Wednesday, January 21, 2009

I Was There... One In A Million

I braved the cold and wind yesterday to witness the Inauguration of President Barack Obama and witness history. Along with three friends, I rode the train from Virginia to arrive on the mall at 6 a.m. in Washington as the sun was rising. The energy was so elevated. We were greeted by volunteers smiling broadly and welcoming us to the Inauguration. We didn't have tickets, so we stood among a million others from all over the nation. I must admit, it was quite a challenge to stay warm. It was especially challenging trying to keep my toes and fingers warm inspite of extra layers of socks and gloves. At the end of the day (we didn't make it back home til 5 p.m. and must have walked more than 5 miles) and after Obama's speech and the prayers and songs and poetry, I felt it was so worthwhile and such an exhilirating experience. The photo above was taken as throngs of people lined up to enter L'Enfant Plaza to take the train home.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Books and Books

Last night I spoke to a group of writers at the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) regional conference at Books and Books in Coral Gable. What an amazing book store. I opened with how wonderful it is to be alive in this particular time in history at the dawn of a new era with all the hope and promise it entails. And how as keepers of the culture, our responsiblity to be sensitive to and reflect the full diversity of America.

Saturday, January 17, 2009


I'm still in Miami. 70 degrees and sunny! The opening of my COLOR ALL AROUND exhibit was Thursday at Miami-Dade Public library main branch. I addressed a group of children's librarians who had convened for their annual meeting. I talked about how I entered the children's book market through the back door and my exciting journey. I then walked them through my collage technique and showed examples of watercolored and textured papers I painted and use to cut out shapes in composing my illustrations. I've been visiting branches all over the city and working with children.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Cut It Out

Kids cut out self portraits from cut and torn paper at workshops I gave at 4 library branches thoughout the city while in Miami.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Children's Librarians in Miami

I addressed a group of Children's Librarians at their annual meeting at the Miami-Dade Public Library System main branch where my exhibit "Color All Around" was being shown. I talked about my process creating the mixed media collages for my books and how I entered the highly competitive children's book market through the back door.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

First Workshops of the New Year

I give two workshops today at Patrick Henry Elementary School in Arlington, VA with third graders. It's an inter-generational book project. I will talk about my career as an author illustrator, share my work and display boards and have the children create their own collages to use as a page in their books. This sounds exciting.