In last week’s radio show, I thanked a number of people, places and programs that have been inspirational to me over the past few years. At the top of that list was the incredible artist and illustrator, Carson Ellis. I’ve been following Carson’s work for at least as long as I’ve been blogging. Her unique style and ability to transport viewers to a different time, place and world is truly spectacular. And, for me, her work has never been more perfectly showcased than as part of the book series she created with husband, Colin Meloy. Colin wrote the completely wonderful and endlessly imaginative book series Wildwood Chronicles and Carson brought his words to life with illustrations that meant so much to me, I asked Carson if she would turn one of them into a simplified tattoo design I could use. I read Wildwood while Amy and I were on the DS Book tour and it’s hard to put into words what that book – and Carson’s illustrations – meant to me. They transported me to a time and place that was so hopeful, exciting and imaginative (during a tough time in my personal life when I needed a bit of an emotional escape) that it feels forever imprinted on my mind.
Carson’s work, of course, spans well beyond her illustrations for the Wildwood Chronicles and always showcases her deep love of animals and nature. Carson lives outside of Portland, Oregon where she is surrounded by beautiful forests and nature that continually inspire her work. She was kind enough to let us into her world for a day to see what her daily life is like. From feeding her family’s chickens to wooing horses with apples and working on a new picture book, her day is full of special family moments and beautiful artwork. Thanks so much to Carson (and her entire family) for letting us peek inside her life. xo, grace
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10:30 am: We drive into Portland for a Valentine’s Day brunch at Junior’s. We used to eat here all the time back in the day but it’s changed ownership a couple of times and it’s been years. I am a lame, grumpy wife and don’t want to come because we got home from a book tour yesterday and I have so much work to catch up on. Colin talks me into it though and I’m glad. It’s really sweet. I keep saying, “I’m glad we came.” And then on the ride home I go back to bitching about how much work I have to do.
6:00 pm: Hank and I have a sushi dinner before Aspergers Game Club: second Friday of every month at the West Linn Lutheran Church. We are not Lutherans but one of us is autistic and lives for video games. While I pay the bill, he tears that chopstick wrapper into little pieces and sends them away on the sushi train conveyer belt.