Sunday, October 21, 2012

Check out my latest illo... IF - Tree

After going on vacation and then playing catch up with client work, I was finally able to finish this piece that has been sitting on my painting table for way to long. It's a spread from one of my own picture book manuscripts. I thought it was a fitting piece for this week's Illustration Friday topic:


"No one noticed the owl watching them high in the tree."
Happy Creating to you all. T.

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Friday, September 28, 2012

Illustration Friday - Book

Here is my Illustration Friday Submission. This week's topic is"
Here's a quick peek at the creation process, from getting an idea, to developing it, to turning it into and actual story book.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

2013 Tomie dePaola Scholarship

If you are looking for a great way to create another portfolio piece and also have a chance to win a trip to the SCBWI 2013 National Winter Conference in NewYork, then check out this year's Tomie dePaola Award. The winning piece of art will be featured at the conference and the winner will have the full tuition, transportation and accomodations costs paid. Here is more information taken from the SCBWI website. Follow the link for full submission guidelines.
Here is what Mr. dePaola says:
Black and white is in again. Brian Selznick’s beautiful illustrations for “The Invention of Hugo Cabret,” the award-winning film “The Artist,” and Tim Burton’s new (based on his 1984 short film) “Frankenweenie” have all forgone color in favor of rich B & W.
This year, my Illustrator Award is doing the same – an illustration in black and white, including half-tones, from a classic.
Choose a passage, line or description from one of the following books:
“Little Women” by Louisa May Alcott

“The Adventures of Tom Sawyer” by Mark Twain

“The Yearling” by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings
Please submit your entry by December 15th, 2012 as a jpeg titled with your name by email to with the subject "Tomie". I will select the winning entry by January 9th, 2013. In the body of the email include your name and the passage you have chosen.
I’ll repeat myself, again. I want to be surprised, excited and – VERY jealous.

I want to see an image, a style, a vision that I’ve never seen before – all in glorious black and white!

Good luck and don’t forget, I’m on your side!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Work in progress...

Here is a piece I'm painting right now. This one is for another one of the stories that I've written. It is currently in the blocking and rather ugly phase that all my paintings start out at. Gotta keep working... I'll post it when it's done.

Happy creating to all.


Friday, August 24, 2012


This is an older piece that I had done for the third book of the chapter book series that I'm illustrating, but I thought that it fit perfectly for this week's theme of: TALL.
Happy creating to all.

Check out my latest painting...

It's been a while since I posted some of my illustrations here. Take a look at this latest piece. It's a character study for one of my stories. I love the characters in this story. :o)

Happy creating to you all,


PS: Stop by my illustration page on Facebook and say hi. :o)!/pages/Tanja-Bauerle-Illustration/191904667517524

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Australian Author Elain Ouston releases second book in The Mystery of Nida Valley series

Here's a quick interview with author Elain Ouston. She lives in beautiful Australia, which I miss dearly. T.

Elaine Ouston’s fantasy novel, Captured – the second book in The Mystery of Nida Valley series, a tale of magic, time-travel, and adventure, for readers aged 9 + has just been released. The series is about a hidden valley full of ancient animals, dinosaurs, and much more.

The story began in book one when fourteen-year-old Meg Sealy, her friend Amanda, and her older cousin Jaiden, stumbled upon a secret valley where time stands still. The three friends were thrust into a dangerous world of magic, time travel, and creatures they believed extinct. They learnt that it is their destiny to use their new magic skills to join the fight to save the valley from an evil breakaway order bent on exploitation. Joined by their friends and the valley's protectors, Keeper Philmore and his grandson Michael, they faced danger from many sources - including a dragon attack and fighting off the evil Grundymere, the leader of the breakaway group, and his henchmen.

Meg discovered she had the ability to use the Time Travel Portal that only one of her family every hundred years can use. Her first journey was a life-saving mission for the last surviving giant wombat - but even that was not without danger.

In book two, the story continues with more mystery, time-travel, and magic. Meg strives to control her escalating magic powers, and she and her friends fight to discover the identity of the traitor in the valley. Grundymere is still at large and seems determined to capture Meg. The elders of the Order believe it is to stop her from following in her grandmother's footsteps and becoming the next Grand Leader of the order that protects the valley, The Guardians of Nida – but he has a much more sinister reason.

The elders of the Order gather around her to keep Meg from the clutches of Grundymere without success. Then Meg and her fellow guardians, time-travel again to try save the animals from extinction, but will the changes they make in the past harm or help the future of the valley. They won’t know the answer to this until they return.  

