A Family of Makers

This post is coming rather late, very late. Today is the last day of a show our family put on together. It is called Family Works and is at the Artists’ Coop in Owen Sound, Ontario. My Mom, Joan Irvine and my brother’s fiance, Christine Su are both paper artists as well. My Dad, Steve Irvine makes pottery and one of a kind ceramic pinhole cameras. And my husband, Simon MacKay is a woodworker and uses a combination of wood and concrete to make boxes. Some families play music together… when we get together we like to pull out the clay or paper, talk and drink tea. My kids love making things too.  Here are a few photos from the show.


Steve Irvine – pinhole camera


Simon MacKay – multilayered boxes in wood and concrete


Elly MacKay – Emily of New Moon cover, Anne of Windy Poplars cover and Anne of Avonlea cover (for Penguin Random House)


Christine Su – cut paper


Joan Irvine – cut paper, yupo paper – Pink Moon series


Christine Su – block prints


Steve Irvine – ceramic platters


Simon MacKay – layered boxes


A collaborative piece – the base of this was done by Simon MacKay, the top by Steve Irvine


Lily and her buddy at the opening.


Koen and his much bigger friend at the opening.


A close up of one of Joan Irvine’s Pink Moon series.


Good friends.

We are thankful for our family members that drove from London to join us, our supportive community and the Coop for hosting us. If you see anything in the show that you would like to own or give, let me know. We are happy to ship! There was a nice little article on our show too. http://www.owensoundsuntimes.com/2014/11/02/gallery-show-a-family-affair One of the reasons I was so late in posting this is because I was working away on Butterfly Park. It is intricate work… oh, so many little flowers! It is now at the printer and will be out in the spring! Thanks Marlo and Francis of Running Press for all of the hard work you put into this book. 9enterpark

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Kingston WritersFest! This weekend.

Do you live in the Kingston area? Have kids? Come on down to the Kingston Frontenac Public Library at 1:00 tomorrow (Saturday, the 27th of September).

FREE Festival Fun for KIDS!


I will be doing a reading of Shadow Chasers and showing how I make my scenes. We’ll even create a paper piece together.

****Then, kids will get to make a take-home diorama.****

littledioramasforkids_ellymackay1 littledioramasforkids_ellymackay2

We’ll have all sorts of papers, and sculptural materials for kids to play with. It is going to be a blast!! Hope you can come.  It is an activity that suits children from 2-13… well, even older – this is how I spend my days.

All the details here: https://www.kingstonwritersfest.ca/kids-and-teens-kids-on-saturday.php

Sponsored by CIBC Wood Gundy, Simpatico Song & Script and Friends of the Library and my patron for the festival – Chris Everdell.

Older kids may want to stay for the whole afternoon. At 3:00 Eric Walters will be at the library with his book The Rule of Three. Can’t wait to get a signed copy.

Posted in elly's paper art | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Anne of Green Gables

How old were you when you last read Anne of Green Gables?

Today Tundra (Random House Canada) is releasing a new edition, along with all the books in the series by L. M. Montgomery!


You can buy the box set or the buy them individually. I had fun thinking about how all the spines might work together when sitting on a shelf. A little landscape for you: http://instagram.com/p/rpX02tIwDb/Annex8

Anne of Green Gables
Anne of Avonlea
Anne of the Island
Anne of Windy Poplars
Anne’s House of Dreams
Anne of Ingleside
Rainbow Valley
Rilla of Ingleside
THE SET – this is a preorder item – Released Sept. 23rd

It is amazing how a book can stay with you and shape the way you see the world. It wasn’t until I revisited these stories as a adult that I realized that some of the place names I have been using all these years must have taken from the Anne series when I was a girl. I have a Cathedral Road by my childhood home and like Anne, I dreamed of getting married there.  And… like Anne, a friend and I memorized Tennyson. Though neither of us ever pretended to be Elaine, floating down the river.

L. M. Montgomery is a Canadian icon and these are such wonderful stories. It was a dream to illustrate the covers for these books and work with Kelly Hill (the designer) at Tundra.


I have donated the Artist Proof of the Anne of Green Gables cover to an auction that helps to raise some money for art students starting out at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design. The Auction is called ROAR if you would like to make a bid.

On Tumblr you can see some larger images too: http://djevojka.tumblr.com/post/90248200862/cover-art-by-elly-mackay

Hope you will enjoy these books and pick up a copy or the whole set! Look for a post on Emily of New Moon soon!

Posted in elly's paper art | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Leaves are in the air…

Today we are releasing Fall Leaves!  Loretta Holland is the author. HMH Kids is the publisher. I hope you will enjoy the changing of the seasons with our book.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

You can buy it here.

Barnes and Noble  Amazon Canada  Amazon USA  Your Local Bookshop Indigo


SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 6ht, 10:30 – 12:30 The reading will be at 10:45. Hope to see you!

(October 19th – At the London Indigo Store I will also be doing a reading and craft.)

