My husband Rob and I had lunch at the Red Arrow Diner in Manchester, NH this past Saturday. We were in town, just about to head around the corner to the New Hampshire Institute of Art where I was giving a speech for New England SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators) Illustrator Day. We found out that the Red Arrow is rated one of the top 10 diners in America. On the wall, we saw lots of photos of our waitress Elaine, taken with Presidential candidates during Primary seasons of the past. So, we thought it would be fun to take her picture during our visit. Our rosy glow is from a red neon sign next to our booth. Off to the right of the picture, you can just see a photo of her with Al Gore.
We were so busy setting up our presentation and meeting people at the SCBWI event, that we forgot to take pictures. I enjoyed meeting book designer Carol Goldenberg, who I’ve heard about for years. Her talk showed all that goes into making a book from a designer’s point of view. I was so excited when she showed the evolution of the cover design for Beth Krommes’ The House in the Night. Beth and I were both printmaking students at Syracuse U., before I transferred to RISD and we’ve kept in touch since. All of her books are wonderful! I scanned my copy, which I bought when the book first came out, before it won the Caldecott and had gold stickers put on.
I talked about my development as an artist from childhood to the present. I spoke about the challenge of fitting into the illustration world when your artwork isn’t the usual watercolor paintings. I used Melissa Sweet’s new book, Balloons Over Broadway as an example of someone who is taking risks with her illustration, combining collage, sculpture and watercolor painting. In this book, she tells the story of Tony Sarg, the puppeteer behind Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade.
She made toys and puppets to go along with the text and set up these delightful assemblages. Too fun!
I have a little break until the next event–RISD’s Holiday Sale, Rhode Island Convention Center, Saturday, Dec 3rd.