Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Hiking in Waterville Valley

I love this two-page spread of the view from Mt. Osceola.  It was a cloudy, cool day when I was there recently.  One comment from a friend was that I captured the temperature of the day.

This was a popular peak that day.  I was most certainly not alone at the top.  I hiked with six friends and four dogs who had all moved on to bag a second peak while I stayed back and sketched.  There was also what seemed to be two boy scout groups and many other pairs and groups of people of all ages hiking through, some from Tripoli Rd. and some from The Kancamagus.  I didn't mind; I don't much enjoy being alone in the woods.  My work drew a lot of attention from other hikers, which is always nice.

I really enjoy working in this horizontal sketchbook.  Landscapes work real well in it, especially from the tops of mountains.

This second sketch was done on a 10 x 10" Arches cold press block.  Also from the peak of Mt. Osceola, it's focus is Lake Winnipesaukee in the distance.

Looking forward to doing a lot more hiking and watercolor sketching from peaks this year!

Friday, May 16, 2014


The Kickstarter campaign for The Worry Tree is Waiting children's book exceeded it's funding goal by 20%!  172 backers produced $6,624.00!  Many friends, family and colleagues pledged but so did many more strangers from within the U.S. and abroad, which tells us that people all over the world can appreciate this kind of story.

I will begin working on the remaining paintings this weekend and will have them to the book designer sometime in June.  She'll create the layout and send that file to the local printer.  The plan is to have the books ready for distribution in September.

What a journey so far.  Now, off to organize my studio and get these paintings done.


Monday, May 5, 2014

Less Than Four Hours To Go!

We are down to just a few hours for The Worry Tree is Waiting campaign!  It's so very exciting and surreal.  Sitting at home alone this evening and imagining just how far this book can go.  Lots to celebrate but still lots to do before the book is complete.  I'll be spending the next two months working on the final paintings.  And mulling over plans to move the book forward after this inaugural printing.

In the meantime, thank you for believing in it, too.  The Worry Tree is Waiting for you.


Sunday, May 4, 2014

Dancing, anyone?

Today's pages represent some fun dancing on a hillside.  Imagine your own music selection and combine it with a warm, sunny afternoon in an open field surrounded by your favorite trees, a light breeze, blue sky, rainbow, butterflies and friends.  Letting go of worries....
p. 13 The Worry Tree is Waiting ©2014 Sandy McDermott

p. 14 The Worry Tree is Waiting ©2014 Sandy McDermott

 I'm doubling up and including the next two-page spread because we are running out of time.  Tomorrow I'll post the final pages.  As a side note, these remaining pages have some very minor tweaks before the final paintings are done.

p. 15 The Worry Tree is Waiting ©2014 Sandy McDermott

p. 16 The Worry Tree is Waiting ©2014 Sandy McDermott
Enjoy your Sunday, everyone!

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Two More Pages to View and only 52 Hours Left to the Campaign

Please enjoy reading/viewing pp 11-12 of The Worry Tree is Waiting.  Our first stretch goal was reached today, over $6000 raised!  Now we can produce an audio book.  With just a little over two days left, we are pushing to reach our second and final stretch goal of $7500.  With that goal met, we can create a website for the book.  That's how much we believe in this project....we see it as a classic with an enduring future with a broad audience.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

PP 7 - 8 Ready for Viewing

Here are today's images from The Worry Tree is Waiting....

p. 7 of The Worry Tree is Waiting ©2014 Sandy McDermott

p. 8 of The Worry Tree is Waiting ©2014 Sandy McDermott
It feels great to have reached this point of success with the Kickstarter campaignOnly four days left though.
Almost all of the art is for sale as part of our various pledges. We are confident this book will go big beyond the Kickstarter campaign so now is your chance to purchase an original children's book illustration that will one day become a classic. I've attached one of the works, the book "logo", for your viewing pleasure. This one is available at the $250 pledge. It's only one of one....an original watercolor by yours truly. Included in that pledge is some great swag and of course the book, too. Don't delay...ONLY FOUR DAYS LEFT!

The Worry Tree is Waiting logo, 8 x 8", watercolor on Arches paper ©2014 Sandy McDermott

Wednesday, April 30, 2014


My Kickstarter project is 106% funded as of this evening!  And we still have five days to go.  Now We are trying to reach our first stretch goal which is to reach $6000 by Friday. If we do, then we can create an audio book. If we reach our second stretch goal of $7500 by closing on May 5, we can create a website for the book with all sorts of cool features. So, to generate a little more interest and buzz around the project I will be posting the remaining pencil drawings, one each day, until we reach those goals. And I've added the finished painting of pp 3-4 here. If you have been procrastinating about pledging, don't wait any longer!

p. 3 The Worry Tree is Waiting ©2014 Sandy McDermott

p. 4 The Worry Tree is Waiting ©2014 Sandy McDermott

Pencil drawing of p. 5 The Worry Tree is Waiting ©2014 Sandy McDermott

Pencil drawing of p. 5 The Worry Tree is Waiting ©2014 Sandy McDermott

Friday, April 18, 2014

Announcing The Worry Tree is Waiting

I am proud to announce that, after 14 months of planning, meeting, researching, sketching and drawing, my children's book project has finally launched on kickstarter.com!  You might already know that kickstarter is a crowd-source funding site for all sorts of creative projects that might otherwise never come to life.  Films, music, technology, services, books, and performance and visual art have all found their way to existence because of kickstarter.com.  I invite you to visit kickstarter.com to view the project and, while you're there, take time to absorb the incredible variety of projects from creative thinkers.  Some will make your jaw drop.  Mine will make you smile, for sure.

Readers of all ages can visit the Great Garden where troubles are eased when placed on the branches of the Worry Tree.

Officially launched on March 28, the first four days drew in nearly 40% of pledges.  Way to kick off the project!  Today we are exactly three weeks in and have seen remarkable and sometimes poignant response.  Over 100 backers have brought in near 90% funding.  A new video was uploaded to the project page just this morning.  Take a moment to visit the page and see what this wonderful and necessary project is all about.  Below is the first completed illustration, pp 1-2:

pp 1-2 of The Worry Tree is Waiting © 2014 Sandy McDermott

Stay tuned for the unveiling of pp 3-4....

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Snowy Owls Aplenty!

Snowy Owls seem to be everywhere this year, as well as Bald Eagles.  I had never seen a snowy owl before this year so set off with my husband in search of some after hearing many reports of sightings. Plum Island is not so far from us and with a little effort we spotted one!

Sitting high up on a snowy dune, the bird was too far away to see really well with my borrowed binocs.  Still, I took a few photos anyway and managed to put together a quick sketch of that sighting.

I followed up with another page of snowy owl sketches.  These were done using the skillful photography of Dave Larson, one of the naturalists at Joppa Flats Education Center in Newburyport, MA.  I love these.

More to come in the near future.  I'll be focused on the children's book for a few days...no snowy owls in that project but some other species will show up on the pages....then turning my attention to writing a grant while the children's book goes live on Kickstarter.  And some classes are coming up, too!  So glad my day job is flexible enough that I can toggle between it and my freelance work.  :-)