bed book delivered

Before delivering the finished illustrations for MY BED: Enchanting Ways to Fall Asleep around the World to the publisher in Boston, I cleaned up the studio and invited friends and neighbors for an impromptu “Show and Tell”. It felt good to pack up my supplies, which had become a huge mess during the past 3 years of working non-stop on either the book or the Liberty and Justice animation.

This was a good opportunity to organize my felt by color and size. A frequently asked question is, “Where do you get your felt?” The felt I use for much of my work is a thick, plant dyed wool/rayon mix. Unfortunately, the source for this most extraordinary product disappeared a few years ago. I could tell that it wasn’t going to be available forever, so I hoarded enough to last me into old old age. The closest thing that you can buy now is sold through A Child’s Dream, which has all kinds of felt and supplies. Some people dye their own felt to get those gentle soft colors, but I’m more interested in making things out of it than producing it. But, if I didn’t have this stash, I could be motivated to get out the dye pots.

For the “Show and Tell”, I set up the illustrations around the big center table in my studio, saving space by propping up a row of stretchers, back to back. It was risky to display the pieces unframed and exposed, but my “Do Not Touch” signs kept fingers at bay. Right now, the artwork has raw edges overflowing onto a stretched white background fabric. That’s so that the photographer can shoot the images with extra room for cropping later. When the pieces are returned next winter, I’ll add fabric borders and Rob will make frames, making them presentable for exhibition.

It was so nice to see friends and meet younger family members. They really loved seeing the detail and 3-dimensional quality of the artwork, which is totally different than looking at the printed pages of a book. Even with excellent photography, there is no way to replace the experience of seeing the real thing. That is why I’m organizing a touring exhibit of the originals, which will begin after MY BED is published in the Fall of 2020. The exhibit, “Salley Mavor: Bedtime Stitches” will premiere at the Cahoon Museum of American Art in Cotuit, MA in Nov. 2020 and travel to a dozen or more venues in the United States. As locations are confirmed, I will add them to the Exhibits and Events page. Museums that are interested in hosting the show can contact me (salley at for information and a shipping cost estimate. If you want to have the exhibit shown near you, please let your local museum know about this opportunity!

Last week, I packed up the artwork into 4 huge plastic bags and delivered it to the publisher, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in Boston.

The publishing production team and other staff members came out of their cubicles to see the scenes, which we spread out in the conference room. They mentioned that since artists work digitally so much these days, they don’t often get to see “real” art. It was wonderful to see their excitement about sending this book out into the world. I’m excited, too!

The next step is very important: photography. The publisher has hired Rick Kyle, of 5000K, who also took the photos for Pocketful of Posies. We met in his home studio and talked about lighting the pieces. I also had a chance to look over everything, removing lint and making sure wires didn’t get bent during packing and unpacking. I enjoyed seeing Rick again and have full confidence that he will do an excellent job!

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22 thoughts on “bed book delivered

  1. Thanks for taking us along with you! It has been wonderful and I’m drooling for the book! Enjoy your next chapter!

  2. Job well done, Sally. For some reason, I feel very proud for you! (I know I had nothing to do with it,) I just think you represent so many female artists. You do it all, from the drawing to the executing, and the assemblages, etc. THANK YOU again, for sharing with all of us. Looking forward to having this book.

  3. Congrats, Sally! I would have loved to have seen the Illustrations in person. Looks like you had a good turnout. Very exciting! It must feel like sending your child off to college or Outward Bound!!! Well done! Cathy O

  4. For those of us who have been watching your progress and enjoying the sneak peaks for this book are collectively sighing with awe, pride and probably some relief that your direct part is complete. Photographing these scenes in such a way to highlight the three-dimensionality of your work will be a big challenge for Rick. You really do deserve a vacation – no wonder Polly is getting ready.

  5. Congratulations! This is a great set of pictures to show what you’ve been up to and how you finish up your projects. If you ever have an open house on your next project I’d love to be included.


  6. WOOOOOW !!!! You finished them all !?!?!
    Would have LOVED to see them up close after all these sneak peek photo’s 😉

    I can understand all these people at the publisher were in awe !!! I would be 😉
    Lots of success ! (and hope to see the book sometime in the future …)

  7. I’m so happy for you. I’m glad your work on this project is all done. Thank you for sharing the different stages with us.

  8. There is a group of us in Maryland who would so love to see those pieces of art when they are returned to you. Could they be a part of a traveling show? There is a small museum in Easton MD that would be perfect. They recently had a show for Diebenkorn’s early work so there interests are beyond the EasternShore of MD.
    Or, there is a textile museum in DC. at GW. I just love your work!

    • Thank you for your interest in having my work shown in your area, Liz. I will look up your suggestions. I’ve found that my solicitations aren’t as effective as when enthusiastic fans reach out to their local institutions.

  9. Congratulations, SALLEY !
    This HUGE accomplishment finished and off to the publishers has got to feel fabulous.
    You are so generous to share the originals to friends and fans, before taking to publisher.
    Hopefully on it’s your later, I can have the pleasure of viewing your work.
    Celia Caldwell
    Canton, GA.

  10. Your work is absolutely beautiful and you are such an inspiration. Thank you for sharing your talents with the world. God bless you, KristiRuth

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