Conversations with Colleen: Meet Author, Judy Mastrangelo, @JMastrangeloArt
Hello everyone! This week, I’m thrilled to introduce you to an award-winning illustrator and author: Judy Mastrangelo. I asked her to pick three or four questions from my huge list HERE, which she did.
I’ve recently read and highly recommend Judy’s book, “Mystical Fairies.” You can read my review HERE. The illustrations and poetry transported me to another land.
Please meet my guest author, Judy Mastrangelo.
Most of my life I’ve been drawing and painting in all genres, from Realism, to Impressionism and Abstractionism. I paint a wide variety of subjects, but various forms of Fantasy have always been the closest to my heart. This includes my Fairy Tales, Myths, and New Age Art.
All of Nature is alive to me, and I try to show this in my paintings. I love the Greek and Roman Myths in which they personify Spirits of Nature, and so I enjoy painting Deities of Trees, Water, Earth, Air, Gods and Goddesses, etc.
I have always been inspired by great artists throughout history and regard them as my teachers. Some of my favorites are those of the Italian Renaissance, the Pre- Raphealites (I like John W. Waterhouse the most), and the Hudson River School of Landscape Painters.
Maxfield Parrish is my favorite illustrator, and I feel that Sir Joseph Noel Paton is one of the greatest Fairy Artists. In my small way, I also enjoy continuing in the tradition of Beatrix Potter with her little animal people, and Cicely M. Barker with her lovely Flower Fairies.
I live happily with my Soul Mate and Husband Michael, a true Renaissance Man, who is a great inspiration to me. We live in a timeless Land of old-fashioned houses and gardens on the edge of a Mystic Woods, with trees that Arthur Rackham would have loved to paint.
I’ve taught Art, Modern Dance and Classical Ballet, and Drama to adults and children. I also created a Community Theatre Group, presenting classical literature, including Fairy Tales and Shakespeare, on stage. I have decided not to teach anymore and to devote myself solely to my Art Work. I always have been fascinated with the gracefulness of dancers and often ask them to be models for my paintings.
My Art has been licensed in many fields, such as for prints and posters, wall coverings, puzzles, calendars, greeting cards, and embroidery kits, etc.
I’ve illustrated several children’s books, including “Antique Fairy Tales”, “The Sandman and Other Sleepy Time Rhymes”, “Tales of Shakespeare”, and “Pollyanna.”
I both wrote and illustrated my book “What Do Bunnies Do All Day?”, published by Ideals. Currently, I am writing and illustrating several new books on Fairies, Elves, Angels, etc.
I daydream about my paintings for a while before putting them on canvas. This preliminary technique of “Mind Painting” helps me to develop an imaginative work of art.Judy Mastrangelo – Amazon Author Page
Hi, Judy! Thanks for coming by to share your lovely fairy illustrations and books with us!
Hello. Thanks for the invite. I’m glad to be here.
Your book covers are works of art! What did you want to become when you were a child?
Ever since I was a child, I wanted to be a graphic artist. The world was a magical and inspiring place for me then, and it still remains so now that I’m an adult. I wanted to paint the lovely faces I saw in flowers, the sparkling morning dew in the grass, and clouds reflecting the glorious colors of twilight.
Animals have always had fascinating and unique personalities to me. And within my colorful imagination, my fellow humans seemed to evolve into gods, goddesses, and any number of otherworldly spirits. So in a few words, the World was and still is my inspiration for my imaginative fantasy artwork that I love to depict in my paintings.
Even as a youngster, I would develop my art first in my mind as a picture rather than doing preliminary sketches. Later on, as a grownup, I came to term this method “MIND PAINTING”.
I always have an idea of what I want to create before I begin a project. I use my method of “MIND PAINTING” in which I conceive of ideas and accompanying paintings in my mind as one total vision before I start. It’s an exciting way to create, and I’m sure many other authors and Illustrators do the same.
Another term that can be used for this method would be “inspiration”. I don’t really labor over trying to think of an idea. Concepts just come to me as “Visions”, and I dearly welcome them all gratefully.
What I wanted to become when I was a girl was a “Painter of Visions and Words”, and that is still my goal. It is my spiritual passion.
As I “daydream” about my “Visions” that I want to put on canvas, I often create words to go hand in hand with these images. The creation of this form of “mixed media art” has been a great delight for me throughout my lifetime. It has developed into books that I both write and illustrate, combining my love for the visual images, and the written word.
I find the mixture of words and images very exciting.
I suppose it harkens back to our experiences when we were young and the wonderful feelings we first had when visiting the Magical Land of Books. It is similar to watching a movie that we love. And yet reading a book is different in that we can add our own personal images and feelings to it in addition to the accompanying illustrations in a book or film.
Entering into the exciting world of literature is a wonderful escape from our everyday world. It gives us the opportunity to experience many adventures and to identify with various characters, which we wouldn’t normally have to the opportunity to do. This art form is very fulfilling, as is all art in general.
Judy, where do you find your inspiration?
