Thursday, December 18, 2008

Holiday Book Signing Event at Barnes and Noble,

Many area writers and illustrators were there and Vivian Vande Velde
took many photos of the event.  It was surprising that many of us dressed in teal.
Not planned!  I sat next to Robin Pulver, the author of Silent Letters Loud and Clear.
I know Robin from our RACWI group.  To my right was Shella Shubuck, the author
of I Love You All Year Round.  It was great getting to know her.  Of course I bought their
books for my grandchildren, had them signed and will include the authors photos.


Barnes and Noble Holiday Book Signing (cont.)

One of the great perks of book signing events is reuniting with old friends and meeting new people.
Thank you Ray for stopping by, dear friend.  Ray and I worked together at Ward's Natural Science Center (my first job out of college).  I haven't seen him in 40 years! We had such a blast at Ward's.  We worked in a little stone cottage apart from the main building. Our small group of illustrators kept ourselves amused in between assignments by measuring our smiles with a ruler, locking the art director in his office and having picnics.  

It was great to see Ashley, a former 
student I taught at The Harley School.  
She's graduated from college already!  
How time flies.

One of the beautiful families that came to the event.
Their daughter loves ducks. 
There are plenty of ducks in my story.

I met Duane Palyka, a retired film and animation professor 
at R.I.T. and we chatted about projects. I want to share 
his innovative process. In an email to me he explains it well...
"For the last five years I've been developing a computer program 
which incorporates computer graphics and animation with 
performance.  It gives the illusion of real-time video editing 
of live videocam images.  Using graphic cards, I've been able 
to map those images upon animated 3D forms.  So far I've 
performed with this software eleven times in theater settings, 
accompanying musicians and dancers.  The most notable is a
dance performance called
'Handamation' performed at NTID Panara Theater last May."

I wish I had seen this performance live!  It's amazing. 

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

                                   Juan and Maria in the kitchen

The Rio Tomatlan is one of my favorite restaurants.  
Not only is the food authentic Mexican, the owners
and cooks, Juan Guevara, and his mother, 
Maria Rena Rodriguez are gracious and wonderful
people.  Gary and I went there last week to hear
a mariachi group while dining on one of the evening
specials.  There is a display of Mexican gifts where 
Juan also displayed my books.  Marco Flamingo
has an edition in Spanish...Marco Flamenco.

R.I.T. Event
My husband and I met our friend, Carmen, 
for the opening on 12/12/08 of the 
"Historic look at Visual Communication" 
presented by the Society of Illustrators.  
Since the Rochester Institute of Technology 
is one of my college alma maters, I love 
supporting events there. Carmen gave 
me a present...a waterproof, large PINK 
tote to carry my books and book signing 
materials. While we chatted, Gary somehow 
got stuck carrying the bag as he intently
viewed the show....
I think it brings out his artistic side!

Carmen is an awesome Italian and Spanish 
language teacher. I took Italian classes from 
her years ago...I wish I had kept it up. 
My grand daughter, Taylor, who is only 
3 yrs old is learning Chinese. She seems 
to have quite the aptitude for it. 

Pal Mac School Visit and Literacy Night  12/04/08

I visited four classrooms (two K's and two 1st grades) and shared a bit on the
process of creating a book "dummy" (the 32 page mock up of the pencil drawings, two color examples and text).  The kids loved seeing my color 
palette.  How they would have loved to touch!

After the reading of Marco Flamingo, I engaged the kids in responding to questions...."What is snow?"...."What are YOU curious about?"..."What do you love about Marco?  Kids used a flamingo beak to pick up props to use in the display..cotton balls for snow, pink feathers, and circles for their face drawing.  One student's reply to "What is Snow?" was...."What I know is that you are not suppose to eat the yellow snow!" 
Interestingly his dog, Marley, is the dog therapy animal at the school!  Can you find him?

Literacy Night was in the evening. Library Owl was there and my friend, Dayle, who is a K teacher at the school opened her classroom to art activities.  My husband, Gary, came and got into some heavy picture book

Book Signing at Explore! the Book Store 
On Saturday, Dec. 6,  I joined two other area authors, Sharon San Angelo, The Lightening Within, and Sherry Ebel, Cassie's Magic Door for a morning book signing event.  The owner, Anne Mancilla, opened the store (18 East Main Street/Clifton Springs, NY 14432) in the Fall at an old book store site.  See info on the book store at news.shelf-awareness.  We had a wonderful time and Anne discussed having the event again in the Spring.  I teased her that I would make her a flamingo costume and have her strut up and down Main Street luring customers to the book signing.  Her reaction wasn't positive, so no way is that going to happen!  Any takers?!?

