Hopalong Hollow....

Hopalong Hollow, where the Blueberries grow sweet, and the moss feels soft beneath your feet.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

A full pot of tea and an empty page.

But not for long! I am so pleased to be back at my old work table doing what I love most.

The illustrations for my new book should have been completed long ago, but a busy year of promoting my art kept me away from my beloved old oak  table.  Now, I can finish what I started WAY back last January!
We have all seen the movies where the "writer" sneaks away to a secluded place, a cabin in the woods, a cottage bungalow tucked away in a little village or a houseboat on the bayou. Off, to be spirited away in imagination, free of interruptions from the outside world.
  That is how I feel in my little studio at the top of the stairs. Here, I have all I need. All my supplies are at the ready. For now, I need only pencils, oodles of erasers and large sheets of  heavy watercolor paper. My story sits inside the green leather notebook, my teapot is freshened, and my heater is on.  I often pop in Period Movies as I work. The costumes, atmosphere and speech in any Charles Dickens, Jane Austin or Elizabeth Gaskell story inspire me. My characters live in an Old World setting and dress  accordingly.

I close my door on the world and begin to draw,

  until a noisy kerfuffle outside my window causes me to jump out of my chair...( the roosters are fighting again!)

 or a cat stands meowing outside my door in jilted protestation, ( up, out of my chair, open door as precious heat escapes room and place cat upon lap.)...

 or the UPS. man rings on the 1859 doorbell that could awaken the dead... ( hey, that might just be those books I ordered!)...
  or the yummy scents of my husbands pot of chili and cornbread tempt me from my reclusive hideaway, ( tummy growls).

So much for my secluded little houseboat on the Bayou.
  Oh Dear! How on earth am I too finish my work??!!!

Sometimes it is difficult to stay focused.
I'm working on drawings right now, when all 36 pages are penciled in, I will go back to each drawing and paint  with watercolor. So far, I'm about half way through the drawings.
  When these are painted, they will come alive!
If you would like to follow along as I finish my book, please visit my website here:   

 Now, where are my earphones??!!


  1. thank you for sharing your art world with us/me. I love having a glimpse of how you create your magical images.
    Wishing you a lovely new year, may your projects feel wonderful to you.

  2. I love your illustrations! I hope to hop over soon and order another book! (This time for my new nephew!) :)
    All the Best,

  3. I love your art work Jeri and I'm sure it feels so good to be back doing what you love best.

    I hope you have many happy hours ahead of you in the New Year at that desk.

  4. Wishing you a wonderful time doing what you love best...Merry Christmas and Happy New year...hugs from the Hilltop!

  5. It's interesting to read about how you get inspiration for your art. You are so talented, and I love all the detail in your drawings. I'm looking forward to watching your work progress.

  6. JERI!!! HOW DID I MISS THIS......what in the world was I doing?I know, I was sleeping!!! Oh dearest, this year has been an awakening for me. Everything that you describe above is what I am beginning to discover. Thanks to the Dutchess, Penny and YOU, I am following the lead to just enjoy my drawing periods. This is my last full week of time away from the classroom, and I should probably go down to my basement where I work to pick up that little story I posted on my blog a year ago, but now want to put into a book form. I wish you much success in getting these darling illustrations finished and published soon! And you look gorgeous on my right hand side here on the side bar! Homemade cornbread and chili did you say? That would be a distraction for me!!!!


  7. What insight to see your creative process. I so enjoyed following your year through your website. Your characters are charming and full of life.

  8. Dear Jeri,

    I love your drawings! I never thought about how a bear would use scissors, but I think you have it right on! :)

    I hope your Christmas was peaceful, and that you find your way back to your studio.



  9. Jeri! Oh thank you for your kind comment! Oh dear, when I first started blogging, I would maybe get one reader! But like you said, you have to just make up your mind that you are doing it for your benefit, to COMPOSE as we artists from all mediums MUST DO!!!! But something lovely happened; friends became connected, and I am so grateful for that. And like I said, my sweet friend Penny who I actually got to meet (what a magical treat that was) is the person who told me, "YOU MUST VISIT JERI!" She had told me about your drawings, your imagination and your harp. I just taught myself a new minuet by Bach today... a lovely little piece but SHEESH! That left hand is a pistol to train!!! But I do love the challenge and there you have it... Mrs. Challenge. I cannot stay still without poking my nose into something new. In fact, I am trying to learn how to read and write DUTCH! Teeehhehhee! Well, I started my studies in French at 34 and got my degrees and now teach all subjects in French, so I just might be able to write some blog comments here and there in Dutch!

    Blessings to you dear friend and give those goats and sheep and sir Hamish a squeeze from a City WOman!!!

    Fondly, Anita

  10. Hi dear,

    Thanks so much for the kind comment. I was so happy about Trowel & Error going into 9th printing, and so pleased that your book went into multiple printings. It is SO difficult to make a lasting contribution to the world of publishing, isn't it? Your works are so amazing and endearing they will remain in our hearts and minds forever.

    I have added you to the side bar blog roll so that some of my friends will also find you (how could they not?).

    Let's stay in contact!

    All joys (and I am supposed to be drawing birds for my new children's bird book due June 1st-holidays intrude)


    Sharon Lovejoy Writes from Sunflower House and a Little Green Island

  11. Thank you for sharing your working in progress. I find your art so very charming and endearing.

    Now I am off to visit your website!

