Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Fancy Nancy Prints? C'est Magnifique!

First of all, can we just tell you what a huge deal this is? Robin Preiss Glasser, illustrator extraordinaire of the Fancy Nancy series, has not only released her original Fancy Nancy illustrations for the first time ever, but she's also allowed us - and only us! - to create limited edition prints of her artwork for purchase!! Huge, right?

We've created 5 different limited edition prints, one from each of the larger Fancy Nancy books. Robin isn't parting with all of her Fancy Nancy artwork so many of these images aren't available any other way.

"Bedazzled Boudoir" from Fancy Nancy

image size 26 1/2 x 15 1/2


"DeVine Delectables" from Fancy Nancy and the Posh Puppy
image size 14 1/4 x 15 1/2


"Bonjour Buddies" from Fancy Nancy: Bonjour, Butterfly
image size 17 1/2 x 15 1/2


"Simply Splendiferous" from Fancy Nancy: Splendiferous Christmas
image size 15 1/2 x 15 1/2


"Decisions, Decisions" from Fancy Nancy and the Fabulous Fashion Boutique
image size 16 x 15 1/2


Each Fancy Nancy print is signed and numbered by the artist and comes with a certificate of authenticity.

Come into Chemers Gallery to view original artwork from Robin Preiss Glasser and see the Fancy Nancy limited edition prints. Help us spread the word!

Don't forget - our 20th Annual Children's Book Illustration Art Show & Book Signing is only days away! Join us Saturday, December 3rd from 1-5pm to meet the illustrators, view and purchase their original works of art and pick out some of your favorite books for signing.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Karen's Illustration Picks!

OMG! It’s our 20th year celebrating Children’s Books and their charming, thought provoking, stimulating, moving, sophisticated, scary, wistful, historical, cute, lavish, old world, creative, just gotta have it ILLUSTRATIONS…

We have been so fortunate to touch so many hearts with the works of over 50 illustrators over the past 20 years. From our clients who buy the books (many for themselves) to the youthful recipients to our beneficiary organizations we are grateful. Some of the organizations we have benefited over the years include Ronald McDonald House, The Wooden Floor (formerly Saint Joseph Ballet), Orangewood, Big Brother Big Sisters, Marconi Foundation for Kids and currently Chapman University College of Educational Studies K-12 Literacy Programs.

To our volunteers helping us to prepare for the event and work the day of the show, we could not do it without you! That includes friends, family, clients, past employees and our beneficiary organization and our great Chapman intern, Ellen… we love you all!

To Jennifer, Robert & Corey (and James), Chemers Gallery stellar staff, you are the best. You made it all come together with our minimal crew. Thank you. We can almost breathe a sigh of relief.

What can I say about my mother, Rita Chemers, who had the original inspiration for this even and Chemers Gallery so many years ago. Thank you for instilling in me the love of art, books & giving back to the community and most of all the opportunity to carry on the traditions you started.

This year… ah, this year… our five returning artists continue to make us smile. And now I have the difficult task of picking my favorites from each, so here goes… in alpha order.

Bowing On Stage, watercolor & pencil by Raul Colon

Our handsome Raul Colon, who comes to visit us every year when he is in California, amazes me with his use of colored pencil. The artwork that leaves me breathless this year has very little color. The piece is from Alicia Alonso Prima Ballerina, written by Carmen T. Bernier-Grand, where Alicia is taking a bow after her performance of Swan Lake at the Metropolitan Opera House. The book is all poetry about this Cuban born dancer and overcoming many forms of adversity. The piece I chose is done solely in shades of yellow and brown to create stunning inner beauty. Raul has very carefully calculated every fine detail. And by the way, our framing job on this work es muy bueno!

Sunday Art Show, pen & ink & watercolor by Robin Preiss Glasser

Robin Preiss Glasser you are an enigma with a huge spirit. I guess my favorite illustration would have to be the Sunday art show from Fancy Nancy Aspiring Artist written by Jane O’Connor. It is all about the ART, after all. This illustration shows Robin’s talent in narrating a story through pictures and the joy of Nancy’s character. For me, this sums up the experience we feel in putting together our illustration show and the fun everyone has who attends the event. I don’t think we could have said it any better!

Lucia in the Woods, pastel by Mary GrandPre

We are so lucky to have Mary Grandpre with us again. Mary has been working in a variety of media recently, but her pastels are still my favorite works. I gasped when I uncovered the protective matting of the cover image from Lucia and the Light, written by Phyllis Root. This piece is magical, from the glowing light in Lucia’s hand to the toes on the trees. The richness of Mary’s pastel is beyond compare. We used the fabulous storybook frame to complete the tale… it couldn’t be more perfect. Sorry, it’s already sold, and unfortunately… not to me.

