Weekly Photo Challenge: It IS Easy Being Green…The Children’s Garden: Growing Food in the City

March 22, 2017 § 12 Comments


Easy as mudpies being GREEN…    ChildrensGarden copy   It’s Spring! Got Seeds?ChildrensGarden_fullcover copyby Carole Lexa Schaefer, illustrated by Pierr Morgan – arrives in bookstores MAY 2, 2017 ~ my 65th birthday! Here’s A Peek at My Illustration Process:CG-goldfinch1

I use GOUACHE (“goo-wash”), an opaque watercolor, on Arches 140 lb Cold Press (textured) watercolor paper, and Higgins “Black Magic” waterproof ink, in a technique called “Gouache & Ink Resist” which I learned over thirty years ago at

Art Center College of Design.

CG-goldfinch2This technique celebrates backwards thinking…something my brain does naturally. What you want showing in the end is painted first to stain the paper. Gouache colors are mixed to a melty-soft ice cream consistency and applied thickly enough – details first – so when dry, the paint resists the ink. Paper is left blank wherever you want black or a black line.CG-goldfinch3When the paint is dry it gets a layer of waterproof ink.CG-goldfinch4When the ink’s dry, it gets a rinse at the sink!  (below is the Cover Art)  Water beating on the surface dissolves the paint, which runs, pushing the ink off itself in flecks…CG-goldfinch5…leaving a brilliant stain and earthy texture. Always a surprise.

I look the painting over for places where color washed away, not leaving enough of a stain, or where ink stuck too much. I wanted the packets to look fairly new, without much dirt on them, especially for very young readers to easily identify the plants and match them with flowers, fruits, and vegetables growing in the book garden.CG-goldfinch6Because Gouache is opaque, it paints over excess ink nicely. The Sunflower packet in these two photos is a good example of before & after ‘touch-ups.CG-goldfinch7Below is what the final endpaper painting looks like printed and bound. Carole and I can’t wait to personalize copies on the blank seed packet. The American Goldfinch seems curious to read them.CG-endpaper-frontThe back endpaper features Carole’s and my bio, cleverly placed on the flip side of the Wildflower seeds by Sasquatch Books’ Little Bigfoot design team.CG-goldfinch8Oh! I almost forgot – the green snail – it’s in every picture. Can’t wait for you to find it. Click HERE to read more – and buy! – The Children’s Garden on Sasquatch Books’ website. Thanks so much! And thanks too, for reading to a Child.   xo Pierr      


Weekly Photo Challenge: Path

December 23, 2016 § 6 Comments


Celebrate your unique personal path! xo – Pierr

Weekly Photo Challenge: Anticipation

December 17, 2016 § 8 Comments


When my son was a little guy each Christmas I made him a surprise ball – a collection of smallish gifties wrapped in strips of colored crepe paper that take some time to open. His dad and I had divorced and Aaron lived with him in California, New Jersey, then New York City. The surprise ball was a way for me to be there with him in spirit, sensing his anticipation. Now he’s got a little guy of his own and keeping with tradition, I – Nana Pierr – made one for Devin last year… wpc-anticipation-pierrmorgan4

The dime store used to sell surprise balls for a quarter or 50 cents. They were small, about three inches in diameter, usually filled with two or three doll house miniatures made of plastic or tin. My sister and I decided to make our own with more elaborate prizes. In those days crepe paper came packaged in flat rolled sheets. We cut strips as skinny or wide as we liked. Crepe paper these days comes rolled, is pretty much one width and isn’t as tough. Stretched too taught results in a rip. You’re wise to have tape handy.


My anticipation in making a surprise ball is wondering what final shape all the presents are going to make once bound together. It takes at least a couple hours so I think about the recipient and what they like while I’m wrapping. I have a pile of newspaper and recycled paper I can wad up into shapes to cover corners of a box or pad an area more in the direction of my vision. Stickers are easy to slip in now and then, and fun to discover.


D’s gifts wanted to be rectangular all along, and since he’s totally into musical instruments…


Ta-da! I don’t remember what the presents were, but I do remember he got tired unraveling and had his dad – the pro – finish up.


Wishing you and yours a wonderful Holiday of anticipation.  xo Pierr

Weekly Photo Challenge: It’s Not This Time of Year Without…

November 27, 2016 § 8 Comments

wpc-its-not-this-time-of-year-pierrmorgan…Twinkle Lights.

Bless us all This Time  xo Pierr

The Children’s Garden: Growing Food in the City

September 22, 2016 § 16 Comments

TELL EVERYONE – Coming to a bookstore near you for my 65th birthday!! MAY 2, 2017.pierrmorgan-childrensgarden-coverart

The 25 pieces of art are DONE!! and delivered. The last year and a half of my life has come to a close. The Children’s Garden: Growing Food in the City, is a picture book by children’s author, Carole Lexa Schaefer, published by Sasquatch Books in Seattle, on their Little Bigfoot Books imprint, and illustrated by…moi! I’m very pleased: childrensgarden

Click on that tiny link “childrensgarden” to see the cover art with its scrumptious red titling, tell everyone about it, then click this: Amazon’s listing

Weekly Photo Challenge: Jubilant

May 21, 2016 § 4 Comments

She twinkled pink next to older girls at a Chinese New Year celebration. Clearly the owner of her own universe she filled the dim hallway with darts and sparks and twirls and leaps ~ then, oh!! Jubilant ~ A shooting star.


Bask in Jubilant moments around the world. – xo Pierr

Weekly Photo Challenge: Face

May 17, 2016 § 10 Comments


Hi-ho! Busy painting art for a children’s book in a technique that involves covering gouache (“goo-wash” an opaque watercolor) with a layer of waterproof ink. I learned “Ink-Resist” from its dubber and master developer, the late Dwight Harmon ~ artist & optimist extraordinaire ~ over thirty years ago. Since then I’ve painted a couple hundred paintings and illustrated over 350 book pages in this technique, so you’d think by now I’d know what a piece will look like after its rinse cycle at the kitchen sink…


I’m always surprised. Usually happily, though faces can be tricky.

Especially when they’re tiny. The gouache needs to be opaque enough to resist the layer of ink. The pressure of the water begins to dissolve the gouache, which runs down the drain pushing the ink off in flecks, leaving a colored stain. The ink sticks in places where the paper (I use 140 lb cold press watercolor block taped around its edges) was left blank (see photo 1), for a black line, or where the gouache was applied too transparently. This I forget if it’s been a while in between paintings. Especially eyes…


Three of the five kids featured in the book are on this cover piece. They wear the same clothes throughout the pages for easy follow, but I’m taking extra care painting over ink bloops so readers will recognize them by their faces, too. I know them really well. Been with me at my drawing table for a year. Their faces light up when they see me coming. Mostly we play Follow The Leader. And ~ you guessed it ~ The Leader…is me!

xo – Pierr


Click here to see the Face around the world.

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