The Wall Street Journal:  Seasonal Swoon – Wall Street Journal Book Reviews

“With just a few cleverly chosen words that appear and reappear in slightly different arrangements, each phrase in large type on a page of its own, Loretta Holland summons the changes of this time of year: “Apples Fall. Leaves Fall. Fall Stays. Leaves Leave. Sun Leaves. Temperature Falls.”

These observations are accompanied by subtly enchanting pictures, which Elly MacKay has created by using light to give depth to delicate paper cutouts of a boy and a girl amid autumn’s beauty. We see the pair riding bikes, dancing in the rain and rowing on a leaf-strewn pond, the girl’s auburn hair flying in the blustery air. This lovely book can be read at its simplest to a very young child or, with more detail (each page carries a paragraph describing seasonal changes in smaller print), by 5- to 9-year-olds.” ~ Megan Cox Gurdon, Wall Street Journal. August 29, 2014


Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Catch me if you can… Shadow Chasers!

9780762447206 Shadow Chasers  has just come out! It is my 2nd book with Running Press. Join these 3 children on a search for shadow animals as the evening light descends. Can you spot the rabbits? What else can you find? shadowchasers_ellymackay1A book to celebrate shadows – a bedtime read or to share at Summer Solstice or Groundhog Day. Why not make some shadow puppets of your own? We had a local book launch on Saturday and the children made shadow animals of their own.Ellybooklaunch_Apr14_02Ellybooklaunch_Apr14_04   This is how. With pencil, draw your animal. Cut it out. Open a paper clip and take one side to your shadow puppet. On the other side of the paper clip, take a popsicle stick. For ones with movement, create two parts with two sticks (i.e. with a rabbit you could make the front and back of the body) and attach them with a brass fastener. shadow puppet elly mackay1 IMG_8233 IMG_8225

I’ve been having fun with shadows for years. Here is one from a series of shadow play photos I did in 2010.

shadowrabbits3 shaowanimals_LilandKo1

The kids have learned to make shadow animals with their hands too! 9780762447206

Some early REVIEWS:

Kirkus:  Intriguing illustrations draw readers into a meditation on shadows…. Playful and more than just a little mysterious—like a shadow-puppet play in full color. (Picture book. 3-6)
21st Century Media News Service (Bobbie’s books of the month): The magic of outdoor play on a summer’s evening is perfectly captured on each page. “Oh, the shadows, they move swiftly! /Ever changing just out of reach.” Three children follow shadows into the forest until nighttime falls and they return home. MacKay’s astonishing photographed lit paper scenes are the perfect medium for establishing both the mood and action of this gentle, dreamlike story. Buy the book at a bookstore near you – Indiebound! Or at Indigo or Amazon
Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Nice press….

This month and last I was featured in a couple of great Canadian magazines and though I have been feeling a little shy to post this, I need to thank these lovely people (and perhaps you will be curious to check out the great articles they have written – they are online too).

For the Kid-Lit edition of Quill and Quire, I was interviewed by Dory Cerny. She had a team come up to the studio for a visit to take some photos. They drove through a snow storm… I kept waiting for them to call to cancel but they made it here and it was a great afternoon drinking tea together in the studio. Here is the link to Dory’s article and Katrina Cervoni’s photos. (Thank you Dory, Shannon, Katrina and Shayda)   http://www.quillandquire.com/blog/index.php/childrens-publishing/photos-inside-elly-mackays-studio/

The other interview… was with Chatelaine. I am April’s ‘Ms. Chatelaine‘. So surreal. Dominique Lamberton wrote the article and Sian Richards drove up, to take photos. They even dolled me up with hair and make up. A very strange experience but very enjoyable too. I have only been to a spa once but it felt perhaps a bit like that. (Thank you Dominique, Sian, Briggita and Karen) Here is my boy – he found me! And here is the link: http://www.chatelaine.com/living/ms-chatelaine-elly-mackay/


Posted in elly's paper art, press | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Winter, in wait of Spring…

So much has happened since my last post and life has been pretty full with these two.


I’ve been working on the Anne of Green Gables Series lately and doing some personal work too.  Here are a few of the personal works:

Pebblesandwings4 SnowDay8x124 Spring'sDance2 towerhill2 TwoFamilies1




You can find them in my shop if you would like one. :) www.etsy.com/ca/shop/theaterclouds

I’ve been playing with animation on the animation table Simon made for me… I am still not ready to show any but here is a still.




*If You Hold A Seed, my first book was chosen by the Ontario Library Association as a one of ten Picture Book – BEST BETS!

*I am now doing workshops in the schools. It is such fun – if you would like to have me in and make a forest with your students you can find information here. Here is a link to the Author Booking Service.

*I will be in Thunder Bay for the Forest of Reading on May 9th and in Toronto on May 14th.

*The Trailer for my new book Shadow Chasers (COMING in May) is now up!

Hope everyone is doing well! Elly



Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments