Wednesday, October 7, 2015

"Wild Ones, Observing City Critters" is off to the printers

Wild Ones, Observing City Critters goes to press this week. I'll miss illustrating Scooter's adventuresome day in the city chasing after a squirrel. It was fun adding little glimpses of animals we see and a lot of times miss in our daily lives who live amongst us. Next time we see Scooter he'll be running through bookstores Spring 2016.

Wild Ones, Observing City Critters by Carol Malnor, published by Dawn Publications and illustrated by me, Cathy Morrison. Click on the image for a bigger and better view.

Thanks for taking a look!

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Fort Collins Magazine, Celebrating Life in Northern Colorado

Fort Collins is a great place to live and we're fortunate to have Fort Collins Magazine supporting and celebrating local artists.
Fort Collins Magazine, Fall 2015
Below is an interview with Rachael Coon about being a children's book illustrator.
Natural Wonder, News and Notes
Here's a photo of my grandson, Konnor and Crowley, our big brown dog who pop up here and there in illustrated form in several of my picture books. Konnor posed for If You Love Honey, Nature's Connections. They're both in The Prairie That Nature Built.
Konnor and Crowley
And I have to give a shout out to Laura Pritchett in the same fall edition. I met Laura at a holiday party last year and just finished her book, Stars Go Blue. I can't wait to pick up her latest book, Red Lightning.
5 Minutes with Laura Pritchett

Thanks so much to Cara McDonald, the editor of Fort Collins Magazine and Rachael Coon who did a great job with the interview.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Sneak peek at Spring 2016 Titles

Over on the Farm cover
So they galloped in a field where the corn plants thrive.
"Waddle, " said the mother.
"Roll," said the mother.  "We roll," said the ten.
 It's always fun to get the first look at pdfs from a book I illustrated after the designer has finessed the layout with type and design. It's also fun to work on a book for very little kids that rhymes, can be sung, is a counting book and has a surprise rooster ending. This will be the fourth book Marianne Berkes and I have done together and my fourth book for Dawn Publishing as well. Over on the Farm comes out spring 2016.

I'm working on a second book that will come out the exact same day, so here's a few images from that book as well. The working title is Wild Ones: Critters in the City. The author, Carol Malnor has several nature books for kids and I love her story about animals living among us.  I'll post more details in a bit.
He darts off to investigate.
Always curious about what he might discover, Scooter follows the bird.
Meanwhile, while Scooter is discovering city critters, his family is looking for him.
He wanders over to check it out.
Please click on the images for a larger view. And as always, thanks for taking a look!

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Westword Magazine

I've always been a big fan of Westword, Denver's weekly magazine. Here's an interview by Jamie Siebrase about illustrating children's books based in nature and science.

Thanks so much, Jamie!

Friday, July 10, 2015

Plein Air Painting at Soapstone Prairie

Gary Raham, artist, writer, scientist and educator
 Gary Raham says Friday is a good day to play hooky and do some plein air painting. Just to make sure it's OK and I don't feel totally guilty, it's sponsored by the City of Fort Collins, it's a real event, an Artists' Day in the Field, so I'm outta here. 
Artists' Day in the Field at Soapstone Prairie
Fort Collins is very supportive of its artists, writers, scientists, and their over all population, young and old. They sponsor a lot of free events to get us out and about so we get to enjoy life and meet like minded people.

Free Range Traffic Jam
I had never been to Soapstone Prairie and didn't realize how far away it is. I ran into a couple of free range traffic jams. Growing up with a family ranch in Texas where we kept our cattle safely contained in fenced pastures, I don't totally get this free range concept, although I've run into it several times.
Pronghorn traffic jam
And another traffic jam, Pronghorn this time, free range all the time, but this I get.

Soapstone Prairie
OK, we're finally here, hike in a ways and it's a wonderful day of painting. I meet several accomplished artists, all great people and realize playing hooky once in awhile is good for the soul.
Blooming Cactus
Me, Laura Young and Christine Torrez
We had beautiful skies, amazing landscape, enjoyed Gary's expertise and talk about the Lindenmeier Archaeological Site and expedition artist, Edwin Grey Cassedy and it was a wonderful day.

Thank you Gary and Fort Collins!
Now back to work for me.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Over on the Farm

Over on the Farm, by Marianne Berkes, illustrated by me, published by Dawn Publications
Here's the working cover for Over on the Farm which comes out in the spring. I love illustrating Marianne Berke's stories and this will be our fourth book together. It's about farm animals and counting, what more could a little kid want? I'll post more show-and-tell when there's more to post.

