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Viewing Blog: The Tyger Voyage, Most Recent at Top
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It all began when my aunt gave me, "The Tyger Voyage" for my 14th birthday...
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1. Where are the People of Color in Childrens' Books?



 Great article in the New York Times, by Walter Dean Myers, a prolific writer.




Also, to completely change the subject, I'm really looking forward to this: 





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2. Where are the Women Artists?


Take a look at this film, produced by the Tate Modern in London:


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3. Inspiration: Rose Valland, and the Monuments Men


 I have been looking forward to The Monuments Men film opening. I saw it last night and was somewhat disappointed, for several reasons.

 But first, a bit about this amazing woman. Rose Valland had degrees from the Ecole de Beaux Arts in Paris, and graduate degrees in art history from the Sorbonne and the Ecole du Louvre. She worked her way up the ladder at the Jeu de Paume, to assistant of the museum. 
During World War II, she was the only French person continued to be allowed to work there when the Nazis took it over. They used the museum to store stolen art, mostly from Jewish collectors. She had a front row seat to what they were doing, and, being very unassuming, the Nazis didn't pay much attention to her. They didn't know she spoke German. And they also didn't know she was keeping track of every single piece of art that came and left the museum. She had spies helping her everywhere: drivers, guards, and packers who helped her follow where art was being taken. Eventually she showed her detailed records to one of the Monuments Men, who, once the Allies invaded Germany, took her notes and used them to retrieve much of the art.


Rose did not receive much recognition for her bravery and detailed work. But it wasn't until 1953, after 20 years, that she was at last given the title of curator. She was the inspiration for the film, 'The Train', starring Burt Lancaster (1964), about a train full of stolen art sitting at the station in Paris. She was given the Legion of Honor, the Medal of the French Resistance and was made Commander of the Order of Arts and Letters by the French government, and was given the Presidential Medal of Freedom by the US and the Officer’s Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany. She died in 1980, virtually unknown, but one of the most decorated women in France.

So, back to the Monuments Men film.
Cate Blanchett plays Rose Valland in the film. Really? Why not a French actress? And why did they change her name to Claire Simone?
George Clooney wrote the screenplay. As a friend said, it sort of 'Disney-fies' this story. Yep. Too clean, sort of Hogan's Heroes style. Jokey boys group of actors, bumbling along, looking for art. The script doesn't flow, it's just one disjointed scene after another, with lively marching music.
It could have been so much more.

Still, an incredible story. And it's true. Stolen art continues to be found in attics and basements today.


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4. Inspiration: Anita Lobel

 Anita Lobel is one of my favorite children's book illustrators.She has written and illustrated many gorgeous books. I just love her style of illustration. Graphic, colorful, with wonderful pattern and texture.

 She was married to Arnold Lobel, of Frog and Toad fame, until his untimely death. They met at Pratt, when they were both students.


 She grew up in Poland, her nanny took her and her little brother into hiding during WWII. They hid for five years, in farmhouses, people's basements, the woods, anywhere they could find refuge. Eventually she escaped to Sweden, where she was reunited with her parents.
Eventually she wrote a book about her childhood. It is an amazing story.



Go look for Anita Lobel's books at the library, you won't be disappointed!

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5. Paintings at the Wooden Duck

I have 13 paintings up and for sale at the Wooden Duck in Berkeley.

 
I hope this holiday season brings joy to you all, dear readers. 
Happy Solstice!


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6. The Shop has a New Look!

My kids decided to let me have the shop all to myself.
Come take a peek!




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7. Tea Towels Make Great Gifts






I am taking custom orders for hand block printed tea towels. 
I can print any of the designs you see, in just about any color you'd like.
These are all cotton floursack towels, about 28" square.  
Cost: $15 each, plus a bit more for shipping if you want them mailed to you. I'll deliver to your house if you live nearby (in Oakland or Berkeley).
Please place your orders by December 14th, 
 so I can get them to you before the holidays.
Leave a message below or email me with the design you'd like and colors. 
I'll email you back to confirm.
Here we go, the holidays are upon us.
Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

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8. Paintings up at Rick & Ann's

There are 23 paintings of my gracing the walls at Rick & Ann's restaurant in Berkeley, now until December 15th. Stop in and take a look...or better yet, go have breakfast there. You won't regret those gingerbread waffles, let me tell ya. They are amazing!



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9. Fall Colors

 I had a glorious weekend away... an illustrator's retreat. Fall colors were everywhere!



 Beautiful Pinecrest Lake, very low at this time of year. 

 The colors of these leaves...breathtaking!

Illustrators are amazing artists in the kitchen, too. Body and soul nourished, I came home to paint some landscapes of our beautiful Bay Area. Prints will be for sale in the shop soon.



And... a show at Rick & Ann's restaurant in Berkeley...coming soon!