About the writing of this series:

I am often asked how a book about real animals that existed over 40,000 years ago, and dinosaurs became the basis for a fantasy novel. I came across the megafauna when I was researching animals for another book. They fascinated me, as I had never learnt about them at school.

I asked a group of children what they knew about these creatures and discovered that they had no knowledge of them. Their interest in hearing about the animals, fueled my desire to write the story, and so I began in earnest. Some of the questions the children asked during our discussion shaped the story. For instance, ‘Did they live with the dinosaurs?’ and from a very cute 4 year-old, ‘Were there dragons too?’ So I decided to include the three groups, megafauna, dinosaurs, and mythical animals. It is a strange mix and it was interesting coming up with a way to make the valley’s creatures credible. (Well, as credible as fantasy has to be). Fantasy has always been my first choice to read so it was natural for me to write in that genre.

I wanted the book to be entertaining as well educational. So I trawled the internet and libraries for accurate information. I found what I needed in books, and Museums and University websites. I have recorded the sources on the inside page of the book and on the cards. So any reader can do follow-up research, or any librarian or teacher can confirm the information.  

I realised as I wrote the story, that even though I described the animals in as much details as I could, the readers would still have no idea what these magnificent creatures looked like. To include colour drawings in the book would make the printing too costly, so I decided the create collector cards. I commissioned an artist, Aaron Pocock, to draw the animals from images I found on museum websites and in a book, The Magafauna of Australia, by Danielle Clode. 

There are 15 cards in the packs, plus a bonus card. The cards can be viewed and purchased at the website  

I was lucky enough to receive great reviews for the first book in the series and the reviews for the second book, Captured, have been just as good. You can read them on the books website

All over the world, printed copies and eBooks of both books can be purchased from most online stores, including Amazon and The Book Depository. In Australia, they can be ordered from your local bookstore through Dennis Jones and Associates. They are distributing the book Australia wide. A signed paperback is available from with payment through PayPal.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Making Dinosaur Maquettes - PART 1

As most of you know, I absolutely love what I do and I love, love, LOVE sharing art and creative thinking with others. Especially if those others are kiddos. I am currently working on an Art Masterpiece project based on James Gurney and the maquettes that he builds in order to study how light falls on the subjects he's painting. I emiled him a while ago in preparation for this project, asking if he has any suggestions on how to work with a classroom of second graders, when making dinosaur maquettes. He was most helpful. Thank you Mr. Gurney. The kids absolutely love your work.

Last week was the first session of our maquette building project. As anticipated, creating the wire armatures that act as the skeleton of the dinosaurs was the most challenging. We had mostly bipeds, but also some quadripeds that the kids wanted to model. Once the armatures when complete, be began fleshing out the Dicos using aluminum foil. Esentially, adding the muscles. The kids were very focused and they had some very successful results. Here are some photos of the progress so far. This Friday, I'll be back in class with them, when we will begin adding the skin and detail of the dinosaurs using sculpey clay. I'll keep you posted.


Raven Tree Press Book Blow Out Sale

Hey, check this out. Raven Tree Press, the publisher of my "Park" book is having a book blow-out sale. You can get their hard covers for only $6.95. Wow, that's even less than what I can get them for. Here is the link to their site if you want to take advantage of this great deal. It applies to all their hard covers I believe. These make great presents. ;)

Thursday, April 12, 2012

SCBWI-AZ Motion Picture to Picture Books Workshop

Presents a New Workshop for Illustrators

Motion Picture to Picture Books

A Workshop for illustrators interested in incorporating cinematic sensibilities into picture book illustrations.

April 14, 2012

8:30 AM - 3:00 PM


Molly Idle
and Grand Prize Winner of the 2010 SCBWI Annual Juried Illustrators Portfolio Showcase


The Schaar-Idle Workshop
1048 W. Greenway Drive
Tempe, Arizona 85282

Morning Session
Motion Picture Basics:
A guide to "reel-time" visual storytelling.
Afternoon Session
Workshop Assignment** focused on
Critique, Breakdown, Revision
*Pre-Workshop Assignment

Choose ONE of the following nursery rhymes:

  • Humpty Dumpty

  • Jack and Jill

  • The Cat and the Fiddle

  • Georgie Porgie

  • The Lion and the Unicorn

  • Create a series of 3 illustrations (sketches only) based on the sequence of the events in the rhyme.

