Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Parade of Roses

Once again it's the glorious month of June, and the roses in my garden are out in full force. Here are a few photos.

The roses here grow up into my styrax obassia.
The tree's common name is fragrant snowbell, because of it heavenly scented hanging flowers. They were in bloom a month ago, when there were also peeping chickadee babies in the birdhouse. See the chickadee bottom right?
A new bush… the ubiquitous red knock-outs

Golden showers with a clematis "Etoille Violette" in the background.

a close-up of of the clematis "Etoile Violette."

The garage is covered with New Dawn roses for one glorious week in June.

They cascade over the front of the garage too.
One New Dawn with roses that came with the yard 20+ years ago.

A few New Dawns with Allium, spires of speedwell and self-seeding white feverfew, with a touch of catmint up front 
One more of the roses on the garage… such a fleeting pleasure. 

Please… don't forget to stop and smell the roses!!! Happy June.

Friday, June 20, 2014

RISD Weekend Watercolor Intensive, Summer 2014

I had a grand time with 13 fabulous students last weekend. They were all ready to spend a weekend learning more about watercolor. After a full day of exercises on Saturday, they painted their own pieces on Sunday. Here is one of the student paintings, a class portrait.

A painting of the class in action done by student, Susan Klare.
 Below are pictures of most of the students, with their work in progress.

Susan and  Whitney came for some artistic mom-daughter together time.
Ben (how did I miss getting a picture of Ben!) drove up from DC for the weekend.
Several of the students enjoyed Waterfires after class on Saturday evening.

Whitney is building up courage to add layers of paint.

Here is an early stage of Susan's class portrait.
Jane worked diligently on color swatches

Cheryl did a lovely scene of rocks, water and flowers.

Birch used resist techniques, and mixed red and green... complementary colors... to get his dark background.
Lowry originally hoped for an absolutely flat sky, but her delicate clouds turned out even better.

Lynn did a painting of her grandparent's farm.
Alessandra took a break from law school to do several paintings.

Anna, our best equipped student, added energy to the weekend.

The students had a wide range of backgrounds... from total beginners, to people who had some experience with watercolor but wanted to learn more, to experienced artists who were looking to learn another media.

Ben experimented with wet-on-wet and Yupo paper, and Miyoung created textured backgrounds with salt. Anne did a floral still life from a blooming kalanchoe. Lois worked on letterforms with delicate colors that she later planned to layer, overpaint, and even stitch into art pieces.

We had a photographer spend a few hours with us, so pictures of the class will probably show up in future RISD CE catalogs.

Thanks to all of the students for your creativity and enthusiasm! It was an exciting and fun weekend for me!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Enough of Winter

It's hard to remember winter, now that summer has hit RI. But I was almost afraid to admit that I was in sunny Florida in February, since it was such a tough winter here.

I had a great time with my husband and mom, visiting relatives and friends, watching the sun set over the Gulf, strolling through parks and botanical gardens in 77 degree weather. Now I'm enjoying the 77 degree weather here at home!

Here are a few pictures from the trip.
leaving Mom's in PA... yuck!
We met a pet turtle on the beach... Louie, I think
We saw orchids at Marie Selby Botanical gardens

...and bamboo

... and koi

I had a craving for a strawberry milkshake, and couldn't have been happier to find this great retro ice-cream shop in Bradenton.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Illustration Friday 2014, and Happy New Year!

A Happy and Joyous New Year to All!

This week's Illustration Friday has the prompt word: "TIME." How appropriate for a new year.

I'm floating on the automatic high of "starting fresh," as I do every January. Still, I'm posting an old piece... "Time Passes." Although it's remains one of my favorites, it is 13 years old! Perhaps I'll do an update in a decade or two!

© Cheryl Kirk Noll "Time Passes"
Warmest wishes to all during this "Polar Vortex." May your 2014 be productive, healthy and filled with peace and love.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Another Book Dummy Class is Done

I love teaching "The Book Dummy" at RISD CE. Every class is as exciting as the last, with students bringing in their own manuscripts and creating prototypes of their own children's book, called a "dummy" in the industry.

We begin with storyboards, small thumbnail sketches that help to create the design and pace of the book. Manuscripts are reworked (ie: slashed, revised, honed, refined, and on and on and on!!!)

Alison's story was about
Queen Elizabeth II's coronation.

Alison shared a quote she'd heard that summarized the class for her.

The difference between a dream and a goal... 

is a deadline. 

 Twelve weeks passes quickly when you are turning a story into reality, with character development, color studies, layout, design, manuscript revision, and finished art.

It was a joy for me to watch each student bring their ideas into reality.

Karen rewrote a Grimm's folktale.
Jessica dummied up a poem by Peter S. Beagle,
with the author's permission.
Anne worked on a story written by her mother.
Marcela's "Sisters" reflects her own experience of living in two different countries.
Roya and her husband Luc collaborated on a book about Colors.
Sarita wrote her original manuscript in Marlo Garnsworthy's
 Children's Book writing class through RISD CE.
Rebecca's story was about growth and the cycle of life.
Lori Surdat Weinberg's Illustration I class joined us, and I look forward to
seeing many of them in a future Book Dummy class.
...and I brought my own dummy.

