papers and splodges (great word.) My faves: the flop-eared bunny who shows up here and there , sophie’s red-stamp watering can, the grid-kids and oh, that piggie’s button-nose. Thanks for sharing; Shelly, jules.

    jules – Sorry about Lyra. Jealous of a having a new kitten; some of my best family memories are of kittenhoods.
    Glad your Vanderbilt gig went well, I agree w/jama: podcasts are next.

    Stephen – Yea for stepping up! And your telegraphing history poem (shades of my rotary-phone childhood.)

    jama – ooo, love your ‘deep blue blanket sky’ description.

    jone – Wow, 5th grade discussions of banned books and the 1st Amendment! You-go-girl.

    JES – Wonderful that your lost family album was just hiding away until it felt duly appreciated. : – ) Nothing like a trove of old photos. That Mini-Darth commercial is pretty great. [JES/jules the link to Google-Street Disaster didn’t work for me. But the failed-link message had a fun snarky attitude.]

    LW — #1; mistress of matches.

    adrienne — buttered popcorn, fickle weather and pumpkin lights, yes, sounds like you are enjoying fall.

    My kicks for last week of summer:
    1. President Obama at the House of Blues (first time I’ve seen him in-person.) 2. Enjoyed one of those rare, quirky, afternoon storms where it’s sunny in the front yard and raining in the back. 3. Melon slice half-moon last night 4. the triumphant return of the brown pelican (up close, definite dinosaur DNA) 5. Eldest son off to Nicaragua to study by being “immersed in Spanish” (I picture him dunked like a tea bag.) 5. skinnyvanillalatte 6. Finally read an Adrian Mole book – a series that my British illustrator friend, Anthea, has raved about for years; very funny: irreverent (somewhat shocking) British-humor at turns pathetic, earnest, hysterical. 7. the new Pixar postage stamps look fun for kids (and me)
    http://www.perfectpostage.com/blog/2011/08/to-inifinity-and-beyond-new-forever-stamps-send-hellos-across-the-world/

    Have a fine first week of Autumn everyone.


  11. So sorry about Lyra and so happy to see Pumpkinfacehead. We got a new puppy this week too after losing our dog over the summer- what joy these little fur balls bring 🙂 And I loved reading everyone’s kicks this week- it’s like the change in weather has refreshed us all…

    1. Daisy- our sweet new pup.
    2. My youngest daugther’s first loose tooth.
    3. More days added to my literacy consultant contract with a new district.
    4. Okay for Now- by Gary D. Schmidt.
    5. Beautiful autumn weather.
    6. A fun dinner gathering.
    7. A babysitter who both girls loved.


  12. Jules, sending hugs to you and your family. Lyra was a beautiful kitty, and I know she will be missed. So sorry for the loss.

    Love the artwork today, especially the rabbit and Alice, and that oinking piggy!

    Fly-by kicks today, really on huge enormous kick for me, which is why its flyby:

    I am now offically a homeowner. Last night Ingrid and Ariel and I spent our first night in the new house. I am exhhuatsed from moving, and nowhere near unpacked, but super super happy. I have had most of my things in storage for 2 years (since moving out of the ex-bf’s house) and so unpacking is just like Christmas for me – rediscovering old belongings is kinda awesome.

    Hope everyone has a lovely, surpise filled week!


  13. Steven, thanks, as always, for the poem, I’m glad you elected yourself, and I hope you had fun today.

    Jama, only if you booktalk with me. Er, somehow. Somehow we’ll do that all long-distance’y. Have some popcorn for me.

    Jone, hope that dinner was yummy. And I’d like to be one of your students when you talk about banned books.

    Tarie: Hi, and thanks!

    Same to Elisa! Yes, Pumpkinfacehead is obscenely cute, though I keep calling him a “her.”

    John, oh no, sorry to read you will lose a pet soon. I hope you’re wrong and the cat lasts longer (unless he or she is in pain, of course). … Okay, neat, I entered my info and just watched my house get blown up. Also, I love your dream kick.

    Little Willow: THANK YOU, you kind person, you. And to continue on John’s kicks, you have “sweet dreams.” I like this today. Also, that you’re playing with fire. Mistress of matches, as Denise said.

    Adrienne, yes, it’s a lot of just watching her now (SEE? I just said “her” again — I mean: “him”) and being careful, given that we have another older cat in the house. They are still separated, and we have to take this introduction in tiny baby steps. But so far, so good. Or did you mean just watching him all the time, ’cause he’s a holy ball of kitty fluffy cuteness? That, too. …. And, ooh, I’m intrigued by the Conan doc, too. Might have to watch that. Also, now I want popcorn popped on the stove (only way to have it, as you know), especially since Jama mentioned it too.

    Denise, yes, “splodge” is a great word, huh? (Oh, and I fixed the link that John had typed. It was just missing the “http://” — all fixed now.) … You saw President Obama in person? Did you get to talk to him? First president I’ve ever actually wanted to meet in person and whose hand I’d wanna shake.

    Stacey, hope the tooth fairy visits your daughter. I REALLY WANNA READ Schmidt’s book! I’m so behind. Is it great?

    Rachel, congrats! Happy new home! That is wonderful news. Good luck unpacking!


  14. Jules, Oh, HIM. I must remember that, too. I don’t know what about Pumpkinfacehead makes me think “girl.” Neither pumpkins nor faces nor heads are inherently female. Anyway, yes, I would just be watching him all the time because he was so darned cute.


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