What is the first thing one does after spending months working on the final art for a picture book? After turning in the art to the publisher?…
….traveling from here to there…spending time with editor…art director…school children…bookstores…librarians……and sprinkling family in-between?
I don’t know what other illustrators do.
I come home to Vermont…smell the lilacs before they disappear
and take down the Christmas decorations.
At least I will after I finish designing the cover for my book.
I am thinking maybe June for the decorations?
(No those flowers are not lilacs, they are jacob’s ladder….the lilacs are already on their way out….but the peonies are beginning to bud!…tcp)
While looking through the original art from Sing a Song of Sixpence, the book I dedicated to Maurice…I discovered this piece of art marked REJECT!
What did I not like about this art in 1984?
(I decided to do the art over when all I had left to paint was the bulldog. The bulldog was not the problem.)
So what is different?
Look in the book below and see for yourself.
Or…better yet…go to the Mazza Museum: International Art from Picture Books and see the original in Findlay, Ohio. It is an amazing place filled with original children’s book art.
…another note…I painted this book to Mozart…another lesson learned from Maurice…thank you…tcp
Sing a song of sixpence,
A pocket full of rye;
Baked in a pie!
When the pie was opened
The birds began to sing;
Was not that a dainty dish
To set before the king?
The above illustration is from my book Sing a Song of Sixpence
published by Dial Books in 1985
The dedication in this book…”For M. and J.”
…for Maurice Sendak and Jane Bierhorst, my teachers and in my mind…the King and Queen of picture books. My challenge to myself was to create a book from the poem that Randolph Caldecott, the “Father of Picture Books” illustrated in 1880.
Every book that I make, I return to the lessons learned from these two talented and generous people.
This is my birthday wild thing from Maurice that hangs in my studio.
Maurice…You are on my wall…on my shelves…in my heart…thank you…tcp
Although I am listening to jazz in my studio as I wrap up my Elephant book…I was back at another UVM Lanes Series Concert this weekend.
Les Amies…with flute, harp and viola. The music was lovely. Ibert, Bach, Fauré, Ravel, Clearfield & Debussy.
I was not the only one drawing in a sketchbook…One artist behind me….another down the row from her….both drawing! I have been sketching at concerts for 30 years…rarely have seen another sketchbook…never two!
I hope this is the beginning of a trend!
Listen to live music. Bring a sketchbook. Enjoy!…tcp
The little birds fly
Down to the calico-tree:
Their wings were blue,
And they sang “Tilly-loo!”
Till away they flew;
And they never came back to me!
They never came back,
They never came back,
They never came back to me!
Spring is here! So is Poetry Month. I pulled out my “Bird Bonnet” to celebrate and to honor my favorite poet…Edward Lear.
There was a Young Lady whose bonnet
Came untied when the birds sate upon it;
But she said, “I don’t care! all the birds in the air
Are welcome to sit on my bonnet!”
Limerick by Edward Lear…
…Just one of many! Visit your library and find more…or make up your own!
Make every month Poetry Month!…tcp
I first started drawing to music in the 1970’s as a student of Maurice Sendak’s at Parsons School of Design in NY. When Maurice told us how he worked to Mozart, I decided to give it a try. I never stopped. Music is a constant in my studio. I listen to classical, jazz, rock & roll and even opera. It depends on the book that I am working on and my mood. Right now, I have Stan Getz and Miles Davis with me.
When I leave my studio, I always have my sketchbook. I love drawing at concerts. Sometimes…I am close enough to draw the musicians. Often…I am distracted by the people I see in the audience! These sketches are from a UVM Lane Series Concert with Jamie Laredo & Sharon Robinson. It was a wonderful concert.
Today is our daughter’s 25th birthday. She is an abstract painter in Brooklyn, NY. When I visit schools kids ask, “What is an abstract painting?” Here is a small sample of some of her big paintings. If you would like to see more of her paintings you can contact me through my website. Happy Birthday, Catherine!