Screen Shot 2014-09-26 at 9.11.26 AM I have two illustrations in this gorgeous new Christmas anthology for young readers. See more details on the Christmas Press Picture Books page… Christmas came early this year!  🎁🎄


Available from Amazon November 1. 2014.

Tagged on Facebook this week by Sophie Masson, co-founder of Christmas Press Picture Books, this is my take on the “Ten Books That Have Stayed With You Since Childhood” post that has been making the rounds. This one is about ten PICTURE books that have stayed with you–whether from childhood or after (as in my case)…

Sad to say, I have no memory of picture books in my childhood, nor of being read to. (Maybe that’s why I love reading them, or any books, to myself now before I fall asleep?) But no picture books that I can recall. There were comic books and some vintage children’s books at the grandparent’s house, and a really dry, encyclopedia-style collection of American folktales at home. Maybe we were into TV cartoons? It’s all a blur…

I didn’t really discover picture books until college. What a revelation they were! You mean artists could do this for a living? (Still working on that part.) It was about the same time that I discovered Cricket Magazine, which featured the best and brightest children’s illustrated books of the day. This was 1980. I discovered row after row of gorgeous picture books in the Humboldt State University library where I was studying Graphic Art. Years before, I’d read my share of Nancy Drew, the Bobbsy Twins and the Black Beauty sagas, (not to mention those comic books—I love the Archie series and Super Heros of every stripe) but to suddenly realize that images could be such a big part of a book was truly a revelation! I was in love…seriously in love.

I discovered the work of Austrian illustrator, Lisbeth Zwerger about the same time too, and those of you familiar with her work will see the influence on my own. My entire 10 Favorite Picture Books list here could be selected from her stellar collection of picture books, which mostly center around classic folk and fairy tales. But to be fair, I’ve included a few of my other favorites (so hard to choose), in no particular order after Lisbeth’s books. All of them combine delightful stories with stunning artwork, which is always the hook for me…

And now to pass the baton on, I’d love to hear what Jeanie Tomanek‘s 10 Favorite Picture Books might be….Jeanie? If you’d like to wade in with your own 10 Favorite Picture Books, you can post them here in the comments, or on my Facebook Page, Susan Sorrell Hill’s Art. I’ll look forward to browsing your list, and maybe discovering some new favorites of my own.  :-)

(A few other posts on that dear subject of books can be found here and here and here.)

Here’s my list:

1. “The Wizard of Oz” by L. Frank Baum, illustrated by Lisbeth Zwerger

2. “Swan Lake” retold and illustrated by Lisbeth Zwerger

3. “The Seven Ravens” by the Brothers Grimm, illustrated by Lisbeth Zwerger

4. “Dwarf Nose” by Wilhelm Hauff, illustrated by Lisbeth Zwerger

5. “The Bearskinner: A Tale of the Brothers Grimm” retold by Laura Amy Schlitz, illustrated by Max Grafe

6. “Mrs. Meyer the Bird” written and illustrated by Wolf Erlbruch

7. “Where the Wild Things Are” written and illustrated by Maurice Sendak

8. “The Velveteen Rabbit” by Margery Williams, illustrated by David Jorgensen

9. “Beauty and the Beast” retold by Max Eilenberg, illustrated by Angela Barrett

10. “No Kiss for Mother” written and illustrated by Tomi Ungerer

News: Zooming in

"Dancing with the Devil"

“Dancing with the Devil”

There’s a new ZOOM feature in the Galleries at www.susansorrellhill.artspan.com  Click on the small blue cross in the top right-hand corner on any Gallery image to see big, beautiful art, “up close and personal.” Thanks for visiting!   (detail) “Dancing with the Devil”    (pen & ink)   See the entire image in the Works on Paper Gallery

Fall 2014 Update: My Artspan shop has closed, but you can still find available original watercolors in my Etsy shop. (see the link in the sidebar). Thanks for visiting!

IMG_2639The Illustration Friday word of the week is metamorphosis.

They say a person’s face becomes the roadmap of where Life’s journey has taken them. Do you sometimes feel as I do, when looking in that not-so-friendly mirror, “What a long, strange trip it’s been…?”


IMG_2638“Untitled”      (pen & ink)

A 1993 commission for the Sutter Center of Progressive Endosurgery of Sacramento, CA. You’ve seen this image posted here before (ages ago) but ’tis the season for Frankenstein…   :-)



Interviews & Links

The Interviews & Links page over at www.susansorrellhill.artspan.com

You know you’ve been curious…

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“The Girl with Silver Hands” in its latest incarnation.

“The Girl with Silver Hands” (a painting inspired by the “Handless Maiden” tale from the Brothers Grimm) is now appearing in its latest incarnation: gracing the cover of the soon-to-be-released scholarly study, Disability, Deformity, and Disease in the Grimms’ Fairy Tales by Ann Schmiesing. The book is published by Wayne State University Press and will be available November 3, 2014 from Amazon. Ann Schmiesing is associate professor of German and Scandinavian literature at the University of Colorado at Boulder and author of Norway’s Christiania Theatre, 1827-1867: From Danish Showhouse to National Stage.

From the publisher:

“Although dozens of disabled characters appear in the Grimms’ Children’s and Household Tales, the issue of disability in their collection has remained largely unexplored by scholars. In Disability, Deformity, and Disease in the Grimms’ Fairy Tales, author Ann Schmiesing analyzes various representations of disability in the tales and also shows how the Grimms’ editing (or “prostheticizing”) of their tales over seven editions significantly influenced portrayals of disability and related manifestations of physical difference, both in many individual tales and in the collection overall.”

From Maria Tatar, John L. Loeb Professor of Germanic Languages and Literatures at Harvard University and author of The Annotated Brothers Grimm (definitely one for the bookshelf if you’re a fairy tale fan):

“…Schmiesing locates the entire question of disability and prosthesis in a fascinating socio-historical context that enriches our understanding of the Grimms’ tales in profound way. It’s as if someone had deftly rotated the critical kaleidoscope of the last decade to create a completely new picture of the cultural stakes in the Grimms’ tales. A breakthrough work for fairy-tale scholarship.”

My personal thanks goes out to the designer, Bryce Schimanski, for a gorgeous design job incorporating one of my favorite watercolor paintings.


SusanSorrellHill“The Girl with Silver Hands” in it’s original incarnation (watercolor, pen & ink) is available as a museum-quality print in several sizes. The original painting is also available. Both can be found in the Watercolor Gallery at www.susansorrellhill.artspan.com.


Good news! In my continuing efforts to get it all (Is that even possible..?) working perfectly, I’ve just re-opened my Artspan.com site which shows, most beautifully, available-for-purchase original watercolors, as well as open-edition, museum-quality giclee prints from much of my watercolor, oil and works on paper archives. Prints are available in a range of sizes, starting at under sixty dollars. A large selection of matting and framing choices are optionally available too. These prints are gorgeous and everyone who’s bought one has been mightily pleased. Please do drop by for an artsy browse: www.susansorrellhill.artspan.com

Fall 2014 Update: My Artspan shop has closed, but you can still find available original watercolors in my Etsy shop. (see the link in the sidebar). Thanks for visiting!


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