Friday, November 28, 2008

Cathy's Picks!


2008 Children's Book Illustration Show & Signing

December 6th, 1-5 pm

Pick my favorite? There are so many illustrations to choose from and they're so wonderful and they're all so different. How can I possibly?

Well, I guess if Jennifer can pick her favorite books, I can pick my favorite illustrations. So, here goes... I'll do my best.

Elisa Kleven
from the book, "Wishing Ball"

I think this little cat is so joyful and innocent. Elisa Kleven has created vibrant colors with water color, gouche, and bits of paper in this striking but simple piece. In the story "Wishing Ball", a stray cat wishes for a place to belong and someone to belong to. As seen in this delightful illustration Nellie has a dream that a wishing star comes down from the sky and plays with her. Don't you hope her wish will come true?

Melissa Sweet
from the book "Charlotte in Paris"
mixed media

When you see this lovely little piece in person it just pops! Melissa Sweet painted a garden scene in Paris with a deckeled edge, then topped with a hand made detailed "seed packet" attached. "Charlotte in Paris" is the first of a series of early chapter books about a young girl who's father is an impressionistic painter during the late 1800's, who brings his family along on his travels to Paris. This page illustrates a gift to Charlotte from none other than Monsieur Monet!

Beth Krommes
from the book, "Butterfly Eyes"

Such strong design and detail, I want to wander into this lively meadow! Beth Krommes has created this beautiful scene with scratchboard in amazing, fine detail, then makes an archival reproduction and adds watercolor to complete the illustration. "Butterfly Eyes" is an unusual and fascinating mix of poetry and scientific facts about the plants and creatures in the meadow. Along with this illustration are the answers to riddles about Spittlebug and Xylem & Phloem... I never would have guessed!

Holly Meade
from the book, "Sky Sweeper"
cut paper collage

I love the movement as your eye travels with the boy and the cat. Using paper collage, Caldecott Award winner Holly Meade, gently tells a story with patterns, simple shapes, and a soft calming palette. In this illustration from the "Sky Sweeper", young Takeboki sweeps the garden through the spring and summer which is just the beginning of his life long devotion of caring for the garden.

Zachary Pullen
from the book, "The Toughest Cowboy"
oil on paper

Zachary Pullen's characters are HILARIOUS! What can I say? I laughed out loud when I turned to this page of "The Toughest Cowboy". Grizz, the toughest of all, decided he needed another kind of companion other than his scruffy, rough around the edges cowboy buddies. The above illustration is their reaction when he tells them what their duties will be to care for "Foofy"!

That was tough! So, those are my picks, at least today. If you ask me tomorrow I'd look through all these wonderful illustrations and agonize about it all over again. Come in and choose for yourself which ones are your favorites!

...or browse our website. Your comments are welcome.

Cathy June Arneson


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Thursday, November 27, 2008


Chicken Dance
from Chicken Joy
Melissa Sweet

"Laissez les bon temps rouler!" (Let the good times roll!)

Have a safe and wonderful Thanksgiving, from all of us at Chemers Gallery!

Holiday Hours
Thursday, Nov. 27th, closed
Friday, Nov. 28th, 10:00am-6:00pm
Saturday, Nov. 29th, 10:00am-5:00pm

Monday, November 17, 2008

Jennifer's Picks!

Our 17th Annual Children's Book Illustrators' Show & Signing is almost here! We have around 200 original illustrations from our five wonderful illustrators, and about 40 books for signing and dedication.

Don't forget, book pre-sales end November 29th!

Wishing Traditions Around the World
Written by Roseanne Thong
Illustrations by Elisa Kleven


Wish is a delightful look at the many wishing traditions throughout the world, and takes you from the United States to India, Japan, Israel, Russia, even Australlia. The above illustration shows the wishing tradition of Brazil, where people jump seven waves on New Year's Day and throw flowers and combs into the waters. These are offering for the goddess of the sea, who will grant their wishes. Elisa Kleven has created beautifully intricate collage artworks to highlight the many cultures of the world. For me, the best thing about Wish is that it gives children an early awareness of the world around them. The pictures are engaging, so not only do you read about the traditions, you also see the traditions in action. Besides, who doesn't love making wishes?

