Winter Break Bliss

Woot! Woot! Snow day! Time for a happy romp! Inked on 300lb arches rough then watercolor washes. 2013 MaryALivingston
Woot! Woot! Snow day! Time for a happy romp!
Inked on 300lb arches rough, then watercolor washes.
© 2013 MaryALivingston

Picture Book Academy Bliss

I’ve been pretty busy the last six months pursuing bliss. Last year I signed up for an outstanding online course and critique group over at Make Your Splashes, Make Your Marks.  Through this awesome course with Mark Mitchell, I connected up with Picture Book Academy.

5600737_origFirst up was The Craft and Business of Illustrating Children’s Picture Books For Illustrators (and adventurous authors) with the wonderful Mira Reisberg.You can subscribe to the site to receive information about future offerings.

3209255Next was The Craft and Business of Writing Children’s Picture Books e-Courses. The next course will be starting in February 2014. Registration opens December 16th. – See more at: http://www.picturebookacademy.com/writing-childrens-picture-books.html

Hero's Art JourneyThen Hero’s Art Journey e-Course with the wonderful Mira Reisberg and fabulous Maya Gonzales. Next up is Get Your Grammar Groove with Miranda Paul of Rate Your Story.

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I guess we’ll all have to watch and see what fruit is borne from the seeds I’ve gathered. I do know that if you’re going to sneak a little bliss authoring or illustrating, Picture Book Academy is a great stop on the journey.

While you’re there be sure to check out the recent blog post by Maya Gonzales, Illustrating your Own Story! Becoming an AuthorArtist.

 

 

Grammar Groove

Grammar Fail from FB, classic there-they're-their mix up, should be "they are" The Meta Picture needs grammargroove

Grammar Fail from FB, classic there-they’re-their mix up, should be “they are” The Meta Picture needs Grammar Groove!

 

Tail Wagging Bliss

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Reading With Rhythm

The impish look comes right before the paper shred. Don’t worry Rhythm, the book was saved in the nick of time!

Friendship Bliss

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Sneaking a little bliss with Tim's pens... shhh, he doesn't know :)

Sneaking a little bliss with Tim’s pens… shhh, he doesn’t know 🙂

Puppy Bliss

Golden Retriever Puppy

Saturday Night Kintaro of Akiyama – Kinta helps me haul firewood.

Meet Saturday Night Kintaro of Akiyama. We call him Kinta. He will be a guest at our home for several months before he is able to join his family in Japan.

Japan is a rabies free country. Kinta was born in Montana, USA. The US is not a rabies free country. He comes from Saturday Night Golden Retrievers.

The procedure goes something like this, Kinta will receive a rabies vaccination as soon as he is old enough. Then he will receive a booster a month later. A month after that, his blood will be tested for rabies titers. If his titer level is high enough, he then must wait for six months before going home. Once in Japan, he will be observed for several hours prior to being released to his family. He will also undergo many other health certifications prior to getting a green light to breed. It is a lengthy process.

Golden Retriever Puppy

Kinta checks out the pond. He’ll be swimming in no time.

Our friends Noriko and Yoshi are very dear to us, so we are happy to assist them with a foster home for Kintaro. We have fostered two other pups for them, Sakurako and Jutaro. Noriko and Yoshi are dedicated breeders of competitive golden retrievers in Japan. They take care to select genetically sound parent stock.

Golden Retriever Puppy

Kinta enjoys some Northern California sunshine.

For the next 10 months or so, I will get to enjoy, train, and share the love of a good pup. His family will visit from time to time, we take care to be sure he knows them and knows their scent.

Golden Retriever Puppy

Handsome boy watches down the driveway… are those quail he sees?

Golden Retriever Puppy

Kinta on the move – this is his standard pose.

Here are a few shots and a quick watercolor sketch of Kintaro.

Golden Retriever Puppy

Saturday Night Kintaro of Akiyama – watercolor by MaryALivingston

Hero’s Art Journey

I’m all for sneaking bliss, but sometimes you gotta’ just reach out and grab it with both hands. I just found out there’s room in Hero’s Art Journey! We’re only a few days in and I am ecstatic to be along for this expedition in art filled bliss.

The fabulous Mira Reisberg and dynamic  Maya Gonzalez are leading the way along this artist road of bliss. It’ll be easy to jump right in, so go ahead treat yourself to an early holiday gift.

Registration ends Friday. Click here for a Super Secret Hero’s Art Journey e-Course Special and brace yourself for a bliss filled treat.

I’d love to see you there!

Just in case you missed the link, click the image….

Hero's Art Journey

Hero’s Art Journey

 

 

Meet Percy

I’d like to introduce you to Percy. He’s a love. The poor little penguin is hatched to a pair of gulls. Don’t worry, Percy has heart, lots of heart.

Growing Percy

Percy is hatched to a gull family. Character development for Percy Learns to Fly. ABTA Products and Publications. Schetter/Livingston 2013

I met Percy through author/educator Patricia Schetter. Patty is an all around awesome gal who has followed her bliss. She is a Behavior Analyst and Autism Specialist and she teaches fellow educators. You can find out more about Patty here.

Percy Learns to fly was the first book I illustrated.  Lucky me! To study for Percy, I went to the San Francisco Zoo and observed the penguins. You see, we don’t have penguins in the wilds of Northern California, so the zoo was pretty much my best option for a hands on look at the movements and behaviors of a penguin.

In Percy Learns to Fly, Percy faces danger.

In Percy Learns to Fly, Percy faces danger.

As I poured over the story and got to know Percy, I fell in love with his personality and strong heart. Percy teaches a lot about persistence and how in the right environment, we too can soar.

So how about you? What’s your environment for bliss?

I’ll have more to post on Percy in the coming days…yes, that’s a tease, so stay tuned!

Mrs. Hatcher comforts Percy after a long day. Percy Learns to Fly

Mrs. Hatcher comforts Percy after a long day. Percy Learns to Fly

Pursuing Bliss

It’s been a pretty full summer as I have been pursuing bliss. Just over a year ago I signed up for an outstanding online course and critique group over at Make Your Splashes, Make Your Marks.  Through this awesome course with Mark Mitchell I connected up with Picture Book Academy.

 Growing in bliss is addicting!

One final plug about pursuing bliss, don’t miss Marsha and Mira’s Best Character-Driven Contest!!

Best of luck to you all!

Birthday Bliss

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An awesome start to the day - pure bliss!

An awesome start to the day – pure bliss! – Thanks to my wonderful family for these treasured birthday wishes!