Monday, December 2, 2013

Karen's Cravings

It has been so hectic this year with injured staff, winning awards and all the excitement surrounding this year’s Children’s Book Illustration Show, I’ve hardly had a chance to think. Soooo, here is my “tug at your heart strings” “ gut reaction” to our fantastic illustrations.

Zebras and Angels, acrylic on board by John Parra
From the first moment I saw John Parra’s original illustrations at the ALA show last year, he had me hooked. The way he paints his illustration board to look like old folk art from Latin America exhibits such talent. I love this dreamy picture from My Name is Gabriela where fantastical zebra dance with angels. I am also a sucker for true stories about amazing women like Gabriela Mistral. 

Guitar Case Roller Coaster, acrylic by Stacy Innerst
Stacy, Stacy, Stacy Innerst… I don’t think anyone could have illustrated The Beatles Were Fab (and they were funny) any better than you!  From your iconic Abbey Road walk to the individual images of the Fab Four, the imagery is spot on. My favorite is this whimsical rollercoaster ride on a guitar case. Although I was a miserable guitarist, it reminds me of my guitar playing days as a teen & college student with all the ups and downs of growing up. 

In Front of Studio, Prismacolor by Molly Idle
Stepping into the unknown, trying something new is what I imagine when I look at this illustration from Zombelina by Molly Idle. Take a deep breath and just walk through the door… Can you imagine this is 100% colored pencil! I think I would have finished the little bat above the door and decided I couldn’t color any more. Molly gets such smoothness and intensity with her steady, untiring hands. 

Tapping on Shoulder, oil & acrylic by Brett Helquist

Holding Knife & Fork, oil & acrylic by Brett Helquist
 My sick sense of humor shows through with my Brett Helquist picks. I just couldn't pick one & I forced myself to just pick two...and I haven't even read the Scary Stories books from which these illustrations are found. I can't possibly tell you why I love them so much except that they are so well done and the shading of grey is so expressive. I so look forward to meeting the twisted brain that created these characters!

Winter Fairy, watercolor by Michael Hague
We have been wanting to exhibit Michael Hague’s work for so many years and now that the work is here, we couldn’t be more in awe of his talent. This winter fairy from Good Night, Fairies is breathtaking, in person. At once ethereal and almost so real you can feel the snow, the velvety softness of this classical illustration reminds me of illustrations of yesteryear. BTW, this book was written by Michael’s wife, Kathleen Hague.

We are thrilled to have a number of authors attending this year’s show, as well. Not only have Brett Helquist and Molly Idle written some of their books, we also have authors Kathleen Krull & Paul Brewer who wrote the Beatles book (they will be signing some of their other new books too), Kathleen Hague (noted above) and a special appearance by Roseanne Greenfield Thong who wrote John Parra’s Round is a Tortilla.

As always, we feel so fortunate to partner with ChapmanUniversity to make this event special. The work they do with their students and our community is stellar. Thank you for working with us. Special thanks to the OrangeCounty Children’s Book Festival who will be videotaping illustrator talks/demos. To our myriad of volunteers who help prior to our show and who will help during our show, we couldn’t do it without you!

Until Saturday… Dec 7th… it’s back to work!

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