Every year my friends and I gather to paint eggs. I usually do my standard pink and green florals but this year, I decided to mis it up. I had fun, but since I ruined more than half my eggs in the boiling process, I only had a few to decorate. I went with the animal theme--in gouache--which wasn't the best of ideas. They were a gummy mess after a night in the fridge.
Spring is finally hitting here in the Northeast. Temps in the 60s yesterday. First patio outing! :)
Last week I met up with MG author Victoria J. Coe in Bryant Park. I illustrated her adorable debut book "Fenway and Hattie" a few years ago and we have kept in touch via Instagram and Twitter. It's always nice to meet fellow authors and after lunch, we headed over to the New York Public Library to check out the children's department and get a photo with her book.
I went over to the picture book shelves and spotted a copy of The Grumpy Pets. So cool to see! I like seeing the book with all the markings of a book that has been handled by little hands.
One of the librarians indulged us with taking pictures. And of course, I had to visit the Winnie the Pooh animals at the entrance. Love them!!!
Earlier that day, I walked along the busy streets of the garment district and dipped in and out of trimmings shops, fabric stores and other trade spots. So much fun. I could look at all those candy colored zippers and buttons all day!
Did you see that teeny cop car? I could hug it! I left the district with one perfectly hued cafe au lait rmaribou boa, which I will snip up and add (judiciously) to a strappy sandal for warmer weather. Saved about 700 bucks on that move! (Champagne taste, beer budget as always)
It's been a weird time lately. I think it's healthy to just need to slow down and get away from things-even if it's just for a few hours. Last week, after yet another doctor visit, I just got in my car and started driving. I wasn't sure where i would go, but I headed west.
Somehow, I ended up in Dover. I've always thought this was a cool looking town. A little run down, but with it's hills and old buildings, it always had a certain feel to it. I remembered a little art store i used to visit back in the 80s when I first really got interested in becoming an artist. One click on my Waze app and there I was on Myrtle Street at the Joe Kubert School. Still there!
I went inside and looked around. I think it may have been a different space. But there is always something so great about the smell of art supplies. I almost bought another sketchbook, but I'm determined to fill those I have first. But it was wild to think that i was just a kid the last time I was there-dreaming of being an illustrator and now returning as an author and illustrator.
It used to have this great little metal sign, which has been replaced by a vinyl one. Ms. Lombardi does not acknowledge ugly signage. So let's keep the memory alive...
After leaving there, I decided to keep going-this time to my old haunt of Mendham. I took long winding roads all the way and once I got to town, all I could think was just how teeny the town is! Before I could even blink, I was in the center of town! I hung a right and drove by my old grade school where I spent 5th to 8th grade. I pulled in front and just stared at the building-remembering the hallways, the classrooms but most of all...art class! Again, it looked teeny. But when you are only 11, it is your entire world.
I then drove back to the center of town (funny because it's about 2 blocks in nyc!) and decided to lunch at Mendham's big attraction "The Pub". I ordered a glass of chardonnay and then looked around wondering if there was anyone there I knew. I've lived a lot of places and left there in '89 but you never know.
After a tasty lunch (crab cake special) I drove down Tempe Wick Road and by Jockey Hollow Park. That is a great place to slow down. I used to go there all the time to look at the deer. Has a lot of history-most notably where Washington's troops camped.
Here's a moment from that time in history. I'm old, but not quite that old so you may be surprised to hear I did not actually take this next photo.
And speaking of old. I celebrated a birthday over the weekend. Here is the scene from Cuban Pete's-a fun place in Montclair where you feel like you are in Havana for just a moment. Or at least as long as it takes you to finish your plantains.
I am always creating images for my Instagram account (when too busy i post older work) but this morning began with the usual warmup for the day--playing around with illustrated bits I've created in the past and moving elements around/altering color to evoke mood. I would love for my next book to be in this vein. Here are two recent pieces...