Posts Tagged ‘Frenchie’

Christmas is coming, and for those who still love the tradition of sending real, 3-dimensional cards, I have something special for you – my newest Frenchie Christmas card. This is one of the holiday cards now available with complete details in my Etsy shop – JBalsamFrenchieArt – plus sets of blank notecards which would make great gifts. All the artwork and design are my own, the illustrations drawn in colored pencil, occasionally with watercolor, and printed right here in the U.S.A.

If you have a Frenchie, a friend with one, or just want something cute featuring the breed as a gift, stop by and visit my shop. And please, spread the word!

Thanks so much!


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St. Patrick’s Day is almost here, so I thought to draw a little Frenchie all ready for the occasion to share with you French Bulldog  lovers out there.

For everyone who stops by, a short and sweet Irish blessing …

May the blessings of light be upon you,
Light without and light within.
And in all your comings and goings,
May you ever have a kindly greeting
From them you meet along the road.


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Everyone likes to share a little sweetness with someone special at Valentine’s Day. How about sending this adorable Frenchie Valentine?


Check out those just-frosted cookies  – this cute pied Frenchie is. And they’re not just hearts for Valentine’s Day. Why, yes, there are some cookies with rather familiar big ears! And you know what that means. That these blank notecards are not just for Valentine’s Day but for whenever baking cookies is a good time! Yup. ANYtime!

I’ve drawn these new Frenchie notecards in my usual style, but somewhere in between a sketch and a finely detailed colored pencil drawing, all on a nice, recycled matte paper. Blank inside so you can write to your heart’s content and never be out of season.

We all know how digital everything has become nowadays, but I’d like you to take a moment and remember the last time you opened your mailbox and found inside a real, 3-dimensional card from someone in your life. Put a big smile on your face, didn’t it? I know that’s what happens to me. So go old-school and send some smiles to the wonderful people in your life. Better yet, send those smiles with my adorable (if I say so myself) French Bulldog notecards.

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Why, you may ask, are you looking at a pair of feet in (… well, a pretty cute set of) flip-flops?

Here’s why. For the same reason you’re about to look at a yummy summer salad sitting on an antique kitchen chair complete with original milk paint, (which by the way, doesn’t hold up all that well to everyday wear and tear.)


It’s an offering. A little tide-you-over. I’ve been somewhat absent from my blog, but I do think of you, and I do miss the delight of writing more frequent posts, as well as stopping by your blogs. (Just because I don’t follow you or comment doesn’t mean I don’t stop in for a quick peek.)

The last few weeks have included some exciting things – a visit to the Grounds for Sculpture to see the Seward Johnson retrospective before the borrowed pieces return to their permanent spots all over the world on July 1. So much to see, and such genius! I’ll be posting more on that soon. Meanwhile, here’s a little teaser of what’s to come.


Johnson is known for his sculptures of people in everyday life and his 3-dimensional interpretations of famous paintings. Throughout the grounds one finds groupings of people as well as individuals, such as this hot dog vendor along one of the walkways.

And then there was the NJ SCBWI June Conference where we all ate, drank and slept children’s books for nearly two days straight. It’s intense, exciting, rewarding, and based on everyone’s collapse on Monday, a major rush! The workshops, meeting and dining with agents and editors, connecting and re-connecting with fellow writers and illustrators is quite the whirlwind of an experience, and has us all coming home with a renewed sense of purpose, our dreams fired up, and ready to further our goals and experiences in children’s books.

Intermezzo: a French Bulldog illustration of mine, for summer.


And then of course, there’s work. LOTS of work. Not to complain; paying one’s bills is a good thing, but between it all, well, my blog bore the brunt of it. As have my poor LightBetweenOeans-MLStedman2porches which remain bereft of a single flower this year. (I’ll spare you the empty porch photos.) And then there are the everyday demands of just plain life. Busy!

And of course I’ve been reading. I am always reading, no matter what. Great book – just finished – I highly recommend it.

Soon I will share with you some truly amazing treats from the Seward Johnson exhibit.

So stay tuned … I do believe I’m back!

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FrenchieCrocusOne of the tough things about having a blog is that you really do want to keep up with it, and yet sometimes it’s just not on the top of one’s possibility list. Unfortunately, this infuses me with a certain amount of guilt. Things are running through my head constantly that I want to write about – it’s never for lack of subject material – it’s for the luxury of time to write it well and to provide images that you’ll enjoy seeing.

So consider this a teensy tide-me-over and more will be coming soon.

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JBalsam-strangersnowAdorable French Bulldogs are waiting to pick up some envelopes and rush out to your house, just in time to send to family and friends.

These little cuties are on my web site … take a look at the French Bulldog Christmas cards you want to send!

You may also want to consider unique blank notecards featuring French Bulldogs as fabulous gifts for your Frenchie loving friends and family, (or actually just anyone who loves sending an adorable card!)

Note: All illustrations, drawings and photographs are © Jeanne Balsam and may not be reproduced in any format without written permission. Thank you!

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There’s still time to order! If you’re a French Bulldog lover or just want to send out a warm holiday greeting with artwork featuring this adorable breed, take a look at my Frenchie holiday cards. I have several to choose from, all with lovely messages, and the original artwork is, of course, mine.

