Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Happy Halloween! How To Draw A Witch!

I drew this little girl witch to wish you a happy Halloween! Halloween is one of my favorite holidays and though I don't like to get dressed up myself, I love seeing my grandgirls and other people and children in costume. And I love drawing witches, pumpkins and the like!

Here are some Halloween designs available in my etsy shop!

Three Bats and a Friend- Hand Made Collage cut Happy Halloween Pumpkin Design

As a little girl learned to draw pretty much on my own by just looking at things and people, and practicing drawing, but now and then I would watch a TV show on how to draw. Below is one of the first drawing shows I ever saw, and probably one of the first how to draw TV shows ever. I couldn't believe I found this on You Tube! I haven't seen it since I was very little! Enjoy!

Here are several videos on drawing a witch! 

When I was a kid all my witches looked like this!
  How to draw pumpkins!

Of course I always
think that the best way to learn how to draw something is to just look at it and draw, draw, draw!
 Practice, practice, practice!
Happy Halloween!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Which Drawing? Witch Drawing!

I been recently working on an idea for a graphic novel! The story is about a witch and her slave and I've been working on it for about a year now, but I just recently decided to try and make it into a graphic novel. I have thought about joining NaNoWriMo to work on this novel.

What is NaNoWRiMo you say? It's a challenge to write a novel from start to finish in a month that's been around since the late 1990's. Nation Novel Writing Month is November, and you can learn more about it at the website. It's set up with everything you need to finally bring that idea for a novel you've always had into existence. The website connects you with others doing the same thing and supports you with feedback, critiques and more. I have decided not to do it this time, but it's a great thing to check out if you're interested.

Learn more about National Novel Writing Month, NaNoWriMo here:

And you can check out how to layout a graphic novel at WikiHow. This website has been helpful to me!

So I've been working on character sketches and here are my ideas for the witch in the story. She grows up throughout the book so I have been working on making her look consistent at different ages. It's interesting drawing a witch! I didn't want her to look too traditional, but wanted her to have a personality unique to herself and be someone you could identify with as she undergoes a lot of changes through the story.
Witch child grows up!

Old Baukis!
Baukis at around twelve years old!

This is Zarin- the main character and the witches slave.
Still working on look of Zarin!
This is a sketch of what the first page might look like.

My latest submission to Illustration Friday. "Goblins in a dish". The theme this week is "Creatures"!  

This is an illustration that I did in Art school years ago!
Happy Halloween!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Tri-corner hats? Silhouettes at York Marketfest!

Last weekend I did Silhouettes at York Marketfest!
I was right in front of Jeffers Tavern and  Parsons visitor center, both part of historic York Village!
 Some pics of my silhouette table at Marketfest in York. 
It was a cold day to start, warm in the middle of the day and then cold again towards the end, but sunny all day!

Peopke like my framed dog silhouette! Dogs are so fun to do!
Many people were in costume, volunteering at historic York Village!

Here are the duplicates I cut of the silhouettes in the above picture!

I always have to remember to leave enough space for the hat when I cut silhouettes of poeple wearing hats! The tri-corner hat was challenging but fun!

A happy couple! He put his hat on after I cut his silhouette!


Three ladies, three generations!
They all wanted their silhouettes together on one mount!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Helping a Child or Yourself Through a Transition

Have you ever had to help a child through a transition? It seems like millions of time I've been in a situation where a child in my care has struggled with a transition. The kind that to them seem huge, but to me seems very insignificant. Getting ready to go out the door. Getting in a car to go somewhere. Coming in from the playground. Getting home from school. Getting ready for bed. Even changing from one activity to another-drawing to playdough! Having to stop what you're doing and get cleaned up. whatever it is. Any change in activity can seem overwhelming when a child is not ready. Unless they feel they have control, and can somehow anticipate or be involved in controlling the situation. Interestingly, as adults don't we feel the same way when a transition of one kind or another hits us? We want to feel in control!

