Thursday, June 26, 2014

So, What's Next? (More Books, More Adventures!)

You might think after all the work involved in getting three books published in as many weeks that I'd be giving serious thought to taking a nice, long vacation. (Well, I will admit that the thought had crossed my mind.) But I've go s-o-o much material, and I feel like I'm kind of on a roll. So, I think I'll just keep on going till it's time to leave on the next adventure.

The Next Two Books --


Coming soon to an iBookstore near you!

Before I turn my attention to the next volume in the Drawn to Adventure series, I'm going to take a bit of time to finish up a two-volume series entitled The North Cascades: A Tale of Two Seasons. Volume 1 (Spring) documents the sights, sounds, and adventure -- through journals, blog posts, drawings, paintings, maps, videos, and sound recordings -- of my first season as North Cascades National Park's artist-in-residence in Stehekin, WA.

Adding finishing touches to one illustration panel...

The book is rapidly nearing completion (almost all of the text has been completed, and about three-fourths of the "visuals" are now in place) and, with a finished length of 130+ pages, this will easily be my most ambitious (and most profusely illustrated) book project to date.

...and underway with another.

Volume 2 (Fall) too is currently "in production" and will tell the story of our (my son and daughter were invited by the park service to join me as fellow A-i-Rs) second season as NCNP artists-in-residence.

I'll post regular updates here on the books' progress. And, in the meantime, I'd live to hear back from readers of the first three books. What did you like (or dislike) about the book(s) you read? What would you like to se more of? Was there anything you'd like to see less of?

Book Reviews --

Do you publish your own blog or write a newspaper/magazine column? Would you be interested in reviewing one (or more) of my books in exchange for a free copy of the book(s)? If so, please contact me and let's have a chat.

The Call of the Wild --

Why the unusual (and slightly uncomfortable) sketching position? 
(Watch the video below and see.)

After a few days in the studio or at the computer I have to heed the siren call of The "out-of-doors" (and, preferably the out-of-town out-of-doors.) So, at regular intervals you can expect a post that finds me and my day kit on sketching safari -- always with artwork included, sometimes even with step-by-step videos.

video
(I try to think of the "breeze", road traffic, and lawn crew as "aids" in honing my concentration skills.)

Far Away Places and Open Spaces --

And sometimes the wanderlust bug really bites deep. When I can no longer resist the siren-song (OK, admittedly, I don't try very hard to "resist.") you can expect posts as I hit the highways, byways, and even airways in search of new adventures -- and (if I'm really lucky) the subject for yet another "interactive, multi-media" book project.

PS, This is my first attempt at uploading video directly to Blogger instead of via YouTube. Please let me know what you think (and expect additional video posts soon.)

Cheers!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Place-Based Journals and Digital Books

Well, it's been nearly two months since my last blog post. I've been "off the grid" but definitely not off the job.

The Clear Fork, cover

As most of you know, I enjoy traveling and exploring, and keeping a journal of both. And, for the past few months I've been exploring a new way (well, new for me) of sharing those experiences with others -- interactive, multi-media, digital books. Not one, or even two, but three books (with additional titles already in the works!)

The Clear Fork, pg. 19

The first book is entitled The Clear Fork and is a facsimile of a year-long exploration of the life cycle of an unspoiled stretch of the river of that name, which runs near our home -- the insects, plants, fish, fowl, and mammals that call it home and how they interact through the seasons (and how experiencing it all firsthand affected me and my children. The colorfully illustrated, hand-written journal is supplemented with additional photos and thoughts about our discoveries throughout.

Looking for The Clear Fork but not familiar with the iBooks Store? If you're in the U.S. you can use this direct link (https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/the-clear-fork/id881307312?mt=11&uo=4). Or, if you're in one of the other 51 Apple markets you can find the iBooks Store within your online iTune Store and search by title.

Drawn to Adventure, cover

The second book is entitled Drawn to Adventure (Ireland) and is the first installment of our family's "slow travel" adventure in Europe -- through our journals, hand-drawn maps, sketches, plein air paintings, panoramic photos, and videos. In the introduction we talk about (and show) what was involved in planning and preparing (both physically and artistically) for our two-month voyage of discovery. Then we take you along as we begin the first leg of our journey -- again through words, drawings, paintings, and video. (Four future installments will take readers to the UK, the Netherlands and Paris, Normandy, and Germany.)

You can find Drawn to Adventure (Ireland) in the U.S. iBooks Store here (https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/drawn-to-adventure-ireland/id886060856?mt=11&uo=4). Or you can search by title in any of the other 51 iTunes online stores worldwide.

click on thumbnails and they enlarge to reveal every brushstroke, panoramic hi-res detail, 
full-screen; click on embedded video to watch them full-screen HD

For over 30 years I've begun every new sketchbook/journal not with a drawing but with a quote; each quote the words of an artist, naturalist, writer, or philosopher who has influenced and inspired my life and my work. (And over the years I've completed a lot of journals. The third books is entitled Inspiritus and is a collection of some of my favorite quotes (presented as hand-written calligraphy) with pen &ink portraits of their authors.

U.S. "buyers" (remember, this book is free to download) can find Inspiritus at the U.S. iBooks Store beginning June 15. (I'll post a direct link here as soon as it is available.) All other readers can find the book by searching the title in your local online iTunes store.

Inspiritus, cover

All three books are available June 15 from Apple's 52 online iBooks Stores worldwide. Free samplers are now available of the first two titles -- with the full version of each selling for a very affordable $1.99 and $3.99 respectively. (For customer convenience, local Apple iBooks Stores will automatically convert the price to the buyers local currency.) And, best of all, the third book is offered free to all (in hopes that you'll find the words and images as inspiring as I have.) All are formatted to be read on iPhones, iPads, as well as Macs running the Mavericks operating system via the free iBook app.

Inspiritus, pg.25

Two other titles are already in the works, and additional installments of Drawn to Adventure will follow soon. In the meantime, I hope you'll take a look at my new books and mention them to your friends. (And I welcome comments and suggestions -- concerning subjects for future books, or how I might improve future editions of these books. (PS, updated editions of iBook titles are available free to purchasers of all earlier editions.)

________________________________________________________________________________ 

Why the Apple platform and iBooks? There are, of course, several options currently available to ebook authors. However, I was specifically looking for a format that was particularly graphics/images friendly, enabled the embedding of widgets and videos, and would allow me to design a content-rich page layout.

If you have access to an Apple device, download one of the free samples and see for yourself what you think. And, if you have difficulty finding a title PM me with your country (but not your address) and I'll send you the correct hyperlink. 

Cheers!