Painting for Baby Ellaria

8:23 PM

The Little Mouse, The Red Ripe Strawberry, and the Big Hungry Bear
acrylic painting on 16x20 canvas

When I was having my first baby, I made him a painting of one of my favorite children's books:
My Father's Dragon. 

I loved books as a kid.  Total bookworm nerd.  My older brother would tease me that I didn't have friends, just books.  I actually do remember reading Matilda while the neighborhood was playing soccer outside my window, I was just to into the story to go play.
Anyway, books were magical and amazing to me as a kid.  I'm excited as a mom to share the stories I love and re-experience all my favorites again with my own kids.
So I guess with the first baby, I started a tradition of making each kid a painting of my favorite children's books.  I hope I can keep it up, so far 2 for 2.  This was high on my "projects before baby born" list because I knew if it wasn't done by the time she's born, it might not ever get done.

With the first painting, it worked well because his room was animal themed.  
Not that it has to match, but I'd picked red and turquoise for this baby and was thinking of red in books when I remembered this favorite:

The Little Mouse, The Red Ripe Strawberry, and the Big Hungry Bear
written and illustrated by Don & Audrey Wood

It was published in 1984, and I first read it in kindergarten.  Or rather, my teacher Mrs. Bingham read it to us.  I have a vivid memory of Mrs. Bingham slowly saying: "red...ripe...strawberry" each time, looking over the top of her glasses at us.  It was intense and I loved it.
I also thought this would be a cute story for a little girl with the mouse and strawberry. 

So here's the beginning: 

I'm so slow, it took me an entire watching of Avatar to do the strawberry plant one night.
(Avatar seems a lot cheesier the second time you watch.  Kind of like Dances With Wolves meets Furngully... I still liked it)

In the few paintings I've made, I usually have a major problem with proportion.  This time it was the mouse door.  It is way too small for the rest of the painting.  I guess the mouse will have to crawl on its belly to get in there.  I did change the color of the door.  It was kind of orange in the book, but I made mine turquoise to match the baby stuff.

One of my favorite things about this book are all the cute expressions in the mouse's face.  I chose one that seemed easier to try to copy.

This is the progress of her little corner.  I have a few more things planned to go on her shelf.

If you have little kids, you may want to check out this book.  My little boy really likes it.


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  1. too many things to comment on-
    1- your kids are going to TREASURE all the awesome pieces you've made for them- the paintings, the quilts. family treasures! lucky ducks.

    2- i was that same bookworm girl. I can remember everyone going to the local roller rink on weekends and i just wanted to finish my Nancy Drew book or reread Narnia. bliss!

    3- that is EXACTLY the way my husband and i described Avitar.

    4- Ellaria's little corner looks beautiful! do you think you'll call her Ella or Ellaria?

    whew! i'm done. sorry for the book :O)

  2. i don't think the door is too small at all - i didn't even notice it until you pointed it out! looks great...what a blessed girl!

  3. Wow! I am sooo impressed! Very cute painting! I loved that book too :)

  4. just precious! One of my favorite children's books too!

  5. I once watched a mouse slip trough a hole that was about a fifth of its size so this shouldn't be a problem at all. :-)
    It's really a beautyful picture, I'm sure your little girl will love it!

  6. This is AMAZING! How talented are you! You could take commissions for something like this...

  7. Wow that is amazing! What a talented girl you are!

  8. What a lovely idea and a lovely painting! I love the Woods' books, so I will have to check this out.

    I would NEVER have noticed the proportion had you not mentioned it!

  9. This was my sister and I's favorite book as kids. Dad would always read it to us, and we LOVED it. I love the re-creation you've made. Your mouse is charming!

  10. We never had this book as a kid, but my aunt did. It was my favorite to read when we would go over there. I need to get it for our family.
    You are so talented! I can't believe you can just sit down and paint that!
    PS - your description of Avatar is perfect!

  11. That was how I described Avatar the FIRST time I saw it.

    But I played "MYST" and "RIVEN" for years, so amazing worlds were nothin' new. ;) Plus Avatar was so blatantly anti-military. GRRRRR.

    CUTE CUTE CUTE book - must look for it for the new granddaughter. (ok, new in a couple of weeks)

  12. It looks great. I am still waiting every day for the lamp shade tutorial...please.

  13. I love the idea of painting of favorite children's books - SO adorable!

  14. I love this book!! You painted one of my favorite pictures in it;) I love how his expressions on his face are always different each time you turn the page:) When I taught in China, I had a little boy who couldn't speak a word of English, but could recite this book to the T, saying RED.....RIPE.....STRAWBERRY, just as I imagine your teacher did:) I wish I were as talented as you so I could do fun things like this for my kiddos!!!!


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