Bay City’s Riverside Art Festival This Weekend!

My art fairs have been doing very well this summer, despite all the economic woes, and most of it has been due to my new book, What’s in the Woods? A Michigan Treasure Hunt, which is selling like hotcakes. I haven’t even had time to send it out to reviewers or notify bookstores about it, being a one-woman show here.

This weekend I’ll be giving away a free Woods book cross-word puzzle to the first 20 buyers of the Woods book and a free crossword puzzle What’s on the Beach? poster to buyers of What’s on the Beach?. All my Michigan nature books will be there.

Also find some dragonfly necklaces ($14.50, reduced from $25) , my Lake Effect note cards, Bay City posters (including the Bay City Bar Guide), Beaver Island Posters, and lots more!

EVERYTHING AT THE FAIR IS HUGELY DISCOUNTED!!! Posters which usually sell for $25 or $30 (even the new Lake Effects III and IV posters) are only $10 at the fair!! $15 note card packs are $10.

See you there!

What in the Woods, here at last!

What’s in the Woods?, a companion book to my popular What’s on the Beach has been in the works for three years. I never fully appreciated how much work goes into a book—especially a generously  illustrated book—until I did all the work of all a publishing house’s departments myself—researcher, writer, illustrator, editor, book designer, layout artist, producer, advertiser, and distributor (although Partner’s Book Distributors distributes my books too). Everything except the printing, which is done not only in the United States, but in Michigan at Holland Litho in Zeeland.

I just returned from doing a booth at the Ann Arbor Book Festival. I sold 30 copies of What’s in the Woods in just four hours, along with my other titles and many Lake Effects note cards packs. It was an encouraging start to the season.

What’s in the Woods retails at $12.50, with my usual 50% discounts for wholesale and 25% for school and library purchases, 50% for orders of 10 or more. This year I am also offer merchants a free acrylic book display holding 10 books each for orders of 10 copies of one title.

Wowsie wowsie, these are exciting times! My new Lake Effects III and IV posters are out now too. Want me to come for a show or a signing? Contact me to arrange it.

We set a date for the Beaver Island Show!

Not only will I have many new Beaver Island paintings, but also two new Beaver Island Posters and, I’m hoping, a new book too: What’s in the Woods: A Great Lakes Treasure Hunt, a simple introduction to over 150 common plants, trees, birds, critters, mushrooms, and bugs. Paired up with What’s On the Beach, a person could know 300 species already, which is lots more than most people recognize.

Wouldn’t it be fun to follow up with more simple nature guides, like What’s Along the Highway, or What’s By the River? Wow. Each books requires hundreds of little paintings, however, so they take a long time. And next on the schedule is What’s On the Beach in Florida.

It’s going to be way below zero here after today, for more than a week, so I’m going to be staying close to home. I’m spending a lot of time learning Adobe InDesign, a layout program that combines the workings of the two layout programs I already know but which are too old to work any more—PageMaker and Quark.

And don’t forget to check into my other blog, where I write a twice-weekly column.

Behold the junco, making its debut in What’s In the Woods? Juncos in Michigan only come for the winter…their absence is one of the first signs of spring!

Click on the image to enlarge it.

Mary Finally Leaps into 2007!

After finishing three Beaver Island commissions before Christmas as well as a three-week trip to Florida, I’m busy finishing a sequel to What’s On the Beach, another easy intro book to Great Lakes nature for kids (and clueless adults) called What’s In the Woods. I’ve finished most of the art and am now writing and doing layouts. With luck and a little less procrastination, I’ll have it ready by June.

The Florida trip got me started on another book idea: What’s on the Beach in Florida! I’m hoping to get that finished by Christmas. But I may have to postpone that project if I end up doing a third poster in my Lake Effects series this summer (Lake Effects I and II cover fall, winter, and spring, but not summer).

I have been sending out a few flyers to folks interested in those 36-views-from-the-same-window posters to see if someone with a good Lake Michigan view would be willing to extend me access to summer digs and a weatherproof window workplace in exchange for the 36 original watercolors that will become Lake Effects III, the last poster in the series. I’ve gotten an interesting response recently, so my artist-in-residency may dominate my summer.

Meanwhile, if you want to know what’s happening with me from the tight focus of a breast cancer survivor, pop onto my blog at HealthCentral. I’ll keep up better with this one too—a lot of art is happening that hasn’t yet been uploaded.

The painting (click on it to enlarge it) is an acrylic on paper, done for Ray and Nina Cole, owners and operators of the Beaver Island Lodge and Nina’s Restaurant on Beaver Island, Michigan.