"A transition is a change from one thing to the next, either in action or state of being—as in a job transition or as in the much more dramatic example of a caterpillar making a transition into a butterfly."

"Transition is awfully reassuring in its tidy reliance on regular forms. Trans means "cross," so when you hear it at the beginning of a word you know that it indicates crossing, as intransatlantic or translate. An odd thing happening with transition lately is that it is transitioning from its familiar form as a noun to a newer life as a verb, as in “We’re going to transition Gloria to that new job.”
Isn't that funny? The word transition is going through a transition!

There's a sweet song Mr. Rogers used to sing on his show called "I like to be told". I can remember watching it with my own kids! It was all about the need (from a child's point of view) to be told, when something different is going to happen, needing to be told what to expect, needing to be told about something going on in their life. This song always resonated with me! The idea that a child should be included in important decisions, or even just being told ahead of time that a change will be taking place increases a child's need to feel "in control".  

As adults we need the same thing, but as adults we know that it isn't possible to always know what's coming, nor is it possible or even good for us to always feel in control. Maybe it's just about somehow finding the faith that things will be ok, that can give us that sense of feeling in "control" even when we're not. I've heard it said that Faith is not about always having everything work out, but Faith is knowing that you'll be ok no matter how it works out!

I couldn't find that particular song on You Tube, so I offer this sweet Mr. Rogers remix video instead!  Enjoy!

Here's a bit from my ebook Babysitter Blues available on Amazonkindle and soon to be a kickstarter Project! (I'll let you know when!) 

Evan the main character is a fourteen year old taking his three year old twin brothers and five year old sister to a Baha'i children's class for the very first time. He has just announced a "transition"- time to go home and guess what happens!

       Evan’s clan enjoyed every last bite of their apple crisp and ice cream and asked for more. Evan said, “Just a little more, guys, then we have to go home. I got homework to do.”
       While they ate second helpings, a line started to form in the living room for rides on the swing. Casey noticed before his siblings did, and, leaving his second dish of ice cream untouched, he ran over to the line and tried to cut in front of the little girl whose turn was next.
       “He’s cutting!” she complained loudly. “It’s not fair!” Her mother rushed over to her and tried to reason with her, telling her to just let Casey swing first in order to keep the peace. But the girl wouldn’t have it, and as she tried to climb on the swing, Casey grabbed it and knocked her off. By the time Evan reached the swing she had started crying, though she wasn’t really hurt, and anything her mother did to help her only made her cry
louder.       Evan took hold of Casey’s arm, and above the wails of the little girl
called to Dani and Cori, who were still eating, although watching the event curiously. “C’mon, guys, we have to go. NOW!”
       As the girl’s mother tended to her, Evan bodily picked up Casey and went over to the other two to hurry them up. Casey started to cry. “I wanna swing!” he yelled over and over. He struggled to get out of Evan’s arms, kicking him in the process. Evan felt so embarrassed and angry at Casey. He’d gotten through this whole thing without a hitch! Why a meltdown now? He rushed out of the room with Casey still struggling in his arms and the other two siblings close behind.
       Nava ran out the door after them, and called to him. “Don’t you want Casey’s picture?”
       “No, thanks,” he answered over his shoulder.
       Nava said, “I’ll call you later. OK?”

       “OK,” Evan called back, still embarrassed. He put Casey down and,
holding his hand tightly, ushered his gang through the playground and across the street to the safe haven of their own house. 
Evan taking his siblings out of children's class.

A cover for an cd I did years ago.
Reminds me of how I feel when I'm dealing with a transition!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

4 Steps for Learning a New Skill

I am learning so many things that are new to me! As an artist I have always identified as a right brain oriented person and technology was something I never dreamed I'd engage in the way I do now! In the process of doing this blog, I have been learning innumerable computer skills, and every time I push through something that is a challenge, I now navigate my way through that feeling of I can't, or I'm too stupid for that, whereas just a year or so ago I would have gotten frustrated or given up. Not that I don't ask for help anymore but somehow I'm now able to ask from a place of deep self-respect and desire to learn, not from a place of frustration!

