Monday, November 30, 2009

Karen's Hot List

18th Annual Children's Book Illustrators

Show & Signing


Saturday, December 5th 1-5pm

At last, I have the opportunity to add my 2 cents about our illustrators and our upcoming fabulous book signing / illustration art show. Each year we say, “how can we possibly have as good illustrators as last year” but each year we have another stellar group. Which illustrations are my faves? you ask… Well, I’ll be so happy to share with you!

From "Brewster the Rooster" - Lee White

Let’s start with Lee White simply because his name occurs last in the alphabet. Lee’s sense of humor just makes me smile! So, I have chosen this view of Doc Sawyer checking Brewster with a stethoscope while the family crowds around offering their professional diagnoses. Don’t you just love that eye hanging out in the smack-dab-middle of the illustration!? Lee’s faces in Brewster the Rooster are so expressive, I know exactly what each character is thinking.

I love the textural quality of Lee’s mixed media illustrations. His use of bold bright colors really pulls me into to the whimsy of his illustrations that coordinate seamlessly with the text of the book.

Don’t think Lee’s a one trick pony. His editorial and personal work is quite serious and intriguing. We hope to have this work on a regular basis throughout the year.

From "Always With You" - Ronald Himler

Contrasting Lee’s whimsy with Ron Himler’s handling of topics often not discussed with children or discussed on a superficial basis is where I would like to go next. This illustration from Always With You of a young orphaned Vietnamese girl, Kim, who is rescued by American soldiers is so moving and powerful. Ron’s use of grays with only spot color highlights the feeling of despair this young girl must feel. The fact that only Kim is in color not only serves to show that she is the central figure, it also shows the good she senses from the soldiers.

Every time I see this piece, my heart skips a beat. And, the way we framed it – whoa - only adds to the entire feeling of this picture. I guess you’ll just have to come to the gallery to see it for yourself. No sneak preview here!

From "Fiona's Luck" - Kelly Murphy

My favorite illustration of Kelly Murphy’s comes from an out of print book we don’t even have. But, I do have to tell you, I saw Fiona’s Luck years ago and it is the reason I contacted Kelly to participate in our show. The muted colors Kelly used in this illustration give the feeling of days gone by and the cold dank Ireland environs. Yet, there is something warm and inviting about this illustration…Fiona’s kind face & the rounded figures Kelly uses to illustrate her characters.

Kelly’s technique is quite unique when you examine the illustration closely. She has created impressions in the paper by outlining from tracing paper. Then she deftly paints the illustration, skillfully layering colors to create her beautiful look.

From "Scholastic News" - Kristina Swarner

Kristina Swarner’s work is enchanting and mostly very small in size, but definitely not content or technique. Even so, I cannot resist her monumental illustration that was done for Scholastic News. Kristina sent us a picture of the illustration asking if we might like to have it for the show. My answer was an affirmative… that would be YES! Then seeing it in person, OMG. The sense of wonder created by this illustration makes my imagination soar.

It appears that Kristina has used a variety of techniques that we will all have to grill her on when we meet her on December 5th. What I can tell you is that there is every color in the rainbow masterfully placed to enhance every color in the scene. I would love to stroll through this flowered forest. And, look at the face on the charming child. You’ve got to love it!

From "Our California" - Rafael Lopez

After previewing the books and then seeing the art in person, the one illustration that gives such a different impression in the real form is this Yosemite scene from Rafael Lopez’s book Our California. I’ve never been to Yosemite and I’m not a camper (unless it’s at the Ritz Carlton), but this illustration is simply wonderful.

The vertical format is unusual but accentuates what I imagine to be the grandeur and majesty that is Yosemite. The colors, in the real life illustraion, almost glow and jump off the contrast of the night sky.

The illustration is acrylic painted on thin plywood. You can see the grain of the plywood through the paint along with textures worked in that remind me of American woodblock tradition. Besides, I just want to squeeze the squirrel’s cheek!

