The Latest from Brooksbrae Terracotta Brick Factor

The Gallery Always Open with No Overhead…

Here is the latest show this Winter. Come down to Pasadena and check it out!


Remember to keep coming back to check on our latest shows at our gallery. Let us know if you want to submit your work for our next show. Also, why don’t you go in person and see all of our fabulous paintings yourself!

How and Illustration is Made: Behind the Scenes of Danny and the Tree of Life

The latest tale within Tales from Mr. Pelinger’s House is Danny and the Tree of Life. It’s about a boy who grew up in the shadow of the largest tree in the world at the top of the temple on top of the largest mountain in the world. Read about his journey to climb the fabled Tree of Life as it spans through the galaxy. Travel up this tree with him to see all its wonders!

Before you do, let us see how this tale was made.

First I draw and paint the backgrounds in graphite and then colored pencils. Then I will draw and paint a very large head to be added to a smaller body… Well, when it is done, the head won’t be so large or the body so small. Photoshop allows me to put these drawings together like that old toy called Colorforms. This process allows me to get more detail into the faces, but still, be able to save money by working on sheets of paper under 9″ x 12″. It is also easier to store the paintings since I will be moving them from place to place (nobody else is buying them…). Below is an example:


Keep coming back and see how the rest of the book was made. You can also find Danny and the Tree of Life within the pages of Tales from Mr. Pelinger’s House. I welcome you to get your copy now.

Another Tale within the Mr. Pelinger’s House Series

Danny and the Tree of Life

This is the tale of a two-year-old that grows up quickly! Danny within the temple on top of the tallest mountain in the world has been living in the shadow of the tallest tree in the world. Not only is it the tallest tree in the world, but it is the tallest tree in the galaxy, the fabled Tree of Life. He leaves his home to climb to its top through the galaxy to learn all of its secrets.

Journey with Danny and meet the Moon Smith, Ursa Major and Ursa Minor, Hermetical Hymie, and many more people.

Danny and the Tree of life and the other great stories are available in Tales from Mr. Pelinger’s House available now! Buy your copy here.

The Woohoo in the Pines Clay Gallery

Well just off the road and across the tracks here in the Pines we have an urban art gallery few know about. In this little spot that was once a hamlet, if it ever made it to that size where people outnumbered the deer, we have an art gallery that people travel for hours to find within the heart of the Pasadena section of Whiting NJ.  A gallery built on the site of the Pasadena Terracotta Factory or as others know it as Brooks Brae.

Who would figure there would be an art gallery here…

Railroad in the Pine Barren near Chatsworth factory

Well on the other side of the tracks in the old brick factory there is one, but unlike other factories repurposed for galleries within their hollow structures,  The Woohoo in the Pines Clay Gallery has no overhead and a free admission.

Many well known Piney artists have had group shows here over the years. Sometimes we are graced by the well of inspiration in which those two great cities can offer, Philadelphia and New York, that affords us the trip to our little gallery under the sun. For we have the best lighting that the universe can offer. Below is a collection of past works that hung on Brooks Brae’s walls.

Brooksbrae oven entrance

On many of our openings, most likely spurred on by the moonshine and wine offered, many couples have disappeared into the ovens where things get really hot. The only way to discover the ovens’ secrets is to bring a fluorescent light, for we are not talking. Artists are a truly a saucy bunch…

This underground room sits below the kilns that once fired the sewer pipes that were manufactured here. It is amazing what filth has occurred in this space to set young lovers’ hearts ablaze, for at least a half-hour or so before they were discovered missing from our many galas. Limelight, Studio 54, and Manray have nothing on our stains on the walls of the ovens.

For the more sensitive personalities or those people who need a little romance before entering the ovens, or for those guys needing a space in which to promise to call the girls after leaving the ovens, we have a fine garden surrounding the museum. Grounds cultivated by Frederick Law Olmstead’s neighbor’s mailman’s great-great-grandson. A future destination for Banksy, if he could do art for art’s sake…

The museum at Brooksbrae also has plenty of seating for those who need to converse while our plentiful hors d’oeuvres are being passed. The gallery can be rented for private business functions and weddings on the weekends May through November. Plus our door is open 24-7!

Right now we have whitewashed our walls and we are placing a call for new art for our Spring Show based on the artistic mind and isolation. Stop in and submit your slides for review or post your .jpgs in the comment area below.

Brooksbrae Graffiti







Behind the Scenes with Danny and the Tree of Life

Chris Dowgin in bowler hatThe latest Illustrated Children’s Classic from Norge Forge Press. A Wonderful tale of Danny who climbs the Tree of life and all the amazing things that he finds in its branches and flying past. A great tale for anyone who is young at heart! A truly endearing tale.

