Monday, November 10, 2014


Mixed Bouquet, 40 x 60 inches, oil on canvas.
On display this month at Archway Gallery, 2305 Dunlavy, Houston Texas, 77006

Sheila McGraw here... Welcome to my blog. I am best known as the illustrator of the book Love You Forever, written by Robert Munsch and published by Firefly Books.

I intend to write in this space about the many facets of my life and work, including insider info on the fine art of selling fine art and publishing. Thanks for stopping by.

There most likely will be: New publishing info and musings...
I've recently signed with publisher Firefly Books to illustrate a children's picture book, and I'll take you on (what is often a bumpy) journey from inception to finish. Right now the contract signing and champagne have given way to real life. I'm waiting for revisions; something that has taken a long time to nail down and I'm afraid I may not meet deadline. The takeaway: If everyone agrees, the contract can be changed... not that we like to make contract changes or deadline extensions for that matter, but with much communication and initialing all round it can happen.

Life outside the studio... All work and no play yada yada. Artists must get out of our heads and studios and be in the presence of other bipeds occasionally (and quadrupeds)... like last Saturday night's super nice outdoor party at hosts-extraordinaire G&L's place, which happened to be in my old  suburban-Houston neighborhood of Friendswood. Great company. Perfect weather. Friendly dogs. Grilled steak. Baked taters. Mucho vino (too mucho vino on my part I was informed... LOL)

Then there is my rental property... My tenants are referred to as Loveliness-and-Perfection, no kidding, they are fantastic. Unfortunately, they had no heat in the bungalow in the face of the polar vortex, which translates to the popsicle-ness of 70-some-odd degrees Fahrenheit here in Texas, which counts as cold. Fortunately Captain-B was back from floating around off the east coast and he knows his way around a furnace that needs an extinguished pilot-light relit. The bungalow is sort of like the money tree we all want in our front yard. It supplements my income.  Of course even money trees need to be tended, fed and watered. Money will also be a future topic to grace my pages of advice and musings, entitled something like, let's see, how about... Artists and Money. Bland enough for you? I'll try to make it fun... or at least not a direct imitation of the half-life of Valium.

And there's my art show...
This topic lies close to my heart... I'll have plenty to say about my upcoming art show of kids' book art scheduled for Feb. 2015, at Archway Gallery here in Houston (2305 Dunlavy, Houston TX 77006) and the prep work for that: framing, matting, publicizing, decisions, decisions. I'll keep you up to date on the ins and outs of putting on a show.

One decision has been beautifully executed and committed to... Indie authors Barbara Farnsworth (author of Where the Lost Things Go) and Elizabeth Lavine (author of Snuffy and Vroom Vroom) will come for the opening reception and sign books with me on February 7th. Go to Amazon to buy their (and my) books, please. Don't worry, I'll be reminding (nagging) everyone ad nauseum leading up to the show dates. I'll also keep you posted on...

My recently finished book The Knife Thrower's Wife...

I'm working on a synopsis to send to literary agents and start collecting my 100 rejections. (So far it appears I have one by omission). In any case, I've heard it said that any author who hasn't collected 100 rejections hasn't earned their stripes or, erm, their true keyboard-monkey status.

Love You Forever, Robert Munsch author, Bestseller, #1—New York Times Bestseller List. More than twenty-seven million in print.
This Old New House, 32 pages.
Papier-Mache Today, 144 pages. Bestseller.
Papier-Mache for Kids, 72 pages. Bestseller and winner Benjamin Franklin Award.
My Mother's Hands, Paul Cline author, 32 pages.
My Father's Hands, Paul Cline author, 32 pages.
Soft Toys to Sew, 168 pages.
Gifts Kids Can Make, 96 pages. Bestseller.
Dolls Kids Can Make, 72 pages.
I Promise I'll Find You, Heather Ward author, Bestseller.
Painting and Decorating Furniture, 304 pages. Bestseller.
Lightning Bug Thunder, Katie Burke author, 32 pages.
Pussycats Everywhere, 32 pages. Bestseller
Where the Lost Things Go, Barbara Farnsworth author, 32 pages.
Snuffy and Vroom Vroom, Elizabeth Lavine author, 32 pages.

Going forward expect to be pepper sprayed with salty and snarky insights from the world of writing, painting, publishing, both past and present.

I hope you enjoy the ride!

That's it for now.
Remember, Write drunk, edit sober! (Thanks, Hemmingway)


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