Animals and Musical Instruments

Reprinted from the blog of the Scatter Joy Center for the Arts:


On June 24, Scatter Joy’s new exhibit “Fantasy Tales” opens, featuring the work of members of the Bucks County Illustrators Society. Pat Achilles is not only one of the founders of this incredible group, she’ll be showing her work, too. Here, she shares some of the inspiration that shapes her work.

“My father was very musical and I have always loved drawing musical instruments – I’ve done a series of little animals playing instruments for greeting cards, and for years I’ve illustrated posters for the Lenape Chamber Ensemble with little musical menageries too. Strings, horns and woodwinds are beautiful in their design as well as being functional. I think that’s one reason I chose to draw the Pied Piper for ‘Fantasy Tales,’ to work a beautiful instrument into fanciful story.”


Are you coming to the Fantasy Tales exhibit by the Bucks County Illustrators Society? Our opening reception (everyone invited!) is Friday June 24 from 5:00 pm to 7:30 pm at the Scatter Joy Center for the Arts, 305 Horsham Rd, Horsham, PA.  More info on my blog post .

Invitation to Fantasy Tales Exhibit


I designed our invitation, based on Glenn Zimmer’s cover design of our book Fantasy Tales. Friends, family and art lovers are kindly invited!

Announcing ‘Fantasy Tales,’ a Bucks County Illustrators Society Showcase

bcisfantasytalespromophotoI’m thrilled to be part of a unique publication of The Bucks County Illustrators Society – a showcase of the talent of the Society’s members, a full color book with text and illustrations entitled Fantasy Tales.  As a co-founder of BCiS, I am especially pleased to see the work of so many of my friends in the arts highlighted together.

The book includes art by me as well as James Bennett, Deb Hoeffner, Gil Cohen, Dot Bunn, Joe DeVito, Ponder Goembel, Rich Harrington,Monika Hinterwaldner, Becca Klein, Glenn Zimmer, Marie Thresher,Joe Kulka,  Rebecca Rhodin, Pam HamiltonSandy Bender, Kim Kurki, Seth Robinson and Kathryn Maxwell. Each illustrator chose a story or excerpt from a story that has elements of fairy tale, supernatural or fantastical events, and created an illustration to accompany the story.

In conjunction with this publication, we are mounting a show of Fantasy Tales artwork by our members, with many of the pieces in the book displayed as original art in the exhibit. The exhibit will be at the Scatter Joy Center for the Arts gallery, running from June 24 to July 20, at 305 Horsham Road, Horsham, PA. The public is invited to the opening reception on June 24 from 5:00 pm to 7:30 pm, to meet the artists and enjoy light refreshments. Copies of the book Fantasy Tales: A Bucks County Illustrators Society Showcase will be available for purchase at the opening.

The artwork in Fantasy Tales encompasses a wide range of illustration styles among BCiS illustrators, and varies from traditional media to digital to combinations of both. The stories chosen span classic Fairy Tales like Little Red Riding Hood and Cinderella to a Native American Folk Tale to the epic King Kong saga. Each illustrator’s biography is also included in the book.


I invite all my friends, and any fans of illustration or fantasy art to come to our opening or visit the gallery during June and July. In Fantasy Tales the Bucks County Illustrators Society also thanks three institutions with whom we have special friendships: the Philadelphia Sketch Club, whose history of supporting artists and mounting exciting exhibits stretches back to 1860; Phoenix Art Supplies and Framing, a vital resource in Bucks County helping artists find the best supplies; and the Scatter Joy Center for the Arts, founded by artist Kathy Davis, which regularly hosts changing gallery shows and art, craft and music classes for adults and children.

Regarding parking for the opening reception, the Scatter Joy Center for the Arts, where our exhibit will be held, is in a beautifully renovated stone farmhouse on the northwest corner of Dresher and Horsham Roads, in a shopping plaza called ‘The Elements,’ which has ample parking.

Artists, Students, Business People invited to the Bucks County Illustrators Society Portfolio Night


The Bucks County Illustrators Society will host a Portfolio Night that is open to the public on Thursday, November 12, from 7 to 9 pm. This informal night of creative networking takes place at the Scatter Joy Center for the Arts, adjacent to Kathy Davis Studios, 305 Horsham Road, Horsham, PA. The Portfolio Night will be a fun and informative evening for artists and art students.  Art directors, design agencies, marketing firms, authors and small business owners are also invited to connect with illustrators who offer creative resources to the business community. There will be light refreshments, and accompanying Portfolio Night will be a pop up shop featuring hand-dyed home decor items and fashion accessories by Kathy Davis Studios president, Sarah Van Aken. The Scatter Joy Center for the Arts, which hosts changing gallery exhibits and art, craft and music classes for adults and children, is in a renovated stone farmhouse on the northwest corner of Dresher and Horsham Roads, in a shopping plaza called “The Elements.” Further information about the Bucks County Illustrators Society is on the group’s website,, and for more information on events at Scatter Joy Center for the Arts, see

Hope to see you there!

Fiddle Mouse

I painted another little musician, this one for a fundraiser for the Scatter Joy Center for the Arts, a wonderful creative school and gallery founded by Kathy Davis of the Kathy Davis Studios greeting card company.

For this fundraising auction, titled “Joy Squared,” artists were asked to decorate a 6″x6″ canvas, provided by KDS, in any way they wished. All the squares will be auctioned at the event on September 25 from 5-8 pm, at  SCJA, which is located at 305 Horsham Road, Horsham, PA 19044.

I decided to paint a little mouse fiddler happily playing and dancing, and the format just put me in mind of children’s books art from the 50s and 60s.  I first sketched my mouse in pencil –


I painted the white canvas with a mixture of yellow ochre, cadmium yellow and white to give it an old feel. I transferred the drawing to the canvas with graphite paper, and painted it in, adding a few details to the finish.


The public is invited to the Joy Squared event, there will be music, refreshments and outdoor chalk drawing for the kids, as well as the silent auction where my mouse and hundreds of other small canvases will be sold.  For more info you may call KDS at (215) 444-9544.

All artwork on this blog is (c) Pat Achilles and may not be reproduced in print. For instructions on leasing and permissions please write me on my Contact page.