Wednesday, December 16, 2009

A Wedding Invitation in Map Form

I made this wedding invitation in the form of a map for my friends Rebecca and Stephen. It's ink on scratchboard and was designed to fit on 8.5 x 11" paper.

Monday, December 14, 2009

More on Fantasy Maps

Ellen Booraem has posted the full interview (so to speak) she did with me about maps and map making on her own blog. Take a look!

And here's a detail of the map of "Kugisko" I made for Tamora Pierce's novel Cold Fire from The Circle Opens series.

The Enchanted Inkpot: Mapping Fantasy

Over at The Enchanted Inkpot - a community for writers and readers of middle grade and young adult fantasy - Ellen Booraem, author of The Unnameables, has posted Topic of the Week: Mapping Fantasy. Many thanks to Ellen for asking me to talk about about maps and mapmaking for her article!

You can see some of the maps I made for T. A. Barron's The Lost Years of Merlin epic here. And a while back I posted a map-esque illustration I made for The New York Times Book Review as well as a bookplate that's basically a map of Delaware. Also, a cartographer friend of mine pointed out that this picture could be considered a map, so I'll take her word for it. And here's yet another odd one I made which was never published...

Friday, December 11, 2009

Fall for Pip and Squeak this Winter!

Lend Pip & Squeak a hand and whisk them away home for the holidays! Seriously, where else can you find such a mélange of mice and snow and scarves and carrots and coal nuggets and tophats and branches and Harold Lloyd and the most vertiginous, acrophobia-inducing scenes from Alfred Hitchcock's Saboteur and North By Northwest and, well, Vertigo - ALL in one picture? Seriously. I ask you.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

For Small, Ornery Varmints

Hey! Put all that lasso practice to good use and capture a
Cat and Mouse for the small, ornery varmints in your life.

Why Not Build a Snowman?

Or go mountain climbing - depending on your size and stamina. Sure, these mice might look like they're taking winter in stride, but it's cold out there, so why not invite Pip and Squeak into your nice, warm house for the holidays? Don't forget the cheese!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Friday, December 4, 2009

Republic of Dreams

My illustration for Morris Dickstein's review of Ross Wetzsteon's Republic of Dreams: Greenwich Village: The American Bohemia,1910-1960 in the New York Times Book Review. Can you connect the names with the faces?

Emma Goldman
Big Bill Haywood
Willa Cather
Edna St. Vincent Millay
Theodore Dreiser
E. E. Cummings
Dylan Thomas
Lincoln Steffens
Mabel Dodge
John Reed
Max Eastman
Walter Lippmann
Eugene O'Neill
John Sloan
Crystal Eastman
Floyd Dell

Sing, Piggy, Sing

Monday, November 30, 2009

NYPL likes Read It, Don't Eat It!

Read It, Don't Eat It! has just appeared on the New York Public Library's "Recommended Reading" list of Children's Books 2009: 100 Titles for Reading and Sharing, following on the heels of Cat & Mouse (2008) and Pip & Squeak (2007)!

I like you, too, New York Public Library. More than you will ever know.

Moomento Mori

An ink on scratchboard illustration I made for Sam Sifton's review of Portrait of a Burger as a Young Calf by Peter Lovenheim in the New York Times Book Review. For an explanation of this post's sorry title, look here.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

My Mark Twain

Today is Mark Twain's 174th birthday, so behold my painting of him - well, my painting of a part of him, which, in turn, was part of an experimental series where I tried to make recognizable pictures of certain notable people while only showing small portions of said people...if that makes any sense. As Twain himself said: "...language is a treacherous thing, a most unsure vehicle..." But maybe I'm just a bad driver.

Duke of Egypt

A deceptively whimsical ink on scratchboard illustration I made for Michael Pye's review of Duke of Egypt, A Novel by Margriet de Moor, printed in the New York Times Book Review. For want of any other leads, I threw into my picture as many of the details mentioned in the review as possible.

Failing Raccoon

A small painting I made for the Association of Booksellers for Children's Not-a-Dinner and (Mostly) Silent Auction in 2008. Poor kit, she tries so hard...

Friday, November 27, 2009

Monday, November 23, 2009

Book Signing in Clinton, New Jersey, this Friday!

Wondering how to spend a few lazy hours the day after Thanksgiving? Why not come to Clinton, New Jersey, and stock up on some children's books for all the little ones in your life?