Or … give a French Bulldog holiday gift! Choose from Frenchies Apres Monet smaller blank note cards, or 5×7″ Frenchies Apres Rousseau blank note cards, Frenchie fairies, and more! Perfect for the French Bulldog lover on your list. Visit my Etsy shop and see!

Note: All illustrations, drawings and photographs are © Jeanne Balsam and may not be reproduced in any format without written permission. Thank you!

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It may be early, but for some of you holiday shoppers, I may be right on time! Looking for Christmas/holiday cards that you won’t see just everywhere?

Come visit my Etsy shop — French Bulldog lovers, if you’ve not stopped in before, you’ll find a card that you will love sending, and your recipients will love to get!

Not involved with Frenchies? No matter – these adorable munchkins will charm just about anyone, (unless you’re a curmudgeon of some sort), plus you may find another type card to please you. These are my early season offerings. Will there be more? You’ll have to check and see!

Note: All illustrations, drawings and photographs are © Jeanne Balsam and may not be reproduced in any format without written permission. Thank you!

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“Are they here yet?”

“No, but they will be real soon.”

“How do you know?”

“Because Jeanne puts them up on her web site every year around this time.”

“But how will we know when?”

“Just check Jeanne’s web site a little later … maybe Wednesday morning.”

“Okay. Am I on one of the cards?”

“You’ll have to wait and see, little one. It won’t be long though!”

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Let me say I’ve always been a draw-it-over-at-that-desk and scan-it-over-at-this-desk kind of gal. I know the use of digital illustration has soared over the last oh-so-many years. But what I still don’t know is how do I feel about it for children’s books? I realize this is a complex question and a pretty big subject. Especially in terms of degree.

This week my drawings were due for Just Frenchies magazine, a quarterly publication that features my artwork/illustration. Although this is generally not detailed illustration work, being more of a spot art nature, I decided I would draw, (at that desk), and then play with it in Photoshop, (at this desk.) As I work in Photoshop daily for my business, I am of the opinion that you could work in it for the rest of your life and still not have scratched the surface.

Anyway, here are 2 samples of very simple illustration play in Photoshop. In each case, I created the sketches in simple pen and ink. I scanned and brought them into Photoshop where I used several tools. First, the paintbrush at a reduced opacity in several colors, then darker shades to create some very simple shadowing. Then I used the burn tool to enrich some of the lines where the painting had washed them out to return the depth, and finally a little brightening and/or contrast.

Then I ventured into the filters and played around with a variety that appealed to me, adjusting them further within each filter. Again, this is pretty basic stuff. I liked 2 different filters for the 2 different drawings and settled on the Fresco filter for the Frenchie profile and the Watercolor filter for the pup sitting.

So what do you think? Like the results? Or do you prefer the original loose, pen and ink sketch?

What do you think about digital art in children’s book illustration? Like it? Prefer hand-drawn?

p.s. Since I wrote this post, I realized the illustrations in one of my favorite picture books are all digital and totally amazing – Pete & Pickles by Berkeley Breathed.

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You don’t have to travel far to let someone know you’re thinking about them, but if you’re going on vacation, why not take a passel of these adorable Frenchie Postcards with you? Or send one “just because.” These are the newest French Bulldog item I’m offering in my Etsy shop, and aside from cute? Very economical!

Check them out on my web site and order some to send today! (These are seasonal items and not available all year `round.)

Note: All illustrations, drawings and photographs are © Jeanne Balsam and may not be reproduced in any format without written permission. Thank you!


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Because French Bulldogs are a main feature on in my shop, and my artwork is featured quarterly in Just Frenchies magazine, many people ask me if I have a Frenchie of my own … they assume I must. The answer is no, not yet. I love the bully breeds, and I love drawing and photographing them, and I’ve become completely enamored with Frenchies over the last 5 years that I have been drawing them. So much so, that a Frenchie is the heroine in more than one of the children’s books I am working on.

But having a dog is a whole lot different than drawing and writing about one. In the 18″ of snow we’ve been hit with here recently … and repeatedly, I vividly recall what it was like not so long ago when I had two dogs, one of whom did not wish to sully her paws in that fluffy white stuff. And that was at 6:30 in the morning.

But that’s only a part of it. Dogs require time … especially a new dog. I will want to do what I always do – walk, socialize, obedience train, play and so on. Although it could change any moment, right now I would find it difficult to commit to the time I know I will give a dog.

And then, there’s kitty politics. Already an uneasy balance exists here – Miss Bossy Boots (Gypsy) spends way too much time scheming of ways to make Mewsette’s life miserable, and it’s not clear what tossing a dog in the mix might do. Although Claude would probably have a new best friend in 3 days. I firmly believe that when I am supposed to have a dog, the one that absolutely must be mine will appear.

So for now I draw. And write.

Featured here are a few more sketches, either in plain old pen, (my absolute favorite, by the way, for writing and general sketching, is Pentel R.S.V.P. Medium. It is one of THE best balanced writing pens on the market – you can feel it when you hold the pen with the cap on the end – just perfect!), and to the right, loose colored pencil. Enjoy.

Order French Bulldog cards and art here!

Note: All illustrations, drawings and photographs are © Jeanne Balsam and may not be reproduced in any format without written permission. Thank you!


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