For a year of ups & downs, this was a surprising Up to close the year with: a friend called to tell me he sees my first-ever published New Yorker cartoon is now part of the 2021 New Yorker Day-to-Day desk calendar!
I ordered a couple thru our delightful local Doylestown Bookshop and I think it’ll be fun to start every calendar day with a chuckle right through the year. My drawing’s chosen day is uncannily close to the birthday of my Dad, who got me started on the whole NYer kick . . . pulling strings again, Dad?
I am a member of the Central Bucks Chamber of Commerce and once a year the Chamber organizes a studio tour to promote the artists in our area; it’s a great way to get your artwork seen. My studio is not large so I have not participated in the past, but this year they opted to do a virtual tour so the size of the room didn’t matter. I was invited along with a few other illustrators, and agreed to be on the tour.
You can see me and the seven other artists and craftspeople by going HERE to the Chamber’s Youtube video. The segments are brief, 3 minutes at most, and I think they show a wonderful variety of creative people in Bucks County. If you’re short on time and JUST want to see me, I’ll post my video below – it was edited & produced, by the way, by my talented son Tom Achilles!
Just a reminder, if you’d like to see more illustration art from the Philadelphia area, you can see the virtual Phillustration 12 exhibit of the Philadelphia Sketch Club, including a couple pieces by me, right here online. It’s available until December 6, so take a look HERE when you can.
The Philadelphia Sketch Club’s annual juried exhibit, featuring professional and student illustrators in our area, is now open – virtually, this year – and I’m very pleased to have two of my pieces included.
The entire Phillustration exhibit can be viewed, from the comfort of your computer or phone, at https://sketchclub.org/phillustration-12/#gallery through December 6th. Several of my friends from the Bucks County Illustrators Society have also had illustrations accepted, so be sure to see the excellent work of Joe DeVito, Glenn Zimmer, Gil Cohen, Piya and Christina Wannachaiwong, Mark Schaeffer and Deb Hoeffner.
One of my entries is the illustration I painted for the Bucks County Gilbert & Sullivan Society’s production of The Pirates of Penzance –
and another is a black/white ink wash cartoon of the iconic NYC Rockefeller Christmas tree that I’ve made into a greeting card –
The little child in the drawing is pointing and saying, “They missed a spot.” This card is available on my Etsy shop HERE.
Please enjoy the whole show at the Sketch Club HERE to see the many styles of interesting artwork that illustrators in our area are creating.
The Christmas in Doylestown House Tour, run by the hard-working volunteers at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church since 1992, needed to be re-imagined this year to accommodate social distancing. The highly-anticipated Tour is a holiday tradition for many in the Central Bucks area, allowing delighted attendees of years past to wander through four beautifully-decorated and designed homes in the center of a town filled with historic buildings. Throughout the years the House Tour has raised more than $193,700 for the Bucks County Housing Group to support the Doylestown Homeless Shelter.
My original logo for Christmas in Doylestown, which took place mostly during daylight hours, was this:
The team in charge this year has come up with a number of alternate activities to keep patrons entertained and healthy at the same time, and they hope to still raise some funds for the Homeless Shelter. To avoid crowds, the tour will be primarily in the evening, where anyone can drive or walk down the designated streets to see beautifully lit grand houses from outdoors. There may be entire streets of homes that will participate, so it should be quite a show! This outdoor tour will be free, though donations will be gratefully accepted on behalf of the Bucks County Housing Group.
In addition, St. Paul’s will still hold its popular Christmas Attic sale – with a twist – where shoppers can find great bargains on all sorts of holiday decorations. To keep this safe for patrons, the sale will take place as an online auction.
I updated this year’s logo with suggestions from the CID team, to reflect the changes for 2020, and I think it still makes an eye-catching design –
For further info on this December’s Christmas in Doylestown and Christmas Attic, and to learn how to donate to the Bucks County Housing Group, click HERE.
I’m adding a new illustrated notecard to the Scouting items I have in my Etsy store – while I have several popular Eagle Scout cards, this one is an all-occasion card. I drew these cheery scouts alongside the goals of the Scout Law – to be Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful, Friendly, Courteous, Kind, Obedient, Cheerful, Thrifty, Brave, Clean and Reverent – to create a notecard that can be used for any occasion, whether to celebrate a rank advancement or merit badge, offer words of encouragement or to thank a mentor, scoutmaster or fellow scout. I first drew this when my son was rising through the ranks toward Eagle Scout, to celebrate the Scout Law in a fun visual way. The notecards make a great gift for a Scout leader too. The cards are blank inside, and all the ordering info is here on my Etsy page.
