"Biscuit, Smudge and the Fisherman"

Biscuit and Smudge are left in a brown cardboard box.
Greetings backers! We are at the stage where we are bringing the elements of the book together! All 21 illustrations for the book are complete. The manuscript, description, and acknowledgement page; done. So who will put this all together? I'm happy to announce that I've met with an awesome, creative graphics designer named Stacie Hampton. Here is her website:
Also, below there's a sneak peek at what the front and back cover of the book will look like in its final version.
In her own words this is what Stacie had to say about the process for laying out the book:
As with any design project, first there is an input meeting where I ask a lot of questions to get a clear picture of my client's vision. From there, I do sketches before heading to the computer. Color, fonts, and graphics are all considered at this stage. Then, computer layouts are designed page by page, spread by spread. Quickly, a pace builds up as the story and pages unfold.
In this case, you the author, Joann the illustrator, and I the designer met to work through the initial details. We determined the size, the number of pages, and how the book should flow.
From there, I worked on a few sketches to use as a road map for laying out the spreads.
I researched many fonts to find the right one that felt like it matched the story, Biscuit's voice, and the illustrations.
The color palette was easily pulled from the illustrations and the fact that the story seemed to take place in the Fall.
I started with the cover layout. Here the challenge was laying type (the title and the credits) over the cover illustration without obstructing any important features in the art or taking away from the illustration itself.
The other spreads were a bit different with the illustration on one page and the words on another. The challenge here was to bring the type-only pages into the story. So pieces of the illustrations and other graphics were used. The size and line spacing of the type was also an important consideration. All this added life to the pages while helping to tell the story.
As the momentum builds, the story begins to unfold. Each new spread reinforces the overall look and feel. Refinements are made until finally the book layout is complete.
The final bits include pre-pressing everything before sending it off to the printer. This is all technical and includes proper image sizing, color correcting, checking bleeds, and final copy proofing.


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I live without envy

This painting has a story book illustration quality to it.  The charming cottage was inspired by an actual structure near where I live, and it seemed to call out to me to draw it.  The rest of the composition grew from there, as if the story was being revealed to me as I drew.  It reflects a bit of my own lifestyle, no doubt.  But painting is a visual journal of the artist, especially this artist.

I love the opportunity to use vibrant colors, fantasy and stylization in a piece, all of which are integrated in this painting.

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A new gallery is born and a painting inspires many titles.


At our newly opened BlueStone Studio in Milford, PA, we celebrated a Grand Opening event that was so wonderfully attended and enjoyed by all, we were thrilled with the response from our generous community!!!
It was a joyous and fun occassion to officially introduce our art gallery and pottery studio into it's new home.
One of my challenges that I offered to our guests was to suggest a title for my new painting. I wish to thank everyone who participated. It revealed to me the many creative minds in our midst, as well as many playful ideas.

Here are the titles suggested:

I think I'm a queen, but he calls me a clown.

Nana Goose

The Mamaraja of Ovararium

Click, click, clack, clack (who dunnit?)

And now my nest is empty

Queen Jubilee

Egg Fu Yong

Queen chick waiting for her Rooster to mate

What came first, the chicken or the egg?

Egg Fong U

La Reine D'Oeuf (The egg Queen)

If you've seen him please call 444-4419!

Great Eggspectations!

Fong Wong Cluck, the Venerable Eggcester

A future life unfolds in her hands

Most eggcellent arrival!

Three month sonogram and all is well

The Future Heir!

It's a Boy!

Yes, she is in

Her Royal Redness

What should I do?

Geisha Hen

Don't Count Your Chicks Before They Hatch

Herin the future lies

We think he takes after his Uncle Uly (or Kai Xeng)

The wise and patient one

Mother Wisdom hatching a thought

Which came first, the Chicken or the egg?

Queen for all days

Little Bluestone, come out, come out!

Her "egg"cellency

Queen Mother Hen


The Empress

I am the Egg Clan

The King who laid the Glowing Egg

The Royal Highness of Chicks

General Tso Chicken

He was such a perfect one and one day he flew away.

My tears remain but I really wanted to raise this one Special One

We are both first!

Which one is your favorite?




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Student art inspired by Marc Chagall and Joann Wells Greenbaum


The art class guided by Ms. B Zelt of Church Lane Elementary School  in Baltimore, MD created the works of art above.

I found the drawings to be engaging and transformative, playful and lighthearted in style and technique.  I would like to thank Ms. Zelt and her inspired and talented students for sharing their artwork with me.

Ms. Zelt wrote: The student art work has been inspired by two well respected artists by the
names of  Joann Wells Greenbaum who painted DREAMSCAPES and Marc Chagall
who painted, I and The Village in 1911.


This art work was studied by our third and fourth grade students where they
identified the elements used when creating a picture of FANTASY. Each of the
triangles reflect the following themes: FAMILY, FAVORITE FOOD, FAVORITE TOY,
AND A DREAM HOUSE. You will notice flying figures, people upside down,
unusual colors, crazy combinations of foods and toys that every child dreams
of having in their toy chest and things that can only happen in our
To further emphasize FANTASY you will notice each picture may be turned in
any direction creating many new ILLUSIONS of reality.

