Spashing in green paint

I’ve been splashing a lot of green paint in the last few weeks for my new book.  It’s been fun drawing and painting frogs.  I haven’t done that since ‘In My Backyard.’

These are practice pictures.  Painting water lilies has been a challenge. I’ll be doing quite a few more to get it right.

pencil study of a frog


Studying paintings at the Art Gallery of Ontario (with assistants)

Today, with a few spare hours to spend at the AGO, I took an ipad2 into the gallery to do a few sketches and studies of the paintings of the Group of 7.   That I love their colours is no secret, and copying something you love in order understand it is a good thing.

As long as you are learning and not just trying to make a copy, I am all for doing it.

I chose a lovely autumn painting by Tom Thomson.  While working on it two very bright fellows looked in over my shoulders. Naturally, I invited them to help.

This was my painting before I got help.

That’s when Zephyr and George stepped in to assist.

I’m not sure their ages, maybe 4 and 7, but when it came to handling an Apple pencil, they knew their thing.

Regrettably I messed up with saving the image with their additions.  What you see below is an attempt by myself to replicate their masterwork.  I hope, if they see this, they will accept my apology.

Next time we meet at the AGO,  I hope you two give me a hand again.

Happy Birthday Farmer Joe!


It’s been 30 years since Farmer Joe appeared.  Thanks to Scholastic Canada, Nancy Wilcox Richards wonderful story about a farmer with a big heart but sometimes different way of doing things got put together with my drawings to appear in Farmer Joe’s Hot Day.

Farming will never be the same!  Happy Birthday Joe!  Thank you Scholastic and Nancy!

Join me as I celebrate over the next few weeks with peeks into who inspired him, how it was made and stories about the other two books that followed.

And if you have any stories of your own, I’d love to hear and share them.

See you soon!

Sketch of Bear & Christmas sweater


I’m about to start painting the new book for the fall.  Sketches are done and approved and now a new level of work starts: painting.  It’s a bit scary to start since I’m never really sure if it is going to work out, and if it doesn’t, I get to start all over again with the painting.  That’s why I do small sketched like this one to try out colours and make my mistakes early.


Sorry, It’s been a while…

I haven’t been keeping this site up to date, and for that I apologize. You see, I’ve been busy teaching and drawing and now working on a new book with Quilliam and friends.

I’ll be posting more in the next few weeks about where I’ve been and what I’ve been doing.

In the meantime I hope you’ll like this sketch I did for practice the other day.


Sketches done for the new book to be released this fall 2016

Sketches done for the new book to be released this fall 2016

Winners of Contest for Day in School and Visit to a Class

Jingle bells cover FINAL

Congratulations to students at St. Mary’s Catholic School in Mount Forest!

They are the winners of the draw for a free full day in the school with me!


St Mary's Mount Forest


Draw was held at the Bookshelf Cinema on Saturday December 13th.

I’ll be spending a full day doing whatever they wish. I’ll even be principal if they want, but somehow I don’t think that will be happening!

Consolation Prize of books and Porcupine Box Set donated by Scholastic went to Victory Public School in Guelph.

Choosing a winner from the video entries wasn’t easy.


Winner of a visit to their class for singing of Dashing Through the Snow went to the choir of St. John’s Catholic School in Arthur.  Congratulations to teacher Joyce Peloso and her group.

I’ll be sharing a drawing class with them in the New Year.

Dashing through the snow – Small

Runner up was St. Mary’s in Mount Forest.


Thanks to Scholastic there were prizes for those in attendance. Winners are pictured below with smiles and prizes.


Thanks to everyone for entering.  Over 75 ballots from area schools were entered for the draw


Thanks also to all the teachers who at a very busy time of year took the time and effort to record and send their entries for the song contest. (One entry came all the way from Airdrie Alberta!  Something special will be coming their way.)


A special thank you to the great kids in Grades 1 & 2 at Central Public School in Guelph who helped launch this contest by singing with me, and graciously continuing when I was the one making mistakes.


And a final thanks to both the Bookshelf in Guelph and Scholastic Canada for their enthusiastic support.

Bookshelf Dashing GangMerry Christmas Everyone!

Winning Video and School Visit Draw at Guelph’s Bookshelf Cinema Sat.Dec.13 at 2 p.m.

Come join me this Saturday for a special event at the Bookshelf Cinema in Guelph.

We’ll be showing the winning video of a contest for the schools of Wellington County.  Entries for a visit to a class singing “Dashing Through the Snow” will be shown on the big screen with the winner to be announced.

Winner of the contest for me for a day in a local school will be drawn.

Lots of Prizes and a sing along to the big screen.
See you there!

Bookshelf Cinema, Quebec St. Guelph.Scholastic Christmas Card 2014

BEST Porcupine Decorated Tree from Public Libraries across Canada??

Public libraries across Canada were invited by Scholastic to decorate a porcupine tree.  This is just a small selection of some of the entries.  So hard to chose the best. Contest is still open.  A Porcupine in a Pine Tree Holiday Contest for Libraries | Facebook



Winner of Day in a School Chosen but MIA!

Last night I drew the name of the person who’s school I will be visiting for a day in 2013.  However I haven’t been able to contact her.  If anyone knows who’s school Nicole Abrams child or children attend, please contact me or give Nicole a call. I’d love to announce the name of the school!  Until then, please stay tuned. It could be your school in the Guelph area.