  12. Teeeheeee! You never know what you will find in Nowhere, will you dearest?!

    PATAY TIME! Happy New years dear friend....Anita

  13. Dear Jeri

    What an inspirational room you have to work in.. I love your old oak table.. Your surroundings are perfect.. inside and out..
    I would love to watch as you finish this book..

    Beautiful photos of you on the sidebar.. I can see the magic in your eyes.. I hope all your Christmas wishes came true.

    Thank you for visiting and your kind thoughts.. I always look forward to seeing you there.

  14. What delightful creatures you are bringing to life. And I must say, that is quite a teapot. Do I spy a bit of Morris there?

  15. I notice your playlist. Are you familiar with a group called Clannad? or one called Altan? or a Scottish singer named Jean Redpath? Or an American (of Irish descent) singer named Cathie Ryan (She used to sing with Cherish the Ladies, but now is solo)? Or Karen Casey? If you are not, you might like to search them out and hear some of their music. I think you'd enjoy it.

  16. Hi Jeri, I just spent some very enjoyable time on your web site, about the stages of drawings, and I gotta say Thank you for sharing so generously your inner thoughts and lovely charming drawings, and your awesome studio! Nobody really knows the time, work and thoughts that go into books. But that's why some of us cherish all of our old books so! (I noticed that we collect many of the same books)
    Thank you for taking the time to visit me at my blog! (I was tickled)
    Did you notice that I have a similar nativity set?
    It sure would be fun to live next door to you!
    .....(and Diane from the Corgyncombe on the other side) :-)
    Many Blessings Linnie

    P.S. I bought a copy of Hopalong today smile

  17. Hello Jeri
    Sounds Like the Perfect place for Creating.Well...minus the diversions!Your illustrations look Wonderful. Do you find that the Pencil Drawings are the most time consuming part of your Process? I just find what you do so Interesting.
    My hope for you is that the Brand New Shiny New Year brings you Many Blessings and Endless Creativity!

  18. I can't wait to see these lovely drawings come to life with paint.We had an incident at our place last week-end, if I could only draw like you do....what a story it could make.If you get a chance please come read about it.My prayer for you this coming year,peace,prosperity,love and joy, and the very best of Gods blessings for you and yours.

  19. Hi dear Jeri,

    Just checked back to see if the teapot is empty and a page filled!

    Please visit me tomorrow for a special New Year's greeting.

    All joys to you and yours. Happy New Year.

    Sharon Lovejoy Writes from Sunflower House and a Little Green Island

  20. Happy new Year Jerri for you, your family and your lovely animals. May 201& will be sweet.

  21. Thanks to one and all for visiting with me this year. I have had an inspirational time visiting all of your blogs over these last months. Here is to another wonderful and creative year all of us! Jeri Landers

  22. Deaest Jeri, I came by to wish you a most PROSPEROUS, PRECIOUS and LOVELY NEW YEAR! I have so enjoyed getting to know you these last several months!!!! Anita


  24. JERI!

    Oh dearest, let's put on some HIGH HEELS and strut around like those blond bombshells at the farm! Pink, turquoise, EVEN SEQUINED pumps are stashed away in my trunk for a special occasion! And, Rattus always keeps stock of Stilton, Gouda AND BEERKASA (the smelliest cheese in Nowhere and beyond) and enjoys it all, CHOLESTEROL BE DA......!

    Are you enjoying this first day of 2011? Are you planning new stories, new creatures, adventurous journeys? I will be there for it all dearest one!

    Thank you for coming to visit today my friend and I am so looking forward to more laughter and sweet creativity from your studio! MANY HUGS TO ALL! Anita

  25. Jeri what a beautiful blog you have! Your illustrations are wonderful, and I love Ursula!! I've really enjoyed looking round, but will come back later to have a proper look at your homemade patio and herb garden. It's great to make something from nothing isn't it?

  26. Oh yes! BRAMBLY!(thrill thrill joyous thrill)...
    ...Miss Jill a genius she is ;-)

    This site is a treat (hope this will work)
    (very sweet)

    Blessings Linnie

  27. You left Facebook! But I'm sort of glad..because I love to visit you here in your realm!

    Sheila Neergaard
    Jax, Fl
    soon to be of Tazewell/Cumberland Gap

  28. Hello Jeri!
    Just Stopped by to say Hello!I Look at your Picture of the Full Cup of Tea & the Tea Pot every morning when I check my Blog; Knowing that you Must be Very Working Hard! I Bet that Tea Pot has been Filled Many Times for The Creative Muse has Come to Visit and Plans to Stay a While.
    Have a Wonderful Week!

  29. You will have to Excuse me...I have this terrible habit of omitting Words..or in this case ,transposing words ...Miss Spencer, my Grade School Teacher would me Mortified! What I meant to say is...Knowing you must be Working Very Hard!

  30. Hi its Sweetpea (Catherine's daughter.) I like those pictures you drew. I always start a book and do like one or two chapters and then I stop writing. I hope you can finish your book! I will come back to visit soon.

  31. My grandson and I have enjoyed our new books Hopalong Jack and Bushky Bushybottoms! You are such a talented writer/illustrator, and I'm so thankful to Diane at Corgyncombe courant for featuring these books in such a delightful way....making it nearly impossible to resist adding them to my library.
    Loved visiting ....will drop in again soon;)
    Blessings from a fellow Tennessee girl,


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