    Bring the sketches to the workshop revision and apply motion-picture making principles to revise.
    What to Bring to the Workshop
    Kneaded Eraser
    Brown Bag Lunch and Beverage
    Morning Coffee and Snacks will be provided.
    SCBWI Member Rate: $40.00
    Nonmember Rate: $55.00
    Go to for a downloadable registration form.

    Make Checks payable to SCBWI AZ
    Bring Registration Form and Check on Saturday, but please RSVP by Email today.

    About Molly Idle Molly Idle has been drawing ever since she could wield a pencil at the tender at

    of 18 months. However, her professional career began slightly later. After
    graduating from Arizona State University with a BFA in Drawing, she worked for
    Dream Works Feature Animation Studios. After five years, and a number of film
    credits, Idle left the studio and went to work in the world of children's book
    illustration. Now Idle is an accomplished and respected illustrator of picture
    books for young readers.
    To learn more about the work of Molly Idle, visit

    Thursday, April 5, 2012

    Barnes & Noble Storytime - Saturday, April 14th - 11:00 am

    Store Image

    Hi everyone,
    Just another quick announcement about an upcoming story time/book signing that I will be having. If you are in the area, come and join me at the Barnes & Noble in Surprise. I'll be reading some of my books and we will have some fun crafts to do afterwards. Stop by and say hi.

    Barnes & Noble - Surprise Marketplace

    13719 West Bell Road
    Surprise, AZ 85374

    Saturday, April 14th. 2012

    11:00 am for an hour or so
    Happy creating to all.

    Tuesday, March 13, 2012

    Lynne Avril Painting Demonstration

    Here is a quick video of Lynne Avril doing a painting demonstration at the Tucson Festival of books this past weekend. Enjoy. T.

    Lynne Avril and Jean Ekman Adams at the Tucson Fesitval of Books

    A youthful Lynne Avril riding her horse and some of her childhood sketches

    This past weekend was the Fourth Tucson Festival of Books. It was a wonderful event and I spent most of my time there listening to the presentations of the many authors and illustrators that where there. I was able to hear my good friend Lynne Avril give her presentation and give a painting demonstration. She presented together with Jean Ekman Adams who is an author illustrator.

    The most wonderful Lynne Avril

    Lynne has illustrated over 70 books and has several more currently lined up. She is illustrating the new "Amelia Bedelia" series published by Greenwillow Books. I have known Lynne now for several years but I never realized that she grew up with horses. I was horse crazy myself and used to have a horse back in Australia, but I never knew we had that in common. Of course in Lynne's case, it makes complete sense, seeing that she is from Montana. During her presentation Lynne shared some of her childhood sketches and explained that her dad, who was also a very talented artist, was always very critical and urged her to make sure she draw things accurately. Lynne credits her dad for teaching her how to look at things which is what makes her the incredible artist that she is today. Lynne talks about her dad often and says that to this day, in his 90's, he still critiques her work and likes to point out when something doesn't quite appear the way he things it should. :)

    Jean Ekman Adams talks about her working process

    Jean Ekman Adams also has a father that was an artist. She thinks of herself as someone who draws rather than paints. She loves adding more and more detail to each of her illustrations and as a result does a lot of erasing which working on her roughs. When she thinks of her stories she writes for herself rather than an audience. I can relate to her working process, because when working on her own books she comes up with the drawings first and then writes to words afterwards. This is something, she chuckles, that at times can frustrate her editor. I do understand this though, because as artists we are visual people and so think and work visually. When exploring her characters she tries to come up with as many character traits as possible. She asks herself:

    What does he like to eat?
    What does he hate to eat?
    What is he scared of?
    Where is he going"

    All these questions allow her to really get to know her character, which ultimately make telling his story easier.

    She likes to draw donkeys wearing socks, because their legs are so difficult to draw. I got a real chuckle out of that one.

    I'll be posting more write ups about the presentations I attended soon.
    Happy drawing,

    Monday, March 5, 2012

    Tucson Festival of Books this weekend

    In case you don't already know, the Tucson Festival of Books ( )will be this weekend. It will be held at the University of Arizona Campus from 9:00 am to 5:30 pm on Saturday March 10th, and Sunday March 11th. If you have any time at all, swing on down to Tucson and enjoy the festivities. Each year it has grown and grown and this year promises to be as much fun as ever.

