Saturday, May 31, 2008

Oooo...Looky Here!

It's my second published article for "The Prairie Wind", the SCBWI-IL online newsletter. Here I write about how I found my style of children's book illustration. Check it out and leave me a comment!

Friday, May 30, 2008

Remembering to Remember

©Kathleen Rietz
We all look forward to summer. But as I do, I realize that another season will come and go for many whose loved one is away at war, uncertain if they will return home safely. Many veterans return home with massive burns or multiple amputations and emotional scars, and life for them and their families is never the same. Many receive little government aid and help for their injuries. I heard a report tonite that the suicide rate amongst Iraq War veterans has gone up again. It makes me sad. It all seems so senseless to me. But regardless of your opinion of the war, the men and women who return home from the war deserve our respect and recognition for doing their job. I thought about them and their families all Memorial Weekend, and even still. I was moved to sketch this illustration tonite, so that those who forget will be reminded that there are moms and dads, sons and daughters, brothers and sisters away at war. For those who are missing them, they are dealing with their own battles. Please remember to remember.
This illustration is for Roz whose hubby is serving in the military.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Day21 of 21 - The End

©Kathleen Rietz
After my last post I realized I needed a few days off. : ) But here it is, the last day of the 21 day challenge. It's been a lot of fun discovering other artists' blogs and watching them challenge themselves. I also now have several sketches I hope to eventually take to color and add to my portfolio. I have a few deadlines coming up, so I may have to put that on hold, but anyway it is something to look forward to when I get the time.
Tonite I came home from the clinic and hugged Sunshine. She often prefers hugs over doggie treats. We start the day and end the days with hugs. Cracks me up.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

A "Typical" Day? ha!/Day 20 of 21

©Kathleen Rietz
I was tagged by both Alicia Padron and Andi Butler to post about my typical day. Well, I honestly do not have a typical day. It's sort of sad, now that I think about it. I would love to inject a little routine back into my life. There was a time when I made a really decent living frelancing, so I had freetime and worktime and balance in my life. Now I am pretty much all about work. I just finished up my second semester of teaching art at The Community School of the Arts at Wheaton College. Now I am teaching a 6 week course there called "The Art of the Sketchbook". That will take me through June, at which time I may take a 6 week intensive Adobe Illustrator class for myself at the local college here near my town. I really need to learn Illustrator. I work 2 afternoons per week at a chiropractic clinic, where I get free treatments, which is good because my back is so lousy and my insurance does not cover chiropractic. Plus, it gets me out of the house and I like helping others heal and manage their pain. The work I do has a direct and immediate impact on the lives of others, something I do not get to see much with my art. I also know that my smiling face may be the only smile a person gets all day, so I make sure I get to know each patient and give them a smile. Some evenings I get home and hit the gym, if I have the energy, which ends up being twice a week now (I often get home somewhere between 7 and 9). Usually have dinner around 10 or 11 at night. Then I stay up and check email and blogs and I get to work on my art projects, typically until around 4 or even 5am. On days I am not working outside the house, I am able to work all day, unless there are errands to run, and I do love the days I can work without interruption. I do make sure I take time to walk my dog, pretty much every day. Sometimes we go sit in a park. It is good for both of us. I often run into neighbors while I am out walking, so I chat with them a while. I also try to find time to do at least one new illustration for my website/portfolio each week, and update my website and other portfolio sites at least once a week. If I get to bed early (before 2:30am), I may watch a little Animal Planet or Food Network. I love to cook and I make nearly all of my meals from scratch. I get great ideas from Food Network. I also try to make sure I have time for the important people in my life every week, even if it is at odd hours. They seem to understand.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Day 19 of 21- Chicken Dance

©Kathleen Rietz
When I get some time again I will create some animal samples. Very short sketch tonite. Still recovering from the ebola virus thing I have had for the past week. Yeeeccchh..

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Illustration Friday - "Worry" & Day 18 of 21 - Celebrate Summer

©Kathleen Rietz
I love carefree summer days that make me forget about my worries. Looking forward to celebrating summer!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Day 17 0f 21 - Perky Pup

©Kathleen Rietz
couldn't help myself...this little guy is too cute.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Day 16 of 21 - Sick as a Dog, Actually.