I'll be signing copies of Read It, Don't Eat It! and Cat & Mouse and Pip & Squeak at the fiercely independent, yet always friendly Clinton Book Shop at 33 Main Street on Friday, November 27th, from noon until 2 p.m.

And, as ever, while you're out there, grab some breakfast, brunch, or lunch around the corner at The Fine Diner - the tasty restaurant owned and operated by my sister and brother-in-law.

Come one! Come all!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

LAPL likes Read It, Don't Eat It!

Read It, Don't Eat It! is on the Los Angeles Public Library's list of Great Books 2009 / Some 2009 Favorite Books for Children:
The Read to Me LA skills of print motivation and print awareness are perfectly illustrated in this simple text. For the very youngest listener this book explains in rhyme and bright colors what a book is and how to take care of it.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Family Portrait

It's my grandmother's 113th birthday today, so how better to celebrate than by...turning her family into pigs? The source photograph was taken in 1906 or 1907 and shows most of the Braun brood of Rudna, Banat, a Donauschwaben village then in Hungary and now in Romania. My grandmother is in the middle row, far left. I made my painting some time ago and confess that I didn't quite catch my great-uncle Dominik's bewildered expression (middle row, far right), though the frown of my first cousin once removed (Gyula Bank, dead center) translated pretty well.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

A Congressman is a Hog!

"You can't use tact with a Congressman! A Congressman is a hog! You must take a stick and hit him on the snout!" said a member of President Grant's cabinet to Henry Adams. In this case the hog, or, rather, the model for the hog was, again, the unwitting Senator Stephen A. Douglas (1813-1861), as photographed by Mathew Brady.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Like Monkeys

"The bears swarmed over the fence like monkeys" - a bloodthirsty yet cuddly scene from Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island as illustrated in 1911 by N. C. Wyeth and subsequently bastardized by me, Ian Schoenherr, in ink and acrylic on a plywood panel measuring 8 x 10 inches.

Yes, these critters are repeat offenders: Angus, with the red kerchief, appears solo here and with his compatriots Harold (on the left), Big Bear (in plaid with an eye patch), and Bailey (with the skull-and-bones on his hat) in a Teddy Bear Pow Wow. And, of course, Bailey also shows up in more respectable circumstances here.

Monday, November 9, 2009

A Bear and His Bear

Another example of a picture of a human which I morphed into an animal. The source was an 1840's daguerreotype I found on page 26 of American Album by Oliver Jensen, Joan Paterson Kerr, and Murray Belsky (American Heritage Publishing Co., Inc., 1968) - a terrific book, filled, as the subtitle states, with "Rare Photographs Collected by The Editors of American Heritage." I don't know the name of the gentleman bear, but the well-loved companion tucked under his arm is named Bailey, made circa 1930 by Bernhard Hermann in Sonneberg, Germany. My acrylic-on-paper painting measures 2 7/8 x 4 1/4 inches.

Young Pig Lincoln

In addition to re-imagining my favorite paintings (as seen in this and that post), I also enjoy adapting old photographs for my own purposes. Here, for instance, I turned Abraham Lincoln's son, William Wallace Lincoln (1850-1862), into a pig. Sorry, Willie! This one falls into the Tentative Ventures Into Anthropomorphism category, though, as I more or less just stuck an animal head (and some cloven feet) on a human figure, sort of the way ancient Egyptian artists often did. Since making this painting, however, I've found that I prefer my anthropomorphizing to be a "full-body experience," so I try to transform the whole person into an animal. I think the results are more convincing.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Furry Traders Descending the Missouri

Sometimes when I want to make a picture, but am void of ideas, I'll take a work by an artist I admire and "recast" it with pigs or mice or teddy bears. Here's an example, painted with acrylic and ink on a scrap of plywood measuring 10 x 8 inches. It's based on Fur Traders Descending the Missouri by George Caleb Bingham, which now hangs in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Tentative Ventures Into Anthropomorphism

Once upon a time I really wanted to make pictures of animals behaving like people, but the illustration projects I took on only featured people behaving like people. Fortunately, my niece Nyssa had a dollhouse inhabited by rabbits and my niece Emily's dollhouse was overrun by badgers and both abodes needed some interior decorating, so one Christmas I made these portraits in ink and acrylic paint on museum board. The rabbit measures about 1.75 x 1.25 inches (including the frame) and the badger is about 2 inches square.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Every Raccoon Speaks Bliss To Me...

