Monday, December 29, 2014

New Years Week Begins

"I think 'Be Us.' is my most favorite", she said.

Happy New Year to each of you ~
Looking forward to 2015,


Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Merry Christmas Week

Cheers and Best Wishes to each of you for this Christmas Week!

Thanks so much for stopping by here throughout 2014,

Friday, December 19, 2014

Lemon Cupcake Day

Dec 15th was National Cupcake Day. Not sure why I wrote International Lemon Cupcake Day...
We had a car that was a bit of a lemon, so this was the first thing I thought of. Bon Appetit!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Sketch to finish

I'm playing with pencil, ink, and paint, to figure out the art for the picturebook I'm working on.
Here's a color version (though the values need a bit of tweaking).

Here's a black and white version (I forgot to scan the sketch before painting).

Here's another image, my two dogs.
I like how watercolor isn't 100% controllable (at least not for me) and there are little happy surprises in the paint.
I guess I've figured out how I want the art to look. Next step: 32 pages of sketches, turned to final art.
I'm excited to see how it turns out.

-- Ruth McNally Barshaw

Wednesday, December 17, 2014


Sometimes characters don't wanna be dressed up in winter finery after all.

Monday, December 15, 2014

December Celebrations

Marlise's morning got off to a great start.  She is off to wish everyone she meets a very happy National Lemon Cupcake Day!

Friday, December 12, 2014

Joy- Mistletoe piggies

It's that time of year again, mistletoe to steal a kiss.

Have a lovely weekend!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Picture book deadlines loom

Usually I say it takes about 100 sketches to figure out a main character. I'm illustrating a book for Sleeping Bear Press and I believe I drew about 134 lions before I figured out what I wanted Leopold to look like. 
Leopold has a friend, an elephant. I was happy with sketch #8 but then I went too far. I added pajama pants. And my resident art approver, my teen daughter, said no, the elephant is better without them. She approved the fez, but just then I remembered the elephant in Disney's Aladdin movie wore a fez. So I changed this fez to a flowerpot (which looks a bit like an upside down fez -- so now it's a square).

I decided to see what the elephant looks like with no pants.

(Yay for fast Photoshop!)

So now the question is, does the dog wear clothes? 

By the time this art is due, I will have decided. 

-- Ruth McNally Barshaw

Monday, December 8, 2014

December Days

Always such a treat to get handwritten letters in the mail ~ and sometimes the fun is in the sending!
Marsha and Pooky love writing and receiving letters to themselves, especially during this season.

Letter Writing Day was just yesterday, on December 7th.  Cheers!

Friday, December 5, 2014


12 Drummers Drumming
11 Pipers Piping
10 Lords a Leaping
9 Ladies Dancing
8 Maids a Milking
7 Swans a Swimming
6 Geese a Laying
5 Golden Rings
4 Calling Birds
3 French Hens
2 Turtle Doves
and a

Wednesday, December 3, 2014