Monday, August 30, 2010

Sketches from the ’20s (approx.)

I was on Governor’s Island yesterday and came across: an orchestra playing ’20s-era jazz, a flock of flappers, two gramophones, and three vintage cars — a “jazz-age lawn party,” the poster told me. Here are sketches. (Click to enlarge.) The one car is a Ford Model A from 1930, the other a Packard from 1940. The Packard was as clean and bright as it must have been in the showroom window seventy years ago.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Run, don’t walk!

The benefit auction for 826LA, organized by Dan Santat (more on Dan here) and described in my previous post (which is here) is now underway. You can see and bid on the first round of donated art on eBay, here. Happy shopping!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Oh No? Oh Yes!

The talented, funny, and, as it turns out, charitable Dan Santat has put together a benefit auction on the occasion of the publication of his and Mac Barnett’s great new book, OH NO! (Or How My Science Project Destroyed the World). Dan, who did a virtuoso job illustrating Mac’s story, brashly asked thirty illustrators to take their own shot at imagining Mac’s text, with the results to be auctioned off. What Dan’s request had going for it was, one, the story concerns a girl who creates a giant robot for her school science fair, a robot that nearly tears down the city before (spoiler alert) being defeated by a giant frog. Two, all monies raised will support Los Angeles’s 826LA, “a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting students ages 6 to 18 with their creative and expository writing skills, and to helping teachers inspire their students to write.”

My contribution is above, a little something I threw together with some leftover Soyuz hardware. (Click to enlarge.) You can see the work of all the contributors and learn how to bid, bid, bid at the benefit auction’s online gallery, here. From August 14 to 17, you can see the actual drawings, paintings, and so on at Gallery Nucleus in Alhambra, California. More information on the Gallery Nucleus exhibit is here. You can read more about the book here, visit Dan’s site here, and visit Mac’s site here.

Thanks for bidding!

EDIT: And! Completists, please note: the auction has a blog, here, and there was a nice piece about it in Publishers Weekly, here.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Ballet for Martha

Tomorrow, August 3, is the official publication date for Ballet for Martha: Making Appalachian Spring, written by Jan Greenberg and Sandra Jordan, which I illustrated. I’m very happy to report that the book recently picked up its fifth starred review. (The stars have come from The Horn Book, Booklist, Publishers Weekly, Kirkus, and, most recently, School Library Journal. Excerpts are on my web site here.) An interview with me on the SLJ site is here. The idea of leaping into the air for the accompanying photo was not mine but I was game, despite the fact that the photo shoot came the day after I tried wakeboarding for the first time, and that I was sore that day in muscles I didn’t even know I had. Other reviews that have warmed the heart have appeared on the Fuse #8 blog, here, and from the San Francisco Chronicle, here. Thank you to all the reviewers!

As I hope I’ve conveyed in the interviews I’ve done for the book, this was a wonderful project on which to work. I’m grateful to editor Neal Porter for thinking of me for it, and for the chance to work with Jan and Sandra on the book. I hope you’ll give the results a look!