Library of the Early Mind

I finally got to see Library of the Early Mind, which was shown at The Rhode Island School of Design auditorium this week. It was made by Edward J. Delaney and produced by my friend Steven Withrow, and it did not disappoint! Whether you are endlessly interested in children’s books and their makers like I am, or someone who hasn’t given a thought to how and why they are made, you will find this an interesting show.

Robert Brinkerhoff, the Head of Illustration at RISD, opened the screening.

The movie itself was a montage of creators talking about the many facets of creating children’s books- from audience, motivation, and the current state of affairs in the publishing industry. It had a sort of meandering, dreamy feel as it featured different authors and illustrators talking about what led them to pursue books, what books mean in the greater sense, and where publishing is heading. I enjoyed the tone of the film and getting to personally hear from such a great array of creators.

Some of the author/illustrators in the film were on hand for a panel discussion afterwards.

Robert Brinkerhoff, Edward Delaney, Chris Van Allsburg, Steven Withrow, Natalie Babbitt, Mary Jane Begin.

We are lucky here in RI to have these local creators available and willing to be involved in an event like this!

Natalie Babbitt speaks about her experiences of having a book turned into a movie. (No, she wasn’t thrilled with the results!)

Chris Van Allsburg fields a question about one of his lesser-known books, The Wretched Stone.

Follow the link above and see if the film is coming to a screen near you- it’s well worth checking out!

RISD Alumni + Student Art Sale, Oct. 9th

They’re not selling alumni or students, silly. But alumni from all over the country come to RISD on Alumni Weekend, and join up with some of the current students to set up on Benefit Street and sell their cool stuff. I will be there with an array of my hand-made goods as well as a couple of my books. Come on over for a grand day in the city, and visit me while you’re at it!

Here’s the official postcard. By the way, those are my birds in the middle!

RISD Alumni + Student Art Sale
Saturday, October 9th, 10-4pm
Benefit Street, between Waterman and Hopkins Streets in Providence, RI

Hope to see you there!

New stuff from Brimfield…

As I said, I picked up a few things at the Brimfield show last week, because you can’t go there and NOT find anything, that would be impossible.
For me, anyhow!
Old stuff is aesthetically more interesting than most new stuff.
Again, for me, anyhow!

Some of the things I am a sucker for are vintage children’s books:

This coloring book is from 1934, and was never used. Why is that a little sad?

These are from 1950- I especially love the alphabet one!

These are teeny- about 3″ each. Wee stuff is always extra cute!

A little salute to Belgium and Holland:

That’s a wine label, I think…plus some sweet wooden shoes.

I always manage to find at least a few “new” old fabrics…

New-old stock Easter candy box= LOVE!

Another mysterious love- old, unused stickers, preferably the gummed paper kind, and especially if they’re in their original package!

Also an unused decal from one of our favorite meccas…Santa’s Village in NH!

And a little something more medieval, too:

Rampant unicorns! Huzzah!

That’s most of what I picked up. I guess I am generally an ephemera lover!

Antiques in the Air…

… can you smell it? Fall, Autumn, the wind whistling, a few leaves blowing by…and miles of antiques!

September is when one of the three yearly Brimfield shows occurs, and I snuck away for the day with my mom to partake in the hunt. It turns out that I collect pictures just as much as real stuff (no, more), so herewith are some photos of things I thought were cool, and some of the stuff I got while there. Really, I think the fun is just in the poking around, looking through decades past.

‘Twas a brisk fall day, cloudy for the most part, but with sun poking through occasionally.

Every season is Christmas at Brimfield:

These are some mighty fine paper candy containers:

Here’s something you don’t see anymore, not even in Scotland!

I love the naive painting on this set o’ dwarves…

Continue reading “Antiques in the Air…”

Let’s play catch up, shall we?

Did you have an awesome summer? Didja?

I have been having a good amount of fun coupled with a lot of work, both in and out of the studio. So, I let my blog languish a bit for summer. Now is the time to bring it up to speed as we go into FALL!

Going back a couple of months, I don’t think I ever showed you this fabulous new book called lllustrating Children’s Picture Books:

It’s by my friends Steve Withrow and Lesley Breen Withrow, and I was most happy to contribute a couple of articles to it. This one is about writing and illustrating board books, which is truly one of my favorite subjects:

This page is about the “other” markets you can pursue with your children’s art. If there’s one thing I do know a lot about, it’s “other” markets! This encompasses toys, fabrics, magazines, and stuff like that.

Let’s see… what else? Ah, I have been illustrating almost monthly for Highlights High Five, mainly little snippets of recipe ingredients.

I am continuing to create the Newport Creamery children’s menus. The current one is summer-themed and has Newport’s Cliff Walk on the cover. Next time you’re there, go ahead and ask for the kid’s menu!

I haven’t managed to update my website in a while (it’s on the list), so for now I will show you a few of my recently designed Fred items, now available at a store near YOU! Keep your eyes open for:

Salt ‘n’ Pants! Oh, how happy it makes me to see this one on the market! The little guy is salt, and his pants are pepper. I know it’s weird, but I’ve been trying to get it made for a couple of years now. Huzzah! Hooray for pants!

Another item I am glad to see out there is the Candy Stash. It’s a zip-up wallet shaped like those candy buttons stuck on paper. Mmmm, paper…and candy!

Fresh into the world is the Desk Daisy– a little potted plant that has 3 stems full of paper clip “petals”, held in place by magnets. Perky, huh?

Also new to the market are Chewdrivers…little interchangeable tool handles that can be fitted with a knife, fork, and spoon. This one was challenging to figure out, but it came out well and works like a charm.

Last but not least, I spent a good part of summer ferrying kids to and from the Swamp Meadow Summer Children’s Theatre. They did a very fun musical called “Olivia”, which was something like a female “Oliver” but with all new songs, and a totally different plot. Anyhoo, I did the art that was used for the playbills, t-shirts, and media stuff.

That’s all for now… we now return you to your regularly scheduled blog posts!