This little hermit crab appears in “Nest, Nook and Cranny” more than once and serves as
today’s mascot…he reminds me of the song in my head: I get by with a little help from my friends.

I can thank friend and former teacher at the Institute for Children’s Literature for a great opportunity: Kirby Larson interviewed the author, Susan Blackaby, and I on her blog. Read it here.

I love when friends resurface from another chapter, a distant beach. Good friend, Kathy arrived on stormy seas to play catch-up in the world of art, elder care, and mothering.

Former Peaks Islander and my first island friend, Julie, will return to Maine in late May to photograph a wedding or two. She does amazing work. And there’s nothing like original art as a wedding gift. Below is my pastel for my newlywed cousins, Mati and Hugh.

And then there’s Ika, who knew my husband even before I did. She still creates out in the Bay Area, and out of the blue sent along her collection of vintage Beatle photos that she once had taped to her teenage bedroom walls. Now, they will be taped to OUR
teenager’s bedroom walls. It inspired this by Daisy:

Friends enhance our lives in so many ways, more than a Facebook count can ever tell.

I called upon friends to share their expertise with my class recently. First, Scott Dimond, an art historian, curator, and collector visited with his vintage suitcase full of newspapers and ephemera dating back over 200 years. He talked about the role that illustration played in the nation’s literacy, politics, and cultural mores.

Above, he displays a Molly Hatchet cover featuring art by Frank Frazetta to flesh out the early heavy metal genre.

Next up was Melissa Sweet, award-winning illustrator of picture books and products. She gave a spirited talk about the rewards of research and how process reveals the best surprises.

And then, with another nod to illustration history, Joshua Bergey, designer and curator, spoke about reclaiming the heritage of his grandfather, Earle K. Bergey, a preeminent illustrator of pulp fiction in the 30’s and 40’s. Students loved his pin-up glamour and the visionary sci-fi manifestations found on countless paperbacks.

It was a hectic couple of weeks, scurrying about the halls at MECA to make sure the right connections were on, the students were in attendance, and the timing was right.
Through it all, I get support from my faculty colleague, Mary Anne, who can listen and laugh about what we call Strange Maine.

She sends me little paper confections like this that just make my day.

As is written in the Apocrypha: “Forsake not an old friend; for the new is not comparable to him: a new friend is as new wine; when it is old, thou shalt drink it
with pleasure.”

I raise a glass to all my precious friends: cheers!

One Comment

  1. It is an honor to be counted among your friends, Jamie!

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