My artwork is printed in black and white on sturdy card stock, invitation-size, which is 4.25″ wide and 5.5″ high, 8 cards to a box and 8 white envelopes are included. If mailed, the card requires standard first-class postage. As with all my other cards, the cardstock is made from partially recycled paper and the cards are printed in the USA.
If you want to order some and live in the Central Bucks County area, and would like to avoid the shipping charges, please don’t click on the ‘Buy’ button, instead just email me through Etsy, or here on my website Contact page, to see if we can arrange for you to pick up the card in person.
If you want to have a pre-printed message printed on the inside of your cards, or for discounts on quantities greater than 24 cards, just contact me to inquire about pricing.
I’ve added a few cheery notecards to Etsy, some with fun little hand-illustrated critters that you won’t find anywhere but in my Etsy store.
The first is a fox playing a cello, which is part of a series of music-themed illustrations I’ve drawn. Surprisingly, I got an order for these cards all the way from France a while back, from a woman whose daughter loves foxes, and plays the cello. A rare occurrence of me hitting the bullseye! If you’d like some to send or give to a musical friend, they are 8 cards and 8 envelopes in a box, and the ordering info is here.
For my second one below I watercolored a happy little hamster to celebrate the USA, for a notecard to use for thank yous, congratulations or any other noteworthy American occasion. The inside of the card is blank and my original artwork is in full color. This pack of 8 cards and envelopes has cardstock that is made from partially recycled paper and the cards are printed in the USA. Ordering info is here.
I had a request for the third one, it uses a New-Yorker-style cartoon i drew a while back, as a business referral thank you note. The outside shows 3 energetic businesswomen cheering “2! 4! 6! 8!” and on the inside a brief messages reads: “Referrals I appreciate!” with space below for a personal note.Ordering info is here.
I plan to put up a few more notecards soon – thanks for checking them out!
The fellows who run the terrific illustration conference Artistacon, Chris Kotsakis and Shaun Stipick, are creating a video archive of illustrator interviews to continue their mission of inspiring and mentoring illustrative art. These video interviews are tied to their ArtistaList project, an helpful online directory of working illustrators. They have asked me to participate and so I’m very happy to announce that the three of us will do a Facebook live stream about my artwork tomorrow, Thursday May 28 starting at 10 a.m.; and another live interview following just after that one, at around 10:45 a.m. on Twitch. I hope you’ll join us! And as soon as it’s ready I’ll post a link to the recorded interview. Here’s the info:
Almost ten years ago I illustrated the African folktale The Lion, the Ostrich and the Squirrel for the Maasai Cultural Exchange Project. I learned much about the work of MCEP in doing this book, an organization that helps to build wells in Kenya and pay for education of women and children. I helped frame the actual story, which involves all animal characters, by suggesting we start the story by showing a common Maasai family tradition: the grandmother gathering the grandchildren under an acacia tree to tell stories. A friend of mine asked me to make this cover illustration into a notecard for her. I’ve just added it to my Etsy line of illustrated cards, and it can be seen and ordered here.
This is pack of 8 notecards (blank inside) and 8 ivory envelopes. Printed on the back of the notecard is a description of the scene: “The artwork shows the Rift Valley of Kenya, a region of many Maasai villages. A grandmother making bead jewelry while seated on a cowhide tells her grandchildren a folk tale in the shade of an acacia tree. An enkaji – a home made of mud and sticks – is behind them. A father and son herd goats in the background, and behind them is a fence of acacia branches, which encircles the villages to keep wild animals from entering.” When I drew the illustrations for this book I had the kind cooperation of several Maasai visitors who explained specific cultural details in the drawing, so the scene is authentic.
The 8 cards (same illustration on each) in this pack are 5 1/2″ wide by 4 1/4″ high, which is a typical ‘invitation’ size notecard, taking regular first class postage. The cardstock is made from partially recycled paper and the cards are printed in the USA.
If you would like a notecard of this sort customized by me to include your personal message or a custom-drawn illustration, please contact me through my Contact page to discuss your ideas and my illustration fees.
I am happy to say that The Lion, the Ostrich and the Squirrel is in schools and libraries in Maasailand, and is especially useful because the story is written in both English and Swahili. The book is available for purchase, with proceeds going to MCEP, here.