Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Come for the Art & Books and Stay All Day!

Raul Colon at our 2011 Children's Book Illustration Show - photo courtesy of Guillermo Lefranc

Don't forget to mark your calenders! The 21st Annual Children's Book Illustration Art Show & Book Signing is fast approaching, and we don't want you to miss out! It all happens Saturday, December 1, 1 - 5pm.

While you're picking up your signed books, meeting the artists and viewing the original illustrations adorning our walls, why not pop out our back door and spend some time listening to your favorite illustrators & authors speak?

Schedule of
Talks & Demonstrations by the Illustrators & Authors

**Just added!**
1:30 Kathleen Krull, Dramatic Reading of "Fartiste"
1:45  Penny S. Bryan, PhD, "Setting the Scene"
2:00  Lisa Mertins, "Switching Gears, Illustrating for Children"
2:25  Matt Tavares, "Illustrating Non-Fiction Books"
2:50  Boris Kulikov, "Creating a Picture Book"
3:15  Chris Sheban, "From Point A (Arghh!) to Point B (Book)"
3:40  E.B. Lewis, "Mastering the Visual Language"

Plus, Kid's Storytime at 2pm & 3pm, read by Rita Hughes!

Penny S. Bryan, PhD of Chapman University College of Educational Studies will enlighten us as she introduces the world of children's literature and illustration. Discover how Lisa Mertins made the jump from working for the Orange County Register to illustrating children's books for Jim Doti, president of Chapman University. (Plus, be on the lookout for a very special book signing for Jim's & Lisa's new book, "Jimmy Finds His Voice!") Hear how Matt Tavares applies his illustration practices to create such wonderful historical and biographical stories. Boris Kulikov will let us in on his secrets to creating his bold, whimsical worlds. Chris Sheban will explain how he gets from the initial excitement of reading a manuscript to the finished picture book. Let E.B. Lewis guide you through his artistic journey from student to professor to illustrator.

And, to kick it all off, we've just added Kathleen Krull, author of "Fartiste" and the "Giants of Science" series! Kathleen has kindly offered to do a dramatic reading of "Fartiste," and we just couldn't resist!

Lectures and presentations are free of charge and open to everyone.

And, preview illustrations before your favorite is snapped up. Preview on-line or in person at the gallery.

Rob and Shirley, our amazing helpers, wading through our books
The anticipation is palpable as we get closer to the big day! We are so excited to see the framed illustrations as they're finished, to open the boxes and boxes of books as they're delivered (although we're not sure friends and helpers extraordinaire Rob & Shirley agree...) and to see the entire show slowly coming together. We can't wait to share it all with you on December 1st!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Special Guests Just Added!

Fartiste, written by Kathleen Krull & Paul Brewer, illustrated by Boris Kulikov
Chemers Gallery is simply full of surprises, especially around this time of year! The authors of Fartiste, one of our most popular books this year, contacted us recently to ask if they could participate in our 21st Annual Children's Book Illustration Art Show & Book Signing, and we said "YES, PLEASE!" How lucky are we??

Kathleen Krull and Paul Brewer will be joining us this Saturday, December 1st, for the opening reception and to sign their "explosively funny, mostly true story" about a man and his unique "talent." PLUS, they will be opening our talks and demonstrations at 1:30pm with a dramatic reading of Fartiste! It's music to our ears!

Kathleen is also the author of the Giants of Science series and will be signing alongside illustrator, Boris Kulikov. And, if that weren't enough, we'll have a limited number of copies of her Lives of series for signing the day of the show. (Sorry, no pre-orders on those!) Check out our book list for updated info!
See you Saturday!  

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Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Karen's Picks!

Even with the tremendous amount of preparation for our Children’s Book Illustration Art Show, this is my favorite time of year! Enchantment, excitement & emotions abound! It is always fun to see which books & illustrations are most popular and the adoring fans’ reactions.

The overall theme of this year’s books & illustrations seems to be “Let’s get serious.” Unintentionally, so many of our books are biographical & historical, portraying scientists to sports figures and slavery to the design of the Statue of Liberty. Don’t worry, we have books and illustrations that will just make you smile, too!

