here, there, everywhere

Posted by on Sep 24, 2010 in Maine College of Art, Portland Stage Company | 0 comments

It’s official! I’m getting postcards printed so the long held intention of celebrating Nest, Nook & Cranny is now gonna happen. At last. Author Susan Blackaby is coming east, and we’ll meet for the first time. Can’t wait! We’ll do a school visit to Peaks Island Elementary and also a visit to the Portland Public Library at 3 PM on October 14. We will write, draw, and be yappish.

In other news, I am jazzed about autumn. Tis my season, y’know. It promises to be hectic. I’ve been all over lately, soaking up inspiration. Made a jolly good jaunt down to Boston with the ever colorful Kirsten Cappy.

We stopped at the Art Institute of Boston to see the gut-wrenching exhibit of Sue Coe’s work,
The Tragedies of War. Not for the squeamish. She was a big inspiration in the early days of my editorial illustration career. There was no matching her unequivocal approach to the brutalities of the world. These political bedfellows are vintage Coe.

From there we bopped to Charlesbridge Publishing, where I picked up galleys for my next book project. Yay! Then, we schmoozed with kid lit folks at Boston Pie Company, where Mitali Perkins held court.

I found myself in a crowd of librarians, bloggers, and authors exchanging Twitter handles. Uh, my only handle was that I illustrated Mitali’s Rickshaw Girl. That seemed to do the trick. I’m forever grateful for that fine story, and the chance to bring my visuals to it.

Twitter, twitter, tweet: met groovy librarians like Kara Dean and Laura Koenig, fellow fans of graphic novel for kids.

In other realms of art and performance, I brought my MECA class of illo ninjas to a tech rehearsal of The 39 Steps at Portland Stage Company. It was a good exercise in observation of choreography, framing, and the very difficult task of capturing it all, with no one standing still.

A vintage phone played a role in the action. Students Elise and Bret get ready to draw.

Here’s Alysa’s sketch:

And Seumas’s:

Elise drew some of the other sketchers, since we were at least sitting still.

Erica captured the director’s fashion:

Seumas had a different take on him:

I myself was riveted by the leading man’s pencil-thin moustache. Here’s my quicky sketch.

I handed in final art a few weeks ago for 2 Pianos 4 Hands. It doesn’t open for a couple of months, but here’s the sneak peek.

Meanwhile, though, I’ve got to see The 39 Steps, with a lovely poster by my island neighbor,
Doug Smith. Although the class only saw a couple of scenes, rehearsed a ton of times, it looks to be a madcap hit!

Bravo and thanks to Portland Stage for welcoming my students!

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