Plan to meet the artists, view over 200 original illustrations, select from over 40 book titles. You can click on the names of the illustrators above to see their work if you can't wait until Saturday. But, of course, they really come to life in person! See you Saturday, December 5th 1-5pm! Enjoy the illustrator lectures/demonstrations from 2-4pm to learn more about their work.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

We are so thankful for you, our loyal clients.
Have a safe and wonderful holiday!

From all of us at
Chemers Gallery

from Yum! MmMm! Que Rico!
Rafael Lopez

Holiday Hours:
Thurs, November 26: CLOSED
Fri, November 27: 10:00am-6:00pm
Sat, November 28: 10:00am-5:00pm

Don't forget, Saturday, November 28th is the last day to pre-order your signed and dedicated books!! Hurry in to make sure you get all the books you want! You can still purchase books the day of the show, but we can't guarantee to have everything.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Cathy's Picks!


2009 Children's Book Illustration Show & Signing

Opening Reception December 5th, 1-5 pm
Show continues through December 19th

How can I pick a favorite? Each artist for this year's show has so many imaginative and beautiful illustrations, over 200 in total! This is going to be tough, but I'll do the best I can.

Ronald Himler, watercolor/gouache, from, Bee My Valentine

I chose this illustration because it's a lively, happy piece with so much movement. Ronald Himler's traditional style captures the gestures and expressions of children at play. This illustration is unframed, so you can choose whatever you'd like from our huge selection of frame samples. In the story, Bee My Valentine, all the children in the classroom decide to play music to cheer up their classmate, George, who didn't get enough valentines.

Rafael Lopez, acrylic, from, Book Fiesta


Who wouldn't love to spend some time wandering in Raphael Lopez's playful, and colorful paintings? I love the "out there" concept and bold composition of this illustration, created in vibrant color and rich texture. This piece is in an exquisite hand carved wood frame with a purple linen liner to compliment the vivid colors. In Book Fiesta you can read books anywhere; at the library, in the car, even in a hot air balloon with a giraffe!

Kelly Murphy, mixed media from, Dancing Matilda


Is this adorable or what? Kelly Muphy's illustrations are so full of character, painted in rich layers of color. This picture, with Matilda dressed for stardom, reminds me of every little girls dream; to be the star of the show! For this piece, we've selected an antique gold frame with a dainty leaf pattern all around, a white linen mat, and a touch of red fillet to finish it off. Matilda joyfully dances everywhere she goes, day and night in Dancing Matilda.

Kristina Swarner, mixed media, greeting card


There's a child like quality to Kristina Swarner's mixed media works that steals our hearts away. In this illustration, I like the way Kristina cleverly created a pattern in the girl's dress, making her one with the colorful field of flowers. It has a gold hand-made frame with a delicate corner design, and a soft off-white linen, which compliments the art perfectly.

Lee White, mixed media, from, Ducks Don't Wear Socks


As you can guess, Lee White's illustrations are whimsical and humorous. This one make me smile every time I see it! Maybe, because my son rides a unicycle, maybe because it's ridiculous, or maybe because it's just plain funny. It's frame fits it just right, with tiny gold swirls all around to mimic the movement of the wheel. Ducks Don't Wear Socks is full of delightful silliness that everyone seems to enjoy.

So, those are my picks. That was not easy! I suggest you come in and see these amazing works up close. Then decide which ones are your favorites!

...or browse our website.
As always, your comments are welcome.

Cathy June Arneson


Tell Your Friends About Our Event!

Don't forget, books are available to preorder only until
Saturday, November 28th!

Framed Illustration by Rafael Lopez

Framed Illustration by Kelly Murphy

Framed Illustration by Kristina Swarner

Framed Illustration by Lee White

Monday, November 16, 2009

Jennifer's Book Picks

Our 18th Annual Children's Book Illustrators Show & Signing is almost upon us! We have over 200 original illustrations from our "Fab Five" available for pre-sale, and over 40 adorable books for signing and dedication. I know how hard it is to pick your favorite books, so here's my $0.02.

