Hopalong Hollow....

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

Thursday, August 29, 2013


 I have finished my book. You have no idea how contented, calmed, and relieved that makes me!
I looked on my website where I had been chronicling my progress on book 3 and was amazed to see that I actually began work on this book in January 2011. This seems like a very short pile of art for such a long passage of time. Why look, it barely causes my satchel to bulge.

Not even 2 inches thick piled on top of one another. 

I scratch my head in wonderment at having "accomplished" what seems like such a small amount of work in such a very long time. Some of these paintings I hadn't  looked at in months.

    Upon closer examination, I now remember why it was so time consuming. I guess it was the little things that devoured the minutes, the hours, the weeks and the months.   The images below are just Parts of pages,for full pages are 12x24"and actually stuffed to the edges with artwork. Besides, I don't want to show you everything on the page since I want to leave the rest to your imagination.
 Tiny details are my thing..

like little ants casting shadows,

  worn, cracked and ancient wood,
artistic expression of the beaver folk,
  small creatures covering the ground,

and sleeping deeply in the good earth.

It's funny that even though I finished some illustrations ages ago, I can still remember what was occurring at the time I was working on the piece. For example, whilst working on the dream page above and below, I had the Lord of the Rings trilogy DVD's running back to back over 3 times. That's about 18 hours worth of Tolkien... (Obviously, I don't watch, just listen; I LOVE THOSE MOVIES!!!)

  I remember my lovely husband cooking new soups for me each week during the winter (so I could stay warm in my chilly studio); and bringing the puppies up to see me throughout the day so that I could snuggle them.
While painting the bear's home  I listened to audio of Jane Austin stories and wondered if the Bennets lived in such a house. Then I listened to Charles Dickens tales on Librivox
  and could imagine Miss Haversham glancing out of an upstairs window.

During the process of this book 52 chicks and 8 ducklings were hatched and Jemima the donkey was born. I raised the injured baby starling, Esther, as well. She was my studio companion for many weeks, sitting on my pages, my head, my shoulder.  
always in need of...
Her little image appears in my illustrations many times over. I will never forget her.

Little mice thread their needles...
 Our old hound dog, Ezra,  passed away, but I will always think of him when I see the Bears nose because Ezra's wet nose was the model for it.

 Working on this painting in the month of January reminded me that I had yet to plant the 500 narcissus bulbs I had purchased months before. I interrupted the work and planted those bulbs and they all came up in the Spring!

 Looking at this page I counted over 82 diminutive characters and wonder how on earth I had the patience to do it. I wouldn't want to paint it again, but the first time it was sheer joy!
My peacocks would fly up on the porch roof and watch me painting through my second story studio window. They would sit there for hours, like me. I like to think they were cheering me onward, but is more likely they were admiring their reflection in the glass.

To be fair, I did not continuously work on the book. But in between the 60 art and book events we participated in, my one focus was "Finish this Book", and that is how I spent most of my "free" time. Realistically, it takes me about 3-4 weeks to complete a piece and with 20 full page illustrations, (that's 2 pages in a book), that still amounts to nearly 2 years of full time book-work.

 It's odd to get up in the morning without thinking," I need to go work on my book".
What on earth will I do with my time now?
WELL, I am going to clean out my poor neglected garden,

Pick up a needle and thread and work on that sampler I started last December,

Go clean out my garden shed,

and put away all the bee keeping supplies. Next year, I WILL have my bees!

I may even have time to read a book!

Or glide down the nearest river

and play my harp under the silver stars... if I can remember how!
Perhaps I'll even get a good nights sleep...
 how sweet that would be.

Oh well, Who am I kidding?! Although this artwork is complete, we have a lot of work yet to do. Completing a book is just the beginning of a very long process. Now we must promote the book at book festivals and library events and art shows.  It will be at least 2 months before I am actually holding  A BOOK in my hands, and then it is a matter of selling books everywhere!

 Sometimes I question my sanity while tirelessly painting away in oblivion on these projects, but then, out of the blue, I get a heartwarming email or a lovely comment that answers that question for me. When a person approaches me at a show, for example. and asks, "Is the new book finished?  We love your books!", I feel so grateful and delighted and thrilled, that  people are actually urging me along, I then realize why I spend 2 years working on these books. And I thank those of you who encourage and appreciated this work!

