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It is always so inspiring when I get to step out of the studio and work in the field with sketchbook in hand. My most recent painting trip was in France.
My goal was to gather ideas for a book I am just starting that is set in France, but even more importantly, to take some time away from the intense studio work and create an atmosphere of creative play and exploration. I want to see and record as much as I can when I am working in a sketchbook. But I also want to stretch myself as an artist, try new methods, experiment with new surfaces, tackle paintings I would never do in the studio, basically just climb out on a limb and PAINT. On this trip I painted in gardens and on street corners, I painted rooftops and sculptures, I even painted self portraits of myself because I wanted to record how happy I was while exploring. I worked in ink and watercolor, fountain pen and pencil. I had fun collecting bags from Paris shops and experimented with watercolor on toned surfaces. The warm brown paper bags made a wonderful surface to bounce the blue skies and dazzling light of Paris. Sketch trips are always a wonderful time to really push yourself to see new things and play with ideas on how to capture them in paint. I always feel thankful after painting trips and even a little reluctant to give up the freedom I find in the field as apposed to the studio. But journeys with sketchbooks always recharge me and fuel my ideas for stories. They make the work I create in the studio all the more meaningful because the work was started during such joyful adventures.
Here are a few of the sketches from this last trip.
Degas bather, Musee d'Orsay
Rodin, Gates of Hell, Musee d'Orsay
Iranian pot, Louvre
Mesopotamian Stone, Louvre
Notre Dame, Paris
Notre Dame, Paris
Paris, night scene
Notre Dame, Paris
The Burghers of Calais, Rodin Museum
The post Creative Play appeared first on Lita Judge.
Happiness is arriving at Hawley Elementary School to find every student has made a red hat to wear and drawn a picture of their favorite animal wearing a red hat. Here is just one class. So fun to see the whole school in red! Thank you all of Newtown, CT for an awesome week!!
The post Hawley Elementary School appeared first on Lita Judge.
Beatrix and her book Good Morning to Me! got a starred review from Publishers Weekly! The link is here. We're all eager for the book to be out on May 5th!
The post A Star for Beatrix appeared first on Lita Judge.
Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2015
It’s a sleepy morning in the cottage, but Beatrix the parrot is wide AWAKE…and she can’t wait to start the day with her friends.
"...a lead character whose energetic, blissfully obtuse personality is as vivid as her bright green feathers...It’s easy to imagine the many warm, giggling interchanges that snuggling with this book will inspire."
--Publisher's Weekly, *STARRED REVIEW
"Beatrix's irrepressible character stands out as brightly as her green and gold plumage....Young children who share Beatrix's morning hyperactivity, or even just her flexible relationship with the idea of an "indoor voice," will certainly relate…as will, without doubt, their parents. A few hearty squawks and a brisk bit of exercise...what better way to start the day? "
Click here for sneak peak.
The post Coming in May 2015 — Good Morning to Me! appeared first on Lita Judge.
Creating is such a leap of faith for me. Today I'm channeling all the art totems and spirits I hold close as I forge deeper into a project that is scary, thrilling and exquisitely exciting. Not ready to post sketches of it.... but soon.
The post Creating appeared first on Lita Judge.
A sketch for today. May all of you out there creating, whatever form you choose, have a lovely day.
The post A Sketch for Today appeared first on Lita Judge.
A cold night brings a beautiful morning outside my studio window.
The post Winter appeared first on Lita Judge.
RED SLED has just been included on the Common Sense Media list of essential books for kids and teens!
It joins some pretty good company in the age 2-6 category!
The post Red Sled appeared first on Lita Judge.
Thank you BookPage for including Flight School in your best of the 2014 list! What an honor to be in such company.
The post BookPage appeared first on Lita Judge.
I thought I'd share an oil painting I painted on location when we first moved to New Hampshire. What a cold, beautiful day it was, like today.
The post Cold Days appeared first on Lita Judge.
Sometimes the year end "best of" lists are quite enjoyable! Smithsonian Air and Space, one of my favorite magazines, picked FLIGHT SCHOOL as one of the best aviation and space themed books for children!
The post Air and Space appeared first on Lita Judge.
Fight School The Musical! If only I could go back in time and tell my little girl self when I was going to school in a small logging town -- that someday I'd have a book getting adapted into an off-Broadway musical for a children's theater in New York City! What miracles may come when you choose to believe in dreams! Thank you Vital Theatre for making Flight School The Musical a reality.
The post Flight School The Musical! appeared first on Lita Judge.
Please stop by and check out the lovely Cynthia Leitich Smith blog Cynsations. Here is a link to an interview I did for my newest book, Born in the Wild.
The post Cynsations Interview appeared first on Lita Judge.
Seeing a book begin to take shape after over a year of sketching and revising is exciting!
The post Taking Shape appeared first on Lita Judge.
Just home from New York City -- what a great time at the Society of Illustrators Original Art show!! It was such an honor to be a part of this fantastic show and get to see so many wonderful friends and colleagues. It was a special treat!!
The post Society of Illustrators Show appeared first on Lita Judge.
Starting to paint after months sketching this book. My favorite kind of day!
The post Rooftops of Paris appeared first on Lita Judge.
I love back to school time - I'm looking forward to going into classrooms again this year! I get so inspired talking with the kids. As we head into the school year I thought I'd update my school brochure. To all my teacher friends, here is a link.
Download my School Visit Info: Schools_2014-15.pdf
The post School Visits for 2014-15 appeared first on Lita Judge.
FLIGHT SCHOOL was recently mentioned in Barbara Gruener's lovely blog, The Corner on Character, and has been included in this year's Character Case at her school in Friendswood, Texas. Here's a link to the article.
Here's a small section from the article:
As we head into this year's dash, don't our little birds deserve to see their potential as eagles, not their limitations as penguins? We must take our role as flight instructors to assist and support them with "the technical parts" seriously.
The post The Corner on Character appeared first on Lita Judge.
Getting lots of help packing for next week's author visit to Wilmington, MA.
The post Packing with Luna appeared first on Lita Judge.
Thank you Bank Street College Center for Children's Literature for selecting HOW BIG WERE DINOSAURS? as a book of outstanding merit for The Best Children’s Books of the Year, 2014 Edition.
Link to the 2014 list of Best Children’s Books of the Year from the Bank Street College Center for Children's Literature.
The post Best Children’s Books of the Year appeared first on Lita Judge.
This morning, the year's first white tailed fawn wobbled out of the ferns in our yard. I love this time of year. He looked like he didn't quite know how to balance on those long legs. Mama licked him and sent him back to the ferns to hide. I didn't want to miss a moment by getting the camera, so I thought I'd share this drawing instead - it's in my upcoming book, BORN IN THE WILD, out this fall with Roaring Brook.
The post New Fawn appeared first on Lita Judge.
Was a great trip to NYC, but always feels great to be back in the studio, working on sketches for the next book. The light is pouring in my windows - I love this time of year.
The post Back in the Studio appeared first on Lita Judge.
So many beautiful faces to draw in this world.
I woke up feeling like dancing today.
The post Sketches appeared first on Lita Judge.
I'm so hopeful for my next book (out this fall)- two reviews are in and both are STARRED. Thank you School Library Journal and Kirkus!!
The post Born in the Wild appeared first on Lita Judge.
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Reading Flight School and making penguins with new friends at the Norwich library last weekend. That was fun. Thanks also to the Eric Carle Museum for hosting me at their storytime!
The post Summer Events appeared first on Lita Judge.