Today’s rain is a welcome break in the action.  June’s been a swoon of events involving illustration all over the Maine map.

Things began with a bang on First Friday with the opening of Cathryn Falwell’s exhibit in the Children’s Room at the Portland Public Library. My show is up next, so I needed to see How It Is Done. Bravo, Cathryn! Besides showing the original illustrations from her latest book, The Nesting Quilt, she also made it real.


As well as a big nest for little peeps to play in!


From the library, I flew to Pinecone & Chickadee, where I am part of a group show, Eat More Art. Each artist was given a small wood panel. Kind of like a quilt, huh?


Dusted off my gouache paints for this one, titled Phoebe and Peony.


Just a couple of days later, Marty and I saw the Brick Store Museum’s wonderful exhibit of Maine illustrators. That’s where I spied Scott Nash’s signature logo, and his coinage of Illustrationland.

He is both an island neighbor on Peaks as well as the visionary department head of Illustration at Maine College of Art.


The exhibit includes some great historical pieces.


What a stunner by Jada Fitch!


Nice to see work by my amazing colleague at MECA, Daniel Minter.


And another MECA educator and illustrator/musician: Stephen Costanza!


There are so MANY illustrators in MAINE. I’m lucky to live amongst such a fine species.

Eric Hou, for instance. This exquisite graphite portrait in Eat More Art is not his usual take.


I have a fond collection of his koala works. He visited my studio recently and brought me a little hand-stitched koala witch. Now that is magic!


Next up was PeaksFest, the annual celebration of our island community, and a breezy day to hang out with my heroine in picture books, Anne Sibley O’Brien. We caught up at Dock Day before she headed to ALA in San Francisco. Annie’s an award-winning author and illustrator, an ambassador for diversity in children’s books, and a proud grandmother. She inspires me on every level.


How fitting on International Typewriter Day to gather at the Press Hotel for a celebration of Caldecott winner, Melissa Sweet. I’ve been wanting to visit this installation by Erin Moreau Hutton in the hotel lobby. Check out the back story HERE.


Absolutely the right place to honor Melissa’s book, The Right Word: Roger and His Thesaurus by Jen Bryant.


Loved sharing a room with illustrators and writers that included, among others: Charlotte Agell, Mary Anne Lloyd, Stephen Costanza, Jeannie Brett, Sarah Thomson, and Chris Van Dusen. Bliss, it was.


The brilliant mind behind the affair, Kirsten Cappy of Curious City, got us into the act.


My Marty can’t resist a good photo booth opp.


Everyone was asked to come up with a right word for Melissa. Here’s Mary Anne Lloyd’s:


I made this jazzy folder to hold them in.


Melissa, you represent the bestest of the BEST. May the Caldecott crown shine with your luminosity.


Yesterday, I blasted to Rockland to Hello Hello Books for an Island Birthday book signing with Matinicus author Eva Murray. Two islanders converge!


Eva said every Maine book about islands is always about boats. She wanted to share the plane factor, which plays a big role in daily life on her island, given the scant ferry service.

I hope weather will permit her to join me at the opening of my exhibit, The Storybook Waters at the Portland Public Library on July 9 from 5 – 7 PM. I’ll have original illustrations from several books, and Eva will read Island Birthday. Hope to see you there!


  1. Truly it is a feast for the eyes and heart!

  2. Jamie, you are always in amazing company and they are too! Looks like you are having a great time. Keep up the wonderful work you do while doing it with the greatest of ease. Thanks for the detail of your fabulous knit map for the directory. Deeeelightful!

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