Since this is the first of two books I'm working on with Dawn Publishing for an early 2016 release I need to keep drawing.

Thank you for taking a look!

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Tortoise and Hare's Amazing Race

Yesterday I received my ARC (advanced reading copy) of my second book coming out this fall. It's Tortoise and Hare's Amazing Race by Marianne Berkes, a retired teacher and librarian, now a full time children's book author and presenter. This is our third picture book together and we are working away on our fourth to come out spring 2016.

Arbordale Publishing is the publisher and they specialize in fun stories that build on science, nature and math skills. Tortoise and Hare is a retelling of the classic story with a math twist. Fractions and distance measurements mark progress for Henry Hare and Tess Tortoise along the way. 

How far to the top? 1,760 yards or one mile!
No Henry, you really don't have time to play, but you never did listen to me...
5,280 feet is the same as one mile. I already knew that because Denver is the Mile Hi City.
Click on the images for a larger view. And as always, thanks for taking a look!

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Latest buzzzz for If You Love Honey

After turning in artwork for If You Love Honey, Nature's Connections I got a look at Patty Arnold's design and layout for the book. I'm posting a few spreads here to give you a sneak peek. This is my second book illustrated by Martha Sullivan and third book for Dawn Publishing. It comes out this fall. After doing a lot of research for the illustrations I've converted to a true honey bee fanatic, not to mention a Martha Sullivan fan!
And here's a couple of early reviews:
"If You Love Honey is vibrant and engaging with warm, lifelike, and impressively accurate art that remembers the young audience the book is written for. Parallel sections of text throughout the book effectively lead the reader through the pages. The theme text is repetitive and playful, while the more instructional sections are informative but still easily accessible and interesting to a young audience" --Randy L. Seagraves, Curriculum Coordinator, International Junior Master Gardener Program

"If You Love Honey takes its readers on a beautifully illustrated adventure through the intertwining natural world around us. It highlights the work of our bees, linking golden honey on bread to the earthworms crawling underground, and everything in-between. Children will be fascinated by this tale." --Sarah Red-Laird, Bee Girl, Executive Director, American Beekeeping Federation, Kids and Bees Program Director

And I wanted to say "Thanks!" to William Porter at the Denver Post for including me in his Mother's Day tribute. It's always great to give a shout out to our moms, especially our moms who spent so much time reading that favorite book once, twice, three times and please, just one more time before going to bed.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Neigh, maaaaaa and a STREAM event

Here's new images from an upcoming picture book for the littlest readers, a counting book with baby farm animals. You're sure to see some cheeps, gobbles and squeaks soon. Click on the image to see a larger view. There will be more to report about the book as I go along.

And I just wanted to add this very fun event sponsored by The Poudre River Public Library District in Fort Collins. This was part of their Women's History Month program. I was very honored to be included with this group of amazing women. Although I enjoy being a children's book illustrator I was blown away listening to their advice and experiences. It was a good time and I can't wait to see what the future holds for the kids who attended the event.

From left to right: Susan Shriner, wildlife epidemiologist at the National Wildlife Research Center, Me, Hannah Mikelson, pursuing a dual degree in Biomedical and Mechanical Engineering and Mathematics minor at CSU, Amy Kathleen Ryan, Masters of Fine Arts in creative writing at The New School in NYC as well as award winning young adult science fiction author, Erin Macdonald, Phd in Astrophysics at the University of Glasgow in Scotland and voice actress and last but not least, our wonderful moderator, Kristen Dean, the Program Coordinator at the CSU Environmental Learning Center. Michelle Strout, professor in the computer science department at CSU wasn't able to make it.
Thanks so much for taking a look and Happy Easter!

Thursday, February 26, 2015

A Visit From Mr. Pig!

Mr. Pig from The Little Crooked Cottage dropped by today for a Studio Tour!
What’s The Little Crooked Cottage? Well, it’s home to four children’s book authors -- Anika Denise, Jamie Michalak, Kara LaReau, and Kristen Tracy -- and a pig. It’s also the name of children’s book blog dedicated to celebrating authors, illustrators, and their creations.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Finishing artwork for "If You Love Honey, Nature's Connections" this week

Here's some full page spreads from If You Love Honey, Nature's Connections by Martha Sullivan, published by Dawn Publications. This week I should be done with final artwork. Normally I'd say more but I still have a lot of drawing to complete. Robert Frost said it best, "and miles to go before I sleep".

Click on the image for a larger view and thanks for stopping by for a look!