Before I give you my picks, I just want to say our illustrators are the nicest, most creative, most giving people on the planet! And, we are so excited to be partnering with The Wooden Floor as our beneficiary. And, thanks to all our volunteers, both personal friends and Chapman University associates!

Helen's Big World, illustrated by Matt Tavares
Let’s talk Matt Tavares We have no illustrations from his newest book, Helen’s Big World: The Life of Helen Keller, but I love the way the book is written and laid out. It has decorative endpapers (Barbara Sproat that is for you!), teaches letters of the alphabet in sign language and has inspirational quotes by Helen. It is a must read.

Liberty's Hands, mixed media by Matt Tavares
The illustrations for Lady Liberty, the story of the idea and construction, are nothing short of extraordinary. The book isn’t half bad either. My favorite piece from this book shows the construction of Lady Liberty’s hand.  Starting with the wood structure and spiraling up the arm. The detail and architecture is exquisite.

Cat and Chick, Prismacolor and watercolor by Chris Sheban
Something about Chris Sheban makes you wonder how he gets such depth, emotion and life in his watercolor and colored pencil illustrations. The Story of a Seagull and the Cat Who Taught Her to Fly is a wonderful chapter books with thoughtful black & white illustrations. This image shown here is the cover of the paperback book & is shown in black & white in the hardback. Sorry, it’s sold already… but you must come see how the eyes look real and the fabulous frame we put on it.

Watching Western, Prismacolor and watercolor by Chris Sheban
 I can’t stop thinking about this illustration from Night on the Range. The book is adorable but this stand- alone image is something to behold. It is little boy through and through. The magic of the young cowboy’s fascination with the T.V. and the glow around his body makes you want to giddyup and go. Pardner, you gotta come see this framing, too!

Sylvia Long's Mother Goose
Lovingly Sylvia Long Remember all those wonderful Mother Goose poems your mom read to you and then you read to your kids and grandkids? They are all beautifully compiled in Sylvia’s treasury. Vivid in color and filled with fantasy, they are full of life.

A Butterfly is a Traveler, watercolor by Sylvia Long
If you would rather learn something or teach a lesson, A Butterfly is Patient will fill that bill. This book explains the life cycle of the butterfly in breath-taking fashion. Great for little kids because of the beautiful pictures and good for a little older with its scientific interpretation. This picture of the field of butterflies is harmony in motion.

Across the Alley, illustrated by E.B. Lewis
Emotions flow with E. B. Lewis Almost every book we have of E.B.’s is chock full of life’s lessons and sensitivity. The book that speaks to me is Across the Alley. It’s a book about a Jewish boy & African American boy who live across the alley from one another. They learn from each other and more importantly their families learn from them. It makes me teary just to type these words.

Laying on Beach, watercolor by E.B. Lewis

On the lighter side is The Secret World of Walter Anderson. It’s true story about the artist and his very private life. These watercolor illustrations and the one shown here, in particular, remind me so much of Andrew Wyeth in both the coloring and style. I just want to relax right next to Walter and gaze into the evermore.

At Blackboard, pen and ink by Boris Kulikov

Boldly Boris Kulikov First of all, I’ve always wanted Albert Einstein, to be my grandfather. So, how could I not choose both the book, Giants of Science: Albert Einstein, and this quintessential illustration of Albert at the blackboard? It calls to me with it's sweet scientific notation.

Pushing Baby Bugy, mixed media by Boris Kulikov
I love Boris’ bright array of colors and the way he combines them in his fanciful illustrations.  This illustration from Castle on Hester Street is a patchwork of color, personality and history. The way Boris combines the old world with the new delights the senses in this whimsical illustration.

Only one and a half weeks to select your favorite book or illustration! 
We hope to see you on Dec 1st 1-5pm, if not before.

Don’t forget, authors Kathleen Krull and Paul Brewer, will be signing along-side Boris Kulikov. And, we are so fortunate that Kathleen will be doing a dramatic reading of Fartiste, the hysterical true story of a Frenchman!

