Read Every Day Lead a Better Life

June 6, 2011 by

My entry is one of the ten finalists! Go here to vote!
http://opinio.scholastic.com/opinio/s?s=5869

Thank you!

Aspiring artists were invited to interpret Scholastic’s global literacy campaign, Read Every Day. Lead a Better Life.

To enter the contest, participants were asked to illustrate their own vision of the message Read Every Day. Lead a Better Life., emphasizing the importance of reading in the lives of young people.

Scholastic will judge and post the top 10 submissions to the corporate blog, On Our Minds @Scholastic for public voting on Wednesday, June 8. Public voting will be open until 9am ET on Monday, June 13, 2011. The Read Every Day. Lead a Better Life. Illustrators Contest winner will have his or her artwork featured on www.scholastic.com/readeveryday and win a deluxe set of signed posters created exclusively for Scholastic by the twelve children’s book authors and illustrators participating in the auction:

This is my entry… fingers crossed!

Not one, but two boxes of books!

April 26, 2011 by
What’s better than getting a box of you latest book?
 
Getting TWO boxes of your two latest books. Last week I had the nicest surprise when I came home one day. I got a box from Raven Tree Press that included both the English and the bilingual versions of my latest book “The Park that Our Town Built.” But wait… there’s more. On the same day I also got a box from my other publisher, Do Life Right, Inc., with the brand new Wright On Time book #4 “South Dakota.” It sure feels great to see all that work right there in it’s final format. It’s been a very happy week.T.

 

New Book Cover

April 7, 2011 by


Do you ever wonder how animals sleep?
Coming in June 2011

Lepre-con man

March 17, 2011 by

Happy St. Paddy’s to yis all!

Tucson Festival of Books

March 15, 2011 by

This past weekend was the Tucson Festival of Books. It was the third one since it began and each year it has gotten bigger and bigger. I heard people saying that over 100,000 people were expected to visit the festival over the weekend. Staggering numbers.

Most of my time was spent listening to various panels and presentations and spending time at the SCBWI booth. What an wonderful weekend it was. I must admit that I was somewhat star struck when being in the presence of three (yes 3) Caldecott winners.

E.B. Lewis, David Wiesner, Eric Rohman and Chris Gall

 On Saturday, I watched in awe as E.B. Lewis, David Wiesner and Eric Rohmann bantered with Chris Gall, who moderated the panel, about their work, inspirations and passion. Each one of these incredible artists shared wonderful pearls of wisdom with the audience about what drives them. Eric Rohman described himself as someone “who sits alone in his room trying to reach as many people as he can.” E.B. Lewis, who uses the term “Artistrator” instead of illustrator, at one point turned to the audience and said, “I don’t know about you guys but I’m having fun here.” What became obvious is that the three of them, all Caldecott winners, had one thing in common. They are all incredibly passionate about the picture book format and entirely committed to process of creating. Storytelling is of utmost importance and they completely immerse themselves in the process of creating an exciting, unique and emotional experience for the reader. The idea of awards, accolades, and success do not even come to mind. It was incredible to watch and listen to.

Chris Gall, Me and David Christiana

Both Chris Gall and David Christiana are illustrators that live in Tucson and I run into them every so often. We were all part of an illustration show a couple of years ago at the Tempe Center for the Arts. Ok, so I’m a geek, but I couldn’t resist the photo opportunity.

Adam Rex giving a digital painting presentation

The next presentation I attended was Adam Rex’s demonstration of how he digitally paints his illustrations. I work traditionally so I wanted to see how a true professional tackles the digital medium. It was a great presentation and I learned a lot about the process. So, I’ve now added the goal of digital painting that does not look digital to my list of things to accomplish.

 

David Wiesner talking about wordless picture books

David Wiesner and Eric Rohman talking about wordless picture books

 

David Christiana moderating the panel about wordless picture books

Next, I was in for yet another treat. David Christiana moderated a panel with David Wiesner and Erik Rohman about wordless picture books. David Wiesner gave us a history of the wordless picture book and covered many, many artists that have produced them in the past. The list was surprisingly long. They shared many of the inspirations about what drove them to creating wordless picture books. It once again fell back to their love of storytelling. They used terms such as “the ebb and flow” of the picture book and focused, on the importance of directing the reader and building the page turn. I was in awe. One of them quoted Degas: “a sculpture is something you back into when looking at a painting.” I don’t remember what it was in reference to but I thought it was worth repeating.🙂

E.B. Lewis, Wendy Watson and Adam Rex talking about illustrating the stories of other authors.

