Saturday, February 23, 2008

Cesar Chavez High

is a rare treat for me to be invited to speak to high school students. My books would seem to place me squarely in front of the kindergarten/1st grade audience, but I love the older students. On Friday, February 22, I was lucky enough to visit three art classes at Cesar Chavez HS in Stockton, CA.
After presenting a slide show about my work, I demonstrated how to draw a face. I discussed symetry, proportion, some anatomy and light source/shading techniques. The students had only rudimentary tools but were game and did some extraordinary quick sketches.
Then Anthony asked if I would draw his portrait and soon after that I was happily transforming Victor into a bear in football shoulder pads!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

These are the books that we built

I am always amazed at how children will dive right into a project and make it their own. The group that came to my Saturday morning art workshop at Treehouse Museum walked in rarin' to go. We made simple, 8-page versions of one of my new books: The Pen That Pa Built by David Edwards. They used model magic clay to make a baby, some felt for the blankets and the sheep's pasture, yarn, wool fiber, construction paper, markers, glue and LOTS of imagination.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Old MacDonald lives at Treehouse

I finished my Old MacDonald had a woodshop mural at 8 PM on Saturday, February 16.
Without the help of Mi
chael Goodwin, "Mr Boss" and master of detail, I'd never have made my deadline.
I appreciate the opportunity to be part of an exemplary museum for children, run by an amazing crew of talents. THANK YOU, Lynne & Michael!

Here, Spencer Cobabe, director of early childhood education, reads Old Mac aloud to a Treehouse crowd.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Working just like Abraham Lincoln

Every day this week I worked with 3rd and 5th graders on short, 8-page books. We concentrated on character development, continuity and forward momentum.
We were in the middle of the lesson when the lights went out at Dee Elementary School in Ogden, Utah. Dee's cafeteria had no windows so out came the camping lanterns and flashlights and the class of 80 3rd graders, their teachers and I carried right on with our project. It was Valentine's Day and Abraham Lincoln's birthday, so we worked just like Abe did, by lantern light.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Old MacDonald Went to Utah-E*I*E*I*O

I arrived in Utah on February 11th and visited Lomond View Elementary School on Tuesday morning. In the afternoon I began painting the mural which will eventiually form one wall of a new exhibit being built at Treehouse Museum in Ogden Utah. It will be a small replica of the shop from the book Old MacDonald had a Woodshop by Lisa Schulman.
Treehouse's resident construction genies, Dave and Steve, built the wall and set it up in the main atrium, right next to the giant map of Utah.
I laid out a few perspective lines with blue tape and started painting. I roughed in the background and added the figures before I knocked off at 7:30. I will return to the mural tomorrow afternnon and see how far I get. I need to finish by Friday night or Saturday.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Fat Tuesday at St Anthony's

Tuesday, February 5th was truly a super day.

It was the 101st day of school at St Anthony IC.
It was the final day of Mardi Gras (French for Fat Tuesday.)

It was Super Tuesday. the 1st California presidential primary I've ever voted in that has actually been important.
And it was a glorious, sunny spring day.

I was invited to visit St Anthony Immaculate Conception K-8 Elementary School in my own Bernal Heights. I walked from my house and prancing along beside me came my border collie, Lucy.

We arrived at school and were greeted
at the door by Christopher,Teacher Danny Ballesteros, and Sister Monahan, the Principal. We gathered in Mr Ballersteros' classroom and--after Lucy was lovingly patted by everyone, I read a Miss Bindergarten book aloud and drew a story with the kindergartners, 1st and 2nd graders.

The Kindergartners presented me with a book of their drawings of themselves as animals.

It was a SUPER DAY!