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10. Inspiration: Melissa Sweet

Weekend before last I got to meet one of my favorite illustrators at SF Illustrator Day.
Melissa Sweet.
And she is.
 I love her collage work... just gorgeous!

 This book, A River of Words, is one of my favorites.

One of her most recent, Balloons Over Broadway, tells of Tony Sarg, the puppeteer
who created the Macy's Thanksgiving parade balloons. The book, which debuted last year,  was a Caldecott Honor book.
Thank you Melissa! 
You are such an inspiration to me.
check out her charming website: www.melissasweet.net

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11. Inspiration: Clementine Hunter...and some big news!


 Clementine Hunter was a self-taught African-American folk artist, born some time between 1886-1888. She was born on a plantation, and didn't start painting until she was in her 50s. I just found this beautiful picture book at the library, Art from Her Heart, 

 by Kathy Whitehead and illustrated beautifully by Shane W. Evans. 

 She lived on Melrose plantation, a haven for artists and writers. She found art supplies wherever she could, and painted after her day's work was done. Scenes from plantation life, hanging laundry, working in the fields, hunting, dancing at a party. going to church, filled her canvases.







She strung them up on a clothesline and charged twenty-five cents. She was not let in the front door at one of her first gallery exhibits, but had to enter after the gallery was closed. 
By the end of her century long life in 1988, her paintings sold for thousands of dollars and were in museums around the world, including the Smithsonian, and auctioned off at Sotheby's. 


 I love the exhuberant narrative in her work. She documented a time that no longer exists.

 And now to completely change the subject:


 I'm excited to announce that I'm now represented by the Herman Agency in New York. 

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12. Paintings at the Rockridge Cafe


Nineteen animal paintings are now on the wall at the Rockridge Cafe, until October 9th.
If you're in the neighborhood, stop by and take a look.

I'll be there for breakfast 
 Saturday September 14, from 10am-12 noon
I'd love to see you!

Rockridge Cafe
 5492 College Ave
Oakland, CA
open 7 days
7:30 am to 3pm

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13. Paintings at the Rockridge Cafe


Nineteen animal paintings are now on the wall at the Rockridge Cafe, until October 9th.
If you're in the neighborhood, stop by and take a look.

I'll be there for breakfast 
 Saturday September 14, from 10am-12 noon
I'd love to see you!

Rockridge Cafe
 5492 College Ave
Oakland, CA
open 7 days
7:30 am to 3pm

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14. New Art and other News

 I'm getting ready for a new exhibit, 
all paintings of animals, at the Rockridge Cafe in Oakland,
going up next week.
 These folk art critters were so fun to paint... Folk art is one of my biggest influences. I think it's the simple shapes and the detailed patterns.


And the new school year has begun, with a whole roster of names to learn and match to faces,
 new art supplies (!) and new projects to plan.
 We kissed this one goodbye... she's off traveling the world, with no return ticket home.
(You can follow her blog her:  http://zmfs.tumblr.com/ ).
We skyped yesterday. She's currently in Istanbul.
I am still amazed that we can do this.



In the last week or so of summer I was a flurry of activity, stripping, sanding, painting this cabinet in our kitchen.  The back wall is now 'million dollar red'.
I've often wondered who gets to name pant colors. Now that would be a fun job to have.

Stay tuned for some other BIG news coming very soon!


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15. New Art and other News

 I'm getting ready for a new exhibit, 
all paintings of animals, at the Rockridge Cafe in Oakland,
going up next week.
 These folk art critters were so fun to paint... Folk art is one of my biggest influences. I think it's the simple shapes and the detailed patterns.


And the new school year has begun, with a whole roster of names to learn and match to faces,
 new art supplies (!) and new projects to plan.
 We kissed this one goodbye... she's off traveling the world, with no return ticket home.
(You can follow her blog her:  http://zmfs.tumblr.com/ ).
We skyped yesterday. She's currently in Istanbul.
I am still amazed that we can do this.



In the last week or so of summer I was a flurry of activity, stripping, sanding, painting this cabinet in our kitchen.  The back wall is now 'million dollar red'.
I've often wondered who gets to name pant colors. Now that would be a fun job to have.

Stay tuned for some other BIG news coming very soon!


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16. Here's what you missed... and Sonia Delaunay

We were lucky last sunday, the sun came out!

we had fun setting up...

 with an eager helper...

 I sold a LOT of teatowels! 
But I do have a few left, will put them in my etsy shop...stay tuned for that.

Now I'm working on color samples for the biography of Sonia Delaunay. Fun!

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17. Here's what you missed... and Sonia Delaunay

We were lucky last sunday, the sun came out!

we had fun setting up...

 with an eager helper...

 I sold a LOT of teatowels! 
But I do have a few left, will put them in my etsy shop...stay tuned for that.

