Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Red-flannel hash and shoo-fly pie

These are some of the illustrations I created before I started making my own picture books using tissue paper collage. An early assignment from my editor Ann Beneduce was to illustrate a cookbook, Red-flannel hash and shoo-fly pie. I was so eager to please that I came in with many more linoleum cut illustrations than she needed. But she liked them. And so began our long term relationship as editor and illustrator, writer and friend. I hope you will enjoy these linocuts. Linocuts are similar to woodcuts but are made with linoleum blocks rather than wood blocks. You might also be interested in visiting
The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art during the exhibit of the artrist Antonio Frasconi's woodcuts.

Thursday, March 25, 2010


I love to listen to Mozart, one of my favorite composers, while painting tissue papers in my studio. Sometimes I turn the music up so loud so that it surrounds me.

A number of years ago, I created scenery and costumes for a semi-staged production of The Magic Flute by The Springfield Symphony Orchestra. It was a very exciting project to be involved in and one of the most memorable things I have ever done. I painted panels of Tyvek (the material that houses are wrapped in during construction) on the floor of my studio.

There is a little video of me painting tyvek for a mural project on my web site.

In The Magic Flute production, long banners of various lengths and shapes were hung above the stage and unfurled like huge bolts of color during the performance. All of the costumes for this production were made from painted Tyvek as well!

Friday, March 19, 2010

The Very Busy Spider Turns 25!

Happy Birthday my very hard-working friend.

Despite the many diversions in life, we must do our work!

The spider in my book is busy spinning her web so she can catch the fly, which in the end she does. You may have noticed when you touch the pages of this book, that the spider, web and fly are raised. This is a design feature that is meant to draw your attention to the spider and her task at hand. I am still pleased by this quiet and word-less recognition of all of her efforts.