Kitty-Cat for Kids


I saw one of my neighbors walking her dog. We stopped to chat and she said she was engaged to be married and that they had bought a place in the city. It was so sweet. We talked about her moving on and becoming an adult. I thought about my life as I draw little kitty-cats on a stone wall talking to the moon. Am I un-adulting? Do we revert, getting mentally younger as we age? Will I be going all the way back to finger painting and crayons? This drawing and several others are from a children’s story I wrote recently about a cat that worries she’s losing her home and her best friend the moon, only to be surprised by how it all works out in the end. Hopefully I can get all the drawings done soon! They’ve become cards for sale on my site. sales.penzart.com

Which Medium Will Do


I wrote a sweet little children’s book and am trying to decide what medium and style to use. It would be nice if the backgrounds didn’t overwhelm the main character – a cat. I’ve tried pen and ink and it was just a little too boring for a kids book for this particular story. Colored pencil mixed with graphite has captured my interest lately but I’m not totally convinced. Without knowing the story I can’t really ask for thoughts but I’d thought I’d share what I’ve been working on.

Art, Books, Art!


Great Falls Va. has a community of artists and crafts people. My table will have hand-painted cards, all my kids books (five now and counting) watercolors and a few mixed-media/embroideries (sounds complicated but it works!) Here is an example:

Love to see you there if you’re in the area. Not sure which building I’ll be in but enjoy it all!!

Kids Book #3


This book is an easy reader. I really don’t know if they are any good or not but I loved doing it! My stories don’t have a lot of conflict and definitely no violence. They are just for fun. I think my excitement at finishing this one is with the illustrations. I’m beginning to feel a little more competent as an illustrator. It doesn’t come easily for me but here we go!

Amazon has them:

https://www.amazon.com/s?k=penny+ross+burk&ref=nb_sb_noss_1

Illustrations for my book


I’ve been working on and off on this book for months. Maybe it’s been a year or more, I’ve lost track. In any case, I have the bulk of it done but can’t help but add and subtract pictures. My husband, desperately trying to learn In-design, cringes every time I want to make a change. I’m so sorry, really I am.

The book is an easy reader, for ages 7 to 9. Most of the time publishers don’t want illustrations for that age or if they do, drawings are simple. Since I haven’t found an agent or publisher, I’m doing this on my own and not paying attention to publishing guidelines (standard me behavior).

Here is the problem. I started with a picture like the one below. At first making a simple magnifying glass, then deciding I could make it a little more interesting. And so it goes…one picture after the other.

What that means is that, if nothing else I’m enjoying the process.

img_2712             img_2733

 

Lessons From the Art Studio Tour


I’m so honored when friends stop in to support me at the art show and say hello. But boy am I uncomfortable selling my art to them. Don’t you give stuff to friends? I love my friends and want to give to them, not take their money. . It’s the way I give gifts, which I don’t otherwise give. I really suck at gift giving. So this is really perfect…isn’t it? They pick out what they like, I give it to them – everyone’s happy!! When I explain that, the thought and sentiment behind it, is brushed off.

Then to top it off I had one young lady fall in love with a painting. When she asked how much I wanted for it she lost it. “That’s too low!” she gasped “It should be at least double what you have marked here!” …and then proceeded to pay the lower price. ( -.- shrugg). oh well.

Okay big lesson – add ten dollars to each tag. ok, $20. but that’s as high as I’ll go!

The top picture and at the bottom of the other pic, is a new little kids book I’m working on. It’s about an Ant and an Elephant. Before it’s even done I’ve gotten some interest. Actually someone wanted to buy that unfinished little sketch book. Wohoo! They also like the one about the seagull that gets kicked out of Bologna cartel. He then gets a kid to help flood the market with bolgna to ruin his former comrades. Once that’s done, he starts a new gang that seeks out and hords peanut butter….something like that.

To Art


I’m gearing up to do the annual Spring Art Show in Great Falls. May 5th and 6th. I was reluctant at first but with some encouragement and incentives I’ve decided to go for it. They want to set up a time for me to read my children’s book. I’m not sure which one, maybe both? If enough kids show up, that makes it more of a community event rather than a sales event. I also have a dozen or so watercolors to hang up. I’ve been matching the paintings up with fabric and scraps of paper, like this:

20180403_182717

Some are more elaborate than this one but they’re already under glass making it harder to photograph. All but one out of the dozen or so, are in an 11 x 14 black frame with the same off white mat-board. Hopefully it will look professional and enticing. Of course there’s always insecurities but I guess I just have to suck it up.

 

The Swim


Just a thought….

ar5a0290

Meet Clever!


I used to make up bedtime stories for my kids.  One story that we all loved was about a a very smart Macaw who adopted a family and then takes them on an adventure to find his home. “Clever” was one of those stories that  survived the test of time (about 25 years since my kids were little). My eldest requested an illustrate version of the story so that she could share it with her children.

Clever is available on Amazon as a softcover real book (remember those?) or as a Digital Download. I hope you enjoy!

Written and illustrated by me!!

 

The Glass Bottle


I love taking an object or a photograph and using it as inspiration to write a short story. This is very much a children’s story.

20150210_112150The bottle looked empty but was sealed with a cork, wax and an old tattered ribbon. When Harmony found it on the beach, it was hidden between rocks where it had been resting for some time. At ten years old she was absolutely delighted with the object that fit so perfectly in her little hand. Her first thought was to show her father the new treasure, so off she trotted over the rocky shore like a billy goat. Continue reading