Monday, September 5, 2011

labors of love & seaweed soup

What a fast summer, full of sunshine and seaweed soup. Thanks to the brilliant bookings of Curious City, I had the honor of visiting another round of libraries, including my very own, the small but mighty Peaks Island Branch. A pretend delicacy from Seven Days of Daisy made it's debut: jellyfish sandwiches!

You can make yours with graham crackers, vanilla icing, red licorice string, and peach gummies.

It was the final evening of the Summer Reading Program, and the esteemed Pat Crowley Rockwell
was a major addition, providing piano music and a song (days of the week, what else?).

                                photo courtesy of Kathie Schneider

The kids enjoyed making up their own stories, and just diving into coloring.

Here they're awaiting their reward for reading all summer. (new books, thanks to Friends of the Peaks Island Library.)

                                                                   photo courtesy of Kathie Schneider

And cleverly fishing out the candy from the seaweed soup!

In between trips to Nova Scotia and Circus Smirkus, I manned a table with my daughter, my muse and cohort, at the Fifth Maine's annual Art on the Porch.  Her cheerful work inspires me, and delights many.

She created this alpana design, which I added to "Illustrating One World", a presentation I made at the Thomas Memorial Library recently.

A great gang of young artists set about making their marks, some with radial designs inspired by alpanas found in Rickshaw Girl, some drew seascapes, surfing, and faces. One boy drew galactic cartoons.

Kids love having free reign.

I had the pleasure the next day of boating past Pumpkin Knob, just like the kids do on Sunday in Seven Days of Daisy. That's it, a little spit of rock on the north tip of Peaks Island.

My destination was the lovely library on Long Island.  

I was warmly welcomed like a neighbor, especially when a girl named Phoebe handed me a gift of fresh warm gingerbread cookies! The kids enjoyed seeing the Aucocisco II  on the last page of Seven Days of Daisy, the boat they know well.

One artist collaged her own bits of calendar into her book.

Her sister was more interested in the sensual qualities of pastel dust.

Either way, I love when kids respond to materials in their own intuitive manner. I'm not telling them how to do it, but simply providing the time and place to explore, follow choices of color, paper size, subject matter, and curiosity.

And they made awesome treats, too!

En route to my next library, I stopped at the Atrium Gallery where Tell Me a Story had concluded.
It was a fantastic display of Maine children's book illustrations involving folktales and world cultures. So glad to have been part of it!

My pieces were from The Star Fruit Tree, Rickshaw Girl, and Cricket Magazine.

Quite an honor to be alongside the legendary Ashley Bryan. Loved his display of puppets made from found objects.

From Lewiston, I headed to South China. Lo and behold, a famous landmark pointed the way! The mystery is why are there two Swedens with different mileage?

The venerable South China Public Library is the oldest continuously operating library in the state of Maine, since 1830.

The youth book group had not only read Rickshaw Girl, but were eager to discuss their favorite characters. And get into alpanas! Sedona had fun wearing the projections.

Once again, the young artists made some cool drawings, too.

I am ever grateful to libraries, for providing sources of reference, infinite worlds between book covers, and platforms for dreaming and drawing. My first ever summer tour is now over, and I've headed back to the classroom (hello, MECA) and my own studio.

Another deadline: a pastel, recently commissioned as a wedding gift: Falmouth Town Landing on a sunny afternoon. This patron says, who needs another pan? Original art is way more memorable to receive. Hear, hear!

Adieu, long days!

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