My friend, Sherry, stopped in to visit.  She lives in Clifton Springs and had just come from the gym.  She teaches Art at Penn Yan Academy.  We had taught together at The Harley School.  She is zany and always cracks me up---I believe she is Bette Midler's twin. She went to Morocco on a yoga retreat---go warrior pose!--and rode a camel.  Kudos to the camel who had to deal with her antics.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Still More About Last Summer
It's winter and I still need to mention a few events from last summer.  My husband Gary carves shorebirds (and other water birds too).  I love the effect of the staining he uses for the surface treatment on the shorebirds.  His shorebirds are for sale at Artizanns in Naples, NY.  He did a demonstration in August for the craftsman series at the shop.  Below is Gary at work at Artizann's and some of his work.

Some Favorite Photos
Both Gary and I love the ocean...some shots last winter on the Florida Panhandle's Emerald Coast.  The grandkids came for a weekend.  Fishing with Grandpa was a highlight for Gary.  Some of my favorite photos of the girls...little Taylor is in love with Minnie Mouse.  When they come to visit us in NY,  Riley and Connor come to play.   Anna and Riley look forward to their yearly reunion.

Cousin Gerry, who has lived in Italy for over 25 years, came for a visit and stayed with us for two weeks. He has been working on children's books so we had a lot to discuss---usually over dinner (bring out the good olive oil and vino!)

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Rochester Children's Book Festival
Nov. 8, 2008

This was my first experience as author/illustrator at this event. I was a volunteer for many years and loved being part of the excitement.  But, this year was different for me. What a thrill to sign books! This year topped them all for the number of people who attended. I was delighted to see many people that I had worked with years ago.  My camera was out for repair, so I don't have my own photos to post-- I have linked some other authors blog sites who have a marvelous record of the day---Vivian Vande Velde and Michelle Knudsen.

Thanks to all for organizing, setting up and attending to my every need. What a treat to be so pampered!
I did a reading and also a presentation. I brought paint and the kids mixed all different intensities and values of PINK.  Many participated in a group flamingo painting and did individual art pieces.  Two examples below.  One by Sydney, age 5, Pittsford, NY and the other by Sumaya, age 6, Clarkson, NY. 

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Upcoming Events

11/6  - Appearance on R-News in an interview with Virginia Butler.  
Opportunity for me to talk about the Rochester Children's Book Festival
at M.C.C. this Saturday and my excitement in participating for the first time
as author/illustrator with the debut of Marco Flamingo.

11/8 - Rochester Children's Book Festival, 10am - 4pm.  I will be reading 
my book at the Read-to-Me-Corner at 11:40am.  My friend Maria Boyle 
will be reading the Spanish edition Marco Flamenco.  From 2:30 - 3:00pm 
I will be giving a demonstration on drawing flamingos and engaging kids 
in color mixing.

11/12 - I will reading at the Macedon Library, 30 Main St., Macedon, NY 
(315) 986-5932 ext 3) at 4pm for kids ages 3-7 and providing a few craft 
projects related to the book.

11/22 - Book signing event from noon-4pm at The Bird House, 
3035 Monroe Ave., Rochester, NY 14618 (585) 264-1550
Signing also on 12/21 from 11-2pm.

12/4 - Participating at the Pal-Mac Elementary School's "Literacy Night"
from 7-9pm. Also visiting K and 1st grade classrooms from 9-11am to
read my book and engage the students in discussions about the book.

12/6 - Holiday Book Signing event (9:30-1pm) at Explore The Book Store
in Clifton Springs, NY with other local authors and illustrators.12/13 - Barnes & Noble (Pittsford, NY) Holiday book signing event with other local authors and illustrators from 1-3pm.

12/22 - I will be reading at the Victor Public Library, 15 W. Main St. 
Victor, NY 14564 (585) 924-2637 at 11am for kids ages 3-7.

Past Events

10/15 - Did four presentations at the Kindercare Learning Center in 
Farmington, NY.  The wee ones really enjoyed the puppet show!
Also participated at their Open House on 10/22.

10/16 - Presentation to 4 Classrooms at Rochester City School, 
Nathaniel Hawthorn School #25, 965 Goodman St., Rochester, NY.
The puppet show was a hit again and I loved the flamingos the students 
drew in the interactive illustration event. (Photos to come)

10/26 - Article in the Democrat and Chronicle (Rochester, NY)
Author Spotlight.  I was thrilled that it happened on my birthday!

10/17 - Day long event at Penn Yan Academy in Penn Yan, NY.
I discussed the development of my book from first manuscripts to 
the final edit, plus the illustrative process from dummies to final art.  
The high school students were very engaged and had many questions.
Having an author/illustrator in the classroom motivates students to see 
the results of effort and creative problem solving as it relates to their 
high school art classes.  My friend, Sherry Lutzen, is the art teacher
and I thoroughly enjoyed the day and the lunch she provided!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Some Family Stuff

Marco Flamingo is dedicated to my grandchildren, Anna and Taylor.
They are a hoot!   Here are some special moments of their visit in July. 
Both had birthdays this summer.  Anna turned 5 and Taylor 3. 
They live in Atlanta.  They both love painting, singing and dancing!  
It's in the genes.