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1. Take a Chance on Art (Disaster Relief For Texas Libraries) and Royal Bats


 

duke_ellington_by_don_tate

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 The Texas Library Association  (TLA) has been raffling a chance to own this beautiful original art piece by children’s book illustrator Don Tate. 

The $5 you spend for your raffle ticket will go to the  TLA’s Disaster Relief Fund, which will go to help libraries hit hard by Texas storms along the coast last year. The Rosenberg Library in Galveston lost its entire children’s book collection (it was on the first floor) in the flooding that followed Hurricane Ike. (Most of Galveston Island went under water.) It was one of many libraries along the Texas coast that suffered damage.  

The TLA Disaster Relief Fund auction has been helping Texas libraries contend with natural disasters since it was started by Jeanette Larsen and Mark Smith in 1999 –  always with original art donated by children’s book artists. 

Read an interview with the co-founder Jeanette Larson by Cynthia Leitich Smith in Cynthia’s blog Cynsations here.

Tate, of our Austin chapter of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) joins the ranks of  renowned  
 illustrators such as Rosemary Wells and Diane Stanley who have furnished paintings for the fund. 

The winning raffle ticket will be drawn at the TLA annual conference, held this year, appropriately enough,  in storm-pummeled Houston March 31 - April 3.   You can buy as many as you want. Go here, print your raffle tickets and mail them (with your check, of course) to the TLA office  at 3355 Bee Cave Road, Suite 401, Austin, Texas 78746-6763. Straightout donations to the Relief Fund are also accepted of course.

The Duke Ellington piece is for a book Don is illustrating by musicologist Anna Harwell Celenza, about how the young Ellington and composer/arranger Billy Strayhorn collaborated on their own version of Tsaichovsky’s Nutcracker Suite.

Publisher Charlesbridge is said to be looking at a 2010 publication for the nonfiction work tentatively titled Duke Ellington’s Nutcracker Suite.

There’s also an interview with Tate on his illustrations for the Ellington story in Cynsations here.  (Cynsations and Don’s blog, Devas T. Rants and Raves!  are on this  blogroll.)  

                                                                     * * * * *
Speaking of the storm ravaged Texas coast, I just got back from there last night. I was a guest children’s author at the Victoria Public Library’s 2009 Victoria Reads community reading program, and spoke at the library and a stunning historical museum, the Museum of the Coastal Bend on the Victoria College campus, where I saw Native American decorative pieces — scrimshaw-like carvings and patternings on oyster shells dating back 5,000 - 8,000 years  B.C. 

The region surrounding Matagorda Bay apparently teemed with First Americans. Victoria County was a crossroads of Indian trade routes (not more than well travelled Indian trails, really), which explains why various spearpoints and arrowheads on display at the museum can be traced to South America, Mexico, and Canada.
It’s like NAFTA existed back then. 

I had a great time talking with museum director Sue Prudhomme, volunteer archeologist Jud Austin and many other supporters of the museum.
                                                                       * * * * *

Returning home from that trip, I saw a blog post that I wish I’d alerted  you to earlier — about your chance to win, among other goodies, a T-shirt with one of the coolest YA  novel logo designs ever! 

Logo for "Eternal"

Logo for "Eternal"

You have a chance to win a shirt sporting  the impossibly elegant Princess Dracul logo (designed by Gene Brenek), a book,  a finger puppet, a signed bookmark,  stickers and more – well, just look at all the loot.

It’s the Eternal Grand Prize Giveaway  – a contest celebrating the   release  on Tuesday of the second novel (Eternal) in the Gothic YA fantasy trilogy by Austin author Cynthia Leitich Smith, who has been called “the Anne Rice for teen readers.”

Eternal is preceded by Tantalize, which is set in Austin and features vampires and assorted were-folk. (Austin is kind of a bat capital of the South, in truth. ) Eternal also has vampires and other new characters you can sink your teeth into — wait, I mean it the other way around — and one of these in particular, Princess Dracul  inspired the great glyph by artist-author Brenek (also of our Austin SCBWI chapter!)  It’s one of  many supernatural/regal emblems he’s designed for the book. (They convey such a  spooky verisimilitude. ) See for yourself and enter the Eternal Grand Prize Giveaway.  But go quickly. The give-away cutoff is Tuesday, February 10, when Eternal goes on sale!

Cynthia interviews Gene here.

                                                                    * * * * *
Author-illustrator Sarah Ackerley, a member of our SCBWI chapter’s Inklings illustrators group  who now lives in San Francisco sent a link to  this funny video about a year in the life of children’s book author-illustrator Jarrett Krosoczka. It features guest appearances by Jane Yolen, Tomie dePaolo, Mo Willems, Jon Scieszka and some of the  Blue Rose Girls .

                                                                    * * * * *
You can get some free lessons on color and a group of surefire palette strategies here They’re from  my online course about how to illustrate a children’s book,  Make Your Splashes; Make Your Marks!   