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Pet Portraits

Fred is our beloved pure bred mutt.  He was a rescue dog from our local animal shelter where we adopted him 4 years ago.  I painted Fred's portrait from a photograph that I took of him.  Fred is a gentle companion with a large heart for loyalty.  It was a pleasure to paint his portrait as we love him dearly.  I would enjoy painting your pet's portrait in the same style from your pet photo.  10% of the proceeds of the portrait fee would be donated to the animal shelter of your choice.  Please contact me at for details.


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Vanessa's House

 When I took photos for reference to paint this house portrait, it was early spring, and the flowers had not come up yet.  But with the help of the gardener's suggestions and photos that were taken in previous years, I was able to piece together the vision of the gardens.

Vanessa's friends commissioned her house portrait as a surprise for her birthday. Her friends told me that Vanessa loves her English gardens and colorful flowers around her home, so I knew they had to be a focal point. 

As our homes are our place to rest, rejuvenate and to do the kind of work that is meaningful to us, it is an honor to paint these important and treasured structures as a way to capture their essence.




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Facing the blank white sheet of watercolor paper

In contemplating the beginning of making a new painting and facing the clean, blank watercolor paper, even if I have completed 100’s of paintings before, I still have a sense of resistance.  What if I ruin this new piece, ruin the fresh paper by making a huge mess, after hours of investing time into the piece.  What if it’s the worst painting I’ve ever done? 

I’ve painted many examples that I’m proud of and that have given me confidence to keep honing my skills.

But that’s just it really, the process of honing my skills never stops, no matter how long I’ve been painting.  So what if I make a mistake, so what if I invest hours into a painting and realize it’s not working?  This is also part of honing the skills drill, and there’s always something to be learned from the experience.

Today I opened two new watercolor pad blocks of paper.  One is hot pressed, smooth and sleek; while the other is cold pressed, with a slight texture, both are extremely pristine, clean and white.

Since painting on hot pressed paper is new to me, it seemed that it would definitely invite disaster if I didn’t experiment first.

How liberating- taking one sheet of 14” x 20” paper from each of the new pads, and devoting large swathes of water, than color to crisscross the clean paper.  I had no expectations, and applied large broad strokes of the brush that was loaded with ultramarine blue, than yellow ochre and last a brilliant red.  The hot pressed smooth surface almost resisted grabbing the color, as it sat on the surface of the paper and sucked the color away from the edges of the brushstroke and into the dense center of the pool of paint.  On the other sheet, the cold pressed was more predictable and familiar to me; it was like an old friend, witnessing the colors nestle into the dimpled recesses of the pristine page.  I felt a sense of comfort in this exercise, giving myself permission with what could be called deliberate mistakes, lifting a burden of expectations to get it right the first time.

I remember a time when it would seem like wasting paper, or paints or my precious time to experiment and play at making mistakes.  Maybe that was a day when the fear of the unknown really seemed real to me, and I put more pressure on myself to get it right, which of course meant that my work was more  monitored and guarded.

So now I give myself permission to be unlabored and fresh, to infuse lightness of approach to the painting.  If this means making some mistakes and starting over, so what?  Painting is like unwrapping a gift, and seeing what’s inside, not judging or expecting, but being open to the process and the surprises that wait to be discovered!


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We are never so happy nor so unhappy as we imagine. (La Rochefoucauld)

We are never so happy nor so unhappy as we imagine.

When a painting is born from a feeling, it gives me great pleasure to bring into a visual manifestation!

Gouache is a rich medium for bringing bright saturated colors to express a joyful emotion. 

Enjoy exploring this painting by allowing your own imagination to take a tour.


Better yet you may see this painting in person at the following event:


Saturday, December 10
Vignette Series - Winter Collection
Artist & Santa Reception 5:00 – 8:00 PM
Refreshments will be served.
The Hanson Gallery & Decorium has installed a new and creative way to showcase art. The “Vignette Series – Winter Collection” features art and sculpture in “Home Environment” settings allowing customers to envision how art can look in their own homes. Along with the fabulous art, home décor will be available for purchase.
Come in and discover our amazing collection of Fine Art, Sculpture and Home Décor. Meet Santa and pick an ornament from our 2nd annual Christmas “Art” tree!
The Hanson Gallery & Decorium, 1037 Main Street, Honesdale, PA
Info: 570-253-2525
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The Mother of Rhythm

The Mother of Rhythm

The subject of this painting was inspired by clay sculptures which I had made in the 1990's.  I wanted to keep the palette more simple, using the primary colors as the foundation.  I also incorporated heavy ink lines to emphasize the sculputural "feel".  The women are stylized much like the original sculptures were.  I'm enjoying seeing the transition from  3-D clay to 2-D painting.

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A Mountain Retreat House Portrait

A Mountain Retreat Home

The owner of this lovely log home commissioned me to paint a house portrait as a gift for her husband for their 40th wedding anniversary.
Their home was a delight to paint for me.  I took several reference photos and made some adjustments to the landscape to accomodate the owners vision of her garden.  The original piece is painted in vivid goauche colors which are rich in vibrancy and hue.

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