Welcome to the first day of Picture Book Month! And for new subscribers, welcome to my blog!
Sandy delayed this post a week, but I'm not complaining! Being unable to blog is nothing compared to what others are dealing with. I'm going to be offering one of my penguin paintings for sale to raise funds for NYC storm recovery efforts; watch this space for details.
Last Thursday night was the opening of The Original Art 2012 at the Society of Illustrators. The Original Art is an annual exhibition of artwork from the year’s best children’s books, as determined by a jury of art directors, editors, publishers and illustrators.
Illustrator friends new and old were selected: Brian Biggs, Matthew Meyers, and of course Jon Klassen, who accepted the Silver Medal for This is Not My Hat. Christian Robinson came all the way from California, as did Gianna Marino.
Kelly Light was there, too: we have a visual on that. (P.S. My heart goes out to Kelly, whose town on the South Shore of Long Island was devastated by the storm a few days later.)
I always swore that if I met Paul O. Zelinsky I would tell him how much I love The Story of Mrs. Lovewright And Purrless Her Cat. Well, I forgot.
My good friends Laure and Jennifer helped me find my picture in the sea of illustration goodness. It hangs below a beautiful piece by my friend Carson Ellis, and opposite paintings by Lifetime Achievement Award-winners Tomie de Paola and Richard Scarry.
If it's not clear from my face, I Am A Bunny is one of my favorite children's books. Sharing a gallery wall with little Nicholas and those butterflies is like being in a dream.
It was also an honor to be selected in the same year as author/illustrator Jeanette Winter. Eight years ago, when I was an aspiring illustrator, Jeanette and her husband Roger took me to see my first Original Art show. Sadly, we didn't cross paths on this night (like my art director Semadar Megged, they were smart enough to come early). Happily, I ran into my former teacher, the professional heckler Sergio Ruzzier.
The show is at The Society of Illustrators until December 22, 2012. Getting to East 63rd St. in Manhattan may pose a challenge in coming days. If you can manage in coming weeks, I think it's worth it. And when you go, tell me, I'll join you. I want to see it again!