Tuesday, January 2, 2024

A Year for the Books!

Journey to St. Thomas came out on Halloween Day 2023. I illustrated this unique chapter book for Fulcrum Publishing, one of the last remaining publishers in Colorado. This is my first illustrated book for adults and hopefully there will be more to come. 

And I have to say the folks at Fulcrum know how to celebrate a book! There was a fancy dinner with the Lakewood Literary Club at 240 Union Creative Grill in Denver, a signing and launch at New Terrain Brewery in Golden. Josiah and I signed 6 boxes of pre-sold books. There's been other events too. Here's a recent interview with Josiah for Westword Magazine. I very much enjoyed the entire experience from our first editorial meeting to brainstorming over margarita infused lunches to turning in the finished artwork and building friendships along the way.


Bryan's Alphabet Garden is one of two books I'm illustrating and designing for a new imprint, ABC Adventures. Working with self publishers has been a new experience and one that I'm enjoying. The author, Eleanor Patrick and I are working hard to wrap up this narrative nonfiction book along with There Once Was A Boy Who Swallowed the Alphabet. You'll be seeing more on that book soon! In the meantime I've included the cover and some of the interior spreads below. The book launch is scheduled for April 20, 2024. You can keep up with details on their website: ABC Adventures.

About the book - Bryan's Alphabet Garden is based on the true story of a young Eastern North Carolina native, Bryan, and his quest to grow a real alphabet garden. Discover the challenges Bryan faces to make his garden thrive. From arugula to zucchini, the garden brings setting goals, facing challenges and learning in nature's classroom to life.


Meet the Pollinators is my second illustrated picture book for Schiffer Publishing's children's imprint, Schiffer Kids. This is the book that almost didn't happen. Our publishing world shifted during Covid, then came the paper shortage, supply chain issues, book bans, I could go on. Many publishers have struggled to find what works in today's ever changing world of children's literature. Working with a wonderful new editor, this book now has real focus. Also a revised title, a beefed up story and some revised interior art. It will be coming out late summer of 2024. It's still in flux. Below is my illustrated cover concept, but we're waiting to see the final art from the publisher's design team. I feel it's a stronger book and look forward to finally getting it into the hands of little readers and their families.

Thanks as always for taking the time to check out my blog. There's more in the works, but not yet ready for show-and-tell. I'll be posting updates throughout the year.

All the best,


Sunday, July 2, 2023

Dog on a Blog (with a Storybook Ending!)

Everyone has a story to tell... sometimes you need to tell it yourself. However, if you only speak "dog" you need someone else to tell it for you. This is what PET TALES is: The stories of art studio pets living their best lives with their creative owners in the studio and on the road. 

Click the image box to get the full story in What Women Create Magazine's Pet Tales! Biscuit's story is from Summer 2023 edition.

And now for some work-in-progress! Here's illustrations from three books, all very different stories and in various stages of development. 

The image below is from "Bumblebee, Bumblebee." The author I'm working with unexpectedly lost a baby last year. She's developing this touching and hopeful story to help other families going through the same trauma. You can find more through the Share Program which provides information, education and resources for bereaved parents and siblings.

Nancy Oswald and I continue to tweak "Wilma's Worm". We've submitted to a few publishers and gotten feedback which we take to heart. Writing and illustrating a book, revising, submitting is a long process. As Wilma's character and story evolve we love her a little more through her journey.

Here is a super fun, new picture book that's very near and dear to my heart. It's in the beginning stages and as you might guess is about an Alphabet Garden. I'll tell you more as we get further into the project.

I'm excited to be a part of Fort Collins Nursery's first ever Storytime and Crafts event on July 15!  A wonderful group featuring seven local children's books authors and illustrators will be on-site to read their fabulous stories. We'll gather on the outdoor patio, nestled along the banks of Dry Creek and the Cache la Poudre River surrounded by beautiful plants, trees and wildlife. 

It's a FREE event that also features fun crafts, activities and door prizes for kids and their families. Signed books will be for sale by The Crowded Bookshelf.

