What do you write?
I've written many picture book stories about people and animals. Some of these spring from childhood experiences (fears and wonders of mine), while others unexpectedly, delightfully arrive in my mind from unknown places.
Recently, I completed a young adult story. Currently, I'm at work on one for middle grade as well as an adult one with elements of magical realism.
What are some of your favorite picture books?
"Some" is an excellent word. I LOVE illustrations. There are so many picture books that made an early indelible impression on me, and countless others which our family enjoys. But, since you ask, I'll name more than a few.
A Perfect Day Roxaboxen
Amelia Bedelia Sunbread
Boats for Papa The Giving Tree
Corduroy The Hungry Thing
Eloise The King Who Rained
Grandfather Twilight The Little Engine That Could
I Am NOT Going To Get Up Today! The Little House
Inside Outside Upside Down The Little Red Hen
Ira Sleeps Over The Secret Smell of Christmas
Leave Me Alone! The Teacher from the Black Lagoon
Leo the Late Bloomer There's a Nightmare in My Closet
Me...Jane They All Saw a Cat
One Monday Morning Tikki Tikki Tembo
What was an exciting art experience you had as a child?
When I was five, my mom took me to a Matisse exhibit with beautiful, vibrant cut-outs that seemed to be floating above me. This was also the beginning of my adoration of museums.
Later, I saw Calder's Circus and was completely mesmerized by his fanciful miniature scene, as well as his wire fish mobiles containing bits of broken glass in a rainbow of colors.
When did you study art?
Throughout my upbringing, I was incredibly fortunate to be able to take drawing, painting, ceramics, jewelry-making and weaving classes at my art-oriented school. In college, I studied Art History and received my BFA in Film & Television from NYU.
I'm self-taught in watercolor and oil. My husband, who also paints, has always encouraged me. My creative children also provide a lot of inspiration.
Does your art have one style?
Each story I conceive speaks to me in a different way, but always needs to have a unifying approach. I'm very drawn to color and gravitate to using watercolors and colored pencils.
Which teacher made an impact on you?
I've had many exceptional, caring teachers. My fourth grade teacher, Mrs. Miller, stands out. She designed and painted her own board games that we played during
indoor recess. She wrote and directed plays, inspiring me to write my own. When she adoringly spoke about all of the pollen and seeds in the air which we couldn't see, she spurred more of my interest in the natural world.
Who do you want your stories to reach?
Of course children. Knowing that they are read to by parents, other family members, teachers, babysitters, etc., my ultimate hope is to intrigue and uplift readers of all ages.
I always aim to create optimistic, moving, timeless work.
I'm a member of SCBWI.