Picture Books Anyone?

From the “classes, retreats and workshops” file today… Jo Lloyd, the Program Assistant of the Highlights Foundation sent me this information to post. Also check out the other great Foundation workshops. The Highlights folks treat you like royalty so that all you have to think about is improving your art and craft.

I thought you might know some folks who might be interested in a picture
book workshop we just added to our lineup for fall 2008.  Dominic Catalano
is giving his workshop at that time, and has a few guest
illustrator/authors attending as well.  Here’s link to information below,
and would so appreciate you sharing it with others you know.


What I should be doing is writing. What I am doing is catching up on my lj friends. Such exciting things going on: conferences, arcs, nominations, new books. (Starting to feel pretty outclassed, folks.) I have five more days on the JoNoWriMo goal of completing a first draft of my novel. I’m afraid that for the second year in a row it is not going to happen. I will say though, that last year’s goal got me going enough that I did finally complete that goal and I know this one is attainable. However, the 30,000 number sounds overwhelming to me. Just a nibble at a time, Anna. Take it easy. One foot in front of the…I know, I know. But I think instead, I’m going to go back to reading. Twisted, by Laurie Halse Anderson is on my bedside table and I want to get in a few chapters before I start the pick up and carpool.

5500 / 30000 words. 18% done!

Hooray for Books!

It’s Children’s Book Week!

Here’s a quick book craft project you may want to try.
Magnetic Book Mark
You will need:
1. Strip of card stock or index card
2. Two thin magnets that stick together (opposites attract)
3. Crafty supplies for decorating, ink stamps, markers, pencils, paper to collage, ribbon, whatever you’d like.
4. Needle and embroidery floss.

What to do:
1. Cut the index card the long way up the middle.
2. Decorate both pieces. (use the lines or flip it to the white side)
3. Glue the magnet onto the non-decorated side of the paper. You will have a sandwich of paper, magnet, magnet, paper.
4. Connect the top of the bookmark by sewing it together with colorful embroidery floss. Leave a length of floss and string on a few interesting beads if you’d like. Or you can make your own beads with sculpey/fimo of your favorite characters or activities.

5. Go read a good book, and if you have to put it down… use your new bookmark. Slide the middle over the page and the magnet will clamp the bookmark together.

I’ll post pictures later, but I really need to be writing. See ya.

If you want to write, read!

I haven’t been posting much because I’ve been totally engrossed in the book Mao’s Last Dancer, suggested to me by an interviewee for my current non-fiction project. The book is due back to the library on Monday so here are 5 reactions to my reading on a Saturday.

1. My lack of world knowledge never ceases to amaze me. I consider myself well educated and interested in current events and world cultures but there are many things about which I know very little. (mostly Asia)

2. The poverty endured by the Chinese under Mao’s regime is shocking. (This is a pretty distilled statement, of course there are more sophisticated discussions here but it is only a quick list so give me a break.) Let’s just say that the author shows his humor when he points out that Barbara Bush’s dog would certainly be dinner in China.

3. The ethic of work for the good of the communist state and the constant feeling of pride for one’s family pushes Li Cunxin to accomplish at an amazing level of dance in a relatively short period of time and under extremely difficult circumstances. I am awed by his perseverance and tenacity against great odds.

4. The body awareness that Li Cunxin has in order to accomplish various moves is so interesting to me as a wannabee dancer.

5. Li Cunxin defects to America and while Li Cunxin’s story shows the poverty and mindless propaganda of Mao’s regime, it also shines a light on the decadence and huge gap between rich and poor in America. He honors the Bush/Reagan administration for all they did for him, and for ballet. However, I would argue that much of the demise of the American middle class began under their watch in the form of deregulation and “trickle down” economics.


That is my huge sigh of relief. The Fall Folio Feast went well despite the impending storm remnants from Hurricane Noel. Chris Van Dusen gave a wonderful speech. He spoke about his experience in the illustration business and then took us on a journey of completing a page in the Mercy Watson books, by Kate DiCamillo that he illustrates. It was great getting to be a fly on the studio wall. Other people might not find paper, pallets, and paints interesting, but the audience of 35 illustrators and 12 art buyers were on the edge of their seats each time the slide changed and the illustration progressed.

A shout out to all the wonderful artists who exhibited their portfolios. I hope we all get jobs in the next year. You can find these and other artists at www.maineillustratorscollective.org click on Members! In the next couple of days, my wonderful partner in crime Leticia Plate will be posting pictures at the site as well. Check in and see the fun we had.

Another huge thank you to all the art buyers who showed up to view portfolios:
Tilbury Press
Islandport Press
Port City Life
Perry & Banks
Maine Reads
Curious City Books
Moo-Cow Fan Club
Portland Phoenix
Montgomery Design
Lucky Tangerine Design Studio
WGBH Boston

Next time you need an image. Skip the Stock! Go to Maine Illustrators’ Collective and hire an illustrator to create a unique solution for your communication needs.

Thanks also to Artist and Craftsman, Picture Book, Rosemont Bakery, Maine Coffee Roasters, Books Etc. and the Directory of Illustration for donating goods and services to make the event happen.

That was my shriek at noticing the state of my house. Conference over. Now the real work begins.