Friday, December 26, 2008


Excerpted from Somewhere in These Days of Morning
©2008 Bonny Belgum

I hope you all are in the middle of happy holidays. It's been a while since I've posted, that's because I've been busy holiday-ing. But here's another chapter for the collaborative book Somewhere in These Days of Morning, written the fabulous Bonny Belgum and illustrated by me. If you would like to read the entire chapter (it's short and sweet, two whole paragraphs), you can check it out here.

Monday, December 8, 2008


Blurry? Fuzzy? It's similar, but not quite the same. Blurry is more......slippery and smooth sounding. And fuzzy has a more textural connotation, don't you think? This collage is another illustration in the upcoming book collaboration, Somewhere in These Days of Morning, written by Bonny Belgum
and illustrated by myself. You may have seen it previously in this blog as That's the kind of person she is, but that was merely a working title. Eventually Bonny felt this title WASN'T working, and this beautiful title came to mind. I love the dual interpretations of morning/mourning and days and morning. Bonny makes words sing.
If you'd like to read the chapter in it's entirety (it's very short, only two paragraphs), go here.

Monday, November 24, 2008


Original sketch



Here's the latest cover for Minnesota Medicine. The theme of the featured article was the increasing burnout in physicians, and the renewal of energy and insight that the Bush Foundation medical grants provide them. Since I couldn't find a giant hamster wheel, nor convince any models to dress up as doctors and run around in it, I had to invent the whole darn thing in Photoshop. Phew, that was a job, but really fun!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Moving too fast

Time is just flying by - I can't seem to keep up with myself. I just finished another cover for the wonderful people at Local Design Group, a big thank you to Janna and Carmen! I will post it soon. Meanwhile, my task for today is to figure out how to unclutter my work space. I need more room, I'm starting to go crazy with all the scraps of paper about, files stacked here, books stacked there, dried up paint tubes reminding me to restock. I have this impulse to take my arm and just whoosh it across the drawing table and knock everything onto the floor and then kick it all out the door. Give me room, give me the wide open spaces, I sound like a cowgirl, just give me a horse and I'll ride off into the sunset. Does this sound like someone who needs a little more free time rather than a little more space? Hmmmmm. Maybe I'll just go see a matinee instead. You are reading the thought processes of a procrastinator.

Saturday, November 15, 2008




It's been a while since I submitted something to the Illustration Friday website, but I've been working on several assignments. Here's a collage that fits this week's theme just perfectly. Who is a better master at pretending than a little boy? Perhaps a little girl? The secret lives we create as kids are the scrap files of the future artist.

Friday, November 14, 2008


If anyone out there is thinking about moving to Minnesota, STOP! Don't do it! Get a grip! This is the state that the sun forgot. I moved here from sunny California, where every day was 72 degrees and the sun shown so fiercely that babies were born wearing sunglasses. Can you imagine the shock of ending up here? There is only one other state that has fewer sunny days than here, but I can't remember which one. I do remember that when I moved here, the chamber of commerce sent me a welcome brochure. Inside I found pretty pictures of people skiing and a fact (this is a true fact, in case you think there are other types) that went like this: "There is only one other place in the world where such wide swings in weather extremes are experienced, and that is Siberia." No wonder they wait until people move here to send out that brochure.

And so welcome to November, National Gloom Month.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Carry Your Heart

It's Monday, and here's a poem to accompany you through the week. It's by ee cummings.

i carry your heart with me

i carry your heart
with me(i carry it in
my heart)i am never
without it(anywhere
i go you go, my dear;
and whatever is done
by only me is your
doing,my darling)
i fear
no fate(for you are my
fate,my sweet)i want
no world,my
and it's you are
whatever a moon has
always meant
and whatever a sun
will always sing is you

here is the deepest
secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the
root and the bud of the
and the sky of the sky
of a tree called
life;which grows
higher than the soul
can hope or mind can
and this is the wonder
that's keeping the stars

i carry our heart(i
carry it in my heart)

ee cummings

(and yes, I checked and rechecked the spelling and punctuation and this is just as ee wrote it!)

I absolutely love this poem.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Short & Sweet

I don't know what I like most about collecting vintage postcards to use in my work. Is it the imagery, or is it the writing on the back? I am fascinated with the opportunity to peek into the lives and thoughts of people who lived so long ago. Here's a card depicting one of my town's landmarks, Minnehaha Falls. It's dated 1942, and a woman wrote the following on the back:

"Dear Mother,

It is Wednesday and I am very surprised. Everything is fine here.

Your daughter"

That's it! Oh, wait. There's more under her signature.

"If I have received any mail open and send it to me. Hope you are well mother dear. If you don't answer Welcome home."

Short and sweet. And mysterious....