Leaving the Tree, mixed media by Johnson & Fancher

The ever so clever Lou Fancher and Steve Johnson are so creative in their use of different media and techniques to stimulate imagination. There are so many I love from Bugtown Boogie, written by Warren Hanson, that you could open the book and point to any page and I would love it. But, I think I’ll pick the page toward the end of the book where the bugs are marching out of the tree. The little boy crouches watching them file out. This illustration is a little less colorful, but displays the wonder and curiosity of a little boy. The glow of light coming from the tree makes you want to stay and enjoy just a little while longer.

Over the World, mixed media by Elisa Kleven

Teeny tiny Elisa Kleven’s teeny tiny collage work is crazy. I can’t imagine taking the time to cut all the little tiny people to make the illustrations in her book The Weaver written by Thacher Hurd. I love how the girl in the red dress is flying over the ocean holding her weaving of the world’s wonders. I’m a sucker for anything that has to do with peace for humankind and protection of our environment. This illustration just makes me feel all warm and fuzzy.

Our friend Matthew Cruz was in today and said “This is your favorite show isn’t it?” I had to reply, “Yes, it is.” I guess he could see the glitter in my eyes when I talk about the show. I hope you all come and experience the wonderland created by our extraordinary illustrators on December 3rd, 2011 from 1-5 pm. If not, you have 2 weeks to view the work in its entirety… We’ll be waiting for you!

This just in! The Newport Beach Independent wrote a fantastic article all about our show! Head on over to their site to read the latest buzz.

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Thursday, November 10, 2011

Jennifer's Book Picks!

Books books and more books! I love books. I love to read. I love it so much that my house is stuffed with books that overflow into every nook and cranny I can find. That's partly why I love this time of year at Chemers Gallery, when we expand into the world of children's literature. The other part is because I love seeing the original artworks used to create the pages in the stories. There's nothing like viewing the original illustrations and then being able to meet the talented individuals who create those stunning visuals.

But back to the books! Here are just a few of my faves...

Once Upon a Time: Traditional Latin American Tales
Written by Rueben Martinez
Illustrated by Raul Colon

Martina the Cockroach, Watercolor & Pencil

I collect books of folk and fairy tales from around the world, so Rueben Martinez's book Once Upon a Time is a no-brainer for me. Filled with Latin folk tales and beautifully illustrated in Raul Colon's signature style, I can just about hear Rueben's voice as I read the stories. My favorite has to be "Martina the Cockroach," the prettiest roach in town who is wooed by Perez the mouse's soft singing voice. Written in both English and Spanish, this is a great book for an older reader.

Fancy Nancy: Aspiring Artist
Written by Jane O'Connor
Illustrated by Robin Preiss Glasser

Hanging Pictures, Pen & Ink and Watercolor

As an (aspiring) artist myself, I can relate to Fancy Nancy's desire to turn her clubhouse into an art studio to make "gorgeous works of art." In Fancy Nancy: Aspiring Artist, Nancy spends her spring vacation learning about Degas, Monet and Matisse. She even hosts a Jackson Pollock day! At the end of the week she and her friends stage an artist reception for their friends and family. We see Nancy's artistic development progress through Robin's adorable pen & ink and watercolor illustrations and learn Nancy's fancy words like "beret" and "portrait" in her conversational style.

Camille Saint-Saens's The Carnival of the Animals
Illustrated by Mary GrandPre

Tortoise, Mixed Media

Originally The Carnival of the Animals was composed as a musical suite in 1886 by Camille Saint-Saens. He wrote it to describe various animals in musical form, but only allowed it to be preformed twice in his lifetime so as to avoid hurting his reputation as a composer. It's also thought that some of the movements are written as a parody of certain characteristics of his friends (perhaps the Donkeys of the Wild!). It wasn't until the 1940's that a set of verses were written to accompany the music. This particular edition, complete with stunning mixed media illustrations from Mary GrandPre, comes with a CD of the music so you can have the full experience of sound, text and visual art. What a great idea for a musical piece!

For the Love of Music: The Remarkable Story of Maria Anna Mozart
Written by Elizabeth Rusch
Illustrated by Steve Johnson & Lou Fancher

Maria at the Piano, Mixed Media

For the Love of Music really speaks to me because of my years of singing in a choir. The book is broken up into sections headed by musical terminology and is the perfect book for any music lover. It tells the story of Maria Anna Mozart, Wolfgang's older sister. Although she was a musical genius in her own right, Maria lacked the same opportunities her brother had and much of her life is shrouded in mystery. We learn through Johnson & Fancher's magnificent fabric and paint collage illustrations about the close relationship Maria and Wolfgang shared.

Welcome Home, Mouse
Written & Illustrated by Elisa Kleven

In the Store, Mixed Media

Welcome Home, Mouse snuck up on me but it's turned into one of my favorites. Stanley is a very clumsy elephant with an enormous heart. It's not hard to feel for this little guy - all he wants to do is help, but he just can't help knocking over wedding cakes or breaking little mouse houses in the process. When Stanley's mother sends him to the store for more tomatoes, he meets Mouse when he accidentally breaks her humble abode. He feels so bad that he sets about making amends in the sweetest of ways. Elisa's charming illustrations are a perfect match to this adorable story.

