The Loud Library

April 8, 2011

A library should have no sound,
or so it’s said, but I have found
that when a kid has found his book
he has to share, kids have to look.

A scream or two, a sudden shriek,
might make kids want to take a peek,
at books they never thought existed,
like fairy tales completely twisted.

“Oh, look! Here’s something really funny!”
“Icky spiders!” “Silly bunny!”
Scary stories, nice and spooky,
A picture book that’s really kooky.

A bit of noise is fine with me,
within a children’s library,
as long as there is not a riot
a change of pace from peace and quiet.

My New Book: BARN STORM by Charles Ghigna

December 19, 2010

A little late as this book came out a few months ago, but here are some images :

New Book, Soon!

May 5, 2010

I haven’t blogged for a thousand years, but do have a new book coming out by a wonderful author, Charles Ghigna, called BARN STORM! More later!

Just One More Book and Robert’s Snow. Oh Yeah…and Me!

October 29, 2007

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I was interviewed on the wonderful podcast Just One More Book to promote awareness for the Robert’s Snow Online Art Auction for Cancer Cure. I hope you will not only listen but bid on the one-of-a-kind folk art ornaments created by my fellow children’s book illustrators. You will be able to receive a beautiful holiday gift as well as contribute to a very worthy cause.

October 22, 2007

What Happens When I Get My Brand New Book

October 13, 2007

I’m so excited and proud when my book is finally printed and I get to hold it in my hands.
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But then I want to show it off and read it to somebody and no one is home, except…
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My DOGS!

They are the best audience in the world. They pay attention to every single word…
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Laugh at all the right places…
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And then quiet down and listen empathetically to the touching parts…
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And then if I give them a treat, they tell me how much they love my pictures too! Who could ask for more!

School Visits and Illustrating

October 11, 2007

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by Rubi at Paularino Elementary

Visiting schools is the best antidote I know for “studio-itis”. It’s rejuvenating and refreshing to take a break, get out in the world and spend time with children.

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Photo by Lynda Modaff

I love meeting all the kids and hearing what they have to say. Plus they draw great illustrations and write wonderful letters, and I get to keep them! And some say I’m their favorite illustrator, that doesn’t hurt either (see below)! Here are a few of them.

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by Marcus at Paularino

And sometimes they have suggestions for what I SHOULD have drawn:

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By Reese at Paularino

Illustrating Pigs, Pigs and More Pigs

August 9, 2007

Seems like once you do one illustration of a certain subject, you suddenly get a bunch of other books/assignments with the same exact subject. So far, I’ve done four “old lady” books, two of which, more specifically, are about “old ladies with chair fixations”. Sometimes it gets tiresome to do the same subject over and over, but I never get tired of painting or drawing pigs. Maybe it’s their round shape or their snouts, I’m not sure…but whatever it is, here are a few of my pig paintings.

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Robert’s Snow in July!

July 26, 2007

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Finally, something to blog about! I just finished my snowflake for Robert’s Snow For Cancer Cure. You can read more about this unique online fundraising auction by going to the Robert’s Snow site. Viewing of snowflakes will start in late August and bidding starts in November. I hope everyone will take a look and see all the beautifully crafted snowflakes by my fellow children’s book illustrators and donate to this wonderful cause.

Here’s how I created mine. First, I was obsessed with Humpty Dumpty, for some reason. I started to think about what Humpty would be doing in winter, and then, of course, I thought of the fall. I first did my sketches, front and back:snowflakesketchfront.jpg

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Then I lay in the color using my usual acrylics, not worrying yet about any details (here’s the back side):

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Finally, I did many layers of paint to arrive at the finished snowflake:

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So, don’t forget to visit the Robert’s Snow site next month!

Where I live: Venice, CA

May 20, 2007

Mosaic Tile HouseWhen I was a teenager, I used to dream about moving to Venice. Though it was only 15 or so miles away from where I grew up, it was so much more intriguing than my suburban neighborhood. Venice is one of the spots in the Los Angeles area where the artists live. Even though it’s changed in the last 30 years and become a lot more gentrified, there are still interesting places to visit.

Every morning I go for a long walk with my dogs and take in the sights. Here’s some of my favorites.

The Mosaic Tile House was (and is still evolving) created by Gonzalo and Cheri. It’s almost completely covered with mosaics and other interest objects both inside and out. As my friend Russ said, it is a life-affirming dwelling and well worth a visit. For a small fee, you can take a look inside and have a personalized tour on Saturdays.

The Chiat-Day Building is right on the border of Venice and Santa Monica at 340 Main Street. Here’s what I found out about it: chiatdaywp1.jpg

A four-story pair of binoculars, which can be seen for blocks, highlights the entrance of this advertising agency’s headquarters. In addition to this 1991 Frank Gehry design, the building also features a boat-shaped wing and a vaguely tree-shaped structure. The binoculars themselves house two conference rooms, with the eyepieces serving as skylights.

venicewalkstreetswp.jpgThere’s a number of Venice walk streets by the beach, but there’s even more a bit inland. They are hidden away, so I don’t know if many people know about them. There’s a lot of huge new architecturally interesting homes that have been built in the last 5 years, but I like the funkier parts of these streets. There’s a house that hangs all sorts of lamps and chandeliers in the yard and another with a surfboard entrance.
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The old Venice jail houses an organization called SPARC that creates and produces murals throughout the city (if only all jails could be turned into places where art is created). Here’s one of their murals in their parking lot. sparcwp.jpg

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This is Jonathan Borofsky’s clown ballerina (this photo is one of the highlights when I do my school visits slide show). This 30-foot sculpture overlooks the corner of Main and Rose about a block from the beach, and just down the street from the binocular building.

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If my dogs and I want a really nice long walk, we go to the canals. There’s lots of ducks for the dogs to check out and peace for me.canalswpdesktop2.jpg

Looking at all the interesting places around where I live always inspires me. By the time I get home, I’m ready to start creating my own art.

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