Thursday, December 23, 2010
The Tortoise and the Hare
The Frog and the Ox
The Fox and the Grapes
Wednesday, December 22, 2010
Little Boy Blue
Little Jack Horner
BaBa Black Sheep
Thursday, December 16, 2010
Below is Hansel and Gretel told in 5 pages (and one title page) using the concepts and exercises outlined in Molly Bang's book (one of which is two colors plus black and white, hence the controlled palette).
Hansel and Gretel’s stepmother, tired of the sound of children playing, sent them into the woods with naught but a hunk of bread. Hansel and Gretel’s father had never let them play in the woods. Afraid they would become lost; they left a trail of bread crumbs behind them.
But the birds of the forest flocked to food and Hansel and Gretel were soon lost. Spying a house through the trees, they headed toward it and were soon welcomed inside. Though the cottage was sweet, there was something strange about the Old Woman who lived there.
That night the Old Woman grabbed Hansel, cackling, “I do love a good roast child!” Though terrified, Gretel would not see her brother condemned to the oven. As the Old Woman muttered to herself, Gretel reached out, pushing with all her strength, and shoved the Old Woman into the oven, pulling Hansel to safety as she did.
Hansel and Gretel fled the cottage, weaving and twisting through the trees. As dawn approached, they found the edge of the woods.
“Children! Were have you been?” Their father greeted them with hugs and admonishments; “You must never go into the forest alone again. Oh, I missed you so!” Their stepmother, however, was nowhere to be seen.
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
The second class, Creating the Picturebook, is taught by Mordicai Gerstein (the Caldecott Award winning illustrator of The Man Who Walked Between the Towers). Creating the Picturebook is a studio-based class that culminates in the creation of a picturebook dummy, finished cover illustration, and two finished interiors. Building up to this we also did exercises story-boarding nursery rhymes with and without frames. It's amazing to watch someone like Mordicai look at a drawing, and then sketch the same drawing but with the character in a slightly different place. This simple change suddenly creates a much more dynamic composition. In my undergraduate thesis class, I found that Whitney Sherman could do the same thing with text and layout. A simple move and bang, the piece worked (in a seemingly miraculous way).
Over the course of the next week I hope to post some assignments from the semester, as well as give some information on the program at the Eric Carle museum (and my experience of it). While the MFA in illustration and writing was added this fall and is only available at the Eric Carle, there are also programs in creative writing and children's literature which are available at both the Carle and at Simmons College in Boston.
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
I don't think I'm finished illustrating passages of Matilda, but this particular project will go on hold for a while with the start of MFA classes in the fall.
I love the dark quirkiness of Dahl’s stories. His characters are at once ridiculous and so detailed that they must actually exist. Last year I worked on a series of illustrations for Edward Lear’s limericks, which share a strange sensibility with Dahl’s work. I enjoyed working with Lear’s texts and found myself thinking about Dahl as I worked. Wanting to work with a longer piece than one of Dahl’s poems, and fondly remembering Matilda, I decided to pick it up again. The dark, very British humor and ridiculous events tend to make me grin with glee and I can’t help but love characters who are enamored of books….
Chapter 1: The Reader of Books
‘Did you know,’ Mrs Phelps said, ‘that public libraries like this allow you to borrow books and take them home?’
‘I didn’t know that,’ Matilda said. ‘Could I do it?’
‘Of course,’ Mrs Phelps said. ‘When you have chosen the book you want, bring it to me so I can make a note of it and it’s yours for two weeks. You can take more than one if you wish.’
Chapter 2: The Ghost
‘I’m fed up with your reading anyway. Go and find yourself something useful to do.’ With frightening suddenness he [Mr Wormwood] now began ripping the pages out of the book in handfuls and throwing them in the waste-paper basket.
Matilda froze in horror. The father kept going. There seemed little doubt that the man felt some kind of jealousy. How dare she, he seemed to be saying with each rip of a page, how dare she enjoy reading books when he couldn’t? How dare she?
‘That’s a library book! Matilda cried. ‘It doesn’t belong to me! I have to return it to Mrs. Phelps!’
There are many books in this world I do not agree with and hope no one ever reads, but the idea of directing violence toward a book is unthinkable, as it rends not just thoughts, but, in the case of fiction, entire worlds. Though we as readers already dislike Mr. Wormwood, this scene establishes Matilda’s father as a truly horrid man and enables us to laugh at him later when Matilda exacts her devious revenge.
Monday, July 19, 2010
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
It's integral to the story that the spaceship have a nose. Not just a spaceship nose, but one that looks a bit more like a real nose. The silhouettes have definitely been helpful thus far. Additionally, the ramp out will then look a little like a mouth but I'm trying to make it not too scary, simply interesting if you happen to notice it. I considered having a red carpet tongue, but it seems like a bit too much. We'll see, maybe it'll work when I eventually get to color studies.
Wednesday, June 9, 2010
I'm working on sketches for a children's manuscript I wrote. I'm still trying to figure out how my work will fit in with my full-time job, but be assured that it will. Here are a few from the land of little time.As I was dividing up the text for the 32-page picture book format, I was thinking how much I wished a professor had given me a text a week and had me divide it up into a 32 page format and then compared and shared ideas with the other students in my class. It would be agonizing the first few weeks, but I think it would be a great way to develop pacing along a story arc. If I ever end up teaching (who knows what could happen in the next 30 years) I may play this card... Anyway, the idea's up for grabs if anyone wants to implement it. Maybe I'll even get my act together and make myself do it.
Thursday, May 20, 2010
Tomfoolery, recently shown at Rockhill Bakehouse, will be hanging in the cafe of the River Valley Market in Northampton during the month of June. The work will be up as of June 1st and the opening is Friday, June 11th from 6-8pm. If you are in the area, stop by to see the prints and say hello.
The prints will be available for sale with a percentage of the price going to the charity of the month at River Valley Market. You can see the prints here. I've carved 3 new blocks, but have yet to print them, so expect more to come soon!
P.S. Check out photos from my last opening (for Untitled & Unwritten) at the exhibit's blog!
Saturday, May 1, 2010
The opening is May 18th, from 6-8pm at the Visual Arts Gallery (directions here). We are encouraging visitors to add a written story in the comments or at the exhibit, for while we've written chapter titles and made illustrations, the stories and book titles remain unwritten.
In the next weeks I will be moving to Massachusetts so there will be fewer posts during the month of May.
Friday, April 30, 2010
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
Monday, April 26, 2010
Chapter 3: And Then Again
Chapter 4: Shadows & Small Trees