Country Girl

You can take the girl out of the country, and I have been gone for close to 33 years now, but my heart still lives there, and my eye always lives right next door.

I can’t pass a dewy meadow without admiring the night deposit, no matter how impatient the dog or urgent the need to exercise. dewweb grass:webAnd I can’t help wishing I had one of these diamond-paved bracelets… spider:web!or this ballooning spider’s web, which made me kind of dizzy.

swallowtail:webI can hold as still as a thirsty Swallowtail,

lavendergrasses:webAnd I will always believe dew-dripping grasses are the freshest, prettiest flowers in the world.sunburst:web

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Living in Color, and Out Loud!

The high ceilings are packed with industrial piping and fans, the overhead fluorescents cast a cold light and weathered, white painted walls of the Visual Art Center bristle with push pins.

So making a comfy and pretty office is a CHALLENGE.

GREEN/TEAL/ORANGE/YELLOWEDulemba

Luckily, Elizabeth Dulemba has such a great eye that she can toss a supply closet and come up with enough oddments of fabric and accents to furnish not only her own cool-palette-with-pops-of-orange office, but have ideas left over for her colleagues as well.

ProfSanderson_1Ruth Sanderson’s workspace is pretty in PINK/GOLD/COPPER/WHITE 

and mine is the three primaries: RED/BLUE/YELLOW

primarycolors

Speaking of primaries, as well as secondaries and tertiaries, color, in the form of watercolor SAMPLER wheels is back.

colorwheel_3I am always amazed by the HUGE number of shades created by combining just red, yellow and blue.colorwheel

And FINALLY,  summer in Virginia would not be so GREEN if not for the daily thunderstorms that turn the swollen creek BROWN and the sky into a

RAINBOW!rainbow_2

Class begins!

After introductions, our 1st day of English 527/Creating Picture Books for Children began with a mini-book bang. We designed 8 page, accordian-fold books designed to live in up-cycled mint tins.

minibook_1

minibook_3

The challenge was to create a micro story to fill the mini book- a beginning, middle and end with several characters, mood, action and story arc.minibook_6

We used rulers, scissors, glue and collage papers.minibook_5minibook_2

minibook_8 minibook_9 minibook_7 Minibook_7These looks interesting don’t they? I can’t wait to see what the students come up with!

Finished books to come…

Back at Hollins U!

The best part of summer, tied only with living by Lake Dunmore, is teaching in the Children’s Book Illustration Program at Hollins University in Roanoke, VA.

The drive down Interstate 81 from Front Royal as I gradually entered the embrace of the Appalachian chain, braiding strands of low peaks through Virginia, made my spirit lift.arrival

Arriving on campus, picking up my keys, and taking a quick selfie at the Children’s Literature signpost made me feel instantly immersed. How do you get to An Old House in Paris, Woodcock Pocket, or Roxaboxen? Why, in a children’s picture book, of course!

homeawayfromhomeNext, moving into my apartment, home away from home for 6, intense, summer weeks.

creek

Now, swimming Tula in Carvin Creek–swollen with recent thunderstorms.

lowsunThen walking the campus, so groomed and lovely, lying quietly on the evening of the last day before classes begin-waiting.

primarycolorsAnd finally, establishing my office in the Art Building-pimped out in a primary palette scrounged from the supply and prop closets, with help from decorator and friend: Professor Dulemba.

Let classes commence!