Studio Views: Watching for Accidents

sv_meade_scissors

The boards of my studio floor are strewn with scraps of paper like so many flower petals let go from their stems following an abrupt wind. The eye of that wind storm is where I like to work. The discarded pieces of paper swirl to the floor and make a lovely mess around my feet, […]

Studio Views: My Favorite Medium

sv_meddaugh_2Bpencil

I asked Martha what her favorite medium was, and she said: “Medium-rare, although rare, medium, and well-done are all perfectly acceptable.” My favorite medium is the pencil. I love the pencil. It feels like a natural extension of my hand. I’m comfortable and confident with a pencil. But not just any pencil. My pencil is […]

Studio Views: Why I Use Oil Paints So Much

sv_zelinsky_paint

I like to think that the story I’m illustrating tells me what medium to use on it. And I have used quite a few materials over the years. But there does seem to be a preponderance of oil paints on the roster. Could this represent an actual preference on my part? I’ve had to sit […]

Studio Views

Studio Views

Thirteen picture book artists talk shop in these pieces about tools and techniques.   “Family Albums” by Margaret Miller “My Next Medium” by Chris Raschka “The Sculptural Quality” by Arthur Geisert “Tiny Pieces of Paint” by Peter Sís “Ticonderoga #2″ by Donald Crews “Pulp Painting” by Denise Fleming “Sharpie Markers to the Rescue” by Lynn […]

Whitney and Me: Confessions of a Work-for-Hire Diva

Whitney Houston

I would call it a guilty pleasure if I felt guilty. But my subscription to People magazine actually liberates me. Instead of furtively flipping pages in the checkout line, hoping to find the photos of Beyoncé and Jay-Z’s baby before it’s time to unload the hummus, I have Blue Ivy Carter (seven pounds) delivered, so […]

Lunch with Lee Kingman

Lee Kingman Natti

It had been nearly five years since my last lunch with Lee Kingman Natti, but it felt like just last month. Her home in Gloucester is an oasis reflecting Lee’s lifelong involvement with artists and writers, as well as her own art. We sat looking out at the granite quarry that holds their water supply […]

An artist’s notebook

The Bird King

Seeing artists’ sketchbooks is like sneaking into their diaries. Sketchbooks give a fascinating look into secret artistic processes and reveal hidden gems that never before made it to publication. Shaun Tan’s The Bird King: an artist’s notebook (Scholastic/Levine, coming February 2013) is a treasure trove of ideas and humor, filled with fantastic, slightly creepy creatures […]

Give ‘Em Helvetica: Picture Book Type

The Stinky Cheese Man

Type — the formal language of the printed word — speaks to us in mysterious ways. It’s not always clear just what type is saying, or how our reading experience is enhanced or undermined, however subtly, by slight variations in point size (the overall dimensions of the type), or the thickness and proportions of an […]

One Crazy Road to Here: CSK Author Award Acceptance

My mother, Miss Essie, used to tell my sister, my brother, and me, “Eat every bit of food on your plate today, because you don’t know what tomorrow will bring.” Like many Americans, my siblings and 
I have an eye on the future, and we keep pushing although we’reuncertain about tomorrow. We might not know […]

Chris Raschka: The Habits of an Artist

Chris Raschka

Chris wakes up at five o’clock in the morning and prepares breakfast according to plan: Monday — eggs; Tuesday — cereal; Wednesday — oatmeal. At six thirty he wakes our son, Ingo, and after breakfast they eventually leave the house together. Ingo turns east to cross Central Park to go to school and Chris walks […]