Magic Spring Mural

This is a commissioned mural in a new home in Skokie, IL. It descends a staircase and is on the ceiling. The inspiration for the mural came from a collection of ideas and images special to the home owners.

As I painted, a story emerged. It is the story of a lonely unicorn who comes across a magical spring. When he leans down to drink, he finds that there is a whole other world on the other side of the water. A world filled with beings just as magical as he.

I am going to title it “Magic Spring”.  It make me think of the “Through the Looking Glass” concept.

I am available for commissioned murals in your home as well. Prices start from $600.

Facepainting from Do Division last weekend

I painted well over 200 faces during the three day festival, not to mention the 60 faces I painted the thursday night before at a design office party.  It was a lot of work but it was worth it.  I also got a few young art collectors out of the deal as two young girls came to raid my $5 sketch pile.  I also sold several copies of Everybody Hoops but me.  What a weekend.

What’s Blooming on Harrison this weekend in Oak Park

What's-Blooming-Logo (1)

This Saturday from 10am to 8pm in Oak Park on Harrison, just west of Austin, I will be out with my facepainting cart and copies of my book.  I am in space #35 on the south side of Harrison.   I have been pretty busy this week with the artwalk and face painting at One Strange Bird on Division.  Below are a few of the photos. I really with I had more of the kids… I painted nearly 100 faces at One Strange Bird on Saturday (not to mention my new sun tan.)    I am really looking forward to seeing everyone who comes out in Oak Park.

Jimella’s Heron in my Studio

Jimella’s Heron Flys in the Eastern Window of my Pilsen Studio. Handmade by an artisan from Washington State, this bird has a twin who shared a space for years over Willapa Bay at The Ark Restaurant. After the Ark was sold in 2004, this Heron moved to Jimella’s home where it warmed the room with her Earth Stove, overseeing many nights of wood, sage and cedar burning by bookside with Black Bear, Coyote, Deer, Heron, Owl onlookers from the forest. This Heron flew above her through her transition. This Heron then got on a plane with ms Anna and flew all the way to Chicago where it now hangs in Pilsen.

Getting my facepaint board ready to head of to the Rolling For James fundraiser in Niles.

The Little Book of Laughing

This Poem was Written the First Time I was Left to Babysit for my 3 Month old Nephew Dean.

(He was a big Help in it’s Creation)

It is intended to be a board book for babies 0-3.

The Little Book of Laughing

by Ms Anna

If you start laughing, I’ll start laughing too,

And I’ll bet…

The little CAT will start laughing too,

“Mew Mew, Mew Mew”

If I start laughing, the little cat laughs too,

And I’ll bet…

The GOLDFISH will start laughing too,

“Gloob Gloob, Gloob Gloob.”

If the little cat starts laughing, the goldfish laughs too,

And I’ll bet…

The HUMMINGBIRD will start laughing too,

“Zoom Zoom, Zoom Zoom.”

If the goldfish starts laughing, the hummingbird laughs too,

And I’ll bet…

The BIG TREE will start laughing too,

“Swoosh Swoosh, Swoosh Swoosh.”

If the hummingbird starts laughing, the big tree laughs too,

And I’ll bet…

The LITTLE BOYS will start laughing too,

“Hoot Hoot, Hoot Hoot.”

If the big tree starts laughing, the little boys laugh too,

And I’ll bet…

The FLOWERS will start laughing too,

“Bloom Bloom, Bloom Bloom.”

If the little boys start laughing, the flowers laugh too,

And I’ll bet…

The LITTLE GIRLS will start laughing too,

“Coo Coo, Coo Coo.”

Now we ALL are laughing and the moon is laughing too,

And when we think of who to thank, we all will turn to YOU,

“Thank You, Thank You.”

(This poem is dedicated to Jimella Lucas Todaro.)

Inside of Jimella's magical and warm home there were many tributes to nature, Herons, and other wildlife from the Bay.

Inside of Jimella’s magical and warm home there were many tributes to nature, Herons, and other wildlife from the Bay.

Rolling For James

My art board made especially for James for his fundraiser to raise money for his family to buy him a roll in van and shower.   We had a great time, I probably painted 50 or 60 full faces.   Lots of Monkeys and Kitties and odd Mustaches.   Please check out more about James and, if you can, help support him and his family http://www.rollingforjames.com

My art board made especially for James for his fundraiser to raise money for his family to buy him a roll in van and shower. We had a great time, I probably painted 50 or 60 full faces. Lots of Monkeys and Kitties and odd Mustaches. Please check out more about James and, if you can, help support him and his family http://www.rollingforjames.com

Doe Painting

Mixed Media on Smooth Bristol.   12" X 9"   The flower colored sparkled incense is like Qi or Prana.  One of my favorite things about studying chinese medicine, is how seriously the chinese take Qi.   Here, all these years in the west, people just look at me like I'm crazy if I mention Qi, but, in China, not only do they utilize Qi in every day, they have five millenia of texts and research on it.

Mixed Media on Smooth Bristol. 12″ X 9″ The flower colored sparkled incense is like Qi or Prana. One of my favorite things about studying chinese medicine, is how seriously the chinese take Qi. Here, all these years in the west, people just look at me like I’m crazy if I mention Qi, but, in China, not only do they utilize Qi in every day, they have five millenia of texts and research on it.