    Not only can you expect LOTS of books and fun activities for the whole family, you can also listen to some amazing authors and illustrators talk about their craft and inspirations. It is also a great opportunity to learn about what is going on in publishing right now. Here are just a few of the amazing presenters you will be able to look forward to:

    Kadir Nelson
    James Owen
    R.L. Stine
    David Diaz
    Jack Gantos
    Jon Sciescka
    Mac Barnett
    Adam Rex

    How often do we get the opportunity here in Arizona so see so many amazing authors and illustrators all in one place in our own backyard? I an so looking forward to heading down to Tucson this weekend. I'll be listening to several of the panels and will also be at the SCBWI-AZ booth throughout the weekend. Come on by and say hi!

    Happy Drawing to all.

    Monday, February 27, 2012


    A big huge “Congratulations” to the movie “Hugo” for not only receiving several Oscar nods but also for winning the esteemed statue for Best Cinematography, Best Art Direction, Best Sound Editing, Best Sound Mixing, and Best Visual Effects. However, long before “Hugo” enthralled movie goers with its visual splendor, it was the wonderfully illustrated novel “The invention of Hugo Cabret” ( ) written and illustrated by Brian Selznick.

    This of course is not new news especially considering that the book won the “Caldecott Medal ” in 2008. You can imagine how excited I am that I have a signed first edition of the book. In February of 2007 I was very lucky to attend the SCBWI National Conference In New York. Brian Selznick was the morning keynote speaker that Sunday and he took his captivated audience through his inspiration and creative process of the book. I am a copious note taker so with all this Oscar excitement I thought that I would revisit my notes from his keynote address. Here are some of the little pearls of wisdom that Mr. Selznick shared about “Hugo.”

    • “Struggle and fear are part of the process.” Hearing this from someone of the caliber of Brian Selznick was rather reassuraning. Self doubt and fear of rejection is a big part of being an artists and something that I face quite often. To know that Mr. Selznick experiences similar anxieties is very comforting.

    • “Fortunately,” written and illustrated by Remy Charlip, was one of Mr. Selznick’s favorite picture books when he was young. If you are not familiar with this little gem, make sure you look it up in the library or even better find one for your collection. It is well worth the read and will leaving you smiling for the rest of the day.

    • “Hugo” was the name of one of Brian’s childhood toys.

    • Brian Selznick was very interested in kids that are obsessed with something. Hugo’s fascination with the automaton allowed Mr. Selznick to explore both the fixation of the boy but also explore the amazingly intricate machines themselves.

    • Page turns are an integral part of the reading experience and a great tool that he used in the creation of the book. Mr. Selznick’s purpose was to create a movie-like reading experience for “Hugo” readers. The repetition of similar scenes page after page allowed him to zoom in, much like in a movie.

    • He would create lots of mini dummies of his book and the sequences in order to test his page turns.

    • The final artwork was created at one quarter of the book size. This meant when the artwork was scanned and blown up, the grain would be amplified, thus simulating the graininess of an old movie.

    • This last one is my favorite. Throughout the creation process, Mr. Selznick would continually cut our portions of text and replace it with a list of drawings. We would go back to his editor and let them know that the page number of the book were adding up. Luckily, Scholastic believed in his vision and allowed his creativity to soar. It was well worth it in the end.

    Happy Creating to you all. T.

    Saturday, February 18, 2012

    Jackson Pollock and Second Graders

    I am so lucky that I am able to present Art Masterpiece to my daughter Izzy second grade class every few weeks. I teach them about an artist, we talk about and look closely at his or her work, tie it into what they are currently learning and then create a project in the style of the artist. A wonderful opportunity for me to share my love for art and for the kids to gain exposure to art.

    We just completed a group canvas in the style of Jackson Pollock. All the kids got to experience his dribble/splatter technique and they enjoyed it tremendously. Even Ms O'Brien participated and loved it.

    The one thing that I am always amazed about when I teach Art Masterpiece, is how fascinated the kids get when I teach them about the artist and show them his/her work. We spend on average between 45 minutes to a hour, just looking and discussing the artwork itself. We look at composition, the choice of palette and try to analyze the motivation of the artists. Yes, these are second graders! I am so impressed with them. It becomes so apparent that art is important not just for the of the fun project, but more so for the understanding that is gained by the kids that they are able to express their feelings and frustrations through art. In trying to learn about the artist they can learn about themselves.

    I love what I do.
    Happy Creating.

    Monday, February 6, 2012

    Stevie's travels revealed

    Here's a painting I finished a week or two ago. I like where this is going and the process I'm using plus it's a fun surface to work on. The painting was done with Acrylic Gouache over a crackle paste base. Many, many layers but worth it in the end. What do you think?

    Happy creating,

    Monday, January 30, 2012

    Back in the saddle again...

