Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Memories of East Texas

I had a great time at the East Texas Book Festival in Tyler, Texas this past weekend. Thank you to everyone at the festival for the invitation and for managing the logistics!

I returned to the diaspora yesterday. My flight was delayed due to the weather in New York, so I had some extra time in the Austin airport. A sketch and a Five Trucks flashback were the results.

Next stop: St. Louis!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

At the library!

I’m excited to have my work included in a show opening this week at the Brooklyn Public Library, “Drawn in Brooklyn.” The show is curated by John Bemelmans Marciano and features the work of 34 children’s book illustrators who live in Brooklyn. (One of them is the talented Sergio Ruzzier, who put together a list of all the artists in the show, with links to their web sites, on his blog. I suppose I could do the same, but why reinvent the wheel? Sergio’s list is here. Grazie, Sergio.)

My contributions to show are original drawings and paintings from Ballet for Martha, Moonshot, Poppy’s Return, and The Hinky-Pink. Several of us with work in the show are also exhibiting process drawings in display cases in the library’s youth wing. In my case (so to speak) there’s a soup-to-nuts presentation on the making of The Racecar Alphabet: initial inspiration, sketches, storyboards, book dummies, revisions, original art, and a scale model Mercedes-Benz 300SL (1952). It’s an honor to have work up in the show. I hope you’ll be able to come by and see it! Exhibit details are here.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Live from St. Louis

A great review of Ballet for Martha from Carol Rasco, the CEO of RIF — Reading is Fundamental — ran on Monday. I am (naturally) happy to link to it, here.

The review mentions something remarkable that I’m excited about that’s coming up next month: the St. Louis Orchestra will perform Aaron Copland’s Appalachian Spring Suite on October 1 and 3, accompanied by images from the book. Will 10” x 11” drawings work at 10’ x 11’? Visit St. Louis and find out! More information on those performances is here. (Scroll down to the header AMERICAN ARTS EXPERIENCE-ST. LOUIS.)

And on October 2, authors Jan Greenberg and Sandra Jordan, editor Neal Porter, and I will give a panel presentation at the St. Louis Public Library on Ballet for Martha and our experience making the book. Information on the panel is here.

Why such favor from the Gateway City? Because that’s where Jan Greenberg lives. More on Jan is here. My thanks to her, as well as to the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, St. Louis Public Library, and Roaring Brook, for putting together these events. If any of you are in or near St. Louis, it would be great to see you there!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Brooklyn Book Festival

This Sunday, September 12, the Brooklyn Book Festival will be held in and around Brooklyn’s Borough Hall. I’m glad to be one of the readers this year, and look forward to reading and sketching at the children’s tent at 3:00. I’ll read from The Racecar Alphabet — not my most recent book, but the one I think best suited to the expected audience category: Children of Varying Ages, Energy Levels, and Attention Spans. If there’s a wave of interest in lightships, astronauts, or Martha Graham, though, well, we’ll see what happens. Event details are here. Scroll down to the “Target Children’s Area” header for a full list of children’s book readers. It’s a great lineup (if I do say so myself), including Tad Hills, Michael Rex, Mac Barnett, John Rocco, Sergio Ruzzier, Chris Raschka, and others. It should be a great festival and I hope I’ll see you there!