©Kathleen Rietz
All of these blooming trees - apple, cherry blossom, lilac - are beautiful but deadly for me. My allergies got so bad last week, I could feel it all settling into my lungs. By Thursday I was beginning to think there was something more going on than just my seasonal allergies. On Friday I was diagnosed with bronchitis and given a heavy dose of antibiotics, and bed rest followed all weekend. Last night I managed to drag myself to the first session of the new 6 week class I am teaching at the Community School of the Arts at Wheaton College, called "The Art of the Sketchbook". Today I still feel...uh...sick as a dog. But I did manage a little sketching time. Enjoy.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Illustration Friday - "Wide" & Day 15 of 21: she leaps across my page...

©Kathleen Rietz
for Alicia : )
A little ballerina must have a lot of flexability in order to create the wide stance needed to perform a "grande jette".
I took a little hiatus from Illustration Friday in order to concentrate on other challenges, but last night's sketch seems to fit the theme this week. And...I've missed sharing! Hello everyone!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Day 14 of 21

©Kathleen Rietz
I love ballet. So much so that I lost track of time on this drawing session. I vacillated in and out of dance throughout my life, then went back to ballet in my 30's until too many injuries and a crooked back made me retire my slippers to the back of a drawer, which I rediscovered while cleaning out that drawer last week. I still daydream of going back...

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Day 12 1/2 of 21

©Kathleen Rietz
This took longer than 15 minutes, obviously, but I need to start taking some of these sketches to color so I can fill in the gaps in my portfolio.

Day 12 of 21 - another challenging pose

©Kathleen Rietz
I tried another pose that seems sort of challenging to me. Sometimes we lose the fullness of form when we try to draw a person lying flat on the ground.....and I think the foreshortening of crossing one leg over the other can also be challenging. But this is such a relaxed pose. Can you tell how much I am longing for summer??

Monday, May 12, 2008

Day 11 of 21

©Katleen Rietz
Tonite I challenged myself to draw a child in a scrunched position, and to give that child glasses. I sometimes think proportions can be tough in a pose like this, and glasses can look comical if one is not careful. Overall, I am pleased with the sketch, although I admit I fussed with some shading and the spade and watering can for a while and it took me longer than 15 minutes. I sort of liked it before I added all of the rendering. It had a really nice spontaneity to it.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Day 10 of 21

©Kathleen Rietz
Not sure how I went from Day 9 1/2 to Day 13 in my last post....but here is day 10. :)

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Day 13 of 21: I'll be back...

©Kathleen Rietz
I am taking a quick trip to see my brother downstate. He just bought a new house. I'll be back soon..

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Day 9 1/2 of 21 - Father & Son

©Kathleen Rietz
More Daddy...
I drew again because I may have limited access to my computer for a few days. Plus....I just wanted to work on daddies.. : )

The focus in a lot of my work is diversity and creating positive role models.

Day 9 of 21 - babies & daddies

©Kathleen Rietz
Two things I struggle to draw in my whimsical style are babies and men. So here's a shot. Facing my fears.
I struggle with finding the appropriate size for babies, and making men look masculine yet friendly. I welcome constructive suggestions or feedback.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Day 8 of 21-" Warm Fuzzies"

©Kathleen Rietz
Ooops - I missed a few days. Oh, the life of a freelance artist can take its toll. The first quarter of this year was so dreadfullly slow. I spent much of it pushing myself to draw every day, experiment, stretch my vision as an artist....and it seems to be paying off right now. Much of what is happening in my professional life I need to keep quiet about for the moment. But this lifestyle - especially in this current economy - is feast or famine. So I missed a few days because I took some time for myself to recover from overlapping deadlines last week. I made it into the gym, saw friends, walked the dog and planted a tree. These simple joys inspired today's post, which is an ode to Winnie the Pooh.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Day 7 of 21

©Kathleen Rietz
Today I worked on adding an interior in my work. I often struggle with what to put in a background. This is pretty pain, but it is a quick sketch. My aim was to set a story and setting. Jumping on a bed is a theme in my illustration work lately! I wonder why that is...?

Day 6 of 21 - more otters

©Kathleen Rietz
I believe I need more animals in my portfolio. So that is one thing I am trying to concentrate on. Here's a little otter dance.