Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Texas book signing for COWBOYS

Well, the visit to Texas was great, I got to meet some folks from one of my publishers and I was happy to spend a bit more time with David Harrison, the author and writer for the Pirates and Cowboys books. We signed a ton of books and had a great time, met some interesting characters and came home save and sound, not bad for small town boy. Here is a photo of David and  Me ( I'm on the left) and one of the wondering characters who stopped by our booth. Well, back to work on the next book, this one is another Christmas book, I'll share images soon.

Monday, April 9, 2012


Here are a couple of reviews of the "COWBOYS" book. Reviews are scary. I worry about a bad review. What if the reviewers don't like the illustrations, or say something about my technique that is painful to read... oh well, after all these years I've come to realize that not everybody is going to like what I do, thats ok. I try to make paintings that I like, that's all I can do, if they like it, great, if not, well I guess I'll try to do better the next time, if there is a next time. These reviews aren't too bad, I think they like the paintings but I'm not completely sure.
Here are the reviews:
Publisher’s Weekly
“In a companion to Harrison and Burr’s Pirates (2008), first-person poems from the perspectives of several cowboys create a candid portrait of life out west, following a cattle drive along the Chisholm Trail. Harrison’s work includes traveling songs with a lullaby lilt (“One thousand miles/ of burnin’ sun,/ swollen rivers,/ stampedes, wolves/ three thousand cows,/ fifteen men,/ one thousand miles to go”) and upbeat poems in peppery dialect: “Ha!/ My granny’s quicker’n you/ and she’s eighty!/ Reckon that grizz’d/ be pickin’ his teeth by now.” Burr’s dramatically lit, realistic digital artwork nails the determined expressions of hard-working cowboys while creating a character in the sweeping prairie landscape. Readers who long to ride and wrangle should be entranced.”

Kirkus Review
“Free-verse cowpoke ruminations on the trail to Abilene, with paintings of long-horned dogies and grizzled riders beneath big skies. Saddle up, pardner, leave the bunkhouse (where "[bugs gnaw plugs right outta your hide") behind and look fer dusty days, freezing nights, rattlers, storms and meal after meal of beef and beans from Cookie. Harking back to cattle drives of yesteryear, Burr portrays leather-skinned figures with near-photographic realism. "You need sand in your gizzard / to wrangle wild cows, / chaps for fendin' off thorns / or horses with a taste / for cowpoke leg." They pose in full regalia, branding a calf, mending barbed wire, gazing up at the stars, trying desperately to stay on horseback amid a stampede, lazing around the chuck wagon, riding at last into town and ruefully bidding hard-earned wages goodbye at a poker table. Two saloon floozies at the end, a dark-skinned trailhand ("I'm on a journey of my own / figuring how it feels / to be free") and a spirited filly in blue jeans left back at the ranch to fulminate are the only ones here who aren't typecast Marlboro Men. So git along, there, anyone with a mind to share cowboy dreams in romanticized, Old West style.”


COWBOYS is out. Some reviews are in and one interview has been done. Sylvia Vardell's blog, "Poetry for Children" has an interview with me this morning about "Cowboys". It's always interesting writing about the process of creating a book, in this case collaborating with David Harrison again. If you scroll down on her site you can read David's interview from yesterday. I'm not a writer ( I'm sure you've noticed) so to verbalize what I do is sometimes difficult, the process of my daily life as an illustrator becomes intuitive after 23 years of doing it and I guess I really don't think too much about it anymore. So it's nice to be asked specific questions that I have to think about, and then try to come up with intelligent answers that are somewhat coherent. I appreciate any opportunity that comes my way to promote the projects I work on and this Sylvia's blog interview is a big one. If your interested in reading the interview you can click here to go to Sylvia's site. If your interested in buying a couple dozen copies of the book for everyone you know, you can click here. Thanks again for visiting, your interest in my work is humbly appreciated.
thanks again,