Monday, September 28, 2009

A New Portrait

This one is of a couple whose 1-year wedding anniversary is coming up this October (mine is, too!). I work with the father of the groom, who asked me to do this.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Writing with Pictures

Thanks to a Barnes & Noble coupon, today I got a new book in the mail: Writing with Pictures: How to Write and Illustrate Children's Books by Uri Shulevitz. I've been looking forward to this for a while - it is one of the best resources on children's book illustration.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Sketch of the Day

Tomie dePaola

Today is Tomie dePaola's 75th birthday.

Tomie is a great and prolific illustrator who came from a loving, supportive family. I too had a very good childhood, and am encouraged to know that that isn't a hindrance to being a successful illustrator!

From Elizabeth Kennedy:

Tomie came from a loving family of Irish and Italian background. He had an older brother and two younger sisters. His grandmothers were an important part of his life. Tomie's parents supported his desire to be an artist and to perform on stage. When he expressed an interest in taking dance lessons, he was immediately enrolled, even though it was unusual for a young boy to take dance lessons at that time. (See Oliver Button is a Sissy.) The emphasis in Tomie's family was on enjoying home, school, family and friends, and embracing personal interests and talents.

dePaola received a BFA from Pratt Institute and an MFA from the California College of Arts & Crafts. Between college and graduate school he spent a brief time in a Benedictine monastery. DePaola taught art and/or theater design at the college level from 1962 through 1978 before devoting himself fulltime to children's literature.

DePaola's picture books cover a number of themes/topics. Some of these include: his own life, Christmas and other holidays (religious and secular), folktales, Bible stories, Mother Goose rhymes, and books about Strega Nona. He has also written a number of informational books like Charlie Needs a Cloak, which is the story of the creation of a wool cloak, from shearing a sheep to spinning the wool, weaving the cloth, and sewing the garment. His collections include Mother Goose stories, scary stories, seasonal stories, and nursery tales. His books are characterized by humor and light hearted illustrations, many in a folkart style. DePaola creates his artwork in a combination of watercolor, tempera, and acrylic.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Something I would love getting invited to

From the Holy See press office:

A press conference was held in the Holy See Press Office this morning to present Benedict XVI's forthcoming meeting with artists, which is due to take place in the Sistine Chapel on 21 November.

Among those participating in the press conference were Archbishop Gianfranco Ravasi, president of the Pontifical Council for Culture and of the Pontifical Commission for the Cultural Patrimony of the Church, and Antonio Paolucci, director of the Vatican Museums.

Archbishop Ravasi explained how his dicastery is promoting and organising the meeting, which will coincide with the tenth anniversary of John Paul II's Letter to Artists of 4 April 1999, and the forty-fifth anniversary of Paul VI's meeting with artists of 7 May 1964.

"The aim of the meeting", said the archbishop, "is to renew friendship and dialogue between the Church and artists, and to encourage new opportunities for collaboration".

For his part, Antonio Paolucci explained how the artists invited, their numbers necessarily limited due to the space available in the Sistine Chapel, come from all the continents, "They are", he said, "men and women of different cultures and languages: ... painters, sculptors, architects, writers and poets, musicians and singers, directors and actors from cinema and theatre, dancers".

On the evening of 20 November, before their meeting with the Holy Father on 21 November, the artists will visit the Vatican Museums' collection of modern and contemporary art, which was created at the express wish of Paul VI.

The Sistine Chapel is quite a thing to behold, but how cool it would be to be there with the pope!

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

In Defense of Comic Books

A good column In Defense of Comic Books. An exerpt:

The thing is, I’d been reading comic books since I was five years old and they had been instrumental in teaching me to read. Comic books dealt with major struggles between the forces of good and evil with the fate of the world often at stake. I was reading way above grade level, and actually dreaded class reading times, when we had to read these stories about a boy, a girl and a dog who didn’t seem to ever do much of anything. Chasing a ball around the backyard wasn’t my idea of a ripping yarn.

My big brother read comic books as a youngster, as did my husband who still reads them as an adult (he has also illustrated comic book covers). I don't follow comic books for the most part, but have read several of the big graphic novels including Maus, The Sandman, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, and Watchmen. I currently enjoy following the excellent Fables series.

Thursday, September 03, 2009