Phillustration Award

Every year the Philadelphia Sketch Club, historically the oldest club for artists in the country, holds a juried illustration exhibit, Phillustration. I am thrilled that one of mine was awarded second prize in the show this year.

The illustration I painted for Lodging Magazine, Office Churn, was among many other creative and colorful pieces in a show I highly recommend visiting. The exhibit runs thru November 24 and Sketch Club hours are Wed, Fri, Sat & Sun 1 PM – 5 PM and the venerable brick building that houses the Club is at 235 South Camac Street, Philadelphia PA. their website is I also congratulate Joe Kulka, whose Smokey Bear art took top honors in the Advertising/ Institutional category. Sketch Club President Rich Harrington, a terrific illustrator in his own right, warmly welcomed the crowded room full of artists and emceed the reception with plenty of good humor.

My New Yorker cartoon was also accepted into the show, and I got to chat with John O’Brien, a creator of many many New Yorker cartoons and covers, at the reception, as well as Eric Fowler, the archivist at the Society of Illustrators in New York. A number of other Bucks County Illustrators Society members were accepted into this show, including Lauren Walsh, Joe DeVito, Joe Kulka, Piya and Christina Wannachaiwong (who also ‘exhibited’ their adorable new baby boy at the show), Mark Schaeffer and Dennis Wise. A few snapshots of our BCIS members’ work from the show:

Honored to Win First Place in Book Illustration at Phillustration 7

I am very honored and grateful to the Philadelphia Sketch Club and the judges for Phillustration 7, for awarding my illustration “Ghost Tour” First Place in the Book Illustration category this year. I painted this piece last fall for the children’s book Let’s Visit New Hope, written by Gayle Goodman and Roy Ziegler and sponsored by the New Hope Historical Society.


(c) Pat Achilles

There were no shortage of terrific illustrations in this year’s show in several different categories. Other members of the Bucks County Illustrators Society, of which I’m a co-founder, also had outstanding work exhibited, including Glenn Zimmer, Deb Hoeffner, Pam Hamilton, and Rebecca Rhodin. Joe DeVito served as one of this year’s judges and his pencil concept sketches for a King Kong project he is working on were also prominently featured.

The crowd at the Sketch Club was large and enthusiastic for the opening reception yesterday – Pam Hamilton took this wonderful panoramic shot of the gallery:


The Sketch Club is a venerable Philadelphia institution, having started in the 1860s, and is considered the oldest continuously running organization for artists in the country. Outstanding painters and illustrators of the past who have been members include Thomas Eakins, N.C. Wyeth, Henry Pitz, Walter Baum, Edward Redfield, Daniel Garber; and Ranulph Bye, among many others.


Sketch Club President Rich Harrington and the staff created a varied and exciting exhibit that I recommend to everyone who enjoys ‘fine art that tells a story’ – which is how good illustration is defined. I am thrilled and grateful to receive this recognition, and thankful also to authors Gayle and Roy for writing the book that inspired my illustration!

The Sketch Club is located at 235 S. Camac Street in Philadelphia, and this show is up until November 27, with gallery hours Wednesday, Friday,  Saturday and Sunday from 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm.

Illustration Award from Phillustration


Art by James Bennett

I’m thrilled and honored to have received the First Place Award in Advertising art from the Phillustration 6 exhibit, hosted every year by the Philadelphia Sketch Club. The poster at left is the award certificate, with artwork by the inimitable James Bennett, whose painting of Roger Waters won Best of Show.

My husband and I attended a wonderful reception today at the Sketch Club, along with members of the PSC and the Bucks County Illustrators Society.  BCIS won other awards as well: besides his Best of Show prize, Jim Bennett also received an Honorable Mention in Self-Promotional, Cassandre Maxwell of West Chester received First Place in Editorial, Deb Hoeffner of Doylestown received Honorable Mention in Editorial, Ponder Goembel of Riegelsville received Honorable Mention in Book Illustration; and Dave Song of Doylestown received Honorable Mention in Self-Promotional.


My illustration for the play ‘The Secret Garden,’ which won First Place in Advertising Illustration

Also on display in the exhibit is artwork by BCIS members Glenn Zimmer of North Wales, Monika Hinterwaldner and Lee Harper of Doylestown, Pam Hamilton of New Britain, Rebecca Rhodin of Lansdale and Joe Kulka of Quakertown. It’s a terrific show, featuring art by many area illustrators including Charles Santore, Bob Byrd, John O’Brien and David Brinley (who juried the show) and it runs through November 8. The Chairman of the Phillustration show is illustrator Rich Harrington, and he’s done another fantastic job.

