You Can Find My Latest Painting…

…on the cover of Jean Claar Bassett’s latest book!
​I am so thrilled to finally share the big news- Back in August, my sister in law put me in touch with a Pittsburgh author in need of an artist to create her latest book cover for a mystery intended for kids ages 8-12.
Of course, I wanted to be able to do this, but really doubted that I would be capable of producing her vision- especially amidst pregnancy keeping me miserable and out of the art studio.

Nevertheless, I gave it my best attempt, and was virtually introduced to Jean Claar Bassett. Jean and I were complete strangers, but spent the next month in almost constant contact via email. She described the potential scenes she would like on the cover and I opted for one that I felt I could better execute(because it didn’t involve people). I sent her sketches to try to give her an idea of what I was imagining and we tweaked them until I had a clearer vision of her plans for the cover.

Ace and I up late, working on the original plan for the cover, which involved the main character and his best friend riding bikes.

The process was nearing the end when I realized that maybe I actually could create a completely different scene from the one we had been working on to give her the human impressionist-like faces she desired for the cover. So, we started over. I read the description of the scene from the book, got Jean’s input, and sent along more sketches. When it was time to paint, we spent several emails discussing color, and I went to work.

This is one of the initial sketches done for the cover.

The initial painting changed a couple of times based on Jean’s needs for the cover but eventually, we had a finished product and the painting was professionally photographed to be sent out for the cover!

Finished product in my studio waiting to become a book cover!

 The end of the journey was an exciting one for me, knowing I had actually accomplished something I was sure would end with Jean telling me my painting was not what she intended for the cover. I gave it my best and it felt good to know it worked out and it felt great to hand my parents a copy of the book with my name printed inside!

A copy of the finished product!

 I have to admit that at the time, the process was entirely new to me and trying to discuss art with a perfect stranger was challenging as this was the first time I was painting something so specific for someone. However, Jean is one of the nicest women I have ever met and was incredibly patient throughout the entire process. I was fortunate enough to finally meet up with her at her church and hand deliver the painting that we had both spent so much time working on. Jean’s personality and talents are just incredible and even more so than having my painting published in a book, I am thankful to know her. I’m looking forward to reading the rest of the book without artistry in mind!
If you’d like to read Jean’s latest book, it is available for purchase through Amazon: Click here to purchase Elijah Cross Mysteries by Jean Claar Bassett!

Through Her Eyes: Artist Statement

  


  I have always been inspired by the natural beauty and simplicity surrounding the small town of New Wilmington. I was moved to see this imagery hanging on the walls of my own home and, as I set out to do so, I came in touch with a local photographer whose images further inspired me to pursue landscapes. My work strives to represent the complex beauty of nature in an impressionistic manner. This painting style forced me to question, “What specific colors and textures are necessary to turn this blank canvas into a scene from nature?” These paintings allowed me to notice aspects of nature that I would not normally notice, like purple clouds in a stormy sunset, or the multitude of colors on a cow I would normally classify as ‘brown’.
  My love for painting gained momentum when I was introduced to Acrylic paints. With the motivation of a new medium and a very supportive art teacher, I fell in love with a new art style. In an effort to impress my now husband, a composer and musician that I was desperate to appeal to in a creative way, I kept up with my new hobby. His continued support and that of my friends and family has helped me to pursue my favorite means of expression. I love the way that paintings are limitless, knowing that no two are the same and that there are endless possibilities.
The colorful bird paintings that will be on display have become a favorite style of mine. I find motivation for these paintings in my marriage, using the birds’ body language to convey concepts like love, patience, understanding, and peace. The colors in the background are meant to flow and set the tone of the piece.

Perhaps my favorite painting is the impressionist-type image of a mother and child that I painted while pregnant and overcome with joy. I felt so inspired and in a single moment felt something inside me that rushed me to my desk and had me painting until the work was complete. Soon after completing the piece, I experienced a miscarriage. The piece now has a new meaning as a reminder of the love that a mother has for a child, and the connection felt even early on in a pregnancy.

I want to thank everyone for taking the time to view my work and hope that it has inspired each of you to look at the world a little differently; perhaps, seeing a sunset, but noticing the clouds that reflect it’s colors, or the blades of grass that create a contrast to the sky. Thank you, Bottlebrush Gallery for the Arts, for supporting me through all of my artistic endeavors!