Wednesday, August 27, 2008
One of the things that I really enjoy doing is searching for great books to add to my slowly growing library. Whether they are books about artists, art history, classics, or children's books, it is fun to find books that are not only printed well, but are great to read and look at. With that, I have been enjoying a new addition to my library the last week, a reprint of the 1909 Grimm's Fairy Tales with illustrations by the remarkable Arthur Rackham. The book is a wonderful recreation that is beautifully printed and bound. It even has a really great slip case. As to where I got it from, it came from a place called the Folio Society which exists to create beautiful editions of the world’s greatest books. The books are a little more expensive than a traditional version of them, but the production value just blows you away when you get to actual look through it. I definitely would recommend anyone who is a book lover to check it out.
Monday, August 25, 2008
After a seemingly short summer, it is hard to believe that I am talking about the fall already. But with all that is to come in the next four months, I am actually happy that the fall has arrived. There will be the releases of a couple of new books with "Catch the Wind" and also "The Sick Bug", and a number of really fun events associated with them. Also on the fall menu is a couple of different classes that I will be teaching as well. The first of them is a 5 session class at the Elk River Arts Alliance that will be held every other Tuesday starting Sept. 23 on Creating Childrens' Books. This class will be 2 hours on Tuesdays and will be a great class for anyone who has always wanted to illustrate a children's book or is fascinated and wants to learn more about the process involved. The second class that is coming up as well is a class on "The Art of Illustration" at the Richeson School of Art in Kimberly, WI. This will be a class that will be a great overview for someone interested in being a professional illustrator. Whether it be illustrating books, magazine articles or product illustration, this class will give the participants the information about the industry as a whole. Another great aspect about the class is what to do next. They will learn how not only to put a portfolio piece together but also how to market themselves as an illustrator. So if you or someone you know in the vicinity of Wisconsin would be interested, feel free to pass along the information. The more students the merrier. For more information, feel free to click on the link to Richesons or you can look at the bottom of this post and I will list more information.
And then there was BUDDY GUY. As many of you know already, I am a HUGE fan of the blues and greats like BB King, Buddy Guy, Muddy Waters and the like. Having been to a number of Buddy's concerts before definitely didn't leave me satisfied and I needed to see more! So with the lineup of Big Head Todd and the Monsters, Johnny Lang and Buddy Guy, a few friends and I ended up at the Minnesota State Fair and Buddy's concert. As usual, it was a great show and am already looking forward to the next one when he comes to town next. I know the pictures here are not the best, but I can attest to the great seats we had and the beautiful weather that was present for the show. I would definitely recommend to you that if you haven't seen Buddy before, you must check him out as he is an amazing performer!
Children's Book Illustration class at The Elk River Arts Alliance
716 Main Street in Elk River, MN
--Every other Tuesday---
Classes start Sept. 23 and continue on Oct. 7, 21 and Nov. 4 and 18.
6:30 to 8:30 pm
Cost $ 150 for all five classes
***Registration for class will begin soon. To reserve a spot in the class call the Arts Alliance at 763-441-4725
The Art of Illustration at Richeson School of Art
557 Marcella Street, Kimberly, WI
Oct. 17-19, 2008: Three day all day workshop
Thursday, August 21, 2008
For me, one of my favorite moments of working on book illustrations is when the book that I had worked on for so long shows up. And today was one that was doubly exciting with two books showing up on the doorstep. Hopefully I will be getting more samples of the books for my portfolio and archive, but until then, I am enjoying the two new additions to the shelf. The books themselves are titled "The Bird Shaman" by Judith Moffett and "Sunny's Adventures' by Leketha Marie Johnson. Now it is waiting for the other two books that are coming out in the next couple of weeks with "Catch the Wind" and "The Sick Bug"
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
Monday, August 18, 2008
Hello to you all. Hope your weekends were full of excitement. I know mine was one that I will not forget for a while. A coworker and I went to see Joe Bonamassa at the Minnesota Zoo amphitheater on Saturday night and were blown away with the guitar work that Joe did. Having been to concerts with great guitarists like Derek Trucks, Buddy Guy, BB King and Joe Satriani, it was a great surprise to hear Joe and his amazing work. I definitely would recommend anyone who loves the blues and the guitar to check him out! Now it is off to see Johnny Lang and Buddy Guy at the Minnesota State fair on Sunday night. I know it seems like I am a concert junkie attending two concerts in a course of a week, but August just always works out to be the "party" month here in the cities. I think it is a much deserved release after months of hunkering down in the studio and the upcoming craziness that will be this fall.
I am looking forward though to that craziness that is about to start with the release of two more books ( "The Sick Bug" and "Catch the Wind") in the next couple of weeks. That will make 4 books being released in a matter of 2 months and the excitement of another couple in the works. The fun thing that I really enjoy with these books is when the booksignings and the visits start with the school kids. There is always a great time to be had when you get to visit with the little ones who look forward to seeing the books come to life. I will be sure to start an event section on my blog soon to list all of the places that you will be able to find me in the coming months. Until then, hope you are keeping busy yourselves and are finding fun ways to enjoy the remaining weeks of summer!
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
One of the things as an artist that I find exciting is when I find a new product to fill in the gap in my studio. That gap that has been missing is a paint that can produce beautiful, rich solid tones on a canvas or paper that doesn't leave it too streaked from brushstrokes. I know that oils work well for that, but as an illustrator, I sometimes don't have the time to wait for a piece to dry for two weeks. So I am left with acrylics and they often leave brush marks or indications of such when doing flat colors. So the other day when a fellow artist and co-worker came in with some new paintings on paper that he had done, I was blown away with the matteness of the color. The piece almost looked like it was a lithograph but had the subtle indications of being hand done. So I knew that that was going to be a great paint to add to the studio. The only problem was what colors to choose. I didn't want to get this new paint and get working on a piece and not have the right color, so I did the next best thing, I ordered one of every color. I know it was crazy, but the good thing is that they don't have hundreds of colors, so it wasn't to outrageous, but still will be a great investment for the studio. The paint itself is called LeFranc & Bourgeois Flashe Vinyl paint and comes in either 60 ml tubes or in a 400ml jar.
Now I know you might be a little disappointed because I don't have attached any images of works created with it yet, but don't fret, I just got the paint yesterday and am anxious to start using it. I will be sure to post some of the pieces that are my testers. Until then, you will just have to look at the photo of the paint itself. In other studio news, it has been a lot of fun lately working on another children's book. The great thing about it is I am also having to learn sign language at the same time so it has been a fun adventure in learning not only the signing but creating the images for the book itself. I am still only in the development stage but am already learning a lot. So if you see me walking down the street flashing signs, it is not a gang thing, rather an attempt at the actual sign language (learning curve will take a while :-)