I love many forms of the Fine Arts, which constantly give me great inspiration. These include music, dance, drama, literature, and painting. I deeply feel that the great Artists of the past and present are wonderful beacons of light to Humankind to help guide us in striving toward our greatest potentials.
I feel mostly inspired by the realm of Fantasy Art, in particular the world of Elves, Fairies, and a myriad of Nature Spirits. All of Nature itself is “alive” to me, and I feel its “Soul” everywhere: within the Trees, Flowers, Mountains, Clouds, and Animals. I am constantly amazed by the Beauty and Spirituality of the World around me, and I yearn to depict it in my Art.
Can you tell us about your current projects?
I’m currently working on an original Fairy Tale involving one of my favorite themes: the World of Elves and Fairies. It’s a fantasy story about many Magical creatures, such as personified and whimsical little animals that I’m also very fond of depicting. It’s a joy to illustrate this tale with colorful and imaginative paintings.
I’ve always had a deep love for the great Artists of the “GOLDEN AGE OF ILLUSTRATION”, who were at their height from 1850 to 1925, such as Maxfield Parrish, N. C. Wyeth, Beatrix Potter, and Cecily Mary Barker etc.
They were classically trained, had tremendous skill, and their artwork still is extremely appealing to all ages today. I’ve always been influenced by this type of artwork, and try to follow in the best way I can, to develop along the same lines. I have a tremendous desire to carry on in their genre.
I too have studied fine art techniques from the great Masters of the past such as these talented artists did, and I try my best to develop paintings that are well done. I do appreciate the art of cartooning, which I know many children’s book illustrations are today. But I’ve chosen to continue following in the steps of the great Golden Age Illustrators, since I love it so much, and prefer that style over others for myself.
I feel a tremendous attachment to these classic children’s book illustrators. It’s as if I am part of their circle – that I knew them personally and lived in their era, even though I live in a later age. Their art is eternal, and I study it often.
I know my artwork is different from many of these Artists of the Golden Age. One of my favorites is Maxfield Parrish. But I know that my paintings are of a “softer and more feminine” style than his.
My work has been described as both “sweet and childlike”, and that I excel in painting “lovely children and adorable animals.” I’m always honored when I receive this type of compliment. When people say this about my work, I feel successful in my intentions. We all have our own niche that we try to find, and I feel very comfortable in mine.
I also have a deep love for classic children’s book design. And so I enjoy designing my books with decorative borders etc., in order to make it appear like an “old-fashioned storybook”.
I’m also very excited to have been given the opportunity to both write the text, and illustrate my own original “Inspirational Oracle Card Deck.”
This is a set of 50 cards with my Artwork, plus a Guidebook which will be published by “RED FEATHER MIND BODY SPIRIT”, a division of Schiffer Publishing company. I’m having a wonderful time writing the text for it as well. It will be on the market in 2020.
I can’t wait to see your Oracle deck, Judy! Tell us a little about your current books.
I have quite a few books in paperback on the market now, and Kindle ebooks. They are published by “Imagination Books,” a division of “Dusty Saddle Publishing.”
I’m developing a series I call “Come Play With Me” books. The first book in this series is called, THE STAR, which illustrates the entire famous TWINKLE TWINKLE LITTLE STAR poem, written by Jane Taylor.
In it, I’ve depicted her delightful poem in paintings as a fantasy adventure full of imaginary characters. These include a whimsical Man in the Moon, and Little Twinkle Star, plus some sweet costumed animals, all playing in a dreamy starlit sky.
Two other books in this series center around a little bunny: The first one, entitled WHAT DO BUNNIES DO ALL DAY? is my original story of a young bunny’s first adventure in his quest to discover the world around him.
I’ve also done a companion book called LEARN TO DRAW BUNNY AND HIS FRIENDS. In this book, I show easy and fun ways to learn to draw Little Bunny’s Animal and Flower Friends that he met in my story about his adventure.
My “Come Play With Me” paperback book series gives readers illustrated storybooks in full color, plus some delightful interactive bonus pages. They include fun-filled things, such as How to Draw pages, coloring pages, and recipes, etc.
I’m also excited that my two books are coming out in a new format. “THE STAR”, and “What Do Bunnies Do All Day?” can now be listened to and enjoyed as stand-alone audiobooks.
In THE STAR audiobook, the song “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” is beautifully sung by “The Fairy Queen,” and my Bunny Book is also narrated in a lovely delightful way.
They are also available as Ebooks in Kindle and as paperback books. It will be fun listening to the audiobooks and reading the Kindle ebooks or paperbacks at the same time.
Now, people can enjoy these books together for the full audio-visual experience! I think the concept of an audiobook makes the story really come alive, and will draw people into it, as well as looking at the accompanying illustrations.
How to connect with the author
Facebook Author Page at Judy Mastrangelo: https://www.facebook.com/judy.mastrangelo.9
Amazon Author Page USA: https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B001KI3S1Y
Amazon Author Page UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/l/B001KI3S1Y?
Dusty Saddle Publishing: http://www.dspublishingnetwork.com/imagination-books/
Thank you for stopping by to meet Judy Mastrangelo. Remember, books make for good retail therapy!