ASTRID SHECKELS

fine art & illustration



ASTRID SHECKELS

fine art & illustration

 

ABOUT ASTRID SHECKELS


Astrid Sheckels cannot remember a time when she was not telling or illustrating stories, especially ones involving imaginary animals. A native of western Massachusetts and growing up in an artistic family, Astrid spent her childhood playing outside, using her imagination, and drawing. She studied Fine Art at Greenfield Community College and now works as a full-time professional artist.

PUBLISHING PROJECTS

Her debut picture book as an author/illustrator is the award-winning Nic and Nellie (Islandport Press, 2013). As an illustrator, her other award-winning titles include The Scallop Christmas (Islandport Press, 2009) and The Fish House Door (Islandport Press, 2010). She has illustrated the picture book Hope Somewhere in America (Twin Lights Publishers, 2012) and the two chapter books, Black Cloud and Tennessee Rose, in the Horse Diaries series (Random House, 2012).


In June 2016, Astrid signed a multi-book contract with Bangarang Books for her original picture book series Hector Fox and Friends. The first book, Hector Fox and the Giant Quest (2016), will be quickly followed by the second, Hector Fox and the Raven’s Revenge (fall 2017), and at least two more titles (Hector Fox and the Daring Flight and Hector Fox and the Map of Mystery).


She also has a number of additional children’s books in work, including several picture storybooks (The Rabbit and the Gnome, Holger the Dane, Sir Ursalot and the Dragon, Goodwill to Men), an alphabet book (March of the Mice), and a book series (Max & Friends).


Astrid’s illustrations are primarily done in watercolor. Starting with a story board, she creates countless sketches and pencil drawings in the process of developing the layout of the book. If the story is realistic, Astrid goes on location photo shoots to discover the right setting and bases each of her illustrated characters on real people. Many of her friends and neighbors have modeled for her.





FINE ART & STUDIO

Astrid is a member of The Western Mass Illustrators Guild and The Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators. She has won a number of art awards, including the Archibald McLeish Prize for Art (2003), the Medici Award in the Visual Arts (2004), the prestigious Lupine Honor Award (2009), and the Moonbeam Award for best picture book for all ages (2010, 2013). Besides illustration, she also paints portraits and landscapes in oil on canvas and watercolor. Astrid now lives and maintains her studio in the rolling hills of Greenfield, Massachusetts. Astrid has spent much time in her mother's homeland of Denmark and her Scandinavian roots are evident in her fine art and illustrations. She describes her style as “a mix of classic realism and whimsy”.




PHILOSOPHY OF ART

Astrid explains that her art is "an outcropping of who I am. I am a Christian and my art reflects my world view. If you see any life, vitality, light, order, or beauty in my work, it is but a reflection of God, the Great Creator."


 

BOOKS:

COMING SOON - Hector Fox and the Map of Mystery, Bangarang Books (2017)

COMING SOON - Hector Fox and the Daring Flight, Bangarang Books (2017)

COMING SOON - Hector Fox and the Raven’s Revenge, Bangarang Books (2017)

Hector Fox and the Giant Quest, Bangarang Books (2016)

Nic and Nellie, Islandport Press (2013)

Horse Diaries #9: Tennessee Rose, Random House (2012)

Hope Somewhere in America ,Twin Lights Publishers (2012)

Horse Diaries #8: Black Cloud, Random House (2012)

The Fish House Door, Islandport Press (2010)

The Scallop Christmas, Islandport Press (2009)


AWARDS:

2013 - Moonbeam Award, Best Picture Book -All Ages (Nic and Nellie)

2011 - Maine Literary Award, Best Children’s Book (The Fish House Door)

2010 - Moonbeam Award, Best Picture Book -All Ages (The Fish House Door)

2010 - Maine Literary Award, Honorable Mention (The Scallop Christmas)

2009 - Lupine Honor Award  (The Scallop Christmas)

2004 - Medici Award in the Visual Arts

2003 - Archibald MacLeish Prize for Art

2003 - Deerfield Valley Art Association Award in Art


MEMBERSHIPS:


The Western Mass Illustrators’ Guild

The Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators


RECENT EXHIBITS:

2017 - R. Michelson Galleries, Northampton MA (Cats in Hats - group)

2016-17 - D’Amour Museum of Fine Arts, Springfield MA (Cats in Hats - group)

2016 - The Greenfield Gallery, Greenfield MA (Bare Trees & Bicycles - solo)

2013 - Geissler Gallery, Greenfield MA (Illustration - solo)

2013 - Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, Amherst MA (Fairy Garden - group)

2012 - Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, Amherst MA (Constellation of Stars - group)

2011 - Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, Amherst MA (WMIG - group)

2009-2012 - St. Louis Children’s Illustrated Art Museum, St. Louis MO (Illustration - solo)

2009 - South Gallery,GCC, Greenfield MA (Scallop Christmas - solo)

2007 - Elusie Fine Art, Easthampton MA (Fine Art - solo)

2007 - Hosmer Gallery, Northampton MA (Illustration - solo)

2006 - Burnett Gallery, Amherst MA (Illustration - solo)

2006 - 9 Mill Street Gallery, Greenfield MA (Thorvaldsen Drawings - solo)


GALLERY REPRESENTATION:

2015--, The Greenfield Gallery, Greenfield, MA

2006--, Salmon Falls Gallery, Shelburne Falls, MA

Photo: Trisha Talmadge