For now, I'll relax with Dimity Doormouse, sip tea and bask in the satisfaction of a job well done.

   I will continue with the  Hopalong Hollow  Book series. I have a wonderful Christmas story starring a Moose, and a marvelous Cat story as well. BUT I also have dozens of short stories which do not warrant a large book, but rather a Beatrix Potter sized book. Therefore, in between the Big Books, I will be working on a set of "tiny's". That way, at least I will have new literary goodies to offer my very faithful readers, every single year.

on this blog and on my website so that you can order if you so desire.  Realistically, 2 months from now. I wish to thank those of you who followed along towards this journey of completion! You've been more of an inspiration than you know.


  1. Dearest Jeri!!
    How very exciting is your BOOK!! Soon we shall all have one of our very own wonderful copies in our hands, at last !!!

    I am so glad that I am visiting my daughter so I can visit you today from her computer!

    Many many BLESSINGS, Linnie ;-D

  2. Your work is amazing! Thank you so much for sharing such beauty. I would love to order a book!

  3. Hooray for you....that you have finished. And...Wooohooo for us...who have patiently awaited the completion of yet another beautiful book. Cannot wait to purchase this one!! You are amazing, Jeri!!

  4. What a tremendous effort, and what a rewarding completion for you. I hope you are out in the garden enjoying a few well deserved hours of pleasure outdoors.

    This new one is definitely your BEST EVER. We all can't wait to have it in our hands! From your heart to our homes, and sharing with the children we love. You're inspiring, Jeri. Kudos!

  5. Dear, dear Jeri ~ Congrats for finishing your latest sweet book. The details in your books are what make them so enchanting.

    I'm sure you'll find plenty to do there at Hopalong Hollow.

    Love and hugs to you ~ FlowerLady

  6. Always such a good feeling when we finish a long creation.
    I am delighted you have completed your new book and can't wait to have one.
    With our first grandchild now two months old,I can't wait to read to her.

    As a Folk Artist I am well aware of the tiny detail and long hours till a piece is finished.
    So rest well my friend,enjoy your beautiful gardens and special friends,it is a peaceful time for you.
    Hugs Amy Jo

  7. Huge Congrats Jeri on finishing your spectacularly detailed book . I can't wait to have one . It will be on my list most certainly !

  8. Congratulations, you are so talented! I can't wait to get a copy in my hands!

    Enjoy the free time for now . . .until you decide to do it all over.

  9. jeri, Your ability and talent blow me away.. and your dedication to your beautiful book shows how much you care about a job well done. the manner in which you interpret each creature with their own unique details is amazing.. I absolutely love your work! Congratulations!!!

  10. Jeri,
    I am so very happy for you as well as for us (we get to enjoy the outcome). Congratulations. the glimpse you share with us are gorgeous and enticing. As you went back over your years it makes me realize that i met you here in blogland, quite a while ago. Time sure does move on and on.

    we have a huge storm blowing in. it was sunny and calm and now the skies have darkened, trees are bowing to the earth and the heavens are booming. So dramatic!

  11. Congratulations! I can't wait until the new book is out so I can buy one for a special little girl I know :)

  12. Yippeeee!!! Bravo!!!! Happy Bunny Dance!!!! I shall be purchasing your new book as my gift to myself this year! Oh Jeri this is so wonderful. What an incredible journey and how fun that I have been able to enjoy it with you through your blog. I got tears in my eyes thinking of darling Esther. You are such a delight and oh so very talented my friend. I can't wait for your book. Another wonderful addition to my collection of your enchanting work.

  13. Congratulations! Your attention to detail is amazing...your work beautiful. So happy for you. Hugs! Bonnie

  14. Not to make more work for you (yah, right!) but what about a coloring book?? your designs would be so fun (for us adults) to color in!!

    My daughter and i LOVE your critters, so excited to be able to get your book soon!!


    Congratulations my dear friend! I cannot wait for this book to come out.. Thank you for the peek at the pages... Your stories and art are a true gift to others.. Thank you so much Jeri!

