Guest Post & Giveaway: Sarah Frances Hardy on Paint Me!

By Sarah Frances Hardy

Paint Me! (Sky Pony Press, 2014) is about a little girl who begins the day painting a portrait of her dog, but she quickly discovers the joy of colors and lots of messy paint.

At the end of the day, all is well after a bath and goodnight kiss.

It’s for preschoolers and toddlers who are beginning to learn their colors. And since it finishes as a bedtime story, it’s a good one to read to wound-up kids at night to get them to settle in and go to sleep.

Here’s the blurb from my publisher:

Red, blue, and yellow are just the tip of the iceberg when you have a good imagination. 

In this colorfully illustrated story, a young girl makes her way through the day–first painting a portrait of her dog, and then painting anything and everything she can find. 

With a simple, affectionate plot that teaches colors and embraces the “creative process” for many kids, Paint Me! offers a message of love and discovery.

Don’t miss Sarah’s previous book!

This book is special to me for so many reasons. First of all, when I was a toddler, I was the little girl in the book. I tended to get carried away whenever I started any art project, and I never let neatness get in the way of creativity.

Also, just like the mom in the book, my mom kept me supplied with lots of paint, and she didn’t get too upset when I was overly expressive!

In fact, I dedicated the book to her because she spent a lot of time cleaning up my spilled paint (or sending me outside to work on projects!).

And since I identified so strongly with the little girl in the book, I decided to add my childhood dog Tam the schnauzer as a main character.

He lived to be seventeen years old, so he was around throughout most of my childhood. I loved being able to bring him back in my book.

Here he is on the title page!

Another reason that I love this book so much is that I had such a wonderful time doing the artwork. It’s not every day that I get to channel my inner Jackson Pollock and sling paint! It’s very therapeutic.

This is my favorite spread! When my daughter saw it, she said that it reminded her of when you play in the sprinkler and see rainbows in the water. What a wonderful image! “Like playing in the sprinkler with paint!”

And speaking of slinging paint …. I am fortunate enough to have a “room of my own” just off our garage. When we were working on our house, I decided to make a studio across the back of the garage where most people have a storage room. My space is small, but it works just fine. Having a dedicated work space where I can leave out my work (and yes, get a little messy) is heaven.

My art desk was my fifteenth birthday gift. I’ve got an easel set up behind it as well as my computer and scanner. I still do artwork the old-fashioned way–with paint on paper–but with this book, I scanned in the images and edited them using photoshop.

Working this way, I felt like I could be even more creative because I knew I could easily fix a mistake digitally without having to redo an entire painting. It allows me to do a little more playful experimentation.

These days, as well as traveling to schools and bookstores to promote Paint Me!, I’m busy working on the final artwork for my next release from Sky Pony called Dress Me! It’s about a little girl who tries on lots of different outfits (and personalities) until she finds just the right one. Look for it in the spring of 2015.

Cynsational Giveaway

Enter to win a signed copy of Paint Me! by Sarah Frances Hardy (Sky Pony, 2014). Author-illustrator sponsored. Eligibility: U.S.

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6 thoughts on “Guest Post & Giveaway: Sarah Frances Hardy on Paint Me!

  1. Hi, Sarah! (and Cynthia πŸ™‚ )

    I've seen this book reviewed and it looks adorable—so "fun"! And I love your little studio workspace. I sincerely wish I had one. I think we all dream about that "don't have to put things away" space that doesn't interfere with the goings on of everyday life. So glad you made it work, though I don't see a window and wonder how you breathe!

    I see you gave in to use Photoshop, which is something I know I'll have to do. I'm curious if you took a course and if you have a Cintiq tablet. πŸ™‚

    Great interview! Thanks, gals πŸ™‚

  2. I love the painting in the sprinkler rainbow spread! Also the general enthusiasm in this book. So much fun. Also happy to know about the new book… who doesn't love to dress up and try on new looks?? Excited for you Sarah Frances! Thanks, Cyn.

  3. Thanks for sharing the story behind how this book came to be. It sounds perfect for my preschooler and looks perfect too. Such happy illustrations.

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