The House in the Night
Written by Susan Marie Swanson
Illustrations by Beth Krommes

Sleeping Dog

The House in the Night is the newest book illustrated by Beth Krommes. This is a soothing good-night book for little ones, taking them through a journey to sleep. Based on the nursery rhyme "This is the key of the kingdom" from The Oxford Nursery Rhyme Book, The House in the Night follows a similar progression in it's narrative. Beth's scratchboard illustrations are stunningly sophisticated in this black and white and golden yellow book. I love the way the words to The House in the Night draw you directly into the pages and into the illustrations. You can almost make up your own stories when you look at the images, opening the gateway for sleepy-time dreams.

That's What Friends Are For
Written by Florence Parry Heide and Sylvia Van Clief
Illustrations by Holly Meade

Theodore Lying Down

A sweet story about friendship, That's What Friends Are For is the tale of Theodore the elephant, delayed from meeting his cousin by an injured leg. All of his forest friends are more than willing to give helpful advice about how he can make the journey to the other side of the jungle, like swinging from the tree branches with his trunk (from the monkey), or growing a new leg (from the crab). Finally the opossum stands to be the voice of reason, urging the others to help Theodore instead of offering advice. Holly Meade composed these adorable illustrations out of watercolor collage, creating a wonderfully three-dimensional and textured effect. I think this is a great book for all ages because it reminds us exactly what friends are for, to help us when times are tough.

Friday My Radio Flyer Flew
Written and Illustrated by Zachary Pullen

Grease Monkey

A wonderful story about the bond between father and son and the power of dreams, Friday My Radio Flyer Flew is the first book both written and illustrated by Zachary Pullen. While exploring the attic together, the pair discover Dad's old Radio Flyer, and his son becomes determined to make it fly. Zak's incredible oil on canvas illustrations are so delightful to look at. The figures are so very expressive, and each image is full of little details that keep you coming back to look again. I think this is a fabulous book because you can tell it's been a labor of love for Zak, and it feels like a very personal story. It makes me remember trying to emulate my dad in the garage when I was little, just like the young boy in this book does. I'm sure I'm not the only one who can relate to this lovely story.

Won't You Be My Hugaroo?
Written by Joanne Ryder
Illustrations by Melissa Sweet

Piggy & Zebra Greeting

Won't You Be My Hugaroo is an absolutely adorable book about the different kinds of hugs to give and receive. Follow friends and their parents to an amusement park for a fun-and-hug-filled day. Together, they give twirly hugs, off-we-go hugs, tickle hugs, and best of all, a cozy hug at the end of the day. This is a great companion to Won't You Be My Kissaroo, about the different kinds of kisses there are. Melissa Sweet's mixed-media illustrations are youthful and uplifting, and make you smile as you flip through this book. As a big fan of hugs myself, this book immediately spoke to me and made me want to share it with those that I care about. In this way, Won't You Be My Hugaroo is another kind of hug you can give.

We have many more books to offer, all with stunning artwork. If you need recommendations, just ask! For a complete book list, please follow this link:

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Monday, November 10, 2008

Signed Books and Original Illustrations, Oh My!

The invitations are out! If you're on our (snail mail) mailing list you should receive yours Monday or Tuesday of this week. Don't worry if you didn't get one, everyone is welcome and there's no charge for admission. All the details are below...

17th Annual Children's Book Illustration Show
and Book Signing

Saturday, December 6th, 2008
Show Continues through Dec. 20th

Children's Books and Original Illustrations
Available for Pre-Sale NOW Through Nov. 29th!

Our 2008 illustrators!

Elisa Kleven, Beth Krommes, Holly Meade, Zachary Pullen and Melissa Sweet

Enderle Center
17300 17th St, Ste. G
Tustin, CA 92780

You've been waiting, we've been working hard to select a great group of illustrators. This year's illustrators promise to bring a diverse mix of techniques. Don't take our word for it. Come in and see for yourself! More than 40 books are available and about 200 illustrations for presale until November 29th. Pre-order your books today and we'll have them signed and dedicated for you. They'll be ready and waiting for you at the show on December 6th. Don't wait until the last minute to pre-order your books because we get grumpy!

If you can't make it to the event on December 6th, you can pick up your pre-ordered books after the show at your convenience.

The day of the event you'll be able to meet the illustrators, view and purchase their original illustrations and listen to their presentations throughout the afternoon. There will still be an opportunity to make last minute book purchases, though we can't guarantee a supply of all titles the day of the show.