Participants are encouraged to bring lawn chairs and well-behaved pets are welcome. You might even meet my pup, Biscuit there! That's the life of an art studio pet.

Click on the graphic for the full line up of presenters and details coming up for Storytime at Fort Collins Nursery.

Thanks so much for checking out my blog. I have more events coming this summer. Follow me on Instagram where I'll post about them. 

Storytime and Crafts at The Bookies Bookstore in Denver, 10:30 on July 11
Storytime in the Dome at Fort Collins Museum of Discovery at 10am on July 19 where we'll read "The Prairie that Nature Built" by Marybeth Lorbiecki. Afterwards we'll head downstairs to the live black footed ferret exhibit with conservationist Kim Fraser. Did you know black footed ferrets were considered extinct until they were "rediscovered" in 1981? Kim will tell us about that and lots more. In the meantime check out The BFF website!
Storytime and Crafts in the Park at the Wandering Jellyfish in Niwot, 11am on July 22
Storytime and Crafts at Second Star to the Right Books in Denver, 10am on August 3
A second FCMoD Storytime in the Dome presentation on August 16th reading "If You Love Honey" by Martha Sullivan
And finally, looking forward to "A Journey To St. Thomas: Tales for Our Time" by Josiah Hatch book launch party at New Terrain Brewing on Nomember 8. Fulcrum Publishing is hosting the event and they know how to have a good time!

Happy Summer!

Sunday, February 26, 2023

Thinking in Pictures

My collaboration with Nancy Oswald is taking shape. We work back and forth as we revise and tweak the story and illustrations. It's exciting to watch it come together and take the form of an actual creative-nonfiction picture book.

Not only is Nancy a multiple award winning author, she also taught in one and two room schools for over twenty years. She now lives on a family ranch near Cotopaxi, CO. She is a soil enthusiast as well nature lover. I grew up in a family of farmers and ranchers, plus had my very own worm farm. What can I say, I was -a nerd- ahead of my time. As you might guess Wilma's story is close to both of our hearts. 

We plan to start submitting soon, so fingers crossed! Here's three fully colored page spreads from Wilma's Worm. If you're a publisher interested in seeing the full book dummy and manuscript, please email me at cathy@cathymorrison.com or Nancy at nancyos@centurylink.net.


Below are some new pitch decks created for Lynnette Novak, my literary agent with the Seymour Agency. I'm honored to be a part of Team Novak! Here's a recent interview, Agent Spotlight showcasing Lynnette. Her email is lynnette.theseymouragency@yahoo.com. We're always interested in new publishing projects.


And a huge "Thank You!" to Poudre Libraries for hosting Book Fest 2023, For the Love of Reading for the entire month of February (also National Library Lover's Month and I Love to Read Month). It might be a short month, but it packs a huge heart! This year's new format included children's books and their creators. You can find details about the fun event here: https://www.focobookfest.org/.

Thanks for taking the time to check out my blog. Click on highlighted links for more information and images to see a larger view.



Sunday, November 6, 2022

Calling 2022 my Reboot Year

Much of this year I've been illustrating a fictional chapter book geared toward adults. This has been such a different project for me and so much fun to illustrate. I'd forgotten how much I love working in black and white. Without going into too much detail, it's a conglomeration of tall tales; running the gamut from funny, scary, poignant and just plain bizarre. It's a unique book, sort of a cross between a modern Canterbury Tales and The Twilight Zone. I'll have more to share next year closer to the book's release date.

Nancy Oswald and I are collaborating on a creative nonfiction picture book. The working title is "Wilma's Worm". I first became aware of Nancy when I illustrated the cover for her YA book "Hard Face Moon" with Filter Press, (one of the best books I've ever read!). Through the years we kept running into each other at various conferences and book events. Not only is she a talented, hardworking, award winning author, but she's a great person and a dream to work with! Please check out Nancy Oswald's Website.

Why am I calling 2022 my reboot year? Coming out of the closures of the last couple of years I'm very excited to get back to classroom, library, and bookstore visits again. I had two books come out in 2020, the thick of the virus. They really didn't get the attention they deserve. So lately I'm busy with some local school visits plus setting up engagements for 2023.