Friday, October 24, 2008

Bird Girl

My next collage will feature this little lass. What struck me when I saw this photo in a a thrift store bin (without the bird and background) was the necklace. Some proud mama dressed her baby up in her finest clothes and jewelry so that that moment, nearly 100 years ago, would be captured and treasured in memory forever. And so it will be!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Stanford Social Innovation Review

Here's the final illustration, composed of the elements shown previously in progress. The lobbyists were toned down in monochromatic brush strokes to give them a more non-real appearance. And just for fun, check out the pink Caddy below. This is a reference to Mary Kay, who used to give away pink Cadillac convertibles to her hard-working employees as sales incentives. I'll go for that!

Sunday, September 28, 2008


--excerpted from Somewhere in These Days of Morning
©2008 Bonny Belgum/Andrée Tracey

Monday through Friday, the days are just packed.

Another illustration for the upcoming book Somewhere in These Days of Morning, written by Bonny Belgum and illustrated by little ole me. Author Bonny's just-published book Cut the Woman Some Slacks! was #25 on's list of new humor essay books today - yaaaay! You can visit her website for more juicy details.

Meanwhile, here's the illustrated chapter in its entirety excerpted from our collaborative venture mentioned above.

Flags are flying, people are marching in a row.

It's a business army, storming a high-rise, expertly trained in death of the spirit. Orders: Shoot to kill. There is a massacre every day, and these living dead sense nothing except fear of reprisal. They fall in step. She knows the tree frog sees this and peps in horror. She loves the tree frog for pepping. His pep can melt a building. So it should.

©2008 Bonny Belgum

OK everybody, put on your shoes now and head for your cubicle.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

September Cover

Another fun assignment from the Local Design Group!

It was so timely, too. Ironically, I had just taken my dad to his doctor the previous week, and I brought along all the old prescription bottles and tubes he had collected, all of them with remaining drugs in them. I didn't want to throw them in the trash, and I assumed that a doctor's office would have some way of disposing of them properly. Silly me! When I asked at the doctor's reception desk how they disposed of old drugs, they shrugged their shoulders and said, "We just throw them in the trash!"

So much for environmental responsibility!

So I was delighted to see this topic addressed in Minnesota Medicine, and loved working on the assignment.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Bonny's Reading

My zany friend and partner in collaboration Bonny Belgum will be reading from her just-published book Cut the Woman Some Slacks! next week so get out your calendars and write this down! Bonny's book was ranked #34 by Amazon last week on the Hot New Releases list for essay books. I can see why - this collection of humorous and satirical essays will make you laugh and at the same time, reconsider how you view everything in life, from the mundane to the profound. The BOOK is on and the READING is September 25th at 7:00 pm at Amazon Bookstore , the oldest independent feminist bookstore in North America (right here in Minneapolis!), and I'LL BE THERE SO WHY DON'T YOU JOIN US????

For more information, chuckles, links, directions, pictures, prose, excerpts and everything you wanted to know but couldn't think to ask, check out her website:

Let's hope she wears those ever so proper pearls.

Sunday, September 14, 2008


--excerpted from Somewhere in These Days of Morning ©2008 Bonny Belgum/Andrée Tracey

Yes, September is an island. You probably never thought about that, did you. After you read the upcoming book, Somewhere in These Days of Morning, written by Bonny Belgum and illustrated by yours truly, all sorts of interesting thoughts will dance in your head. Stay tuned for more illustrated chapters, and dust off your mental dancing shoes.

Saturday, September 6, 2008


Her house was filled with clutter, but it was no match for her mind!

This is another page in the collaborative venture with the witty writer Bonny Belgum. Her soon- to-be available book Somewhere in These Days of Morninghas been a perfect canvas for my artwork, since it appears our creative thoughts are running in tandem.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Summer's End?

This is Leonard, my garden cat. He normally sits in the garden on his little stand, offering bird seed for any takers. I set him on a fence post today, to offer up another plea. It is September and I'm not ready for Fall, even though it is such a beautiful season. But after Fall comes Winter - booooooooooo! I just can't face the thought of Winter. So can we have an extension please, just a little more summer?

Saturday, August 30, 2008


Here's another contribution to the upcoming book, Somewhere in These Days of Morning by Bonny Belgum. Collaborating with Bonny on her book is such a treat, because my peculiar illustrations seem to fit her peculiar style of writing, and when a peculiar visual artist meets a peculiar writer - well, it's MAGIC! And you as a reader don't have to go to all the trouble of being peculiar, we will do it for you. All you have to do is come along for the ride - and it will be an adventure! You will look at your world a little differently - it will be a wider, wilder world , infinitely more interesting for the reading.