Michelle Parker-Rock moderating the panel with E.B.Lewis

The last panel that I attended was moderated by our very own Michelle Parker-Rock, and it featured E.B. Lewis, Wendy Watson and Adam Rex talking about the process of illustrating the work of other authors. They talked about what draws them to certain manuscripts and how they tackle illustrating the work of others. Once again it became very evident that they all are extremely passionate about their craft. E.B. Lewis, who is so incredible to listen to, shared that his studio has an entire room filled with period costumes ranging from the 1800’s to today. He also came up with a visual that will remain with be forever. I am summarizing but he said that the picture book is a piece of cloth made up of the words (the vertical threads) and the visuals (the horizontal threads). He was so much more eloquent when he said this but essentially he stressed the importance of each of these elements and that only together do they make the whole.

It was incredible to be able to listen to these artists share their passion. I am so inspired right now to get back to work.

Happy Drawing. T.

Shaun Tan won an Oscar!

February 28, 2011 by

Did you watch the Oscars last night? How exciting that Shaun Tan won an Oscar for Best Animated Short for his film “The Lost Thing”. I am so excited to see his success with his animation, especially seeing that I have always been a fan or his incredible illustrations. Check out his website:

http://www.shauntan.net/

Here is a link to a page on Shaun Tan’s web site where he talks about “The Lost Thing.” He has lots of sketches and talks about the film as well.  http://www.shauntan.net/film1.html

 

Image from “The Lost Thing”

Illustration from “The Red Tree”

Illustration from “The Arrival”

 Illustration from “The Rabbits”

Princess and the Pea

February 27, 2011 by

Still kind of a work in progress, but wanted to get in on the “Tell a Fairy Tale Day” fun!

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

The Princess and the Pea

by Hans Christian Andersen

Once there was a Prince who wanted to marry a Princess. Only a real one would do. So he traveled through all the world to find her, and everywhere things went wrong. There were Princesses aplenty, but how was he to know whether they were real Princesses? There was something not quite right about them all. So he came home again and was unhappy, because he did so want to have a real Princess.

One evening a terrible storm blew up. There was thunder and lightening, and the rain poured down in torrents. It was really frightful! In the midst of it all came a knocking at the town gate. The old King went to open it.

Who should be standing outside but a Princess, and what a sight she was in all that rain and wind. Water streamed from her hair down her clothes into her shoes, and ran out at the heels. Yet she claimed to be a real Princess.

“We’ll soon find that out,” the old Queen thought to herself. Without saying a word about it she went to the bedchamber, stripped back the bedclothes, and put just one pea in the bottom of the bed. Then she took twenty mattresses and piled them on the pea. Then she took twenty eiderdown feather beds and piled them on the mattresses. Up on top of all these the Princess was to spend the night.

In the morning they asked her, “Did you sleep well?”

“Oh!” said the Princess. “No. I scarcely slept at all. Heaven knows what’s in that bed. I lay on something so hard that I’m black and blue all over. It was simply terrible.”

They could see she was a real Princess and no question about it, now that she had felt one pea all the way through twenty mattresses and twenty more feather beds. Nobody but a Princess could be so delicate. So the Prince made haste to marry her, because he knew he had found a real Princess.

As for the pea, they put it in the museum. There it’s still to be seen, unless somebody has taken it.

There, that’s a true story.


Frog Princess

February 27, 2011 by


In honor of National Tell a Fairy Tale Day, I thought I would post this canvas of Phoebe opening the door to see her suitors lined up to see her. I have been working on new sketches and characters based on this painting. Phoebe has had a makeover, and the story is really coming along. I am putting together a dummy for this fairy tale. My version’s working title is called Phoebe’e Big Day.

I even dusted off my printing press and am working on a collage style for this story that incorporates monoprints…so far so good, but not ready to show you! 🙂 I am including a small sketch of the “new Phoebe,” (the one without text) and I will show more very soon.

Jack and the Beanstalk

February 26, 2011 by

I’ve been a bit swamped and haven’t been able to fit in a new fairy tale image.  But this illustration is from “The Truth About Ogres” that I illustrated for Picture Window Books.  Jack and the Beanstalk!!  Happy Fairy Tales to you!!

It’s Tell a Fairy Tale Day!

February 26, 2011 by


The sun was shining brightly, but it was not too warm under the shade of the old trees, and Little Red Riding-Hood went on her way singing and gathering great bunches of wild flowers to give to her grandmother. She sang so sweetly that a cushat dove flew down from a tree and followed her.

Now, it happened that a wolf, a very cruel, greedy creature, also heard her as she passed, and longed to eat her for his breakfast, but he knew Hugh, the woodman, was at work very near with his great dog, and he was afraid they might hear Little Red Riding-Hood cry out if he frightened her, and then they would kill him. So, after following her a little way, he came up to her very gently and said, “Good day, Little Red Riding-Hood, where are you going?”

This is a day that Fairy Tales are made of … It’s Tell a Fairy Tale Day.

To qualify as a fairy tale, a story does not have to begin with “Once upon a time…..”. But, they usually do, and there’s nothing better than a good story that ends with “and they all lived happily ever after”. Read one today!


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