Thursday, February 26, 2015

Mr. Pig Visits . . . Cathy Morrison

Greetings from Colorado! 

I'm on my way to visit author and illustrator Cathy Morrison in her studio with a view. Cathy works in her green constructed home located in the the foothills northwest of Fort Collins. Her studio overlooks the Mummy Range which is the northern side of Rocky Mountain National Park. 

Wow, she wasn't kidding about that view!

Cathy is the illustrator of numerous nature-themed picture books, including The Prairie that Nature Built by Marybeth Lorbieck, Pitter and Patter by Martha Sullivan, and Dino Treasures by Rhonda Lucas Donald. She's passionate about the environment, nature, and science, as you can see from her art!

Oh, here we are at her front door.

<<Knock, knock>>

Hello, Cathy! It's me, Mr. Pig!  

Come on in and get warm, Mr. Pig! You look chilly. I very much appreciate you visiting my studio. Follow me. I'll give you the tour. . . .

Mr. Pig, here's a chair for you to sit and enjoy some coffee and light reading.

Why, thank you!

This is my studio desk with my wacom cintiq and computer. I'm all digital, no pencils are harmed in the making of these books. The view from my window is the Cache La Poudre River canyon, the Roosevelt National Forest, and past that is the Mummy Range.

Sigh! It's gorgeous! And warm. I think my snout is frozen.

Oh dear. Here are my flat files with older work before I went digital. I used to do pastels, colored pencils and water color. I still do, but all through my computer now.

I get a lot of help from short people. This is my grandson, Konnor making snowflakes and taping them to the window.

Short people and pigs make great helpers. Need a hoof, Konnor?

Here's Konnor with his sister, Gracie, working away on more snowflakes.

Konnor assists when books are delivered. He's opening a box full of Daisylocks by Marianne Berkes. Konnor posed for some of the illustrations in Daisylocks and other books.

Meet my dog, Crowley. He goes with me to check the mail everyday as you can see he's excited to get ARCs for The Prairie That Nature Built, which he posed for, and Dino Treasures, which features a lot of dinosaur bones. He fantasizes about digging up a dinosaur and gnawing away to his heart's content.

Nice to meet you, Crowley!

Winter here in Colorado can range from negative numbers to 70 plus degrees. This a typical looking frosty morning view from my window.  

Here are some photos taken during other seasons. This one shows the beautiful sunsets we get here. 

Ooooh, pretty! I'd love to live here. Are you looking for porcine roommates, by any chance?
Mr. Pig, I know you traveled many miles through snow-packed mountain switchbacks to get to my studio. I hope you come back in the summer when it's nice and sunny with a lot of pretty prairie flowers and grasses.

Yes, but next time I'll hop on a plane. Cathy, could you show us some your art?

I'd love to! This image is from Pitter and Patter. Its release date was March 1, but it's already out! In this illustration, Pitter landed on the leaf of an oak tree. Hello, squirrel. Good morning, blue jay. Rise and shine, caterpillar.

Meanwhile, Patter had landed in a spring meadow. Hello, daisy. Good morning, bee. Rise and shine, butterfly.

So many beautiful details! Hey, what's this dino doing?

This is an illustration for the cover wrap of my new book Dino Treasures. It should be available any day. It's the sequel to Dino Tracks. Lots of research went into this book. . . .

Each spread was vetted by the dinosaur expert. Donna German, my art director and editor, sent the illustrated spreads to the person who worked on the dig and got their feedback. Then Rhonda and I made any adjustments necessary. This is one reason I'm glad to be a digital illustrator. We needed to tell a fun story while being as authentic as possible. 

The book's release party will be at the Smithsonian in Washington, DC. You should come, Mr. Pig.

You bet! This pig loves a party. Tell me about this picture, Cathy. 

This is from This Land Is Your Land by Catherine Ciocchi. Its release date is April 10, 2015. This book is about landforms and geologic features, and includes a study of maps.

You sure have a lot of books in the works. Thanks for the tour, Cathy! Um, it's a long, cold walk back to the Enchanted Woods. Do you mind if I stay a while? Maybe I'll take a nap or . . . Zzzz.

Sure thing, Mr. Pig. But er, may I ask how long is "a while"? . . . Mr. Pig? Hello?

About Cathy Morrison
Cathy Morrison is the illustrator of Daisylocks by Marianne Berkes, Dino Treasures by Rhonda Lucas Donald, Pitter and Patter by Martha Sullivan, The Prairie that Nature Built by Marybeth Lorbiecki, and many more. Her forthcoming books include This Land Is Your Land by Catherine Ciocchi (Arbordale, April 2015). She also wrote and illustrated the picture book I Want a Pet!  To learn more about Cathy, visit her blog, Studio With A View.

About Cathy's books

by Martha Sullivan

Illustrated by Cathy Morrison
Dawn Publications, March 2015
ISBN: 978-1-58469-508-0

"Startlingly realistic artwork takes readers through the water cycle. Pitter and Patter are two water droplets that fall as rain. . . . But what most stands out is Morrison’s gorgeous artwork. Full-page spreads show a slice of each habitat and close-up, realistic portraits of three animal. . . . An unusually striking glance at the water cycle." --Kirkus 

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by Rhonda Lucas Donald
Illustrated by Cathy Morrison
ISBN 978-1628554502

"This book is a jewel for early elementary teachers in grades K-3. The book begins with a series of dinosaur behaviors and topics, such as nesting or sleeping. Each topic has a poem explaining the science in simple terms. . . . Both the text and illustrations are thoughtfully written and scientifically accurate." --The National Science Teachers Association (recommended)

by Marybeth Lorbiecki

Illustrated by Cathy Morrison
Dawn Publications, September 2014

"A cumulative rhyme describes the components of a prairie. . . . Morrison’s digital illustrations are full of identifiable creatures and tiny details. While the text will read aloud nicely, the images are worth the careful attention a child reading alone can give them. . . .  A vivid introduction to a vital habitat." --Kirkus

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  1. Mr. Pig, thanks so much for the studio tour. Please stop by anytime. We just had a big snow fall and can go sledding now.

  2. Thank YOU, Cathy! You have the most breathtaking studio. Not to mention gorgeous books. Speaking of gorgeous, maybe your next book could be about pigs? Just a thought. xo Mr. Pig

  3. Mr. Pig, I'm working on my next book now and absolutely there will be pigs! It's on a farm and by Marianne Berkes.