The original illustrations used to make these extraordinary books are also available for pre-sale. Here's a sneak peek at our featured artists:

Elisa Kleven: Returning for a third time to Chemers Gallery, Elisa brings an almost primitive charm to her illustrations. She creates magical worlds out of watercolor, cut up paper and bits of fabric. She has always wanted to fly like Peter Pan, and does so through many of her characters, including the award-winning Paper Princess. Her newest book, City of Angels, highlights all the great sites in Los Angeles.

Beth Krommes: Beth's delightfully unique illustrations are made using a combination of scratchboard and watercolor. She has illustrated The Lamp, the Ice, and the Boat Called Fish, which won numerous awards including the Golden Kite Award for Illustration. Beth's intricate illustrations in her latest book, The House in the Night, are receiving rave reviews.

Holly Meade: A Caldecott Honor Award winner, Holly uses a variety of techniques to create her stunning illustrations, including paper collage and woodblock prints. She has also been awarded
The Charlotte Zolotow Honor for the creative writing of John Willy and Freddy McGee. The artwork shown to the left is a woodblock from her newest book, On The Farm.

Zachary Pullen: As the creator of wonderfully expressive character-oriented illustrations, Zachary has transitioned from editorial work to children's book illustration. His just released Casey & Derek is an action-filled hockey story sure to delight the boys. Zak's use of oil on canvas and paper is masterful and stunning to see up close. Friday My Radio Flyer Flew was both written and illustrated by Zak.

Melissa Sweet: Melissa uses a wide variety of materials to create her adorable illustrations, from watercolors to collages of ephemera. Carmine: A Little More Red, the first book that she both wrote and illustrated, won the Lupine Award Honor for 2005. With more than 40 books to her credit, Melissa's most recent book, A River of Words, is a true story about the poet William Carlos Williams.

10% of art sales go to the Orange County Ronald McDonald House, a wonderful children's charity that provides comfortable and affordable housing to families who need to seek medical treatments for their seriously ill children at nearby medical facilities.
Hurry into Chemers Gallery to check out all of this year's books and illustrations!

Book publishers include Candlewick, Chronicle, Dutton, Farrar, Harcourt, Harper, Houghton, Knopf, Marshall Cavendish, Penguin, Putnam and Simon & Schuster.

To view this year's BOOK LIST, CLICK HERE.

If you'd like to be added to our email list to receive more information about this wonderful show, or any other gallery events, please click the link below. Or just give us a call!

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Monday, November 3, 2008

Three Paintings by Three Locals

Three local favorites, Mary Aslin, John Sawyer and Jim Wodark, have recently brought Chemers Gallery a few new tidbits of their latest work. Keep it coming, we can't wait to see more!

Morning on Main Street and El Camino Real
Mary Aslin

After a breif hiatus from her hectic summer Art-A-Fair and Sawdust Festival schedual, Mary Aslin has given us a beautiful pastel depicting the clock tower from Old Town Tustin. Morning on Main Street and El Camino Real contains her characteristic warmth and light. Mary has created an image that is so inviting it makes you want to stroll down the street to take in the sights. By the way, this painting recently won 2nd Place at the First Annual Old Town Tustin Art Walk. In fact, just before publishing this blog, Libby Panky strolled into Chemers Gallery and snapped it up. You snooze, you lose!

Open Fields
John Sawyer

We're always delighted to see John Sawyer, especially when he's got something new to show us. Open Fields is a small scale, intimate view of the Saddleback Ridge, purple in the distance. For Orange County residents, the views of Saddleback with the clouds just peeking through are a familliar, tranquil sight. John's paintings of Orange County are modern yet reminiscent of Gustav Baumann, and easily resonate with locals and those further afield.

Sunset on "Morning Light"
Jim Wodark

Jim Wodark has turned his attentions to the nautical, with his stunning oil of small boats moored for the day in Moro Bay. His reflections in the water are so realistic, you can almost hear the water lapping gently against the hull of the boat. Jim is probably best known for his California Plein Air landscape paintings, but every once in awhile he'll throw something new in the mix. Can't wait to see what's next!

Are you interested in receiving emails about these artists and other local artists? Just click the link below to join our email list! We promise not to bombard you with emails, just a couple a month. You can change your preferences at any time just by signing in again, or you can call us and we'll do it for you!

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