  Here's a great TED TALK video from  Josh Kaufman- The First 20 Hours- How to Learn Anything.

 I love that he mentions that feeling stupid can be a barrier to learning since I so identify with that, and have learned that just because you feel stupid doesn't mean you are!

He discusses 4 steps to learning a new skill, connecting it to your goals and being successful at it!
  1. Break it apart or chunk it into doable segments.
  2. Learn enough to self-correct 
  3. Remove barriers to practice (Turn off the TV or other distractions)
  4. Practice for at least 20 hours.

Just for fun here are some pieces I pulled out of my portfolio:

 A portrait of a little girl I did many years ago.

A watercolor I did a few years back.

"Hummingbird Breakfast" pastel

An illustration I did for Spirit of Children logo.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Celebrity Caricatures

Thought I 'd share some of my celebrity caricatures! Guess who! 

My latest caricaturing gig was a Bat Mitzvah in Portland, Me last weekend!

These three ladies really wanted to do the Charlie's Angels thing for their caricature! It was a fun challenge!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Using creativity in a difficult moment with a child!


Are you creative? Or rather do you think you're creative? And does creativity go by the wayside when we get to the age of watching our children struggling with their own children? Do you have to be an artist to be creative? What does that really mean- being creative?

Webster's defines creativity as the ability or power to create, to bring into existence, to invest with a new form, to produce through imaginative skill, to make or bring into existence something new.
Creativity has a place in problem-solving but sometimes it occurs in the moment and not as the result of thinking or planning!

For instance, I was just now approached by my three year old granddaughter who asked me for juice in her "sippy" cup. I would have been happy to oblige her by opening the thing and giving her some fresh juice, but I couldn't seem to get it open. I probably could have tried harder, but that would have taken more time and she wanted it now.

When I told her, she started to get a little bit frustrated. Three year old self-preservation is something I wish I still had! Without even thinking much about it, I grabbed the closest glass on the counter to offer her an alternative. She said she still wanted the "sippy cup". Then I happened to notice two more glasses standing on the counter.

Luckily all three glasses were different sizes!  Taking all three and lining them up on the counter I offered her the chance to pick the Daddy glass, the Mommy glass or the Baby glass to put her juice in. With a satisfied smile on her face she chose the Mommy or middle size glass, probably because she had been expressing missing her mom every two minutes for the last half hour. Needless to say she was happy with her choice and all thoughts of her precious sippy cup had gone by the wayside as soon as she had the beloved "Mommy" glass in hand!

Evan, the main character in my book for middle readers- Babysitter Blues encounters a similar moment when he could just choose to enforce his "parental"authority (designated to him by his mother when she left him to babysit his half-siblings) and risk alienating his little sister or instead choose to allow
some creative understanding of the situation to change the outcome! His little sister has just announced that she is refusing to go with her Dad when he comes that evening to pick her and her younger twin brothers up to visit for the weekend. Dani crawls under the table and refuses to come out.

       “I don’t wanna go, and you can’t make me!” Dani folded her arms across her chest stubbornly.

       Evan took a deep breath and let it out slowly. This was one Friday night Evan was planning to have to himself, and he didn’t need any problems right now. And Dani’s attitude surprised him, because she always seemed to love being with her dad. “Why don’t you wanna go?”

       Dani crawled under the table, where the twins were busy with the play dough, and sat with her legs crossed and her arms still tight across her chest. “I wanted to go to Cara’s birthday party tomorrow, but Mom said no!” In a sarcastic voice she mimicked her mother. ”It’s Dad’s turn this weekend to be with you kids. And I have plans!” She twirled one of her pigtails around her finger. “Why doesn’t Daddy love us anymore? If he loved us he would live here with us. I don’t wanna go!” She turned her back to Evan.

