jennifer judd-mcgee lives and works on mount desert island in maine. mixed media and illustration are her favorite mediums, and she draws her inspiration from her coastal maine surroundings. she has shown her work in galleries across the country and is represented for licensing and illustration by lilla rogers studio. please visit her blog or her etsy shop for more information.
on the nightstand:
- guava kombucha
- blooming lilacs
- the way my kids smell when they come in from playing outside
- later light in the evenings
- mount desert ice cream
how does spring inspire you?
it’s pretty quiet about nine months of the year where i live, then late spring comes and it’s a very sudden burst of hectic – local people are working hard to earn their livings, visitors from all over the world are starting to arrive and are loving this beautiful place in their own ways. this island is magical. i just try to soak it all in every year. it all feels so promising.
what’s one item in your spring wardrobe you can’t go without?
it’s not very fashionable, but a down or fleece vest is a pretty essential layer for me from about march to late june. my vest feels a bit like a security blanket to me some days.
what’s your idea of the perfect homemade spring meal?
a mezze plate – an assortment of veggies – fresh and pickled, fresh mozzerella, olives, hard boiled eggs, hummus, crusty bread, nuts. the kids call this their ideal dinner. we also love seltzer with a splash of lemonade and some mint.
what is your spring theme song this year?
what are four constants in your day?
- morning coffee
- snuggling with the kids
- working on art
- going to the post office (can often be the most social part of my day)
tell us about the inspiration behind this work.
the photos are from my favorite place on the island at this time of year – the asticou azalea gardens. and the illustrations on them are drawn digitally – something new for me. i was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis last summer, and without getting into it too much, it’s been a roller coaster of a year. i’ve had to adapt the way i work – the fine pen work i used to do is much harder for me due to some weakness in my left hand, and i’ve been missing it. my mom gave me a tablet for christmas that i’ve been teaching myself to use – it’s been an incredible gift, because if my hand gets shaky i don’t have to ruin a drawing i’ve spent ages on anymore; i can back up a little and keep going. i love the way i can integrate my drawing and the photos i take for inspiration using this format – i think i am at the very beginning of a beautiful and unexpected friendship. for a long time i sort of wrote off working digitally because i preferred an organic, hand drawn doodling style, but i can still have that essence, i think, with the tablet. i feel lucky to be learning this new way to work.