The chapter that follows spoke to me of memories that we all carry with us in our ancestral history, in our scrapbooks of our cultural heritage, in our DNA. Our pasts are a jungle filled with improvisations and mistakes and fleeting joys. We can't see the future, and if we are lucky or have lots of therapy, we don't care if we crash, because we know the landing is not that bad and we'll be in the company of so many who have crashed before us. It's a chapter filled with optimism. One of the advantages of a winter in our life is that we can see the world more clearly without those beautiful leaves getting in our way.

The chapter in its entirety:

She hears all the bird's songs, from all over the world, at once.

The voices from the jungle sound the most familiar. She may have lived there from before time. The birds where she stands, the birds she can see with our human eyes, are the most muted in the chorus. The jungle birds, the loudest, like to improvise. This is strange for a bird. You must trust your call as you trust your wings. The jungle birds don't care if no one answers, don't care if they crash down out of the sky. The jungle bed is thick and comfortable and never lonely.

The muted birds seem happiest on bare twigs, where you can see through the tree. They dread the coming of spring and new life. It plunges them into confusion until far away when the leaves fall and they regain control.

-excerpted from Somewhere in These Days of Morning by
Bonny Belgum, copyright 2008

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Creativity expectations

I found this great article on a great website, so here's a link to them both...

First is Penelope Dullaghan's website. Penelope is a fabulous illustrator, the creator of the Illustration Friday phenomenon, and her website in a creative endeavor in itself. Check it out!

Within her posting was a reference to the following article which I identified with, especially lately. Being creative is not easy sometimes, even though it may be your calling. There are many roadblocks and hurdles, and most of them set up by yourself. This article was very insightful: HOW Design - Free Your Creativity: Overcome Unhealthy Expectations

Wednesday, August 27, 2008


Here's another illustration that will appear in the soon to-be-published Somewhere in These Days of Morning by Bonny Belgum. This imaginative collection of thoughts will gently take your mind's hand and lead you down the road into some pretty funny, bizarre and entertaining mental countryside! A modern day Alice in Wonderland for grownups. And I thought this image would satisfy this week's theme of "routine".

Here's the chapter in its entirety:

Cooking takes up most of her time

because she only uses her left hand, and she is right-handed. This handedness does not change after years in the kitchen, because she does everything else right-handed. The food tastes better, though. Considerably so. The left hand has a far greater appetite, inspiring subtle influences of spice and heat for which the right hand has no patience.

- excerpted from Somewhere in These Days of Morning by Bonny Belgum copyright 2008

You can say hi to Bonny on her website: Say hi for me, too, OK?

Saturday, August 23, 2008


I know, I know. It's been a long time since I posted. I'm busy cooking up something for you.

Meanwhile, here's one of my favorite quotes about creativity and initiative, by Goethe:

"Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation) there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, their providence moves, too.

All sorts of things occur that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one's favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no (human) could have dreamed would come his way".

I believe this thought to be true since it has happened in my life so many times.

So if you're attempting to start something new, explore a different path, or jumping off the diving board of certainty into the unknown, take heart!

Saturday, August 16, 2008


Portfolio - Children

"Smell the Flowers"

"Carry Your Heart 2"

"He Rocked The World"

"Lila and Queenie"

"Top of the World"


"Air Show"


"Mushroom Girl"

"Flamingo Girl"

"Rocket Girl"

"Rocket Boy"

"It Could Be Me"

"Bird Songs"

"She Loved to Travel"

"Carry Your Heart"



"Cowgirls on Vacation"

"Driven Mad By Love"

"The Artist"


"The Writer"


"Nice Girls"

"Wilson Quarterly"


"The Cold"

"Holiday Greetings"

"Thought Patterns"

"Out of the Cave"

"Devastating Charm"


MN Medicine Magazine cover - July 2009
Featured articles: Annual Writing contest results

"Hotel Rapid Deterioration"


"The Road To Love"

"Dog Waiting for the Bus in Roswell, New Mexico"

"MN Medicine" Cover - May 2009 Feature Article:
"Integrative Medicine"

MN Medicine Cover - Dec. 2008 Feature Article:
"Burnout and the Bush Medical Fellowship"

MN Medicine Cover - September 2008 Feature Article:
"The Complexities of Getting Rid of Medical Trash"

MN Medicine Cover - July 2008 Feature Article:
"Word Power"

MN Medicine Cover - May 2008

Stanford Social Innovation Review feature article: "Corporate Lobbying for Good"

"The Outing"


"That Hotel of Her Youthful Debaucheries"

"Save Me"


"Pink Slip"




TEXT: Bonny Belgum ©2008

"Never No Thoughts"
TEXT: Bonny Belgum ©2008

"Flags are Flying"
TEXT: Bonny Belgum ©2008

"Prescription Eyeglasses"
TEXT: Bonny Belgum ©2008


"Yesterday's Flower"

"Yesterday's Flower 2"