Don't forget, book pre-sale ENDS November 28th.
That's less than two weeks away!

The Girl on the Yellow Giraffe
Written & Illustrated by Ronald Himler

Walking on Sidewalk, Watercolor

I'll admit, I may be a little biased about this book. I'm a sucker for giraffes, so The Girl on the Yellow Giraffe really cried out to me. It's an adorable fairy tale about a young girl who goes on a journey through a magical land. Her ordinary travels through the big city become an epic journey, and the everyday people she meets change into encounters with giants, magicians and wizards. Through Ron's wonderful illustrations, we are allowed into the little girl's imagination.

Our California
Written by Pan Munoz Ryan
Illustrations by Rafael Lopez

Yosemite, Acrylic on Board

Our California is the perfect book for all ages whether you're a visitor to the Golden State or a life-long resident. Rafael Lopez's beautiful imagery offsets the book's fun facts about our multi-cultural state. A gallery favorite is his rendering of Yosemite, pictured above. The book takes you from the Channel Islands to Sonoma, Sacramento to Palm Springs. Each city is really brought to life through Rafael's engaging illustrations. Our California is also available in Spanish as Nuestra California.

Hush Little Dragon
Written by Boni Ashburn
Illustrations by Kelly Murphy

Dragon With Magician, Mixed Media on Paper

Hush Little Dragon is a medieval rendition of "Hush Little Baby." Instead of finding Baby a mockingbird, Mama finds a princess, a king, some knights, three musketeers and many others to fill Baby's tummy. A simply irresistible tale for parents and grandparents alike, Kelly's illustrations put a whimsical spin on a classic song.

Enchanted Lions
Written by David T. Greenberg
Illustrations by Kristina Swarner

Waving Through Window, Mixed Media on Paper

A charming bedtime story about flying through the galaxies with a lion guide, Enchanted Lions is simply, well, enchanting. Kristina's magical illustrations set the mood for a fantasy romp through the heavens, where Rose and her Lion play with Monoceros the Unicorn and watch Pisces and her babies swimming in the sky. An adventure before bed is just the thing to send Rose and other children off to a sleep filled with dreams.

Ducks Don't Wear Socks
Written by John Nedwidek
Illustrations by Lee White

Porthole, Mixed Media on Paper

Ducks Don't Wear Socks really makes me giggle. We meet a very serious little girl who is only interested in very serious subjects. Through her repeatedly ridiculous encounters with an oddly-dressed duck, she learns how to be silly and how to laugh. Lee's illustrations are an hysterical accompaniment to the text, filled with details and fun perspectives.

Look for Karen's and Cathy's "Hot Picks" in upcoming blogs!

For a complete book list, click here.

P.S. If you opened your invitation to the Children's Book Illustrators Show & Signing and panicked when you didn't see Kristina Swarner's name on the schedule of demos and lectures, fear not! Kristina will be in attendance the day of the show, signing away to her hearts content with the rest!


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Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Kristina Swarner Brings Gigantic Charm

Autumn Tree by Kristina Swarner
Mixed Media on Paper, 21 x 32

Take a look at this beauty from Kristina Swarner, one of this year's participants in our 18th Annual Children's Book Illustration Show & Signing. Weighing in at nearly 2 feet by 3 feet in size, Autumn Tree is gi-normous when compared to her other teeny tiny artworks. Kristina combines a variety of mediums to create her charming images, anything from linolium cut prints to pastel, watercolor and colored pencil.

Click here to see more examples of her beautiful original illustrations, or better yet, see them in person at the gallery! While you're at it, stop in and pick out the books you'd like signed and dedicated for you at the artist reception on December 5th! You can preview our book list here, and if you're stumped for ideas, you can always ask us for book recommendations. Remember, pre-sales end on November 28th.

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