Author Archives: mdharte

Upcoming Events

Meet the illustrator and the author of The Mermaid in Rehoboth Bay! I’ll be attending the following events alongside the award-winning Nancy Sakuduski, and we’ll be happy to chat and personalize copies of the book!

October 8, 10am-3pm, Harvest Arts Festival, Newark, DE. Come visit our table! The exceptionally talented author of The Sea Sprite Inn, Lynnette Adair, will be joining us to sign books! Also, I’ll have signed art prints from The Mermaid In Rehoboth Bay available for sale!

October 15, 9am-3pm, Autumn at Abbott’s Festival. Artisan craft demonstrators, live music, children’s activities, hay rides, live animal shows, tours of our historic Abbott’s Mill, local farm vendors, food truck fun, a Dogfish Head beer garden with lawn games, an aquatic touch tank, and guided SUP & kayak trips on Abbott’s Pond. Meet the author and illustrator of The Mermaid in Rehoboth Bay and get autographed books and fine art prints!

October 22, 11am-3pm, Hockessin Art & Book Fair, Hockessin PAL Center. Come visit our table! Along with personalizing books and fine art prints, we’ll also be reading from The Mermaid in Rehoboth Bay!

November 6, 4:30, Story Time at Hockessin Book Shelf, The Mermaid in Rehoboth Bay. Meet the author and illustrator and get signed books!

November 19, 10am–2pm, Tellabration international day of storytelling at Delaware Children’s Museum, Wilmington, DE. Find out how words and pictures work together to make a picture book. Meet the author and illustrator of The Mermaid in Rehoboth Bay and get signed books.

I can’t wait to see you there!

The Secret is Out!

Welcome back, everyone!

It’s been a busy time, but I’m thrilled to announce my very first children’s book, The Mermaid in Rehoboth Bay! A book that appeals to children, parents, and grandparents! The Mermaid in Rehoboth Bay is a book that celebrates the beauty of the sea and tidal areas, and depicts two strong female characters who are able to confront their fears and achieve their goals on their own. Great care has been taken to depict non-idealized, age-appropriate children that readers will identify with. The story is inspiring and addresses themes of friendship, girl-empowerment, respect for differences, love of nature, and overcoming fears to achieve your goals.

The Mermaid in Rehoboth Bay is available at:

Browseabout Books, The Lilypad Children’s Boutique, Kids’ Ketch, Proud Book Store, Lewes Public Library, Lewes Chamber of Commerce, Seaside Country Store, The Sands of Time, Captain Blue Hen Comics, Hockessin Book Shelf, The Growing Tree Toy Shop, Oranges & Lemons, Bethany Beach Books, Children’s Book and Toy Garden, World of Toys, and News Center.

Your local store doesn’t have it? That can be fixed! Have them contact Cat & Mouse Press.

The Mermaid in Rehoboth Bay can also be purchased on Cat & Mouse Press website:

I can’t begin to tell you just how proud I am of this book! I hope that it’s one that you and your family can treasure for years to come!


It’s a Secret…

“I have the best news! Wait until you hear it! I’m illustrating…”
– Insert a non-disclosure agreement –
“…a secret! A mysterious and fantastical secret!”

In all seriousness though, there’s a great project in the works! While I’m not at liberty to say anything about it just yet… I would definitely encourage anyone interested to check out the ‘News & Events’ section of my website in the late spring or early summer of 2016. It’s going to be worth the wait!
In the meanwhile, I hope that you can forgive the lack of sketchbook posts. The majority of my drawings are all very focused on this new and exciting project… which means that I can’t presently display them. But, don’t worry! I’ll still try to post something fun whenever I have the chance!

Until then, take care everyone! Thanks so much for reading!


Presenting the feature sketchbook page of the week!

I was originally thinking about posting something patriotic after the Fourth of July weekend… But Gamera insisted on my full and undivided attention this week. I think he might be feeling a little bit left out with Godzilla receiving most of the attention lately, poor guy. And how do you argue with a giant fire breathing turtle? Particularly, when he’s giving you puppy dog eyes? Not I! So here’s Gamera at his fiercest… or at least that’s what I’m telling him!

Hope you enjoy!

