Night Lights....


    “Tree of Life” is a popular motif in many cultures...Mexican, Hebrew, African, Celtic.  Last weekend,  our SCBWI Illinois Illustrators Network held a benefit auction for the Art Creation Foundation for Children, a children’s charity in Haiti.  This organization provides education, meals and medical care for impoverished children while teaching them the native arts so that can become self sustaining adults.  Eighteen illustrators donated their version of “Tree of Life” for silent auction at Ridge Art in Oak Park, Illinois.  All pieces were sold, and we were honored to provide a sizable donation to ACFFC.  Here is our forest of trees:

Above is my Tree of Life titled “Night Lights.”  From the beginning I knew I wanted to convey a magical night scene with the moon, birds and mythical  creatures.  Much of this illustration was carefully planned...the perspective, the play of light and shadow, the simplicity of the leafing.  Other parts happened spontaneously during the painting of it, the top branches releasing hearts that find other hearts and become butterflies, the creatures that wear camouflaged hearts. In this painting I hope you climb the branches, search for the story, find magic.

You can see a larger version of  “Night Lights” here:

Working on:  a Halloween spread for Spider Magazine

       facilitating an artists’ retreat in June, in Texas


In Everything

Do you hear the night birds sing?

"Believe," they sing, "in everything."

In the thick as well as thin 

Can you feel the dawn begin?

The sweet, together with the sour

the idling boredom of the hour

In a quagmire on our knees

or flying past the midnight trees

In your eyes, reflecting sparks

of buried treasure in the dark

Yes, dear heart, in everything

the thorny branch, the silken wing

Then by some untimely clock

Wind lifts one, and then the flock, 

Kaleidoscope jewels, circle and fly

Rainbow dancers across the sky