More Concert Sketches…



School visit with Allen Brook Elementary…

Letters from Ms. Herbert's 1st and 2nd graders

Letters from Ms. Herbert’s 1st and 2nd graders

Signed picture from Mrs. Thyng's class.

Signed picture from Mrs. Thyng’s class.

Yesterday…I had a great day visiting with 1st and 2nd grade students and teachers at Allen Brook School in Williston, VT….What a great school! Thank you Synergy and Harmony!

It was fun spending the day with you and having a conversation about books with such a great group of young authors and artists.

It was fun for me to be able to watch you create your own dummies! Your pigs were clearly having a blast flying over Vermont and beyond….into outer space….over castles…around New York City….and on and on.

Thank you to Mrs. Thing’s class for the signed picture with the wonderful drawings you made of the characters in my books!

Thank you to Ms. Herbert’s 1st and 2nd graders for the lovely letters telling me what you learned from our time together.

Here is what I learned from what Ms. Herbert’s students learned:

FROM AVA:  “…you can get ideas from your family and friends”– Ava’s favorite book is THE HOWLING DOG

FROM LINDSEY: “…How it felt to be an author and illustrator….you can create stories from anything or anywhere…you create the cover last”–Lindsey’s favorite books–BOB & THE HOWLING DOG

FROM OWEN: “…thank you for teaching all that you know…your are the best writer and illustrator in the world. I know it takes a lot of work to do.”

FROM JAYDEN: “…you can draw anywhere.”–Owen’s favorite book–MYRTLE

FROM PARKER: “…the more you draw the better you get. You are a great author.”–Parker’s favorite book–WHERE DOES JOE GO?–I also learned from Parker how to find Ms. Beeken, the art teacher..(who taught at my children’s school when they were young.) Thank you. I am sure I would have gotten lost–I have no sense of direction! 

FROM ANNA. A.: “…I like art too…” Anna’s favorite book–MYRTLE

FROM KARINA: “…learned a lot” Including, “… You create stories anytime, anywhere about anything….you practiced drawing on buses, on subways and anywhere!..” Karina’s favorite book–BOB–Favorite page–when the owl says “Whooo? Whooo? Whooo?”

FROM TARIK: “…loved reading BOB it was amusing and funny…that you use watercolor..” Tarik’s favorite book BOB

FROM PEYTON: “…to fill whole pages with details. I always create the cover last.”

FROM JULIA: “…that presentation out in the cafeteria was so wonderful…learned so much…like you can get stories from anywhere.” Julia is “writing a book about lady bugs and the little boy’s name is joe.”  Julia’s favorite book–BOB (which she has at her house)

FROM MONTANA: “…that you create stories for your books from anything or anywhere and you create your cover after you finished your book…” Montana’s favorite book–WHERE DOES JOE GO?

FROM SLOANE: “…that you create stories from anywhere…that you fill the whole page with details…” Sloane’s favorite book–WHERE DOES JOE GO?

FROM KEEGAN: “…create your cover last…” Keegan’s favorite book –BOB

FROM JADEN: “…you draw fast…liked learning a bout you…”

Thank you, again! It was a great day.

Keep reading, writing and drawing.

Mud season in Vermont is a perfect time to….

Grab some paper.

Fold it.

Staple it.

Pick up a pencil.

Make a book.

Read a book.

Have Fun!….tcp



Spring arrived here in Vermont with fresh snow!

I found this silly diddy called “SPRING” in an old sketchbook …very old…I wrote this on March 12, 1984.

Even if today’s weather is the same as it was 29 years ago…and I think that would be a good thing…I hope my work has changed and I have grown as an author and artist since 1984…there is a ton more to learn…However, it does look like I was better at dating my sketchbooks back then.

Ahhh…Something to work on for the next 30 years…my organizational skills. I’ll begin with “Spring Cleaning” my studio.

Will a clean & organized studio make me a better artist?

Maybe not.

But I wonder what else I might find in my piles?….happy first day of spring…tcp


New York Sketches and Moomintrolls…

Speaking of Moomintrolls and keeping with the theme from my last post…
… here is a quote by the author of the Moomintroll books:

“One summer morning at sunrise a long time ago
I met a little girl with a book under her arm.
I asked her why she was out so early and
she answered that there were too many books and
far too little time. And there she was absolutely right.”
― Tove Jansson

Brunch at the Scandinavia House in NYC…no sketchbook required!
Brunch…playtime…and Moomintrolls…
(if you forget your pen…ask for crayons)

Tables with brown paper…surrounded by grandparents…toddlers…even 20 somethings out on the town…

…pen in hand

…belly full

…Moomintrolls upstairs

…I am happy.

