Whenever I paint a book there are always a few titles I pull out often for inspiration. So far for Greta, it has been Iona Opie and Rosemary Well's Mother Goose, and a variety of books illustrated by Melissa Sweet. The two below have been in heavy rotation.
I think what I've been trying to learn from each of them is how to balance a controlled painting style with spontaneity and loose, gestural marks. When I get in the zone and spend hours painting, I have to be on guard for my work becoming too tight or overworked. With this book, I am trying to keep some air in the pictures, to let the application be light. Will have more paintings to show you soon that hopefully will demonstrate what I mean!
I hope you are all doing something swell to celebrate the environment! If you are looking for some green activities to do at school or at home with your family, check out this page on the What Can You Do with an Old Red Shoe? web site. There you'll find free coloring sheets, activity sheets, and curriculum guides for using Old Red Shoe with kids... all easy to download!
Another great reuse idea from a reader of What Can You Do with an Old Red Shoe?. One that, um, doesn't like writing so much. I love this letter. Another great line: "your other books are very realistic except animals don't do things like that."
I often completely forget to take pictures when I do school visits, so I don't have much to show from my adventures on Boston's North Shore last week. But I did recently receive an awesome package from a school where I did a Skype visit. They did an author study and had each student write a project just like the reuse activities in What Can You Do with an Old Red Shoe?. To celebrate Earth Week I'll posting some of my favorites all week!
This one I love for a number of reasons. Most importantly what a great idea! When the sleeves fall off my next sweater I will definitely stick them on my cat. Also I find the author bio quite charming.
If any of you are in the area, come see me Thursday at the Winchester Authorfest! I'll be presenting at some local schools in the morning, then signing books at the Town Hall Book Signing in the afternoon, which is open to the public.
Here are the details:
Town Hall Book Signing 71 Mt. Vernon Street (next to Public Library) Winchester MA 01890
Last time I participated in the Authorfest there were dozens of other authors there. I don't know who will be participating this year but there is bound to be lots of amazing local talent. Its not often you have that many authors in one place!