RIP - Jan Berenstain

 I opened my FB today and read this story. It sadden me yet, equally inspired me. 
Jan Berenstain has passed away and I fee she deserves a blog post and some thoughtfulness into what her her husbands books + illustrations have done for me in those, oh-so-important, younger years!

I have very fond memories of 'The Berenstain Bears', their tree and all the little life lessons I learned growing up - most importantly - how to share with my sisters! Those books are still around, my brothers have read them and my niece is next in line. As an artist who wants to work in children's book illustration, I find books such as the Berenstain Bears to not only be great ways to teach children valuable lessons but also awesome ways of visually conveying these messages too.  There is a stylistic subtlety to the line work in every illustration which makes it the Berenstains own creation. I love the cover of "The Problem With Money" as well as "No Girls Allowed" and "The Spooky Old Tree". 

As a child I would walk into my elementary classroom to see a pile of red colored newsprint on my teachers desk and become ecstatic! It was one of my favorite days, I LOVED choosing a new book. Though always a tough decision, made tougher by only being allowed to choose one book {I was the oldest of 3 at the time}. 

I recall after much time was spent reading titles and inspecting all the illustrations, I would settle on a book and impatiently await its arrival. In my younger years, Little Critter, The Berenstain Bears, Dr. Seuss/Theo Leseig + Serendipity books were my top choices! 


Here are a few of my favorite Berenstain books! 
{And after looking at my list, so much makes sense!} 
Bears in the Night
The Spooky Old Tree 
Afraid of the Dark 
Too Much Junk Food 

For anyone with children in their lives... I highly recommend these books ^__^ 
Thank you to all the writers and illustrators of my childhood - you all have left a part of you I will eventually leave to others as well <3

From EW.com 

Jan Berenstain, co-creator of 'The Berenstain Bears,' has died

Filed under: Books and tagged: 
Image Credit: Mel Evans/AP
Jan Berenstain, who wrote and illustrated the beloved Berenstain Bears books with her husband Stan, has died at age 88. She suffered a stroke on Thursday and died on Friday, according to her son Mike Berenstain.
Stan and Jan met on their first day of art school in 1941 when they were both just 18 years old. They published their first Berenstain Bears book, The Big Honey Hunt, in 1962; since then, more than 300 Berenstain books have been published in more than 23 languages. After Stan Berenstain died in 2005 at the age of 82, Mike Berenstain has collaborated with his mother on more recent titles, some of which have covered modern issues like online safety. “Every day she was very productive,” Mike Berenstain told the Associated Press. “She was working on two books and had been doing illustrations until the day before she passed away.”
Inspired by the Berenstain children, and later, the grandchildren, the Berenstain Bears books followed the adventures of Mama Bear, Papa Bear, Brother Bear, and Sister Bear. More than 260 million copies have been printed.


ON DECK 7 - Missoula Montana MAY 4th!

I just received an email informing me I was accepted to participate in *On Deck 7* a skate board art show raising funds to build skate parks through the Montana Skatepark Association! The show will open on May 4th at Brink Gallery in Missoula, Montana. I have been to Montana once and have always wanted a reason to return so here's hoping a road trip is in the near future!

Here is the website for MSA with links to galleries of previous shows. 

Look for more info and ideas for the show soon! 


All four panels complete for *Southern Baptist Sissies*

I am very pleased with how the panels turned out and can't wait to see them on stage opening night this FRIDAY! Another awesome reason to be excited for the opening is Denver's very own Cycle Sluts will  be dressed in their Sunday best serving up a Southern style pot luck!
To purchase tickets please go here! http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/218171
As I mentioned before - the play is a fundraiser for The Denver Element.

If you are unable to attend opening night, the show will run EVERY Friday and Saturday between February 24th and March 24th at Crossroads Theater in 5 Points.

The two smaller panels are 30"x36" and will be in the church/bar/preachers office scenes

These two panels are 36"x76" and will be in the church scenes. 


Current Project and Progress - Set back drop for Southern Baptist Sissies play.

I was recently contacted by a friend to paint pseudo-stained glass windows for the set design of a play entitled, *Southern Baptist Sissies* , presented by The Denver Element and Theater Out Denver.
All proceeds for the event will go to The Denver Element http://thedenverelement.com/

A brief description of the play -

"Southern Baptist Sissies is a comedy/drama about four young men struggling with their sexuality against the backdrop of religion. Its roots of inspiration are buried deep into the bedrock of hatred that was the Matthew Shepard murder. As is typical with Del Shores plays, SBS deals with real and emotional issues... but does so in a way that makes us laugh at ourselves... and then challenge our ways of thinking and acting." 

Please click on this link for more info, show times and ticket info.

Also- The Facebook page invite!

The panels are plexi-glass and being painted with pin striping paint for the black out lines and craft paint to obtain a transparent affect when the light shines through.

These are some of the progress shots. I will have a total of four panels when completed!

Very exciting for me as I haven't had anything in a play since high school!



Studio 72 will be open with plenty of prints and paintings available from Delton Demarest, Harrison Nealey and myself! Come down and check it out!

"Listen Up" new single and video from Prime Element prod. by Shuko

In an era where the climate of music has changed drastically, Prime Element, on the brink of their sophomore album, is focused on bringing hard-hitting beats, poised/confident lyrics, and precise cuts.    Bringing it back to the basic structure of the classic Hip-Hop Sound, Prime Element vows to hit the masses with a steady dose of  new videos, singles, and albums; asking all of you "Do any of ya'll care anymore about this Hip-Hop?"
Here is "Listen Up"(prod. by Shuko, Multi-Platinum German Producer), the first release from the upcoming album(untitled).  

Please check out www.primeelement.bandcamp.com to download the single for free.


February 18th! Live painting at FeminiNITTY ft Nitty Scott MC !

Casuals Car Club+ Casuals Crew present FeminiNITTY ft Nitty Scott MC.

This is an all female show representing some of Denver's most talented women! I cant wait to partake in this, especially since I feel my life is generally surrounded by male dominated arts. Cant wait to rep with these ladies! Hosted by the one and only - RU BLACK - this night will certainly not disappoint!

I will be painting along side Xencs L Wing and Alba Valerdi on February 18th.
I will also have a small both with prints available and will have the completed Lady Wu Tang painting I began a couple weeks back.

Jazzy Belle - Full Image


Danielle + Larry

I was commissioned to paint the Denver skyline combined with Chicago's skyline for a Christmas gift from a husband to his wife. It was a very last minute request and so in order to have it done by Christmas I was unable to get a high res photo or scan. Larry was gracious enough to provide these photos for me! Thank you Delton for assistance on the letter design.

Larry wanted to give his wife something for Christmas with more meaning behind it then the standard piece of jewelry, clothes etc... He asked me if I would be able to combine the two city skylines since she is originally from Chicago and he, Denver. We talked it over and decided on the color scheme and based on how they have decorating their house. Also - we decided to add the names on the opposite side from which they each slept.

I like the way it turned out and his wife was incredibly excited when she opened it as well! {it was the last gift AND was hidden, wrapped, under the couch} Danielle, also knew EXACTLY what he had done and why and with his personally written poem attached to the back - it was a Christmas gift they will both treasure for years to come!