Dorothy Parker Illustration

The inaugural issue of Neshaminy magazine, which I wrote about in my previous post, also includes a poem written about the renowned writer, wit and poet Dorothy Parker, who lived in Pipersville, Bucks County in the 1930s and 40s. The editors asked me to create an illustration of Parker with some specifics mentioned in the poem. I tried several sketching styles but settled on one that leans toward a fashion illustration look, which seemed to work best because, while the poem deals with her wit and writing, it also mentions her smart style and elegance.

The finished illustration below is in ink wash.

Illustrations for a New Literary Magazine

The Bucks County Writers Workshop and with the Doylestown Historical Society are developing a historical literary magazine by local authors, called Neshaminy. If you live in our area you know that the Neshaminy Creek is a tributary of the Delaware River and runs for about 40 miles, entirely through Bucks County.

Don Swaim, an author and radio personality, is the head of the BCWW, and it happens that probably 20 years ago my father became part of a writing club that Don also headed, so I was acquainted with him. When I heard about the project I asked if there were any need for an illustration or two in the magazine, and Don quickly assented, so I’ve drawn a few requests for him.

The first issue of Neshaminy, which should be published in early October, features a never-before-published interview with world-renowned author James Michener, conducted by Don. I drew this ink wash portrait of Michener for that piece, based on several photos I researched of the author.

Don thought a painting of the Neshaminy would be a nice frontispiece for the magazine, so I took some photos in the Castle Valley area of the creek. I imagined the art spilling over from left page to right, as in this first pencil sketch, base on my photos —

I made a tonal sketch with gray markers, below, and added a Lenape Indian in the distance, drinking from the creek. The Lenape lived in this area before Europeans settled. The word ‘Neshaminy’ means the place where we drink twice in the Lenape language.

The final ink wash painting for the frontispiece is below.

I’m really looking forward to seeing the published magazine, because at a launch party at the Historical Society a few nights ago we heard a bit about the prize-winning entries into the magazine, and they all sound like wonderfully interesting stories, some fiction, some non-fiction, some poetry. I’ve been asked to do one more illustration for this issue, and I’ll write about that as soon as it is finished.

BCIS Hosts Illustrator David Wiesner

The Bucks County Illustrators Society and the Lahaska Bookshop will host a talk and book-signing by Caldecott award-winning author-illustrator David Wiesner this Thursday evening, April 4 at 7:00 PM.

David Wiesner is the author and illustrator of many childrens books such as Tuesday, The Three Pigs and Flotsam, and is a three-time winner of Caldecott Medals, which recognize distinguished American picture books for children. Mr. Wiesner will speak about his illustration career and how childhood memories and  images influence the stories he creates. He will sign any of his books purchased that evening. This event is free and open to the public.

Please take a moment to g HERE to register for the event – it is free, but registering will give the Lahaska Bookshop an idea of how many people will be attending, so they can provide enough seating.

The event takes place at the Lahaska Bookshop, located at 162A Peddler’s Village, Old York Rd. (Rte. 263) and Carousel Lane, Lahaska, PA. There is parking in front of the shop, with other lots nearby in Peddler’s Village. For further info contact 215-348-4837 or bcillustrators@gmail.com.

Speaking at the North Penn Arts Alliance

I’m looking forward to speaking to the members of the North Penn Arts Alliance on Wednesday February 6, starting at 7:00 PM. The group meets at the William Trego Arts Center, 125 N Main Street in North Wales, PA 19454. The Trego Center is in an old Church with a parking lot behind the church off Second Street.

I’m getting a slide show together of my children’s book illustrations and gag cartoons, and the public is invited to this free talk. See you there!

Addendum: If you plan to come tonight to my talk, and have not been to the Trego Art Center before – it is located in a building attached to St. Luke’s United Church of Christ, 125 N. Main St., North Wales. The easiest way to get into the Center is, coming down N. Main St., turn east on E. Walnut St. , go one block and turn left onto N. 2nd St. About halfway down that (1-way) street you will see the back of a large church on the left; park in that parking lot, and the modern-looking addition attached to the right side of the church is the entrance into the Trego Center. Go in the door and to the right and the room is the 2nd on the left.

“The Upside-Down Gardener” Book Premiering December 5

upsidedown_gardener_frontonlyI’m happy to announce that Chrysa Smith’s new children’s book, with illustrations by yours truly, will be introduced at a book launch at Lahaska Book Shop in Peddler’s Village, Lahaska, PA, on Wednesday, December 5, starting at 7:00 PM.

Chrysa describes her story this way: ‘Determined city girl Dory Oslo unwillingly agrees when her mom tells her she should plant a garden. How could something grow in their city plot with only a piece of sun shining above the buildings? Her determination to wake up those plants is strong and what follows is nothing short of a miracle. Only something highly unusual is happening, or is it? This story uses gardening as a tie-in to discussions about not giving up, trying something new, being a strong-minded girl and of course, the beauty of nature itself.’

udgdetail_1The public in invited to join us at the launch and enjoy some light refreshments. Chrysa has asked me to talk and show a bit about how I planned and created sketches and finished art for the book, and we will both be there to sign purchased copies. Please join us – you can get a lovely book perfect for 2nd to 4th graders, or for reading out loud to younger children, and then get a jump on other holiday shopping by strolling though lovely Peddler’s Village!

upside_down_gardener_detail1Another sneak peek into the book: it takes place in Brooklyn, and there is definitely some fantasy going on – as you can see from the flowers starting to bloom right in the NYC subway!

For directions to Peddlers Village, click HERE . The Lahaska Book Shop is near the corner of Old York Rd. and Carousel Lane, which you can see on the map HERE – there is a parking lot just outside the shop, with other larger lots around Peddler’s Village.  Other holiday events at Peddlers Village are HERE .

 

 

 

A Stone Soup Thanksgiving

Years ago I drew this little scene for a play based on the folk tale Stone Soup.  In Stone Soup an old woman sets a large pot of water to boil on a fire outside, putting nothing more than a large stone in the water.  She diligently stirs the pot and as villagers pass by she explains this will be the most delicious soup when it is cooked – and if they would like to try it, they should throw in some carrots or potatoes or spices to contribute. One by one the villagers add a few of their own vegetables to the pot and when it’s done they all share in the scrumptious hot stew full of the shared fruits of their labor. (Though they don’t all realize the stone had nothing to do with it!)

So I wish you all a Stone Soup Thanksgiving – a bountiful day, full of shared gifts and warm hearts!

stone_soup