Wonders at the Weymouth Waterfront Library

Posted by on Jun 21, 2016 in Charlesbridge Publishing, drawing, Here Come the Humpbacks, Illustration, Maine College of Art, pastels, travels | 1 comment

Last Tuesday I visited the Weymouth Waterfront Library on the last day of my MECA residency. What a blast! The library sits, literally, at the edge of a salt marsh on the Sissiboo River in Nova Scotia.


I visited the day after my arrival to meet their gracious library clerk, Margaret Thibault, who invited me to share my children’s book illustration with two grades in Azure Thurber’s French Immersion classes from the nearby Weymouth Consolidated School. I made a quick flyer from my pastel of the view from the Jenny Family Compound. It was a kick to find that Margaret had posted it at Frenchy’s, where I found a polka dot shirt perfect for my visit.


My display was in a corner of the kid’s section, full of French language picture books. The area is historically rich with French settlers and proud Acadian heritage.


This is Margaret, on the left, amidst an eager swarm of students. Thank you for hosting me!


After briefly talking about my background as an illustrator, and showing my sketches and process for Here Come the Humpbacks, the best part comes: inviting everyone to draw. I’m always amazed at the results. I like the transparent shading on this spouty baby humpback in shallow waters.


photo by Margaret Thibault

I enjoy the expressions on all the sealife here.


photo by Margaret Thibault

Ethan gave me his drawing with a big ship teetering on the ocean above a happy humpback.


The narrative qualities and joy shine through in this bold sunset scene.


Keep in mind nobody had reference. These were all spontaneous drawings. Great movement in this breaching humpback.


Not everyone was in a whale mood. One boy asked if he could draw his dog. Of course! I love this comic profile.

Who could resist this friendly guy? These two should meet in a storybook.


How about this eagle? Shortly after my visit, while walking near the Jenny house, we saw a bald eagle soaring.


After the kids drew, we gathered again to talk about what we noticed about the drawings. It’s a good exercise in visual literacy and I encouraged them all to hang up their work in their classrooms, and to talk about them. Keep drawing, all summer long, and notice how pictures tell a story in whatever book you read!

I hung out in the library for awhile, talking with a former teacher, and then Keegan, who goes to another school but wanted to meet an illustrator. He dove right into my box of pastels, and told me all about winning a bicycle.


photo by Margaret Thibault

He wasn’t afraid to wear his colors!

The view from the back of the library kept changing, as the clouds parted and the tide came in. I drew this quick pastel as gratitude for my visit.


Thank you, Weymouth Waterfront Library, it was an honor to draw with your young artists and readers. Here’s to a summer of good books!

One Comment

  1. Fabulous, Jamie !
    Must be such satisfaction for you to see how you inspire the kids to let their artistic talents zoom.They are so lucky to have had you if even for one day !
    Wish you had been my teacher when I was young. We had a teacher who made us draw within the frame, setting up limits right away.
    You, on the other hand, show the kids how the sky is the limit and if they feel like drawing other than what you have just suggested,that is just fine. Loved those two dogs!!! Real keepers.
    I tell you Jamie, I see another book coming down the road. How to inspire children to draw and become their own masters !!!

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