The Scandinavia House has so much to offer…(I have included a link below to their website…check it out)

You do not have to travel far to meet a Moomintroll…

…visit your local library…but…

WARNING!!!..reading these books will send you to your local bookstore…
these books are keepers! (books that beg to be read again and again…at any age..)


Here is the link to my publisher Farrar, Straus & Giroux…and the US publisher of these books…I am so thankful they’re still in print!…for over 40 years!

…a goal to work towards
…to be in print 40 years
…I am 56
…Elephant’s Story comes out Fall 2013
…I’ll be 96!

― Tove JanssonMoomin, Vol. 1

…keep dreaming…enjoy the links…tcp


Baby it’s cold outside….

I took a break Wednesday night…

It was below zero outside…but hot inside… Wynton Marsalis brought his Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra to the Flynn in Burlington. The music was fabulous.

There was a lot of polar fleece and men in hand knit sweaters…

I am back in my studio…I have been working to Stan Getz and Miles Davis…but I realized that was Elephant’s music…( my book Elephant’s Story which will be out in the Fall) The book I am working on now has a very young child…a stuffed rabbit and a dog…they asked for Cole Porter…

…keep warm…tcp


NYC…sketchbook…E train…MOMA and Winsor McCay…M train

10:00 am…check out of hotel in Chelsea
10:15 am…sketching on the E train to the MOMA
10:30 am…through the doors up to the 6th floor
MOMA’s CENTURY OF THE CHILD (Growing by Design 1900-2000)…fabulous…a visual delight…wish I could take photos…quick sketches…wish I had more time…I will be back…this is why I have a membership…even if I just have an hour or two…when I am in the city I stop in and visit my favorite art or see something new…Here is a link to the exhibit…

Here is Gertie the Dinosaur…the 1914 animated short (Part II) by Winsor McCay. The film is shown on the wall …look right and look up as you enter the exhibit…

12:00…catch the M train
12:30…a picnic on a park bench with my good friend George in his “back yard”…his name for Madison Park…
1:30…in the Flatiron for my “Elephant” meeting.

…that is just a morning in the city…no wonder I am ready to crash when I am back in VT…tcp


Beethoven at Shelburne Farms…a sketchbook…


Beethoven…Prokofiev…Schubert…back at Shelburne Farms listening to music again in the Coach Barn. The music was lovely…the evening was perfect for a picnic.

Thanks to the tenacity of the local music community…classical music is alive and well in Vermont!

The Burlington Ensemble’s Summer Serenade has helped to fill the void with the loss of our Vermont Summer Mozart Festival.

These musicians bring more than great music to Vermont. In the spirit of “giving back” they give a generous portion of their proceeds to support local non-profits that support children, families and individuals in our community.

This makes their concerts even more delicious!

You can read more about the Burlington Ensemble, the artists, their mission, their concert schedule and buy tickets to their performances by visiting their website.

They just scheduled an encore performance at The Coach Barn at Shelburne Farms on August 11th.

I have my tickets. I have my sketchbook. Hope to see you there. Get there early. Bring a picnic.


On the Rise Bakery…Sketchbook…yum!


We were back at On the Rise Bakery…a favorite spot for a relaxed and yummy dinner (roasted veggie and chèvre wood fired pizza) and live music.
We listened to Mike Lussen and Hugh McBribe…I am told they were part of the Greenwich Village folk scene…as was I at one time…Well not the “folk scene”…but I did live in the village years ago. My first studio was up from the village on Union Square…which was quite a different “scene” than it is today.

On the Rise is has great food. You can’t get more “local” than walking through their vegetable garden to get into the restaurant! They have a great breakfast and lunch. Bagels that would rival any in New York or Montreal. (the tea cakes are a particular weakness in our family)

They are BIG supporters of live music and local musicians….it is like our own little bit of Brooklyn here in VT….tcp

Here is a link to their website…check them out…or better yet…pay them a visit in Richmond, VT…but please save me a tea cake!