I enjoy taking on lots of different tasks. I volunteer for SCBWI, illustrate, and write for children's books. Our 2014 MN SCBWI Annual Conference is this weekend and I am looking forward to meeting and hearing some great industry professionals talk about all things KidLit!
Soon I will be heading to the 2014 SCBWI Conference in LA #LA14SCBWI to toot my own horn. It will be fun to see all your familiar faces and meet new ones. I enjoy to learn and grow as an author/illustrator. See you there!
I grew up in WI, and since about the time I was five, my parents would pile the three kids, the slobbering dog, and our belongings and drive like mad in our rattletrap car down to Tucson, AZ during spring break. My Grandparents were snowbirds down there and we took the opportunity to escape (if only briefly) from the grips of the Wisconsin winter.
We somehow managed to weave around snowstorms, rain, tornados and dust storms on our journey to the southwest.
Despite the challenges, it's worth it considering what we were escaping from. Back in Wisconsin–still in the dead of winter, the senses are not satisfied. Trees lie dormant, flowers and shrubs are covered in a thick blanket of snow. When it's really cold even the birds and critters that remain become dormant too. There is no sound or smell outside for weeks. By spring, the persistent cold has kept the snow around for months–everything looks drab and dirty. The dim winter sun is just starting to wake up again…
Vasilisa gets moved to the front. I also gave Baba Yaga a more sinister left hand that is conjuring her shadow to go after Vasilisa.
I tinkered with the shadows for this piece to heighten the tension between the opposing characters. The white triangle of snow in the foreground points at Vasilisa. While the dark shadow cast by the house on chicken legs makes an arrow pointing towards Baba Yaga.
Read the previous posts about the back story of how Baba Yaga and Vasilisa meet.
Part Three in the series Baba Yaga. Scroll down to read more about this illustration.
Vasilisa the fair is a bit like Cinderella as she has the misfortune of having an evil stepmother. Despised for her natural beauty Vasilisa is sent out into the deep dark forest by her Stepmother to visit Baba Yaga. Although she is clever and brave she is apprehensive to face such a menacing creature.
Being that this tale's origins are from northern Russia and Finland, I thought it fitting to use the dim light of winter to depict the eeriness of the dark forbidding forest. The hut where Baba Yaga resides stands on chicken legs.
Vasilisa the fair has been brave enough to make it this far on her quest, but now seeks refuge behind the tree while she gathers her courage to face the Baba Yaga.
I've had an idea for awhile to explore the traditional Russian folktale, Baba Yaga. In this scene, Vasilisa the fair has come to find Baba Yaga in order to get some help. But Baba Yaga is a tricky witch and decides the fate of those who visit her. Depending on what you do and say in her presence you will either live or be eaten.
Once it is finished, I will assemble the three paintings into one.