Baby Mine

Springtime means it's time for another postcard mailing by my agents at The Cat Agency!  After a visit with several publishing houses last year, Christy Tugeau Ewers came back inspired to having a postcard mailing themed "Time Period."  This would give her artists a way to explore different story lines from the the past.

I was very exited for this mailing from the moment she told us about it. As a realistic artist, time period art is right down my alley. My earliest venture with this genre was with the American Girl books I illustrated of the dolls Marie-Grace and Cecile in the 1850's New Orleans. But it's been a while since I've played with period pieces.

At first, I was overwhelmed with ideas. I thought about exploring some famous strong women in history, such as Joan of Arc, or maybe some ancient Greek paintings inspired by one of my favorite artists, Sir Alma Tadema. But then, my winter was taken over by an educational project that involved illustrating dinosaurs. After spending two months having a blast painting dinosaurs, when I finally sat down to work on this postcard piece, I couldn't concentrate on any of my previous ideas. All I wanted to do was paint more dinosaurs! So I decided to embrace the inspiration and paint more dinosaurs. 

Read More

Step Into the Past

Earlier last year, I was commissioned to paint a couple of historical backdrops for LifeWay Kids. I was asked to paint and exterior of a Temple and an interior of a Palace from biblical times. These backdrops were to be used with paper dolls so that kids could play out historical scenes. Neither of these were to be based on actual buildings, so I had freedom to make up my own buildings. This was such a fun project that let me explore architectural design without the addition of figures.

Read more about my process and inspirations that lead to the creations of these paintings.

Read More

Brinkman Adventures Coloring Pages

Over the past couple years I've had the pleasure of illustrating a series of coloring pages for the audio drama Brinkman Adventures. It's a series of stories based on the real life adventures of the Brinkman family and their missionary work around the world. 

When they first hired me, I was surprised to find how thrilling each of their stories were. They gave me freedom to choose which scenes to highlight in each story, and for many of them I had several options to pick from. Each story gave me a new opportunities to play with different environments and characters. I'm very happy with how the series has come together as a whole, and I look forward to hearing what the family is up to next!

Read More

Interview on Writing and Illustrating by Kathy Temean

This week I was privileged to be interviewed by Kathy Temean on her blog Writing and Illustrating. I follow her blog regularly, and I love to see any her interviews with writers, illustrators, and agents in the children's book field. I was thrilled when she asked to interview me. Her questions are always very in depth and I was amazed how much she knew about my process and my work. It was a pleasure to work with her!

Read More

Rainy Days

This fall my agents at CATugeau Artist Agency decided to do a postcard mailing with the theme "Act of Kindness." This is my postcard illustration about an unlikely set of strangers taking shelter from a storm. 

RAINY DAYS
9.5" x 14.75"
Oil on Masonite

Continue reading to see some of my preliminary sketches and learn about the inspirations and challenges that lead to the creation of this painting.

Read More

Over the Moon

This spring I travelled to Dallas, Texas. Inspired by artwork and culture of the once wild west, I couldn't help but come home and make my own western painting.

OVER THE MOON
18" x 24"
oils on panel

Continue reading to see some of my preliminary sketches and learn about the inspirations and challenges that lead to the creation of this painting.

Read More

3x3 International Picture Book Show No.13

I just found out that out my entire "Forest" series has been chosen by the 3x3 International Picture Book Show No. 13 as an Honorable Mention in the unpublished category! I created this series as part of a children's book story that I wrote and illustrated. Congratulations to all the other amazing winners.

My pieces will be featured in their online gallery.

Read More

The Midnight Kitchen

Here's as sneak peak into my latest book dummy, The Midnight Kitchen. Cooking is one of my favorite things to do, and it was a thrill to bring this joy of mine to life in this series of paintings.

Read More

Spectrum 23 Competition

I just found out that my Winter painting was accepted into the Spectrum 23 Annual! It's a competition for the best in fantastic art and the list of winners is incredible. Congrats to my other friends who have gotten in as well!

My piece will be printed in Spectrum 23, available November 2016 from Flesk Publications.

Read More

Through the Seasons

Here's my last two paintings to complete my series on the four seasons. While working on these paintings I've seen the seasons change myself as I've looked out window. I feel as if we've gone on this journey together.

View the rest of the series Here.

Read More

Hartford Art School Grad Goes from 'Mentee' to Mentor

Thanks to the University of Hartford for this great interview.  

Posted by Barbara Steinberger

As an illustration student in the University of Hartford’s Hartford Art School, Christine Kornacki ’07 gained artistic inspiration and practical advice from two faculty mentors in particular.

Professor of Illustration Dennis Nolan “made me fall in love with children’s book illustration,” Kornacki says, while Professor of Illustration Bill Thomson taught her how to work hard, promote herself, and become a better artist. Both Nolan and Thomson are successful illustrators and authors of children’s books.

“Dennis loves life. He loves illustration. You can tell he loves everything he does, and he just instills that in his students,” Kornacki says. “Bill is the one who teaches you the business (of art). He is really good at pushing you. He teaches you to put your name in the wind and see what comes back.”

And that’s exactly what Kornacki did. After graduating from the University in 2007, she moved to New York City and got a job as a security guard at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. At night, she worked on freelance illustrations and sent out postcards promoting her work.

Less than a year and a half out of college, Kornacki got an agent, who helped her land a dream assignment — illustrating books to go with two new American Girl dolls, the iconic, prize-winning dolls that represent different periods in American history. The first person Kornacki emailed when she got the job was Nolan.

Today, at the age of 30, she has already illustrated nine children's books — and she has become a mentor herself, teaching Hartford Art School students as an adjunct faculty member in illustration. Kornacki taught at the University for the past three semesters, and she is hoping to teach again next fall.

“I have a unique perspective — I’m still new enough in the field that I can really relate to the struggles students have,” Kornacki says. “I try to teach them the things that I’ve learned along the way.” For example, she has advised students on how to work with different kinds of clients, and how to promote themselves by going to conferences, entering competitions, and showcasing their work on social media.

Kornacki is still learning as well; she is a student in the Hartford Art School’s prestigious Low Residency MFA in Illustration program, and expects to graduate in July 2016.

All together, she has illustrated six American Girl books that tell the stories of Marie-Grace and Cécile, two best friends living in New Orleans in the 1850s. It took her two years to produce the 25 paintings and 20 smaller portraits that appear in the series.

In addition, she has illustrated three other children’s books: The Sparkle Box, an award-winning book about a child who gives back at Christmas time; an Easter sequel called The Sparkle Egg; and another Christmas book called The First Christmas Night.

For her MFA thesis project, Kornacki is illustrating and writing two children’s books, marking the first time that she has authored a book. One book, The Forest, is about a girl who gets lost in the woods and ends up meeting the four seasons. The other book, The Midnight Kitchen, tells the story of a boy who is a picky eater and who ends up in a magical kitchen, where he learns how to cook.

Kornacki hopes to continue teaching and mentoring illustration students. “It’s very exciting. I didn’t expect how much I would enjoy it,” she says. “It really is inspiring to see the students’ work, and to see how they’re thinking and problem-solving. It’s also made me look at my own work and at the way I problem-solve even more.”

Read More

Headmaster

New painting finished! Here’s my latest painting, in homage to the amazing J.K. Rowling and the wonderful world she has created. 

HEADMASTER
12.5” x 17”
Oil on Masonite

Read More