The above images are from three afternoon sessions at Red Feather Lakes Elementary. After our story time reading we talked about making picture books, writing and illustrating, etc. Next we created fall wreath crafts with the younger students. For the older kids we created handmade book dummies and the kids wrote and illustrated their own stories. Those kids can write! 

Thank you so much, Red Feather Lakes Elementary!

Please give a shout out if you'd like me to visit your school.

And thanks for taking a look at my blog. Click images for a larger view and links for more information.




Monday, June 20, 2022

The world, one sketch at a time

Sketch Romania 2022

Have you ever heard of Urban Sketchers? It's a global community of sketchers dedicated to the practice of on-location drawing. We share our love for the places where we live and travel - one drawing at a time. We are committed to creating connections by sharing our work, engaging with one another and learning from everyone. Our global sketchbook is a space where diverse cultures, styles, backgrounds, and locations come together.

Sketch Romania 2022 was created and organized by illustrator and educator, Christina Wald. She's also the new international Social Media Coordinator for Urban Sketchers. Christina, along with our amazing guide, translator and friend, Ioana Popescu, Ph.D. took us on the journey of a lifetime. Ioana is currently on sabbatical from teaching at Drury University. Plus you'll want to check out her very cool YouTube channel, Ioana Talk Plants. Ioana grew up in Romania where her 81 year old mom, Anna, still lives. Not only were we able to meet up with Anna at some of our gatherings, she generously invited us over for a homemade meal featuring fresh mushroom stew, wine and other local delicacies. It was delicious and wonderful! 

There's not enough time to go into details here so please check out my instagram: https://www.instagram.com/cathymorrisonillustrates/

Also, please see Christina's facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/ChristinaWaldIllustration/

And here's Jeb Brack's instagram: https://www.instagram.com/wordspicturesmagic/. Jeb created an amazing accordion fold illustrated journal of our trip among many beautiful renderings.

We met up with several Eastern European artists along the way, sketching, dining, drinking and generally having a great time. Hopefully this is the first with many more sketch adventures to follow.

I'm in the foreground with Christina in back - our view from the top of the clock tower at Sighișoara, Romania

After two weeks traveling it's back to work for me. I have new books in the works that I'll be showing soon.

As always thanks for checking out my blog. Click on the links for more information and to enlarge images.

Bună ziua  



Friday, March 11, 2022

News from my Studio With A Wintry View, Brrrr!

Here's looking at you, winter. On these cold Colorado mornings it helps when I'm stuck inside drawing summer themed illustrations. The Cintiq screen on the left shows a rough sketch from Wilma's Worm. The central monitor has the Indesign layout from Meet the Minibeast. Both are working titles for now. 

Pitch Deck with illustrations from Meet the Minibeasts for The Seymour Agency

Drum roll, please.... I have big news, for the first time in forever, it seems! 

I'm beyond honored (and still pinching myself) to officially be represented by Lynnette Novak of the Seymour Agency. Click on the above Pitch Deck Card for more information about the agency. I realize this relationship is still all shiny and new. However, I find Lynnette to be super supportive, wonderful to work with, not to mention a heck of a deal maker. After many years of working in isolation from my mountain top it feels so good to be part of this amazing group.

These first graders from Werner Elementary in Fort Collins welcomed me with open arms! Literally, these cute, curious kids give the best hugs. This was my first in-person school visit since March 2020. I can't tell you how much I've missed these presentations and book readings.

National Education Association's Read Across America Day

 We read from The Tiny Giant illustrated by me and written by Barb Ciletti. Ahead of time, I sent pdfs of activity pages to Mrs. Krueger, the first grade teacher who invited me. She bound all these pages together to create a cool activity package, highlighting the book. Thank you for a very fun experience!

And here's the front end papers from Meet the Minibeast, coming out Fall 2023 with Schiffer Kids Publishing. I love creating end papers. Here's more about the history of end papers from Garry Parson's blog. 

Thanks for taking the time to visit my blog. Please click on links for a larger view and more information.