WEST JEFFERSON — Local artist James “Dawg” Wood recently completed illustrations for the children’s book titled, Where Do the Birds Sleep?
Wood is a self-taught artist whose work features the heritage of mountain culture. He has been commissioned by Coca-Cola and his work is on display at the New Britain Museum of American Art in New Britain, Connecticut. This is his first time working as an illustrator for a children’s book.
Where Do the Birds Sleep? is authored by Guy McFarland Jennings and features an original poem with Wood’s artwork.
According to Wood, he met Jennings and his wife, Kathy, at Phipps General Store in Lansing. The couple purchased some of his art and approached him a year later asking if he would illustrate a book for them.
“I read the poem and thought, ‘how am I going to do this?’” Wood said. “So, I decided I’d go ahead and give it a try.”
Wood spent the next year working on the illustrations at night as a hobby. According to Wood, the project was challenging and much different than his usual work.
“I liked the poem when I read it. It had a really good rhythm to it and it was something fun,” Wood said. “I paint about Appalachian culture for the most part and with illustrating a children’s picture book, there’s directions you have to follow. You cant just paint about anything.”
Where Do the Birds Sleep? will be available for purchase this October at Wood’s studio, Ole Dawg Art, located in downtown West Jefferson above the Hotel Tavern. Copies will also be available on the book’s website, www.wheredothebirdssleep.com, which will become active in mid-September. A book signing is scheduled for Friday, Oct. 9 at the Ashe County Chamber of Commerce from 5-8 p.m..
For more information about Wood and his artwork, visit www.oledawgart.com.
Hannah Myers can be reached at 336-846-7164 or on Twitter @cmedia_hmyers.