My drawings served as sketches for larger paintings until I realized that I enjoyed making the drawings more. There is an immediacy to drawing by hand that makes the end product feel more “alive.” I use pencil, ink, oil pastel and water color, and draw from life, photographs, and memory. In recent years, my illustrations have incorporated photography, allowing me to merge the real and surreal in an authentic way.


Open today! I’m honored to have created a mural for Q?rius (pronounced “curious”), the new education center at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C. My mural greets visitors to the 10,000 square foot interactive environment, just inside the Constitution Avenue entrance along the National Mall.

With 7,600,000 visitors in 2012, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History lays claim to most attended museum in North America—and is only 2nd in the world behind the Louvre in Paris, France (with its 9,720,000 annual visitors). Its collection includes more than 126 million natural science specimens and cultural artifacts—from the Hope Diamond to the Hall of Dinosaurs.


Q?rius combines labs, unparalleled access to collection vaults, creative studios and hangout spots—to inspire exploration by teenagers and help them understand how science is relevant to their everyday experience. This ties in with a national effort to increase interest in STEM—science, technology, engineering, and math. In a current series of New York Times editorials, the need is laid bare: the number of students pursuing careers in these fields is plummeting as the need for those workers soars.

“We’re taking the traditional museum and turning it inside out to help teens make sense of the world they are inheriting and giving them access to Read the rest of this entry »

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Kiplinger’s August issue is on newsstands, with two of my photo illustrations accompanying Jeffrey R. Kosnett’s story A Cabin in the Woods. As part of the cover package about retiring where you want, the story discusses the how and why of buying (or building) a vacation home with an eye to retiring there. The illustration with cabin exterior (above) was run full-page; the cabin interior (below) was 1/2-page.


Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine was founded in 1947 and has a paid monthly circulation of 800,000. The monthly advises its readers on managing their money—covering investing, retirement planning, taxes, insurance, real estate, buying and leasing a car, health care, travel and financing college.

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SEEING: 30 Hands-On Visual Discoveries was published earlier this month by Chronicle Books. Designed by MacFadden Thorpe, the book contains 30 hands (and eyes)-on activities based on popular Exploratorium exhibits. I was commissioned to create illustrations for 14 of the activities and hand-letter activity titles in English and Spanish.

It was fun drawing this rather eclectic group. It isn’t everyday that I’m asked to illustrate a dog jumping up and down on a pogo stick (which animates when spun). Or Mona Lisa disguised as a pirate (she’ll dress up in costume if you flip the card fast enough). If you’re interested in how the activities below work (or want to see the rest), consider purchasing the book—a great gift for curious geeks of all ages!

Seeing_WhirlingWatcherSeeing_HoleInHand Seeing_YellowerThanYellowSeeing_ColorContrastSeeing_HotDogFingerSeeing_FlipSticksSeeing_FastYellowSeeing_EyeballCamera      Seeing_FuzzyFadeOut   

The Exploratorium is a museum of science, art, and human perception located in San Francisco, California. The Exploratorium’s mission is to create a culture of learning through innovative environments, programs, and tools that help people nurture their curiosity about the world around them.

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I’m happy to share art for A Faith of Their Own, a new book authored by Chris Folmsbee. The cover is a mash-up of my photograph, illustration and hand-lettering—which I later reapplied to a companion guide and DVD. A Faith of Their Own will be published July 1, 2013 by Beacon Hill Press, an imprint of Nazarene Publishing House.


Nazarene Publishing House (NPH), founded in 1912, is the publishing arm of the Church of the Nazarene and is the largest publisher of Wesleyan-Holiness literature in the world. NPH prints more than 25 million pieces of literature each year, and processes more than 250,000 orders each year from more than 11,000 churches from many denominations.

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Parenthood Listography was published this month by Chronicle Books. Last week I had the opportunity to write about my experience and inspiration for their blog (which features 15 of 69 full color illustrations):

Of course I was excited to illustrate Parenthood Listography. Published April 2013, the journal is 8th in the esteemed Listography series, each authored by Lisa Nola and published by Chronicle Books.

As an illustrator, I was eager to work through a large quantity of illustrations—69! Lisa’s text suggested very unique situations and things; determining how to represent each visually while maintaining consistency throughout the book was a welcome challenge. Each drawing informed the next: from subject and composition to line quality and color. Ultimately, we all wanted drawings that were whimsical and fun, at times poignant. After all, many of the best parenting moments are exactly that. Continue Reading…


A list of things you destroyed: Your dolls.

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Chinese (Lunar) New Year begins Sunday, February 10, 2013. In anticipation, I was commissioned to create a card celebrating both The Year of the Snake and San Francisco—my home, and home to the largest Chinese community outside Asia. Gung Hay Fat Choy!


Card front (l) and interior (r)

The November issue of Kiplinger’s Personal Finance is now on newsstands, featuring a photo illustration I created for the cover. Inside the magazine, you’ll find four additional illustrations that accompany the cover story “Simple Investing”, written by Kathy Kristof and Elizabeth Ody.

Full-page introduction to “Simple is Smart”. Read the rest of this entry »

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Sock monkeys to your podiums! A satirical look at the upcoming Presidential Debates—the first of which will be held next Wednesday, October 3, from 9-10:30 p.m. Eastern. Click on the illustration to enlarge.

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Dock bubblers… if you don’t own a lakefront cottage or like to snowmobile, you may have never heard of them. I hadn’t either when I was commissioned to make a new illustration for October’s 25th anniversary issue of Cottage Life magazine. Ray Ford’s story “Trouble in bubbler land” considers the benefits and hazards of such devices, asking whether protecting your dock from the ravages of winter is worth a potential manslaughter charge should someone—perhaps an unsuspecting snowmobiler—drown after driving into an unguarded hole in the ice.

Dock bubblers and “de-icers” work by creating an area of open water around the dock, protecting it from being crushed by expanding ice or lifted off its foundation by fluctuating water levels. Risks to snowmobilers have increased as they have become more popular.

Cottage Life is a Canadian magazine focusing on cottage lifestyle content. First published in the summer of 1988, the publication features how-to articles, buying guides, tips and expert advice on all aspects of cottage life. The award-winning magazine is published six times a year by Cottage Life Media Inc.

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PrAna’s Summer Catalog is in the mail; you’ll find a few images drawn for it below. As with Spring, my job was to provide embellishment in the form of line art and color washes.

Read the rest of this entry »

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