Monthly Archives: March 2012

Re-Seussify Seuss Challenge

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In case you missed it, this week’s results for School Library Journal’s Fuse #8 Re-Seussify Seuss challenge were in, and they were pretty spectacular! The mission, as set forth by children’s lit guru Betsy Bird, was to draw a spread from a Dr. Seuss book, but in the style of ANOTHER famous picture book artist. I was inspired by the fun mash-up idea, and pulled off the image of Yertle The Turtle in the style of Arnold Lobel, above.

The idea for the image itself came to me pretty easily. It’s no surprise that I love drawing turtles, and Yertle The Turtle is a family favorite. The reptile vs. amphibian factor – Yertle crossed with Frog and Toad – was amusing to me as well. In particular, I wanted to try my hand at Arnold Lobel’s style. I thought the limited palette with textured graphite would be fun, and his characters and watercolors lend themselves easily to my own style. Plus, he’s a fellow Pratt alum!

I learned a lot about Arnold Lobel’s creative process from this video with his daughter, Adrianne Lobel.  She sought to replicate her father’s paintings when she colored Arnold Lobel’s unfinished The Frogs and Toads All Sang:

I am very interested in Lobel’s use of color separations to make the Frog and Toad illustrations, and I wish I could find more on the subject. While Adrianne went with full-color in her recent interpretation, I wanted to imitate the 2-color (and black) separations by sticking to a green layer, a brown layer, and dark graphite.  I’m pleased with the result and think it was rather successful, if I do say so myself.

Now go check out Betsy’s post for the other mind-blowing creative Re-Seussification mash-ups!

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Park Slope Methodist Book Sale Finds

This weekend was one of my favorite annual Park Slope traditions: the Park Slope Methodist book sale!  Every year, this neighborhood church collects thousands of book donations (and CDs, and records) of every kind, and the BK literati flock to pick up hardcovers and paperbacks for just a dollar or two.

This year, I tried to exercise some restraint – after all, I’ve got books spilling out of the shelves in my room as it is!  But I did manage to pick up a few art and home-related titles (I was in a non-fiction mood), that are really fun!

My favorite book of the day is A Book Of Garden Flowers by Margaret McKenny and Edith F. Johnston (Macmillan, 1940). Margaret McKenny turns out to be a renowned Washington State naturalist, and I later found some of her enthusiastic letters about mushroom hunting. But the piece de resistance is Edith Johnston’s GORGEOUS lithographs of flowers! Each one is more beautiful than the next (so much so that I almost scanned the whole book!). Take a look . . .

Truly lovely, no?

I also picked up a couple of cookbooks that I’m really digging:

The Pleasures of Slow Food by Corby Kummer (Chronicle Books, 2002). – This glamorous coffee-table volume takes a warm glimpse into the “slow food” movement – where hand-crafted cooking methods enjoyed among company take the place of modern American fast-food culture. I can only hope that I’ll get around to cooking soft-shell crab bisque or pickled herring with apples and creme freche, because the photos are absolutely drool-worthy!

Speaking of photos, I’d never normally buy a cookbook without them, but this little gem caught my eye and I think it’ll be most useful! Edible Pockets For Every Meal by Donna Rathmell German (Nitty Gritty Cookbooks, 1997) is a super-simple guide to all kinds of dumplings, turnovers and “pasties” ( . . . whatever those are!). You can mix-and-match various dough/roll recipes with endless combinations of fillings from different cultures.  Check out how friendly the design is:

Want some of these delightful titles for yourself? Make sure to be on the lookout for the Slope’s book sale next February!