Second Story Press commissioned me to illustrate the cover of A Cage Without Bars, a middle grade historical novel by Toronto author, Anne Dublin. It tells the tragic story of enslaved Spanish Jewish children on the island of Sao Tome in 1492. An inspiring read for all ages!
An interest in Revolutionary and Napoleonic France propelled me to explore the lives of influential women from the period. I developed an interest in the fascinating life of Josephine Bonaparte and have written and illustrated a graphic novel about her journey from a plantation in Martinique, through the Terror to become Empress of France. The rough dummy is complete and a few pieces of final art, including this scene of a Victims’ Ball. Legend has it that after the Terror victims gathered to dance wildly as a release from the horrors they had experienced under the Jacobins. Women and men sheared their hair at the nape of the neck where the guillotine blade would have fallen. Women purportedly wore red chokers for the same reason. The historical accuracy of these accounts is contentious but it makes for an interesting story.
Franciscan Media commissioned me to illustrate the story, Forgotten Women of the New Testament, for St. Anthony Messenger magazine. I love this business because I learn something new everyday! I am a big fan of medieval art and enjoy illustrating saints and religious icons. My linocut technique seems a good fit for these kinds of stories and I am inspired by historical accounts of intrepid women who pushed through societal limitations to change the world.
I was commissioned by Andrew Perro Design to create a mockup for a Canada Post stamp. To illustrate this portrait of Mathieu Da Costa, the first black man to visit Canada in the early 1600s, I researched his life as a free African employed as a translator by French traders and explorers. Da Costa spoke French, Dutch, Portuguese and possibly some North American aboriginal languages. My interpretation of Mathieu is a hand-carved linocut with digital color.