According to Deidre, the fact that she is illustrating children’s books is baffling. The pieces are there though: her artistic nature, her creativity, her newly-found technical skills, and — lo! and behold! — an actual history of dabbling in art.
In the fall of 2017, Deidre was asked to speak at the Great American Teach-In for a couple of her local elementary schools. Not a natural speaker (see I.S.A.D. graphic), Deidre waffled on what would be her first official speaking engagement as an author and illustrator. She had a clear understanding of how she had become an author, but where did the illustrator come from? Where? Where, man?!
After a little reflection and self-discovery, she realized the potential had been there all along. She had presented a bit of raw talent in her youth but, aside but dabbling, never gave it much credit. But she dabbled. A lot. In all sorts of things. She experimented with pencil, charcoal, watercolor, and oils; three dimensional art, framing of art, and most recently, digital art; and various styles of art as well, from realism to the abstract. But like her writings, it was subtle and simply…an interest.
However, as she perused her small portfolio of works, she realized she actually is an artist! She humbly admits her work is far from ground-breaking — and having had no formal instruction her skills are honed by what she calls error and instinct — but yet, there it is…art.
Today, she uses a combination of her skills to produce both hand-drawn art and photograph-based digital art. She illustrates all of her own children’s books and provides her own cover art. Her skills also expand into marketing and advertising as she designs all her own marketing materials. And you’d better believe she’s pretty darn proud of herself.
Below, you can find a sampling of Deidre’s art from across the years. Each piece is captioned with details.
“Hotel Room Bouquet” 1999, charcoal. It was in 1999 I received my first set of charcoal pencils. This was one of my first real sketches.
“Fifteen Bells on a Burgundy Wall” 1999, pencil. This one taps into the imagination of the viewers, relying upon them to fill in the blank (wall).
“Lazy Day” 1999, pencil. These were my belovèd childhood dogs, Zoë the Maltese and Lhiza the Lhasa.
“Watering Can Bouquet” 1999, charcoal. Still life from my time at a beach side cottage in New Brunswick, Canada.
“Little Gnarled Tree” 1999, charcoal. From the same beach side cottage.
“My Pet Gargoyle” 1999 pencil and charcoal. I’ve had this guy for some 30 years, he’s currently hanging out in my office.
“The Blinds” 1999, charcoal. So very 90s, eh? That ruffled valance was dusty rose pink, no less.
“Two Kids with a Bucket” 1999, pencil. This is me and my sister at the beach, circa 1983.
“Jean, Beth, and Marina” pencil and charcoal, 1999. People are hard. I didn’t do much with people. However, just because it’s hard doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try it! This is a wonderful memory as all these lovely ladies are now gone.
“The Waiter” 2000, ink on notebook paper. I always loved this one! I was testing a pen with a scribble in the margin. “Huh. If I add a line here, a few dots, and another squiggle…”
“Paper Beats Rock” 2000, pencil. I loved this one, too! These little line drawings are fun in their simplicity. This was a real tree, btw, alive and thriving. Wish I could remember where I saw it.
“Two Flamingos” 2003, pencil. A study in preparation for a watercolor work I later gave my mother. I’ll share it if it ever resurfaces, haha.
“Idiophone” 1999, pencil and watercolor (my first real attempt in this medium).
“The River” 1999, oil on canvas. My first oil. This was painted under the single-sitting tutelage of a 93 year old woman known to me only as Memère. That was the only semi-formal instruction I ever received.
“El Castillo, Chichen Itza” 2005 oil on canvas.
This is obviously not mine. It’s from Salvador Dali’s Divine Comedy, In Dark Limbo. It is, however, my framing. I always loved working with the color, texture, and design aspects of custom frame work.
“Sticking With You” 2013, wood. This is a 3D piece I made for my husband for our “wooden anniversary” of five years. These were sticks from our own back yard.
And now some of my more current works!
From “Souling Seeds” 2018, digital art.
From “The Blue Dress” 2018, digital art.
From “Cameron’s Warrior” 2018, ink sketch converted to digital art (with a fun cameo from my dear friend, Aubrey.)
From “Overworked: A Legal Fiction” 2018, a short story co-authored by Ronald Linson, digital art.
Tips the armadillo, from “The Heaven Zoo” 2017, digital art.
From “The Pickle Fairy” 2018, digital art.
From “The God Boat” blog post July 3, 2018, digital art.
Figment the hummingbird, from “The Heaven Zoo 2: A Zoo in Your Hands” 2017, digital art. (One of my personal favorites.)
Grungy’s Flower, from “The Heaven Zoo Coloring Book!” 2017, digital art.
From my daughter’s summer soccer league 2018, digital art. (Identity obscured.)
Mrs. Kelly and James, from “Patch’s Pages” 2018, ink sketch converted to digital art.
Juniper, from “The Housewarming Gift” 2018, digital art.
Wow, you made it all the way down here? Thanks!! Seriously, thanks for going down my little rabbit hole of old art 🙂 Hope you enjoyed it.