Don't forget! You have until November 26th to pre-order your books, or until each illustrator has sold 200 books, whichever comes first. The deadline is fast approaching, so hurry in. You don't want to miss out and you for sure don't want to see how stressed out we can get! We can help you choose which books to order and we'll even take care of having them signed and dedicated for you. For a complete book list, follow this link. To check out the artwork for all the illustrators, just click their names and pictures above.

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Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Children's Book Illustration Event of the Century!

Twenty years have gone by in a blink! Over the years, Chemers Gallery has brought you some of the literary world's most noted children's book illustrators and we're not slowing down yet! This year marks our 20th Annual Children's Book Illustrators Art Show & Book Signing and we've pulled out the big guns to note the occasion. With over 50 books and more than 300 original illustrations to choose from, we're sure you'll agree that this is going to be one of our best shows yet!

20th Annual Children's Book Illustrators Art Show & Book Signing
Chemers Gallery
17300 17th St, Ste. G
Tustin, CA 92780

Raul Colon | Robin Preiss Glasser | Mary Grandpre
Steve Johnson & Lou Fancher | Elisa Kleven

Signing & Reception
Saturday, December 3rd, 2011, 1 - 5 pm
show continues through December 17th

Benefiting Chapman University College of Educational Studies,
K-12 Literacy Programs

Books and original illustrations are available for pre-sale from now until November 26th or until each illustrator has sold 200 books, whichever comes first. Be sure to come in early to pick your books so you don't miss out! You'll still be able to purchase books the day of the show, but we can't guarantee that we'll have all titles available. Click HERE for the 2011 book list.

We'll take care of having your pre-ordered books signed and dedicated by the illustrators. They'll be ready for you at the show on December 3rd, but don't stress if you can't make it that day. You can pick them up any time after the reception at your convenience.

You can meet the illustrators the day of the reception, watch their demonstrations throughout the afternoon, view and purchase their original illustrations. Clients who purchase illustrations will be invited to a private dinner with the illustrators. Click HERE for the lecture schedule.

We welcome our talented illustrators:

Raul Colon
2003, 2007
Known for his velvety textures and smooth lines, Raul is back for the 3rd time with a wonderful array of Latin-inspired illustrations. Raul uses a watercolor wash, colored pencils and sharp instruments to scratch into the paper, thus achieving his unique style. A recent collaboration with local bookshop owner Rueben Martinez led to Once Upon a Time: Traditional Latin American Tales. Meet Rueben at our book signing, too!

Robin Preiss Glasser
Working exclusively in pen & ink and watercolor, Robin brings the characters in the Fancy Nancy series into being by using layers of detail and humor. The latest of Fancy Nancy's exploits are featured in Fancy Nancy: Fashion Boutique and Fancy Nancy: Stellar Stargazer. Robin has also collaborated with Lynne Cheney and Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York, to educate young readers on patriotism and etiquette. For the first time, Robin's original Fancy Nancy illustrations are available to the public! We will also be introducing 5 limited edition prints from the Fancy Nancy books also available for presale.

Mary Grandpre
Although best known for bringing Harry Potter to life, Mary has worked on numerous other children's picture books and chapter books for young adults. Working in a "soft geometry" style, Mary's jewel-toned pastels and mixed media work sing with vibrancy. She brings a strategic problem-solving approach to her illustration work. Mary's latest book, How The Leopard Got His Claws, is an African fable teaching loyalty.

Steve Johnson & Lou Fancher
2003, 2007
Husband and wife team Johnson & Fancher have over 35 books to their credit including Amazing Peace by Maya Angelou and most recently Jim Henson: The Guy Who Played With Puppets. Working in media ranging from collage materials of fabric, paper, acrylic & oil paint to oil & ink on gessoed paper, Steve & Lou's illustrations flawlessly convey the heart and soul of every book they work on.

Elisa Kleven
1993, 2001, 2008
Returning for the fourth time to Chemers Gallery, Elisa's magical illustrations are brought to life through mixed media collages. Her dreamy watercolors are accented with teeny tiny bits of papers, lace and fabric. In addition to illustrating, Elisa also writes many of her charming, whimsical stories. Her latest books include The Friendship Wish and Thacker Hurd's The Weaver.

This year, Chemers Gallery has chosen Chapman University College of Educational Studies K-12 Literacy Programs as the beneficiary for our event. CES provides world class tutoring to K-6 grade students regardless of financial resources and creates custom libraries of books for students to take home. They also provide after school programs in the community and a pathway to bring 1st generation students to the university level.

Although the illustrations reproduced in the books are wonderful, there is nothing like seeing the original illustration in person. Expand your collection or start a collection for someone you love. Don't wait until your favorite is sold - come see them today!

We would especially like to thank Hilary Kaye & HKA for all of their hard work in helping us promote this year's show!

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