In the midst of a heatwave and smoke filled skies, my nephew, Kawika, and bride, Christal, recited their vows in the Cone Chapel at Willamette University in Oregon. The service and reception truly reflected who they are as a couple and as individuals. Wishing you all the best!
The beach at Cape Henlopen State Park in Delaware was the perfect place to watch the solar eclipse. Not only did I watch the eclipse, but also the people. Just about everyone turned their beach chairs toward the sun, leaned back, donned their special eyeglasses and watched as the moon passed between the Earth and sun. There was about 80% coverage. The temperature dropped about 10 degrees, the sand became cool and the light took on an auburn hue. It made you realize the enormity of the universe. The next time the US will experience a total solar eclipse will be in 2024.
Chihuly’s blown glass sculptures are whimsical and saturated with color. Many are placed within the gardens where, at first glance, you may ask yourself if it is a flower or a Chihuly. Tricia, Jeanne and I enjoyed our day at the New York Botanical Gardens in the Bronx admiring his works of art and the gardens.
As art director of MusiCamp, I designed the scenery and the campers painted away completing the scenery on time for their Friday night production of “The Most Epic Birthday Party Ever.” There was a full house at The Garfield Center for the Arts at the Prince Theatre in Chestertown, MD. The show was a huge success! I look forward to seeing all the campers again next year.
My cousin, Julie, and I spent the day kayaking on Still Pond Creek in Worton, MD in preparation for the busy week to come at MusiCamp. The eastern shore in Maryland is a wonderful place to unwind with friends and family.
My sister, Celeste, along with our friend, Claire, spent a gorgeous day in New York City this past weekend. We stopped by the New York Public Library to admire the architecture and children’s section; imagining my books there some day.
We enjoyed a superb performance of “Beautiful” and finished the day on a rooftop terrace with good food and conversation. The Empire State Building gleamed in the early evening sun.
One week every summer, I journey to Chestertown, Maryland for MusiCamp at the Garfield Center for the Arts at the Prince Theatre. Director Julie Lawrence puts the 30 participants, aged 8 -15 through their paces to learn the songs, lines and choreography for that year’s musical. As art director, I design the scenery and work with the students to realize the vision. The week is exhausting but so rewarding. The glowing faces of the performers and the smiling families tell it all.
Theater is closely related to picture books; both tell a story. In theater, the scenery supports the performers. In picture books, the illustrations support the text. Both present a complete tale.
The whole event would not be possible without the generosity and support of the Garfield. We are so thankful to work with and have the support of the staff; Manager Tess Hogans, Event Coordinator Sarah Lyle, Production Assistant Bryan Bentley, and Technical Director Butch Clark, who helps me build revolving walls, turrets, treehouses and more.
This year, camp starts on Monday, July 10th and culminates at 7:00 pm, Friday, July 14th with our performance of “The Most Epic Birthday Party Ever”. Join us if you are in the area!
There are countless opportunities to make new friends at the NJSCBWI convention. I met R. Joseph Ryan, author/illustrator, outside on the bench during a break. He was gracious and shared his dummy book, Moonlings, with me. Illustrator Julia Mills, just happen to be sitting at an adjacent table Saturday evening during dinner. We had a wonderful conversation about artwork and Cape May, one of my favorite towns. These casual encounters are the basis for lasting friendships. Keep in touch.
I just spent an amazing weekend at the New Jersey SCBWI Annual Conference. I was fortunate to have lunch with Sarah Jane Abbott and Alyssa Jennette. Sarah is an assistant editor at Paula Wiseman Books and Beach Lane Books at Simon & Schuster. Alyssa is an agent at Stonesong Literary. Being able to meet professionals like this is one benefit that many of the other conferences do not offer. It was well worth traveling three hours to attend this event.
Leeza Hernandez gave an amazing session on pattern, texture and color. She was gracious, sharing her techniques and enthusiasm. Thanks Leeza!