    Finally, after the move and craziness of the holidays, I'm back to work on the next book. Wright On Time -Minnesota, which is book 5 of the series, is finally underway. Here is the cover for now. I've been drawing over the past week and an getting there with the interiors.

    More coming soon.

    Thursday, January 26, 2012

    Chandler Christian School, Baby the Llama and Sheriff Joe Arpaio

    Today, I visited Chandler Christian School to participate in their annual "Have A Heart for Books Storybook Station." I was one of their "celebrity readers" spending a little while with the students and sharing with them my love for books. It is always so exciting to read to kids and talk to them about books and what it takes to create them. What a wonderful school and staff to bring such a great event to the students each year! I especially would like to thank first grade teacher, Rachel DeHaan, for organizing and inviting me to the event.

    The highlight of the day for me, other than sharing with the kids, must have been Baby the llama. What a little sweetie. I fell in love with her and am now convinced that what our 3/4 acres is missing, is a llama. Oh, that's right, Sheriff Joe Arpaio was also there as a celebrity reader. I didn't get the chance to say hi to him but it was nice to see him being there for the kids. 

    Happy creating to you all,

    Friday, January 13, 2012

    Every child in America should have access to an effective school library program

    I received the following from my ARA Advocacy Chairperson, Michelle Parker-Rock. If you are so inclined to advocate for school libraries the following information may be of interest to you. I encourage you to sign the petition and forward the information on so that the needed number of signatures can be reached.

    Thank you.
    Dear Colleagues,

    Carl Harvey, 2011-2012 AASL president, has initiated a White House petition on school libraries, which specifically petitions the Obama administration to "ensure that every child in America has access to an effective school library program." 25,000 signatures are required in order for this petition to be viewed by White House staff, no later than February 4, 2012.

    Please take a few seconds to sign this petition, spread the word to your member groups, ask your colleagues and library supporters in your circles to sign on, and spread the word via Facebook, Twitter and other channels!

    The url is: .
    A few things of note:

    * We've heard that the petition software is temperamental. If you cannot sign in on your first attempt, please log out and log back in. Or, try a different web browser, or as a last resort, try a different computer.

    * This petition should not be confused with a petition begun in 2011.

    * White House petitions must be authored by individuals, not any association. Therefore, Carl has introduced this petition as an individual, not as a representative of AASL or ALA.

    Thank you,

    Marci Merola
    Marci Merola, Director
    Office for Library Advocacy
    American Library Association
    50 E. Huron Street, Chicago, IL, 60611

    Thursday, January 12, 2012

    Finally back to painting...

    It is so exciting to finally have a functioning studio again. We've been moving so I have spent months dealing with supplies being at two separate houses, an unorganized studio space filled with boxes and design deadlines that I was able to fulfill simply because I had just enough space to sit at my computer. Finally, my new studio is all set-up with much more space and better organization than the one at the other house.

    I am so excited to be painting again. It's amazing how getting back into a routine can make you so much more productive.

    Happy creating to you all,

    Wednesday, January 11, 2012

    The intention of the artist

    Do you ever wonder, what an artist intended when creating a piece of artwork? Art Appreciation teaches us to analyze the deeper meaning of an image, to try and find a connection with the creator of a piece and truly understand her thought process. So I really was stumped when I looked at one of the drawings that my four year old brought home from preschool.

    Yes, it really is supposed to be "a rotten chicken with no legs." I don't think that any amount of analysis could have revealed that one.

    Have a splendid day.

    Tuesday, January 10, 2012

    "The Park Our Town Built" is available on the NOOK Devices and Apps

    The Publisher of my last picture book, Raven Tree Press, just announced that a selection of their titles are now available on NOOK devices and apps via NOOK Kids™. My book "The Park Our Town Built" is one of these and is available for NOOK Color, NOOK Tablet, and NOOK Kids™ for iPad.

    Here is a link to the NOOK version of my book:

    Monday, January 2, 2012

    On the Short List for the 2012 Green Earth Book Award

    GreenEarth Book Award Logo

    2012 Green Earth Book Award SHORT LIST

    I am so excited to announce that my picture book "The Park Our Town Built," published by Raven Tree Press, is on the “short list” for the 2012 Green Earth Book Award. Books are still under review, and winners will be announced in late January 2012.

    The Green Earth Book Award was created to promote books that inspire children to grow a deeper appreciation, respect, and responsibility for their natural environment. This is an annual award for books that best raise awareness of the beauty of our natural world and the responsibility that we have to protect it.

    I will post more info about this as it becomes available.

    Happy Drawing