    You know, I remember your dear husband making you soup last winter as you worked away... and dear little Esther, I wonder if she will ever return for a visit.. I had never seen anything like that.. You are a magnet for all creatures, big and small.

    I think the ~short stories~ are a grand idea! I must have them all.
    love and blessings,

  16. A pat on the back for a job well done, Jeri! You put so much love and delight into each and every page that I'm amazed it "only" takes two years of art to make a book. Enjoy your well-deserved break in the garden, sewing room, barn, and wherever your heart leads you!

  17. Brava!!! On to the next!
    So happy you will renew your time with "the Sampler"...a good
    pathway to relaxation and creative expression. I finally finished
    my Scherenschnitte embroidery and had it framed....you would be
    proud, dear one. Wish we were not so distanced; we could start a group stitch around with tea and scones afterward...inspiring each
    other on... I cannot imagine you with an idle moment and know you
    will have many a gifted treasure to offer over the horizon now
    that your magnificent No. 3 is complete.... I am speaking at the
    Embroiderers Guild in Sept. on essential needlework books and only
    wish I had a copy of Mamsey's tome to show the ladies; this not-to-be-without example of your exquisite representation of needle art.
    You are a wonder ~~The Grands cannot wait...
    Blessings ~
    Our Mary

    1. Mary, Wish I had a Sample book to send you, but I doubt I'll have them till the end of Sept.

  18. I think that ESTHER wants her name to go on the cover of your book; she argues that she put her beak into your hand and helped you draw.....teeheeee

    JERI LANDERS....your attention to detail is one thing. Your tenacity to remain faithful to this project calls for a celebration that I WISH we could truly have, in person, to meet one another, to raise our cups of tea, juice, lemonade, whatever...to show you how much we ADORE your work. Many congratulations to you my friend, for a job extremely well-done, and done in LOVE. AND....we shall both play our harps, if WE BOTH REMEMBER HOW! I recently got back to mine after about a month hiatus. I was able to play everything well EXCEPT for Bach.....drats! Back to the drawing board, or rather, my music book!

    MUCH LOVE! Anita

  19. Congrats, friend. It is beautiful! Hmmm 2 months-just in time for a Christmas present for a certain little grand princess! Have a great week end!

  20. What an accomplishment! Your characters are so beautifully depicted in those very detailed drawings and paintings...this new book is bound to be a hit with readers of all ages.

    Do enjoy having a bit of well earned rest. Best wishes.

  21. Congratulations on the humongous work on tiny details coming to an end/beginning. I will anxiously be awaiting the time to purchase a copy of your newest for our library. Oma Linda

  22. Dear Jeri,

    Three cheers! We are all so excited, and everyone is calculating if the book will be out in time for Christmas presents. :)

    The artwork is truly amazing; we look forward to seeing everything you have up your sleeve.



  23. I can't wait for the book to be available to buy! I love your illustrations with all their marvelous detail.

  24. Oh Jeri, what can I say but what a wonderful journey you're on...

  25. Well done Jeri, I look forward to purchasing a copy and it will sit here on my bookshelf next to Beatrix. You have created a work of great worth which will be treasured by generations. I wish both you and your book all the very best. xxx

  26. Well, I know what I'm ordering myself for Christmas this year!!! Congratulations, Jeri, on completing the artwork portion of your new book, and very best of luck on the next phase of promotions and sales. I hope you run out and they have to print more!

  27. Oh, I often have LOTR playing or several other movies as well! :) And Jane Austen is a favorite, as always! SO, so beautiful. Do you sell the original paintings after publication?

    1. And I forgot, but I hope it was implied:

      CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!! SO, so so wonderful!

    2. Kyra, I keep all the original artwork from my books because I would hate to break up the "sets". I hope to pass the original art on to my sons one day with each son getting a "book".

  28. I am absolutely blown away by all the detail that you put into each page of your book, or any illustration that you do. You are so talented and dedicated to what you do, that I can just imagine what a thrill it is to wake up each day in Hopalong Hollow! Can't wait for the book to come out, it looks delicious, and your idea for the tiny's is really exciting! Thanks for sharing all of this exciting news with us. Hugs, Judy

  29. How I wish I could jump into one of your books and make friends with all the animals here...and they would like me, give me rides, teach me about their ways, and all would live happily ever after! I MEAN IT!

