Farewell to Opus & Bill – My Personal Heroes!

Taken from one of my favorite strips!

Taken from one of my favorite strips!

I’ve just learned that Berkeley Breathed has retired as a cartoonist (after 30 years in the field) and will be concentrating his career on illustrating children’s books.

There’s a good article on washingtonpost.com with more detailed info about Berkeley’s retirement and career past as cartoonist for “Bloom County” which turned into “Outland” and finally “Opus.”

My dad and I shared a love for Opus & Bill cartoons, as you’ll notice from my small gallery of Opus & Bill sketches. While my dad was working for Wells Fargo on the armored truck, I sketched out a few cartoons for him as gifts per request. It was perhaps my first practice at drawing licensed characters (while in high school).

When I joined the Ornament Team at American Greetings in 1997, I was thrilled to find Opus & Bill on the spreadsheet and jumped at the chance to design ornaments for Berkeley’s beloved characters. It was thrilling for me to see some of Berkeley’s own sketches come through as I collaborated with him (long-distance through Jeffrey Conrad) to develop the ornament designs. I also made it a point to make sure every year he was given his own sample of the finished product for his collection. Working with Berkeley will always be remembered as a special perk!

As Berkeley gives focus to his own pursuits as a book illustrator, I begin my own journey into my dream field of book illustration as well. I’ve been given the ol’ divine kick in the pants into the realm of “Freelancer.”

Hey, Berkeley! Need a second pair of hands?

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“Mister Golden Sun” – Artwork by Rose Fedan

Sun I - by Rose Fedan

Sun I - by Rose Fedan

Rose surprised me over the weekend by drawing pupils and nostrils on her hand-drawn faces. I tried to get her to do it again a couple nights ago, and she went a step further and starting drawing her first sun!

It started with my suggestion to draw arms and legs. She just kept drawing line after line coming out of the head shape. Then she paused and said, “Mommy, that looks like a sun.” When I agreed she continued to finish drawing the lines until her sun was complete.

I was so excited, I asked her to draw another and another. I was so proud!

Rose is three years old.

Frieda Anderson – Quilt Artist

Frieda Anderson - August Afternoon II

Frieda Anderson - August Afternoon II

I stumbled upon this woman’s website on Jenny Rohr’s Craft Therapy page. Wow! What inspiring work. I was working on a mock-up project for Learning Horizons over the weekend which involved fabric and had to dig into my dusty old sewing box. I found some forgotten treasures in there, including some awesome batik fabrics and my first quilt project that I never finished, from years ago.

I’ve been very interested in getting back into sewing again. Top of my wish list for Christmas now is a new or used sewing machine. I don’t think quilting is something I’m ready to delve back into again (too time consuming for me right now). But I do think I’d like to do some small experiments with sewing and materials, making small art projects like ornaments, precious pieces, and ATC cards.