The Hatchi Catchi Wu, A Mother Heron story, by Ms Anna

“Somewhere on a moon, far far away,
A maker there was, named Hatchi who broke
and sadly now no nim could make!”
 – from the book of the nims
Somewhere in space, not on a planet but a moon, the tiniest moon,
under layers of ice, under lots of water, is the home of the Hatchi Catchi Wu.
The Hatchi Catchi Wu is a worker, a very hard worker,
He works so hard he has eight arms and eight hands,
four legs, four feet, seven eyes, eight ears, two hearts,
no mouth,
and one very small brain.
The Hatchi Catchi Wu is working,
he is building whoosits and whats for the little nims.
The nims are inventors and thinkers and dreamers and
the nims may be quite clever,
but the nims have no arms and the nims have no legs
and the nims only see their world through
one small eye.
But what an eye they have, for dreaming all the time,
but with no arms and with no legs and being mostly a mind,
a perfect friend under this deep blue sea was one of Hatchi’s kind.
And make the Hatchi did, all night and all day
because that’s all that he knew,
having a very small brain.
Sadly, once upon a time,
the Hatchi Catchi Wu started slowing down
and soon there formed a line!
The longer the line, the longer the wait
and it wasn’t very long before the mighty Hatchi Catchi Wu would break!
Not only was Hatchi broken, he was sad,
for no one could make.
Everyone was cold and hungry and tired and sad.
In fact, it got so bad, that it wasn’t very long before the very meanest of the nims got mad.
He would yell and he would scream, and still the helpless Hatchi Catchi Wu could not build a thing.
Then out from the line a group of hungry nims cried
And no matter their frowns and no matter their tears
The helpless Hatchi lay broken, fulfilling their fears.
If the nims had fingers, they could point them at one to blame,
but even this knowing would not change a thing.
The nims couldn’t be mad, the couldn’t sit and cry,
they had no one to blame as they sifted side by side.
Then out from the line came the smallest nim’s voice
and this group of great thinkers was left little choice
but to listen.
And the little nim spoke very loud and she spoke from her heart,
“I don’t want any more things, I just want the Hatchi to re-start.”
And then out from the line came the very wisest of the wise nims who spoke,
“Perhaps the key to fixing Hatchi is to take a look at how he broke.”
“It seems we nims were busy making things all for ourselves,
and the Hatchi Catchi Wu was busy stocking all of our shelves,
but in all of this making, we nims took no time
to make sure that the Hatchi was healthy and fine
and now, he’s broken.”
“Eureka!  I think I know how to fix him!
Come one nim, come all nims, come out of that line,
let’s all surround Hatchi and I’ll share my great design.
It seems Hatchi doesn’t KNOW he’s tired,
let’s ask for him to go to sleep.”
And after a few hours of resting, Hatchi’s two hearts began to re-beat.
“It seems the Hatchi doesn’t KNOW he’s thirsty, in this great ocean,
let’s ask for him to drink!”
And through his eyes he was refreshed and all seven began to blink.
“It seems the Hatchi doesn’t KNOW his arms and legs are overworked,
let’s devise a plan for them so they don’t get any worse!”
And with each knew way the nims cared for him,
Hatchi would show new signs of life.
And before too long Hatchi was working again
to the little nims’ delight.
And from that time, it’s been centuries,
The Hatchi Catchi Wu can make anything,
but as he does, there is a new nim decree,
that the Hatchi  must not be overworked and
must be kept healthy.
And from that time, the Hatchi happily makes
And taken care of propper,
He never again did break.
-The End-

“The Dawning”

Well, I have been doing editing on How to Grow a Spaceship.  I submitted my Little Book of Laughing to the Work in Progress Grant competition on the SCBWI webpage and I wrote an MS called The Dawning which is a poem based picture book (And it will be part of my poetry book, Lemon’s Don’t Grow on Trees.)   The Dawning is about my first morning out on Willapa Bay in Washington and witnessing the birth of twin deer as the sun rose.   Here’s a sneak at the beginning-

“In a misty morning, with twinkle lights aglow;

The cool air made fog rise, the sun still lay low;

From the dark of the forest, I could see from my bed;

A simple sweet shadow, which became a deer head;

I heard “crunch” in the marsh, as she tottled about;

The mud squished beneath her, breath steamed from her snout;

Then suddenly still standing, by my window;

Paced cool in the twilight, golden coat in the starlight;

Only glass stood between us, I didn’t know what to do;

Do YOU know what it’s like, to have a deer stare at you?

Flowers lined the mantle, sea glass and stones;

Carefully placed with sea shells, feathers and bones;

A curve on the horizon, glimmered slivers from the sun;

A wakened songbird’s calling, that the dawning has begun.”

 

-That is 137 words in.   (Can you tell by the meter I’m a shakespeare fan?) I think this guy will be about 400 words or so, maybe, hopefully less.   It is based on a true story of getting to visit my very magical aunt Jimella  in her secluded home out in Oysterville, Washington.   The very first night I was there, I woke in the morning to a deer who was staring at me through the window as the sun rose.   At about dawn, the deer went off to hide in the bushes.   I went into the kitchen to sit and have tea with my aunt and read Oracles when out from the bushes came the deer who had been staring at me all morning since the crack of dawn and out behind her came two soaking wet hobbley wobbley brand new born twins!     This poem is going to hopefully capture that event.    I hadn’t planned on writing this story, but just started writing it a few days ago and just decided to let it unfold.