Alberta Illustration Awards

A September highlight for me was participating in the Alberta Illustration Awards Show, a celebration of local artists curated by the prolific and talented Mike Kerr. The opening night art show took place at Mike's (and Renata Liwska's) Randm Collective Studio, and kicks off a month of festivities including a children's book panel and a comic artist roundtable. The art show has now relocated to ACAD, where it will spend some time in the main hall. See more art and bios from the illustrators here. Thanks, Mike, for putting together an amazing lineup of art and activities!

Photos courtesy of Mike Kerr


Illustrator friends Mike Kerr and Renata Liwska invited me to be part of their Christmas illustration swap. Each artist made a postcard-sized tree ornament to trade with another artist.

Here's some collage-in-progress on my owl:

And here's what the final piece looks like:



I traded my owl for Sandy Nichols' vision of the night before Christmas:

And a little illustration elf sent me a Mike Kerr picture, too!

See all forty artist ornaments here. Thanks, Mike and Renata!

First Contact

Calgary's recent Comic Expo reminded me of an illustration that I did for The Shatner Show, a book published by UPPERCASE. Curator and designer extraordinaire Janine Vangool asked me to contribute a portrait of William Shatner: I drew Trekkies lined up for the great man's autograph.


One day, an editor sent me a manuscript for a counting book about chickens.

"Carolyn," she said, "We'll pay you to make some chicken character sketches. And if you can evoke our vision of these chickens - completely adorable without being the tiniest bit cutesy - we'll give you the contract for the book."

I sent my sketches to the editor. "Hmmmmm," she said. "Not cute enough. Think of your face when you hug a puppy."

I hugged puppies.

I flapped my wings.

I grew yellow fuzzy feathers.

But I didn't get the job.

I wonder if they ever found the right illustrator for the text?


Snow Day

Woke up to six inches of new show on the ground this morning. (Sound familiar, North America?) While you're waiting for the sun to come out, see if you can help the snow crystal find its way from the clouds to the ground.

Sunset Cliffs

Oh, how I love the Chinook wind. It blew into Calgary yesterday and raised the temperature twenty degrees! I can ALMOST remember what the warm air felt like on my skin in San Diego, where I drew this picture of Sunset Cliffs in my sketchbook.

Second Coldest Place on Earth?

A month or so ago, Calgary was reported to be the second-coldest place on Earth, at -33 degrees Celsius (-27F). Brrrrr! The only place colder IN THE WHOLE WORLD was the South Pole. 

Today, it's -22C (-8C.) What better weather could you ask for to curl up with a good book about snow?

 In my picture book The Snow Show, celebrity chef - and snowman - Kelvin hosts a TV cooking show where he investigates evaporation, condensation, and precipitation—all while cooking up the crispiest, lightest, fluffiest batch of snow ever to fall from the sky!

Reviewers had this to say about The Snow Show:

“ of the most gloriously exuberant, inventive displays of computer- created art that I have seen in a picture book.”

--Caldecott award winning artist Paul Zelinsky, The New York Times Book Review, December 8, 2008.

Read More

Good Night, World

The revisions are done.
The revisions to the revisions are done.
The revisions to the revisions to the revisions are done.
The revisions to the revisions to the revisions to the revisions are...well, you get the idea.


(Dancing around the studio.)

Good Night, World is a bedtime story written by Willa Perlman with art by me, to be released by Beach Lane Books in summer 2011. I've been working frantically on it for many days...and nights. To celebrate, I'm going to take a nap.

But first - can somebody read me a bedtime story??

Boulder Hot Springs


At a writing conference in September, I soaked in the geothermal hot springs here in Montana: the veranda sits fifty rocking chairs overlooking the Peace Valley.




My baby boy, Kieran, turned one year old on August 30. One is a good number for starting things: Kieran's starting to walk. I'll post news and sketches on this blog.