Follow Chris Dowgin every week to see how his illustrations are made. Sometimes he will post a few versions of an illustration where he will ask you to answer in the comments below which version you like. Also if you have tales of myths about the Tree of Life, please share below. If you have any ideas about what Danny should find on his travels up, let us know!



Which of the three final illustrations do you like?


Nap Time


Furry Friends

Chris Dowgin at Desk


Now, which one of the final illustrations above did you like? Should Chris keep the blocks? Tell us below.


Wizards and the Grail


Come back next week and see what Chris comes up with! Tell us what you think below.

You can also sign up for our newsletter by emailing us at to keep up with Chris and the rest of the great content from Salem House Press!

Chris Dowgin in teens drawing at desk

Chris in his teens at the desk.

How a Book is Made!

Danny and the Tree of Life

Follow this post weekly to see how images for this new book are made. Danny and the Tree of Life is the story of Danny who has come across a mysterious tree. It is the tale of what he sees when he scales the tree.

We will show you from digital collage sketches, drawings, and final illustrations. Below are the first few illustrations. We hope you enjoy them!




So come back every week and see how this story shapes up!

How an Illustration is Made: Milk Street in Salem

This One Will Have You Creaming…

At least that is what this famous illustrator would want; he has shares in Puleo’s Dairy in Salem. What were you thinking with your dirty minds…

Welcome back to the wacky news from the magical whimsical side of Salem! I am Mr. Zac spilling all the odd secrets of this quirky town. Today Matt Maguire is the milkman on a currach, a leather boat St. Brendan and the Culdee monks sailed to America before Lief Erickson. He is making his delivery to me on Milk Street. This is a weird corner. This is where Collins Cove reached the shore in the days of Prince Henry Sinclair and his third generation Vikings from Orkney. Just behind this corner is a house with a flooded tunnel from the high water table that still exists. They used to drop goldfish into it from the basement above it.

So Matt who has illustrated several illustrated stories for Heavy Metal and once was set up to be the illustrator for Wolverine was kind enough to pose for this illustration.  He was drawn on some cold press bristol with graphite and then painted with watercolor and colored pencil. He is drawn on a separate piece of paper from the background to achieve a level of detail not gained from drawing him on the same piece as the background.  So he is scanned and placed seated in the boat in the final drawing using Photoshop. This conserves paper costs also. I was drawn in the same way.

Above you can see the finished piece composed using Photoshop much like a Colorforms activity. Now look in the tree and see if you can find all of the hidden images. List them below.

Pick up the first book of the Salem Trilogy, A Walk Through Salem, at Barnes & Noble,, The Witch House, or Remember Salem and learn a little more about Blackbeard.


~Mr. Zac

Come back every Tuesday at 3PM for new stories about Salem and images from the Salem Trilogy.

He Haunts this Town

and Proud of it!

Welcome back to the wacky news from the magical whimsical side of Salem! I am Mr. Zac spilling all the odd secrets of this quirky town. Today I will tell you about the town’s favorite ghost. Mike was the first model Chris Dowgin illustrated for his Salem Trilogy appearing in A Walk Through Salem.

Many things about Mike and A Walk Through Salem are uncanny. Soon after publication Mike died of mysterious causes and found floating in the harbor not too far from his favorite fishing spot. His death still remains a mystery but what has not is, Mike always wanted to be a ghost. In fact, on the morning of his death, he at least visited 3 friends in their dreams.

What might have been the beginning of this fascination? He used to live in his wife’s family home where there was a ghost who would haunt the tunnel leaving the house in Chelsea. An odd member at the local poker games they held in a room off the tunnel. Later in life, Mike hosted a local ghost hunter’s film series for years. Now he haunts the harbor catching the ghost of the fish he caught and ate in the past.

So what else was weird about Mike and the book A Walk Through Salem? The funeral home and the church his funeral was in appears in the same illustration near the middle of the book. Also, he is the one who informed the author of many wonders under the Visitor’s center including Romanov Crown Jewels and Blackbeard’s skull. Maybe one day he will leave the wharf and stop aggravating his wife by smoking in her bedroom in the afterlife (which she still can smell) and take the rocket to heaven.

Till then he will be just chasing the ghost fish through Pickering Wharf…

Pick up the first book of the Salem Trilogy, A Walk Through Salem, at Barnes & Noble,, The Witch House, or Remember Salem.


~Mr. Zac

Come back every Tuesday at 3PM for new stories about Salem and images from the Salem Trilogy.