Monday, July 20, 2009

If "Tango"

The Owl and the Pussycat
sailed their boat
to the shores of Argentina,
Now on music together they float-
no one dances a Tango, mean-A!

(rhyming, not my strong suit)

Friday, July 17, 2009

Paper Kites

My daughter likes to make paper kites. There has to be 30 of them around the house- as I cleaned my studio this week I found 15 more. They don't fly. She makes them really colorful with several layers of construction paper, glued on beads, colorful ribbons, etc. Then- she ties a long strand of kitchen twine to it and adds a tail. The tail has to be "special". Using a satin ribbon- I purchased to adorn her curly blond hair - she ties toys to the tail.

With full confidence in her aeronautic engineering, she takes the kite outside and runs, full speed - to make the kite fly. She has done this for an hour at a time only giving up- declaring that "It's just not windy enough."

I couldn't bring myself to throw out these kites. I have become all too aware that my time left with things like paper kites is very precious and winding down. She's 9 and 1/2. She's at the age when skepticism is waiting around the corner- magic is packing it's bags. She's still very much a believer in all things tooth fairy and Santa Claus- but I know- I don't have long.

One of these days, she will make a paper kite, deciding to leave off all of the beads and glue. She will think critically of the speed at which she will have to run and the direction the wind is blowing. She will untie the objects of her childhood- that are weighing it all down.

And the kite will take flight.

And so will she.

Monday, July 13, 2009

July Book Reviews and other things that make summer great..

How does one celebrate a step in the right direction towards getting a children's book published? - Go shopping at the bookstore !! There's a whole new summer crop of PB's out there just waiting to be picked- and I picked the ones I found most juicy!

"Let's do nothing!"- by Tony Fucile - Candlewick Press
Mr. Fucile- how I luv thee. He's responsible for much of the design of my favorite Pixar movie- "The Incredibles". I have long admired his way with a pencil- his "je ne sais quoi" -with the curve and the line and the way he can completely capture KIDS.
Watch the Incredibles -ignore everything but Violet- Dash - Jack Jack and the babysitter(my favorite). Look at the Art of the Incredible books- and WOW! The drawings of the kids. The boy on the tricycle. Tony Fucile is a genius with character. It's no wonder he has entered the world of children's books with such a book.
"Lets do nothing" is simply about two kids - 2 characters Frankie and Sal sitting... trying to do nothing- and the inability to keep Frankie's imagination doing nothing. The simple gorgeous drawings allow those 2 personalities to shine. These 2 boys- are as real as my own little 9 yr old neighbor Frankie- who too- can't sit quietly for long. - I really- really hope we see more books from Tony Fucile. 'Cause I'm hooked.

"If I were a jungle animal" -Tom and Amanda Ellery - Simon & Schuster
2 books by animators?- Hmmmmmmm.... someone noticing a trend!? yes.....
This book has a great classic printing look. Flat- bold great color combinations inside of thick black scratchy line. Is it china marker? Black prismacolor? hm.mmm.. I wonder. It has a loose drawing style that is pitch perfect that can only come when a hand knows.. Yes the hand can know. I think hands have sense memory- how a pencil drags across a surface- an inked brush glides around a curve. Tom Ellery has a smart hand that communicates his wife Amanda's ability to think as a kid. It's an adorable book. Like Tony Fucile's it's real - authentically 100% all KID.

"Wave" by Suzy Lee -Chronicle books

Suzy Lee is not an animator- but she could be. Animators are just people who can breathe life into drawings- that she can do.
I saw these illos on the Society of Illustrator's call for entries for their children's book show this fall.- She was the reason I went shopping. When I cracked this baby open @ B&N - I put my whole stack down to sit- and go thru it over and over.

There are no words. You turn the pages and you hear this book. You hear the seagulls - you hear the ocean coming and going. You feel the little girls- joy and wonder. (remember what the beach was like when you didn't care about sand in your butt?- it was magical) The page of the aftermath of the crashing wave is my favorite- the pause - the anticipation- will she cry?- NO!- She finds a shell! - (I still think shells are magical- nature's jewelry) - This quiet book makes a lot of noise! The water is painted amazingly... blue white and black, 3 colors and you're at the beach. Incredible. Suzy Lee- magical.

Back to work. Hope Summer's shaping up for you to be hazy, lazy and crazy!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

On the drawing board

What can I do before Aug. 5th? Before heading out to L.A. - the one thing I want in my portfolio is some sequential art. I had done these rough sketches as homework for the FL conference and want to turn it into something for the portfolio. -That and a new postcard/business card and I'm running around like a crazy woman again.

I'm excited to go back to L.A.! We left in the early 1990's with my husband (then shacking up guy) yelling out the window "We Shall return!!"" - and we shall for a long weekend.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

For an Arty Farty Mom - an Art show with your kid?- Doesn't get better than that!

Come on down if you're in the area- Long Beach Public Library 10-12 this Saturday! I can't tell you how cool it is to have her art framed up on the wall right next to mine- and wow - hers looks good!

Maggie Light- 9 years old- "Hoary-throated Spinetail" -Endangered animal series - digital painting

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Presto- Change-O!

Al -a-ka-ZAM! This past week I signed on to The McVeigh Agency and it does feel like strange magic.

Mark McVeigh is a literary Agent with over a decade of experience as an editor working for publishing power houses. He's now taken his passion for publishing into the world of representing the creative people. An author himself - he's seen all sides and wants to help those creative voices find their audiences.

For the past two years I've been focused on figuring out what kind of portfolio would click with someone in the publishing world - it finally took me doing artwork and telling stories that were just plain old fun for me -and - CLICK. I heard the click- I saw it- I witnessed it. Like magic. I'm not sure how it happened but I am excited and happy and wondering what's the next thing the magician has up his sleeve...

I'm the rabbit pulled out of the hat and Mark McVeigh will get to work his magic and Abracadabra- well, we'll all have to watch and wait and wonder... That's just part of the fun....

Mark McVeigh
The McVeigh Agency

(it's official- my bio's up!)