    JERI DARLIN', how ya doin'

    So great to see you, anytime of the day! And tomorrow is it...I go back to teach two 8th grade classes basic French then one class of high school juniors and seniors who know enough but need practice. I love that I was hired as a teacher who will help beef up the GRAMMATICAL understanding and use of the language, for that is my forte, and I'm pleased as punch!!!!! No more teaching math and science and other stuff in French to fourth graders, though I loved it. But to focus on the language itself is what I enjoy the most, and of course, teaching youth.

    AND THANK YOU for reminding me of your French teacher! I DO NOT even want to come off as some tight-#$%^ teacher who can't enjoy herself! teehehehehehehhehhe


  30. Good afternoon Jeri,
    It is a little difficult to write as Jasper is kicking his bowl for lunch! I told him to wait a moment, but sometimes it is like talking to a wall. teeehee.. So I will be quick...

    It was such a joy to see you had come over to meet Matilda and her little companion.. They were such fun to create.. I am so pleased you enjoyed them.. I hope you are enjoying your weekend..
    Love and blessings to you this fine day!

  31. I am so in awe of your beautiful artwork Jeri! But more than that is the way you bring your sweet little friends to life through the pictures you draw. My hubby was passing by as I was looking at your work and he was also delighted by your artwork. The second thing he said was we have to keep a check on when your book comes out! (we have 2 granddaughters 6&7 that are wee little blooming artists - they sit at our dining room table and draw for hours at a time)
    Thank you for visiting our blog and leaving such a sweet comment. We are following you now so we don't miss a thing going on in the Hollow!! Thank you for bringing such joy to our lives today.

    Blessings, Edie Marie

  32. Many sincere thanks to those of you who have stopped by, I am always honored by your comments and visits! Jeri

  33. Dear Cousin Jeri,

    We love Mamsey's kitchen, speaking of dollhouses, Mamsey's house would make a fantastic dollhouse, with all the little details and delightful furnishings, and she cooks over the fire, too!

    Your paintings have the wonderful ability of being able to look at them again and again and always finding something new!

    As yes, sweet memories of Esther and of little Jemima's arrival and all those wonderful hatchlings! Remembrances of Ezra, too!

    We look forward to the publishing of your newest book! "Mamsey Bear and Mopkin", what an incredible work!

    Your cousins,
    Diane and daughter Sarah and Tillie Tinkham the seamstress mouse at the Corgyncombe Courant

  34. Congratulations on completing your book - your artwork is breathtaking. I spend hours pouring over the pages and see something new every time!

  35. Dear Jeri,

    Congratulations! You must be so happy to have the huge job completed and now wishing you all the very best with all the book signings and marketing.

    Happy weekend and many thanks for visiting me

  36. Jeri,
    Thank you for wandering over again to see Matilda... I am going to miss her.. She has arrived at her new home.. I hope she thinks of me. Yes, your critters are correct, she would eat all the
    corn, and we can't have that!

    My computer is going into the shop tomorrow... Cross your fingers..
    Hope to return soon.

  37. I have said it before, and I will say it...shout it...many times again....you are EXTRAORDINARY, Jeri Landers!! :)))
    Congratulations!! Awe-inspiring, enchanting, magnificent work!! Thank you for sharing the stories of your life along the way....I also peeked at the pages where you take us through the process of the illustrations...fascinating...and I am once again amazed at your patience and genius for detail.
    On my list of to-do's this week...order one of your books....(and greeting cards!)
    Why oh why have I not done this yet?!

    - Irina

    And, I would LOVE Mamsey's story when it comes out...can't wait!

  38. Oh Jeri, your garden is so beautiful and your wattle work exceptional. I love the way you placed the model houses, charming English countryside. How resourceful of you, visiting the Cotswolds via YouTube. Hopefully you can make it there one day and we can share a nice cup of tea.
    Happy Sunday Jeri.


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