I recommend checking out this amazing show in person, but if you can’t get to Philadelphia there is also an online gallery of the works at the Philadelphia Sketch Club website.  You can find out more about our Bucks County Illustrators Society at the BCIS website as well.


Photos from the BCIS Exhibit ‘The Art of Illustration’

The Bucks County Illustrators Society, which I co-founded with Monika Hinterwaldner, had its first Members Show last week, and on Friday we hosted a wine and cheese reception at the beautiful estate of Nobel Prize-winning author Pearl S. Buck, in Perkasie, PA.  It was an outstanding evening, with over 150 art-lovers attending, several sales, many connections made and compliments paid.  All the artists are to be congratulated on a truly enjoyable array of illustrations, appreciated by many not only for their beauty but for the stories they tell of adventure, humor, mystery, charm and grace.  Some photos are below, delightfully captured by Steve Brown of Looking Glass Photography in Perkasie.

Bucks County Illustrators 2013 Member Show

bcismembershowpcThe art on this postcard is by Becca Haushalter Klein, an up-and-coming illustrator in our area, a huge Disney fan (perhaps you could tell) with a Belle (of Beauty and the Beast) personality.

The illustrators of BCIS have had the good fortune to be invited to create a Member Show, to be hung in the large gallery of the Cultural Center at the Pearl S. Buck estate in Perkasie, PA.  Becca’s illustrations just explode with mood and magic, and we were very glad she gave the ok for us to use her illustration for our card.

There will be a variety of other lively and imaginative illustrators exhibiting in the show, including

James Bennett, Dot BunnAmanda Condict, Joe DeVitoHeather DavulcuPonder Goembel, Pamela HamiltonMonika HinterwaldnerDeb Hoeffner, Denise Callanan-KlineKim Kurki, Linda LaRoseChristina ManietKathryn Maxwell, Steve Ottey, Rebecca Rhodin, Dave SongJoe TacynecEric Wight, Glenn Zimmer and myself.

If you are in the area of beautiful Bucks County, PA, from June 26 to 28, you should take a look at our show – especially Friday the 28th, when we’ll have an open wine and cheese reception from 7-9 pm.  More info at theBCIS website at

Talking about ‘Marketing for Illustrators’ at Moore College of Art & Design


Moore illustration class in 1980. Oh yeah, there was that deer head

On Wednesday I spoke to two classes of juniors at my alma mater, Moore College of Art, through an invitation from their ‘Prep for Internship’ teacher Glenn Zimmer, an excellent children’s book illustrator and friend of mine from the Bucks County Illustrators Society.

The classroom was a bit different from the rooms that I remember from my days drawing with the wonderfully talented and endearing Beth Krush in the late 70s.  Large screen Macs & Epson printers now top long work tables, and swivel chairs are comfortably upholstered for long stretches at the computer.  No high wooden drawing tables and metal stools, which were standard issue during my years there.  Also in this room: no tall windows overlooking the Ben Franklin Parkway — we were in the basement.

I began by asking the students whether one crucial thing was still the same now as when I went to Moore: did art students still stay up to the wee hours finishing drawing assignments, or did these sleek new computers make everything so easy that you could finish your work in a snap and go hang out with friends the rest of the evening?  Laughs, groans and protests.  Bingo!  One thing remains the same.

I gave a run down of my career path, with sample art projected onto a screen: my Moore internship at the PA School for the Deaf, art director at Westminster Press, and freelance after my kids were born, for Burpee, newspapers, agencies, theaters, kids books.  Then on to Marketing for Illustrators: how to determine your value as an artist & communicate that online, in print and in person.  The students had some very good answers to the questions I posed, obviously they have been thinking about this for a while.  When I finished, there was time left for me to sit with each student and see their online portfolios.

I have to say, there is some very impressive design and illustration going on in these classes.  I loved the samples that many had for a class assignment for the site – illustrated recipes, but there is clever page design involved too.  Also VERY happy to see so much life drawing in the portfolios, both from live models and from casts and props in the drawing studios.  It’s encouraging that they still learn these vital  drawing skills as well as the elaborate technology necessary for today’s media – I mean, where do they get the time?  Oh yes, That Thing That Has Remained the Same.

Now Glenn tells me they will all write reports on my talk, so it will be interesting to see what these illustrators retained.  I wonder if any of them will do that thing that I said makes such a good impression on professionals because it’s so seldom done?  Not going to give it away. Think about it, kids.