Monday, September 28, 2015

Howling at the Moon

"There are nights the wolves are silent and only the moon howls"-George Carlin

Perhaps it was because my mother used to sing an Argentinian song Cancion para bañar la luna to me as a child, but I remember staring for hours on end at the moon. As an artist I've succumbed to the moon's magnetic pull on my work. In San Miguel de Allende there is a tradition of giving your house a name and ours is called Manto de Luna-meaning cloak of the moon. Last night was one of those rare celestial events-the total supermoon lunar eclipse, right out of a science fiction novel.  I found a dark corner of Coronado Island and waited for the moon's hue to reach a blood red tint.

Winter Moon, Planter's Moon, Harvest Moon, Dragon Moon, Snow Moon, Wildcat Moon, Mulberry Moon, Moon when all things ripen, Twelfth Moon, Moon when geese return in scattered formation, Singing Moon, Lightning Moon, Flying Fish Moon. These are nicknames to describe the changing moon from Native American, New Guinea, Colonial American, Celtic and Chinese cultures.

Illuminating and inspiring poetry, music, literature, art and ME. Today I wanted to pay tribute to Earth's only natural satellite, LUNA.

Total Supermoon Lunar Eclipse from Coronado Island

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Time Lapse Mural Magic

This time lapse video of a second mural I created for Coasterra condenses a week's work to around 2 minutes. It's visual caffeine so put your seat belt on. Grateful to my hard working, talented assistants Daniel Renner and Brie Witko as well as my friend Gil Gutierrez for his vibrant music.


Sunday, April 12, 2015


This past month I created this poster as part of the Dialogues: Poster Art of the Soviet Union Show at the City Gallery at San Diego City College. Rare historical Soviet posters from the period of Perestroika and Glasnost were featured alongside contemporary posters with political, social or arts themes and a Russian twist. 

My poster was about the potential of the arts to promote peace and social change. To craft a culture of peace you have to first imagine it. Artists around the world and throughout history have given voice to that ideal. A sharp pencil can be a powerful weapon to communicate the pathos of war.  I’m greatly inspired by folk arts, many of which are living traditions. Birds are a common theme in Russian folklore and this region has a particular gift for storytelling. The folkloric pattern inside the bird represents a diverse patchwork of beliefs and opinions. The colors tip their hat to Russian Constructivism. When creating this poster, the recent peace agreement and conflict between Ukrainian forces and pro-Russian separatists was on my mind and in the news. The two leaves symbolize differing points of view with the pencil of the artist providing a stable perch for the idea of peace to take hold. 

You can purchase a high quality, 20 by 26 giclee poster for $65 with all funds going to the Doyald Young Reading Room. I am such a believer in books and this design and illustration library at City College is open to students and the community. I'm supporting this effort as this reading room is a great place for aspiring illustrators to find their way.

Dancers in historical costumes performed barefoot in the gallery at the opening. Photo by Edward Honaker

Photo by David Eichinger

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Beating the Drum for Women's Rights

Grateful for the KIRKUS interview Julie Danielson did with Margarita Engle and I about the creation of DRUM DREAM GIRL. She is a fantastic writer who interviews and features the work of authors and illustrators at her blog Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast. This is a children's literature blog focused on illustration and picture books-something I am passionate about. In a 2011 interview at Seven Impossible Things I had the chance to chat with Jules and had a lot of fun talking about my take on children's book illustration. This blog is such a great resource and I really enjoy reading about the approach of other illustrators.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

All Dreams start with a Dreamer

I've been dreaming about the release of DRUM DREAM GIRL and today a new book was born. Thanks to author Margarita Engle and our young heroine Millo Castro Zaldarriaga for believing in dreams.

The journey from Margarita's poetic words to the birth of this book has lasted almost two years. Here's to Millo, a Chinese-African-Cuban girl who had the courage to break Cuba's traditional barrier against female drummers. When she was just fifteen she played her drums for first lady Eleanor Roosevelt and President Roosevelt. In the 1930s she went on to become a world class musician playing with American jazz greats of her era.

This book teaches children to not conform to gender stereotypes and follow the path of their hearts. GRATEFUL for the opportunity to be a storyteller.