Sketch 7-14-14

Fourth of July & Monster Revolt

Hello and happy Fourth of July! Or since it’s now the day after… Happy Fourth of July weekend!

I hope that everyone has been having a great holiday! And that it’s been filled with lots of great barbeque, outdoor fun, fireworks, and of course – time spent with friends and family!

A patriotic doodle or three might climb onto the pages of my sketchbook this week… But, until then I hope that you’ll enjoy this weeks’ feature sketchbook page!

A menagerie of snapping turtles is helping me to prepare for my contribution to “All-Out Monster Revolt Magazine”! It’s a spine-tingling new project that aims, ‘to put the ‘pulp’ back into the giant monster genre’. If you love atomic age monsters, then check out the project on The project director, Justynn Tyme, really knows his monsters and is doing an amazing job! Also, don’t forget to keep an eye open for their fall issue! My illustrated homage to Gamera will be on the cover!

Snapping Turtle IMG

Open Mic Night at the NAA

For anyone who has never attended an open mike night before, the one held at the Newark Arts Alliance in Newark, DE is a great place to start! Held on the first Tuesday of every month, it’s an intimate and welcoming event. Chairs fill the gallery where the readings take place and a refreshment table laden with coffee and snacks draws visitors inside. Local readers and performers take it in turn to share their creativity with the crowd. I visited for the first time this Tuesday and had an incredibly fun evening! I was happy to see some new friends and made a few more besides. The readings were great…. there was so much variety! We were even treated to some song with musical accompaniment. It’ll be great to see what next months’ Open Mic Night will bring!

Drop by sometime and join the fun!

Open Mic Night

Summer Signing Party for The Beach House

Today was the perfect beach day! Sunny skies, perfect temperatures, the rolling sound of the ocean waves, and a summer signing party at Browseabout Books in Rehoboth! The event was hosted to celebrate The Beach House, a collection of short stories based on the theme of ‘the beach house’ and all connected in some way to Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. I haven’t had the opportunity to read my copy of the collection just yet, but have heard nothing but good things! The Beach House has even won a national first prize from the National Federation of Press Women. And I can’t speak highly enough about the writers, whose stories will be a must read for a lazy summer afternoon. It was wonderful to meet them and I can’t wait to see more of their writing in the future!

Rehoboth Beach Reads, The Beach House

Hockessin Art & Book Fair

I attended the Hockessin Art & Book Fair yesterday at the Hockessin Community Recreation Center in Hockessin, DE. It was a great event and I had an amazing time! It’s always a blast to spend an afternoon with local artists and writers! There were several independent and self-published writers, illustrators, and publishers whom I had the pleasure of meeting for the first time, as well as some good friends I got to catch up with. Many thanks to everyone who organized or contributed to the fair for your time, creativity, and company!

Hockessin Art & Book Fair image

Paper Monsters

Sketchbooks are amazing! They’re creativity in its rawest form. Smudged and scribbled pages…full of beautiful imperfections. It’s where all those crazy ideas scramble out of your head and begin to reveal themselves to the rest of the unsuspecting world. A bit like Frankenstein’s monster – except that the monster has plenty of friends and they’re all made out of paper.

Unfortunately, sketchbook pages aren’t normally on display for everyone to see. The monsters need cleaning up first, maybe replace those gangrene limbs with better working parts or fit them with stylish new neck bolts. It takes some revision before they’re well-mannered enough for print.

Even then, most sketches still remain tucked away as exercises meant simply to improve drawing skills or as warm ups to help the creative process get started. These monsters live in the art studio indefinitely, chewing on the scenery and keeping me motivated.

Recently, however, I’ve begun to think that it might be good for them to get some fresh air. So, I’ve decided to post one image from my sketchbook each week, as they are created. This way you can get to know my monsters a little better and they can stop asking me why I never introduce them to my friends.

I hope you enjoy their company as much as I do!


Welcome to My New Website

It’s officially spring!
The days are longer, the snow is melting, and my new and improved website is ready to launch!
Ta da!

On the home page you will see links to my biography with client list, any news and upcoming events, and my portfolio. My online store will be coming soon for the merch you just can’t live without. 🙂

If you run into any problems while browsing or have any suggestions for improving the site, please let me know.
I’ll be happy to hear from you!

Best Regards,