Monday, January 12, 2015


I was recently asked... Why finally slam down a gallery show and offer up this long held collection of children's book art? (From February 7 to March 5, at Archway Gallery... click here for more info... or scroll down, and keep scrolling for a show list with pictures.)
This illustration from the book My Mother's Hands will
soon be stuck on the wall at Archway Gallery.

Right... so I was quizzed. Why at this moment am I unearthing this art? It brought to mind yours-truly hauling out dust laden crates excavated from an underground dripping cave, a cave full of bats... of cracking open troves like a pirate's stash, unearthing boxes and trunks of treasured finished artworks... artworks that lay sleeping for many moons, if not years. Why now to let sunbeams startle the colors awake like so much paper-and-paint Rip Van Winkle-ishness? Okay, that's all a bit of an exaggeration... however, some of the art has languished in boxes nigh on twenty years since my pencil finished caressing the acid-free 100% rag paper.

On assessment, the biggest shock wasn't the fact that these pieces have survived many a move of home and studio, Hurricane Ike which blasted directly over my house, torrential Houston rainstorms, dampness, and divorce... oops, never mind... that last one is another story. Nope, none of the above managed to destroy or disseminate this compilation of children's book art. However, the biggest surprise was the sheer volume. Seven books' worth of the stuff, depicting virtually every subject matter any parent or decorator would wish to hang in a kid's room.

Seems I have a habit of tucking the art away and forgetting about it, then every so often I go "Holy Mother of pearl, Look at all that art!" 
*Rears back in shock, hand to open mouth*

And I ask, "Why let this art sit motionless and hidden in the darkness of its vampire-worthy-art-coffin (commonly known as a flat file) never seeing the sunrise, when nice people in good homes, homes alive with the sounds of kids and grandkids, could have it hang on their walls and gain enjoyment from it... especially as they read the book from whence it originated?"

Then as dinner time creeps up on us, I come to the conclusion that a pasta metaphor is probably fitting (hold the tomato sauce)... that throwing the art at Archway Gallery's walls and seeing what sticks and what becomes wrenched away by art-collectors' and art-lovers' desperately needy hands is a good plan. This plan of action first came about in 2005 when the Loch Gallery in Toronto brokered a deal for the final colored illustrations from Love you Forever, the bestseller written by Robert Munsch, published by Firefly Books. Then last year the preliminary sketches for those drawings were sold to Scott Landon on the reality show Four Rooms. See a great interview with Scott Landon HERE.

So, granted there is no art from that particular masterpiece, although there are signed and numbered giclee prints, hand pulled on 100% rag paper and an absolutely perfect color match and size to the original art. There are also prints from Pussycats Everywhere and I Promise I'll Find You.

Hope to see you in the gallery at the opening reception or during the show!

Thanks for stopping by...


  1. I wish I could be in Houston to attend your shows and see your artwork up close. I especially loved your book "Pussycats Everywhere" as well as the fabulous children's book "I Promise I'll Find You". I hope the show is a great success and your beautiful artwork graces the walls of loving families. :)

    1. There's these things called airplanes... LOL. Wish you could be here too!

  2. Dear Ms. McGraw,
    I am a huge fan and a mother of 2
    Boys. I am so happy to see this amazing work of art resurfacing. I am sure you must get a ton of authors asking you to illustrate their books...I am yet another.
    I will be brief. Please allow me to send you my short children's book. I wrote it for my sons and have been sitting on it for 10 years trying to get up the courage to approach you. I loved your illustrations in "Love You Forever". I think you will "get" me, my vision, and my book. Please allow me to send my query letter and manuscript to you. I would be honored if you looked at it.
    Thank you.
    Maryanne Carletto-Vega

    1. Maryanne,
      Thank you for your comment, oh fellow Hyper-Typer... and for following my blog. I am always interested in soaking up a new manuscript and seeing what dormant synapses it may stimulate in my gray matter... snap, crackle, pop! You can email it to me at

    2. With my heart on my sleeve, I have sent you my manuscript. Thank you for opening your door to me. With deepest gratitude, Maryanne

    3. Hi Maryanne... I received your manuscript (thank you!) and will give it the attention it deserves as soon as I have a minute to concentrate on it. Give me a week or so to get back to you with comments!

    4. I would wait as long as it takes for you. I am sincerely honored. 😔