Woo-hoo! We’re almost there!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Jennifer's Book Picks

I've been told that if reading were an Olympic sport, I'd be a gold medalist. So you must know what my favorite time of year at Chemers Gallery is, right? That's right, it's Children's Book Illustration Show time, when we get wonderous artwork and fantastic books from five talented illustrators!

Unusually, this year's book selection is on the serious side, with a great number ranging from historical to biographical to scientific. And oh my goodness, as if choosing my favorite books weren't hard enough already, this year we have almost 70 books to pick from! What is a girl to do? Crack open the books, I guess!

Barnum's Bones
written by Tracey Fern
illustrated by Boris Kulikov

Looking at Bones, mixed media
I loved books about dinosaurs when I was younger - it's a subject that's not just for boys! Barnum's Bones would have been one that my little girl self would have enjoyed. It's all about Barnum Brown, the bone and fossil collector, who discovered his "favorite child," T.rex. He collected bones for the American Museum of Natural History, bringing their collection of dinosaurs from non-existent to the largest collection in the world! Barnum was quite an eccentric and would go prospecting in the desert dressed in suits and occasionally, fur coats. Boris Kulikov's delightful mixed media illustrations capture the excitement of first time discovery and make you feel like you're right there with Barnum and his "favorite child."

Each Kindness
written by Jacqueline Woodson
illustrated by E.B. Lewis

Jumprope, watercolor
The notion that any act of kindness, big or small, can impact the world and make it a better place is a pretty big concept, even for adults. That's why I love Each Kindness, a children's book that doesn't shy away from this lesson and instead shares it with grace and eloquence. E.B. Lewis makes the idea relateable to all ages with his wonderful watercolor illustrations. Instead of the happy ending you might expect out of a children's book, Each Kindness grants us an ending that is sad and cautionary, reminding us that to be kind to others is one of the greatest gifts we can give and one that we should give with unabandoned generosity.

written by Haans Christian Andersen
illustrated by Sylvia Long

Thumbelina in the Mole Hole, watercolor
For all classic fairy tale lovers, Sylvia Long's version of Thumbelina is simply enchanting! Thumbelina is a tiny, thumb-sized girl who is destined for huge adventures. She meets many friends like the kind-hearted field mouse who takes her in over the cold winter, and encounters unexpected foe during her journeys, like her neighbor the mole whom she's expected to marry. Thumbelina eventually finds her happily-ever-after with another tiny, thumb-sized boy. Sylvia's beautiful watercolor illustrations perfectly portray the story and lend an extra layer of magic. Each page is full of details that enrich the experience of reading this familiar tale.

The Lonely Book
written by Kate Bernheimer
illustrated by Chris Sheban

Peering Through Bookshelves, watercolor & Prismacolor
Is it any surprise that one of my favorite books this year is about a book? No, didn't think so. The Lonely Book is a wonderful story about a book that's beloved when brand new, but as time goes on and it loses it's shiny luster people read it less and less. The book feels very sad but then a little girl discoveres it and it becomes her favorite. They are eventually separated but find each other once again with the help of a kindly librarian. Chris Sheban's whimsical illustrations convey the wonder of truly connecting with a favorite book and sharing its story with the world.

written & illustrated by Matt Tavares

Team Picture, watercolor
When you're the shortest baseball player on your team and no one thinks you'll even hit the ball, much less a home run, what do you do? You step up to bat and prove them all wrong! Mudball places us right in the middle of a down by three, bases loaded, one out left game. All of a sudden, it starts to rain. Not just a drizzle, a regular downpour, turning the playing field into mud. Set in the early 1900's, Matt Tavares' sepia-toned watercolors capture the time period and atmosphere of that rainy day to perfection. And, did you notice that Matt is the author and illustrator? Now that's what I call talent!

Which books are your favorites? You still have a few weeks to decide, until close of business November 24th to be exact! Check out this year's Book List, complete with age ranges and pricing, or come on in if you need help choosing.

While you're browsing the books, don't forget to preview the original illustrations, both on our website and in person.

See you soon! 

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