Northern California artist Susan Sorrell Hill  wrote me Thursday about how  these lessons helped her:

“In all of my research (on-line and in books) in the last several 
years, I have never come across a clearer, more work-able approach to color that can be applied practically to a painting…and I have 
looked far and wide for this information, recognizing that it was of 
major importance…. The need for a sustainable, predictably 
successful approach to color, for illustration as well as fine art, 
became crystal clear to me when I switched from oil painting to 
watercolors…the old ‘keep messing with it until it’s right’ approach 
just was NOT working with watercolor…

“As you predicted, the results are immediately recognizable. I heave a huge sigh of relief!”

You’ll find the signup for the free lessons here

0 Comments on Take a Chance on Art (Disaster Relief For Texas Libraries) and Royal Bats as of 1/1/1900
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2. Ukiyo-e yippy yippy yo, yippy yay!


I saw this animated film on an art blog and knew I had to commandeer it for my own blogging purposes.

It’s an older work by Seattle animator Tony White who posted it on youtube a few weeks ago: a life of Katsushika Hokusai – with convincing animations of  a few of the great images of this 19th century woodblock print master. 

 
    

I remember sitting in the Fine Arts Library at the University of Texas years ago, sketching, copying a Hokusai drawing for an assignment in Life Drawing class — and just marvelling and admiring.

White suggests that this always modern-seeming draftsman (who died in 1849) would have been an animator if he were alive today.  I look at his work and think “children’s illustration.”

Of course you can’t invoke Hokusai without also mentioning that other print master of Edo (Tokyo) whose name also started with an “H.”

June is so yikes-hot in  Austin, Texas.  So enjoy this video of the wintery Agano Snow Scene by Utagawa (Ando) Hiroshige.  He was influenced by Hokusai, who was just a few years ahead of him.
 

 

 

Hiroshige has an out-of-this-world-distinction as a graphic artist.  A  crater on the planet Mercury is named after him.

BTW, my ASK survey for my upcoming How to illustrate Children’s Books online course  is winding down. However you can still get four free months of the class by going to

 this link

and answering the question you see on the screen. 

The class begins in just a couple of weeks.  Your suggestion will be greatly appreciated.

Author-illustrator Mark G. Mitchell hosts “How to be a children’s book illustrator.”

 

 

 

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3. LadyStar The Dreamspeaker is a Free Online Book!

strong girls find enchanted treasures new best friends and myths legends and fables in a land of dragons princesses and cute animals

LadyStar is the story of a group of girls who each have a powerful weapon they wear disguised as a priceless jeweled treasure. With their magical weapons, Jessica Hoshi and her friends can transform into the Ajan Warriors, champion defenders of the enchanted realm of Aventar!



Jessica Hoshi a cheerful and optimistic girl

“Hi! I’m Jessica Hoshi! If you like stories about action and adventure and discovering magical treasures and fighting evil monsters, you’ll like our books a lot! Me and my friends have lots of fun adventures together! You can read LadyStar: The Dreamspeaker for free! The whole book! Right in your browser! So tell all your friends and come visit us as much as you want! There’s always something fun happening on our site!”

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4. Chocolate Buttons?


Jessica Hoshi a cheerful and optimistic girl

“Ne, ne, Shannon-sama”

Shannon Ka Yoru an artistic and thoughtful girl
“Hmm?”


Jessica Hoshi a cheerful and optimistic girl

“heheheheheeeeeee…”

Shannon Ka Yoru an artistic and thoughtful girl
*sigh*

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5. Battle formations

strong girls find enchanted treasures new best friends and myths legends and fables in a land of dragons princesses and cute animals


Jessica Hoshi a cheerful and optimistic girl

“That’s one of those monsters from my dream at the Lithic Pavilion.”

Shannon Ka Yoru an artistic and thoughtful girl
“I think something weird is going on again.”

Cecilia Daichi a happy and brave girl
“Is it the Halloween monsters?”

Ranko Yorozu an athletic and strong girl
“Nope, don’t think so, but we better be ready anyway.”

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6. The Obsidian Starlight Ring


Best friends discover magical treasures made of beautiful jewels adventure stories of strong girls with magical powers

Even in a lonely place
There shall be no fear
For a protector walks with you

Turn, and nothing is seen,
even in the moonlight

But she is there.

Even from the distant darkness
there is strength in her words

A Friend


Jessica Hoshi a cheerful and optimistic girl

“Su– sugoi…”

Talitha Hayashi a shy and brilliantly intelligent girl
“That’s the ring. That’s the ring we found in the jewelry box in Jessica’s attic.”

Cecilia Daichi a happy and brave girl
“It’s made of sapphires.”

Ranko Yorozu an athletic and strong girl
“Miss Shannon picked it up. I wonder if we’ll be finding that ring again soon?”

Shannon Ka Yoru an artistic and thoughtful girl
“My ring?”

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