Going in circles

Carving into soft block. I never know where I'm going to go with it. But I always know something good will happen.

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VEGGIE LOVE

Did you know my husband Mike Austin is also an illustrator/writer? It's rare that we collaborate. But we have been having lots of fun working together on our garden project. It's a great way to step away from the drawing table and burn some energy. We have about a dozen regular visitors, deer. Check out the 6 ft. high fence—just beyond their leaping abilities! So far, we've sown seeds for mustard greens, kale, collard greens, arugala and spinach. Getting eggplant and basil started inside. Hopefully we will be blessed by just the right combination of rain and sun.

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Sketch to Final for Hi‘iaka Battles the Wind

Final files have been sent for two new Beachhouse Publishing Hawaiian Legends for Little Ones books by Gabrielle Ahuli’i. One of them is Hi‘iaka Battles the Wind. Pele's sister, Hi‘iaka saves Waipio Valley from the ravages of a powerful wind.

Here's the original sketch next to the final image. In my sketches, I never show texture. I have ideas swirling in my head about what I might try, but nothing ever comes together until I start playing with the digital collage. Even I am surprised at the happy "mistakes” that happen while I explore. I had fun playing with the contrast in size between Hi‘iaka and the wind. Her size belies her power! You'll have to get the book to see what happens next.

Working on the images was a great excuse to revisit a favorite place. On our January trip to Hawai‘i Island, we walked into the valley. The road down is only a mile, but the grade is 45% in sections!

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Making Waves

Months ago was dismayed to see something mail ordered, packed in way too much styrofoam. Saved it thinking I could reuse for a rainy day. Today is the rainy day. Time to experiment in the studio. Relief prints. It works great! Making wave energy on a day there isn't surf.

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