Now I'm working on color samples for the biography of Sonia Delaunay. Fun!

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18. Art Sale in the Garden...here we go again!


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19. Art Class in the Garden

This last week I taught an art class in the garden every afternoon, with some kids in the neighborhood. One day I did a guided lesson in acrylics, to teach them a variety of techniques quickly. Here are their pear still lifes above, with an underlayer of red paint. Drawing on top of that in chalk is a great technique, as they can erase until they get something they are happy with.

 And finished paintings above. Pretty good for 5th-7th graders using acrylics for the first time, don't you think? I am not that experienced with acrylics myself. But the internet is an amazing resource. I found this tutorial very helpful. Pear Painting Tutorial

 On another day we worked in watercolor. I like to start off by 
guiding students through a chart of different techniques. I think watercolor is the most frustrating media of all, it's so hard to plan ahead where to leave white space.

 Roo had a great time, soaking up all the attention.

When I wasn't teaching, I was either reading by our pond in the sun ( The Time in Between, by Maria Duenas, a great epic summer novel set in Spain before WW2 ) or making teatowels for our upcoming art sale. Stay tuned for more on that later this week.

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20. Astrid Lindgren Award: ISOL, and other summer stuff


Take a look at this video about the 2013 Astrid Lindgren award winner... ISOL, from Argentina.

In case you don't know: the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award (ALMA) is the world's largest award for children's and young adult literature, established in 2002, given by the Swedish Arts Council.

 Other art news: the Diebenkorn exhibit at the DeYoung is excellent, especially if followed by a picnic at Chrissy Field on a gorgeous summer day!

 I couldn't resist adding more wedding pics below...

 Beautiful bride...

 the perfect flowers for a wedding in 100+ degree heat...

Check out that Danish cake on the left, rings stacked up, like a crumbly cookie-full of marzipan. You take off one ring at a time and break it into pieces to eat.



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21. A Weekend Full of LOVE!

 It's a LOVEfest going on over here... The neighbor's plums are ripe, and we LOVE plum jam, so I got busy...

 Our niece Erin,  the flower girl at our wedding long ago...
 is getting married today.  Guess who is doing the flowers?
While I was making jam, this was going on in the next room...




 Bouquets and table decor above and below...
 Corsages chillin' out in the fridge, below.

 Orchids for the tables, below. I'll post more later, the man is making it quite elegant.

Hope you are having a happy, love-filled weekend, too!

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22. Art Sale in the Garden...here we go again!


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23. Art Class in the Garden

This last week I taught an art class in the garden every afternoon, with some kids in the neighborhood. One day I did a guided lesson in acrylics, to teach them a variety of techniques quickly. Here are their pear still lifes above, with an underlayer of red paint. Drawing on top of that in chalk is a great technique, as they can erase until they get something they are happy with.

 And finished paintings above. Pretty good for 5th-7th graders using acrylics for the first time, don't you think? I am not that experienced with acrylics myself. But the internet is an amazing resource. I found this tutorial very helpful. Pear Painting Tutorial

 On another day we worked in watercolor. I like to start off by 
guiding students through a chart of different techniques. I think watercolor is the most frustrating media of all, it's so hard to plan ahead where to leave white space.

 Roo had a great time, soaking up all the attention.

When I wasn't teaching, I was either reading by our pond in the sun ( The Time in Between, by Maria Duenas, a great epic summer novel set in Spain before WW2 ) or making teatowels for our upcoming art sale. Stay tuned for more on that later this week.

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24. Astrid Lindgren Award: ISOL, and other summer stuff


Take a look at this video about the 2013 Astrid Lindgren award winner... ISOL, from Argentina.

In case you don't know: the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award (ALMA) is the world's largest award for children's and young adult literature, established in 2002, given by the Swedish Arts Council.

 Other art news: the Diebenkorn exhibit at the DeYoung is excellent, especially if followed by a picnic at Chrissy Field on a gorgeous summer day!

 I couldn't resist adding more wedding pics below...

 Beautiful bride...

 the perfect flowers for a wedding in 100+ degree heat...

Check out that Danish cake on the left, rings stacked up, like a crumbly cookie-full of marzipan. You take off one ring at a time and break it into pieces to eat.



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25. A Weekend Full of LOVE!

 It's a LOVEfest going on over here... The neighbor's plums are ripe, and we LOVE plum jam, so I got busy...

 Our niece Erin,  the flower girl at our wedding long ago...
 is getting married today.  Guess who is doing the flowers?
While I was making jam, this was going on in the next room...




 Bouquets and table decor above and below...
 Corsages chillin' out in the fridge, below.

 Orchids for the tables, below. I'll post more later, the man is making it quite elegant.

Hope you are having a happy, love-filled weekend, too!

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