Losing myself in the world of illustrations while my mother read to me as young child is my first memory of wanting to be an artist. Meeting and walking together in the New Hampshire woods with Trina Schart Hyman was my gift to myself twenty years ago when I turned forty. Trina’s ability to create rich textures with line fascinated me.

Turpentine and Marker Bag

Trina learned about using line for patterns and textures from studying the work of Charles Mikolaycak. Last night, twenty years after meeting Trina, I found myself sitting on the floor, surrounded by the books illustrated by both artists.  My return to fountain pens and daily sketchbook drawings has brought me full circle.

Tam Lin, written by Jane Yolen and illustrated by Charles Mikolaycak is extraordinary.  Not only are the illustrations strong in texture, composition and value contrasts, they are rich in color while only using reds, greens and blacks.  I turned to my collection of children’s books to study the way both artists used line to describe tree trunks and leaves.  I ended up wanting to introduce more patterned fabrics to my work.

Sketchbook Drawing: Drawn with fountain pen filled with mix of Sherwood Green and Black ink, followed by Ciao Copic Marker.

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