               Many thanks to Marcela Staudenmaier for sharing
               her photos of our last class.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Children's Book art at the Society of Illustrators

Building Photo - Today
photo from http://www.societyillustrators.org
Illustrator Judith Moffatt and I traveled to New York to brunch with fellow illustrators and two Highlights for Children editors at the Society of Illustrators at 128 East 63rd Street in New York.

Judith Moffatt at the Society of Illustrators
Founded in 1901, the Society's mission is to promote the art of illustration, to appreciate its history and evolving nature through exhibitions, lectures and education, and to contribute the service of its members to the welfare of the community in large.

Cheryl Kirk Noll, Sharon Vargo, Mary, Ellen Appleby
Rose Mary Berlin arranged for a group to attend an elegant brunch buffet. My favorite part was the fellow who cooked a made-to-order omlette right at the buffet table. Of course, the buffet couldn't hold a candle to Highlights brunch!! 

We then went to the "The Original Art" exhibit, which runs through December 21, 2013. It's an annual exhibit (founded by Dilys Evans in 1980)  celebrating the fine art of children's book illustration. (How appropriate!)

Jennifer Yerkes

This years show features 125 books selected by a jury of illustrators, art directors, and editors.  This year’s Silver Medal winners are Jon Klassen for The Dark (Hachette Book Group / Little, Brown Books for Young Readers) and Simona Mulazzani for I Wish I Had... (Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co. / Eerdmans Books for Young Readers). The Gold Medal winner is Jennifer Yerkes for A Funny Little Bird (Sourcebooks / Jabberwocky).

Upper: Peter Brown, Lower: Molly Idle

Some of my favorite art was by Melissa Sweet, Molly Idle, Jill McElmurry, and Jason Chin.

I have a connection to Jason's family... one of those "red thread" stories, where you find yourself with ties to certain people throughout your life.

Jason's mother, Mary was a high-school friend in Delaware. His father, Ray was a grad student when I attended RISD, and taught one workshop in my illustration class. I've always credited Ray for teaching me how to do watercolor washes, and I use his lesson to this day to teach my students.

Ray and Mary's  younger son, Michael was born on the same day as my son, Phil. The Chins moved to Lyme, NH, where another friend of mine lived, as well as Trina Schart Hyman.

Jason went to Syracuse, and I've followed his soaring career ever since. His art from "Island: A Story of the Galapogos" is stunning.

It was exciting to pore over the art of display. From oils to watercolor, cut paper to digital, all of the work is beautifully designed.


front, L to R: Kelley Cunningham, Judith Moffatt, Dolores Motichka
middle: Cheryl Kirk Noll, Mary Wilshire Magnusson, Barbara Lanza, Paige Billin-Frye,
back: Ellen Appleby, Rebecca Thornburgh, Mike Moran, Sharon Vargo, Rose Mary Berlin

PS. Thanks to Judith Moffatt for all of the group shots.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Children's Books in New York

The lion at NYPL, thanks to Wickipedia Commons
Last weekend, I took a magical trip to New York City. My thanks begin with Rose Mary Berlin, who contacted illustrators who had met at past Highlights for Children Illustrator's parties. She arranged for us to meet at the Society of Illustrator's on 63rd Street in New York City.

Fellow illustrator, Judith Moffatt and I bussed down to the city and stayed in the East Village with her friend Ellen. We had a terrific weekend of friends, food, sightseeing, and children's book exhibits.

We began at the New York Public library... the Schwartzman Building where the famous lion protects the front entrance at 42nd and 5th. An exhibit called "The ABC of It: Why Children's Books Matter," curated by Leonard Marcus, was showing.

The stunning ceiling at the NYPLibrary
Goodnight Moon exhibit
Judith Moffat and me at the
The exhibit started with the oldest known copy of the New-England Primer, where children were taught about the Bible. ("In Adam's Fall, we Sinned All.")

It finished with comics and graphic novels, from Shaun Tan's Arrival to Art Spiegleman's Maus.

In between were original handwritten manuscripts from Frances Hodgson Burnett's The Secret Garden, an original edition of William Blake's Songs of Innocence, which he wrote, illustrated, and printed himself in 1789.

We saw original Pooh stuffed animals, and a Japanese woodblock- printed book from 1720 known as Aka hon, or "red books." These kusa zoshi were especially earmarked for children. Original John Tenniel drawings from "Alice in Wonderland" are also included.
Original Winnie the Pooh toys

I found this book of interest... perhaps an original "pop-up" book? It included a real example for teaching workhouse children how to sew.

Since the exhibit is in the city, a section focused on modern books about New York City, and by New York author/illustrators (of which there are many!) 

A docent leads a tour weekdays at 12:30 and 2:30, and there is no charge.  This fine show runs through March 23, 201.

An excellent article from HornBook explains the process of the curator, Leonard S. Marcus.

Soon, Judy and I were racing off to our brunch at the Society of Illustrators, and more adventures in our Phantom Tollbooth auto. More to come in my next post.