       Evan knew that Josh would show up any minute to claim his kids. The twins were involved with their playdough creations for the moment, but were more or less ready to go.

       The quote, “God is at peace with all his children; why should they engage in strife and warfare among themselves?” came into his head. He decided to meet Dani on her own turf, instead of fighting with her. The Remover of Difficulties prayer he had recently memorized floated through his mind. “Is there any remover of difficulties save God? Say: Praised be God! He is God! All are His servants, and all abide by His bidding.”

        He got down on his hands and knees and crawled under the table to join Dani.

       “Get out!” Dani demanded.

       “OK,” Evan said simply, and started to back out. ”I Just thought you might want some company in here. I’m sorry you can’t go to your party. That must make you really mad. It would sure make me mad.”

       Dani grabbed his arm as he continued to ease his tall frame out from under the table. “No. Stay.” Dani wiped her eyes with the back of her hand.
Evan settled back under the table, crisscrossing his legs. It wasn’t easy because he couldn’t sit up very straight. “So you think your Dad doesn’t love you?” he asked in a soft voice.

       “I dunno.” Dani wiped her nose on her sleeve. Evan noticed a tear still sparkling in the corner of her eye. Just then one of Corey’s legs under the table twitched in a funny way, and Evan had to move out of the way to keep from getting kicked in the nose. Dani and Evan both laughed.
Corey poked his head down under the table. “What choo doing?”

       Just then Casey jumped up to stand on his chair. ”Daddy’s here, Daddy’s here!” Dani rushed into Evan’s arms so quickly she almost knocked him on his back. ”I love you,” she whispered, and scrambled out from under the table to greet her father.

       Evan decided to mention the party to Josh on Dani’s behalf, because his recent brush with Dani’s frustration had made him more aware of his own feelings of being frustrated. He knew what it was like to have other people making all your decisions for you. But as he unfolded himself awkwardly out from under the table, he heard Josh say something about an amusement park tomorrow, and as he straightened up he saw Dani and the boys jumping excitedly up and down. Dani turned with a big smile on her face and waved to Evan as Josh ushered the twins out the door. 

From Babysitter Blues by Leona Hosack, published by One Voice Press.

Click here for a great article at on cranking up your creativity!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Time for Fall and Halloween Activities with the children in my life!

These Halloween Cut Paper Designs are available in my Etsy Shop!
This is a cut paper design I did for fun a few years ago!

Today my three and a half year old granddaughter Bailey and I drew the "Five Little Pumpkins" in shaving cream and then sang the song!

Five Little Pumpkins sitting on a gate
The first one said "Oh my it's getting late!
The second one said "There are witches in the air!"
The third one said" Well, I don't care!"
The fourth one said "Let's run and run and run"
And the fifth one said " I'm ready for some fun"
Oo,oo went the wind, and out went the lights and the five little pumpkins rolled out of sight!

Bailey loves drawing pumpkins and singing the song!

My oldest granddaughter Phaedra throwing leaves !
Cut Paper Leaf Designs -also available in my Esty Shop!
I'ts raining leaves!
Gather them up again!
And throw again!

Monday, October 7, 2013

Halloween Caricature Fun!

Up dates on one of my current projects for Justin Kelcourse, a realtor in Portsmouth, NH. They wanted a Halloween caricature of him. I offered them the two choices below. They chose Justin as Frankinstein!
Here's the finished piece!

Contact me if you would like a caricature of someone you love in their Halloween Costume! I am also available to do Halloween Caricatures for your Halloween Party! Halloween Caricatures are available through my Etsy shop also!

 Here I am doing caricatures at the wedding reception of a friend a couple of weeks ago!
That's my husband Larry's Caricature hanging on the upper left of my easel!

Fun was had by all!

Kamal's Day and Babysitter Blues make great Ayyam-i-ha gifts!

Kamal's Day and Babysitter Blues make great gifts!

SO grateful that I have two books that I've written and illustrated available on line NOW!  A picture book for the young ones and a ch...