In the Canyon with Ashley Wolff

h1 August 13th, 2015 by jules


Author-illustrator Ashley Wolff is visiting today to share some sketches and art from Liz Garton Scanlon’s In the Canyon, published by Beach Lane this month. (Pictured above is an early sketch.) Liz and I talked about this book, as well as her new middle-grade novel, at Kirkus last week.

Ashley also shares here today some pictures of a hike she took. Here’s what she told me:

[It’s a] real-life hike from rim to river to rim my sister and I took in April of 2014. It’s a really long haul, and both rangers and signs like [the one below] discourage anyone from trying to do it in one day, but we are two, stubborn Wolff women. We started down the South Kaibab Trail before 7 a.m. and returned to the rim after 8 p.m. — 16 miles round trip and a mile’s elevation gain and loss. We didn’t take enough water or food, so at the little store at Phantom Ranch we begged a $10 off the nice attendant, a guy named Bob. We bought all the salty snacks he had, and then he handed us a SASE. Naturally, we mailed him back a $20!

The sketches [below] include a series from very roughest to finish, my main character before I found a model, and some sketches of the lovely Willa. She is also the niece of Daniel Handler and Lisa Brown.

I thank Ashley for sharing art today. Enjoy!


Early sketches
(Click each to enlarge)


The progression of a spread:
“Now here’s a tiny slice of shade, a yummy lunch, some lemonade,
and a lizard, still as sand, his head all speckled, body tan.”

(Click all but second image to enlarge)


“Here’s a little hidey-hole, home to sneaky squirrel or vole.”
Ashley: “[This is a scan] from before the final art revisions. This spread changed in one significant way: I removed the Gila Monster lurking in the upper left, as there was concern children might mistake that for a vole.
Other than that, it is much the same.”

(Click to enlarge)


Final art: “Here’s a footstep, dusty red,
another one, and more ahead …”

(Click to enlarge spread)


Final art: “Here’s the dark, and here’s the shine,
and here’s the moon—it’s like it’s mine!—
to tuck inside me, way down deep …”

(Click to enlarge spread)


(Click each to enlarge)



* * * * * * *

IN THE CANYON. Copyright © 2015 by Liz Garton Scanlon. Illustrations © 2015 by Ashley Wolff. Images here used by permission of Ashley Wolff. Final spreads used by permission of the publisher, Beach Lane Books, New York.

11 comments to “In the Canyon with Ashley Wolff”

  1. The best hime ever!

  2. Looks wonderful!

  3. Lovely!

  4. You and your sis really are hartnaeckig! Gorgeous, Ashley!

  5. What fantastic sketches , paintings, photos and stories! Can’t wait to get this new treasure by to brilliant creators.

  6. Beautiful!!! Such talent and a treasure completely demonstrated.

  7. Ashley, how informative and generous of you to post this share….Process!…it’s a great thing to explore !!!
    and…I am so glad to be introduced to Liz Garton and her writing….it is full of good spaces!. I’ll hope for more titles that you both share in the future.

  8. Liz Garton Scanlon’s books are a treasure, especially ALL THE WORLD.
    So are your illustrations! Wow! Thanks, too, for sharing your beginning and finished sketches.

  9. Yay again for Ashley’s and Liz’ new book! They are indeed TWO –not “to” , as my typo states in my previous comment) brilliant creators . (Tried to correct this earlier, but couldn’t ; better late than never.)

  10. Ugh another careless typo: I meant to put a dash not a parenthesis end after “comment.” I think I’d better start proofreading my comments before posting. That said, I can’t wait to read and marvel at the book!

  11. […] plate for layered mono printing, which I am experimenting with for my next book. (Photo credit: Ashley Wolff.)”   Denise: “Gelatin print, texture and pattern.”(Click to enlarge image) […]

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