A scene from Little Raccoon's Big Question. And while these normally nocturnal animals shouldn't really be roaming in broad daylight, they shouldn't really be wearing pants and sweaters, either. My mistake!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Teddy Bear Pow Wow

In anticipation of this coming Sunday's Teddy Bear Picnic, here is a painting I made of some teddy bears having a pow wow. You might recognize the one playing the drum from his starring role in Black Angus: Terror of the High Seas!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

August 9th Book Signing in Clinton, NJ

I'll be signing copies of Read It, Don't Eat It! and Cat & Mouse from 1 to 3pm on Sunday, August 9th, during the Old Time Teddy Bear Picnic held at the Red Mill Museum in Clinton, New Jersey. Bring a picnic lunch and enjoy an afternoon with your favorite teddy bear - and yours truly! The picnic itself runs from 12 to 4pm and admission is $5 per person (children ages 3 and under free). Here's a map.

If you would like to pre-order books for this event, or if you can't make it and would like me to sign books for you anyway, please contact the terrific Clinton Book Shop.

While you're out there, grab some breakfast, brunch, or lunch at The Fine Diner and say hello to my sister and brother-in-law. And why not order something to go and bring it to the picnic?

Story time!
Face Painting!
Bear Claw Bake-Off!
Sing-Along Contest!
Old Fashioned Ice Cream Making Lessons!
Special Guest Appearance by “Smokey” the Bear!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Read It! Review Round Up

Columbus Parent Magazine calls Read It, Don’t Eat It! a "gorgeous picture book".

The Toledo Blade says:
This pleasant work shows young children how to treat books. Lively animals dressed as children demonstrate what not to do - turn down, tear, sneeze on, or deface pages. They also tell what to do - read the stories and then turn the books back into the library so others can enjoy them. White backgrounds highlight the appealing characters and the simple text conveys the message without being preachy.

Meanwhile, at the University of Maine, Jan Kristo, author and professor of literacy education, says "keeping reading on children's radar will help them maintain and strengthen the gains made in reading over the school year" and recommends the "delightfully funny" Read It, Don’t Eat It!

And Muse Reviews calls it "a terrific tale":
I think this book would be especially valuable to teachers or librarians, but as a parent, I love reading this to my kids so they'll know even better how to respect property. (And wouldn't this be a terrific book to donate to your local town or school library?)

Hear! Hear!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Father's Day

Since the fifth grade, one of my best and constant friends has been Carl Zimmer, the science writer. Not long after Carl and I met, my dad made some illustrations for The Illustrated Dune by Frank Herbert, which were also used in a Dune calendar. Well, with his ever-watchful eye, Carl noticed that the cover art for both items found its way into John Hodgman's speech before President Obama at the Radio and TV Correspondents’ Dinner and then talked about it (and my dad and me) on his blog. Makes a nice Father's Day gift. Thanks, Carl!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Emmett's Pig

One of my favorite books was (and still is) Emmett's Pig by Mary Stolz and Garth Williams. So when I found out my friends were going to name their son Emmett, I decided to honor both boy and book with a painting. I made it with acrylic and ink on paper and scanned it before adding salutations in the banners. Oh, and the pig is holding a playing card because Emmett's middle name is Ace.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Reprint It, Don't Eat It!

Both the trade and library editions of Read It, Don't Eat It! are reprinting! Get your first printings before they run out.

Also, the Toledo Blade has this to say:
This pleasant work shows young children how to treat books. Lively animals dressed as children demonstrate what not to do - turn down, tear, sneeze on, or deface pages. They also tell what to do - read the stories and then turn the books back into the library so others can enjoy them. White backgrounds highlight the appealing characters and the simple text conveys the message without being preachy.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The ABC Not-a-Dinner and (Mostly) Silent Auction

I usually don't have the heart to part with my originals unless it's for a special occasion or a good cause. Well, here's one:

Each year the Association of Booksellers for Children asks illustrators to donate a piece of artwork for their Not-a-Dinner and (Mostly) Silent Auction held during Book Expo America (BEA). This year's event happens on Friday, May 29th, at The New York Marriott at the Brooklyn Bridge.

Elizabeth Bluemle, president of the ABC, gives a sneak peak of what's in store on Publishers Weekly's website. She also provides a handy link to an album of all the pictures.

I made my painting with ink and acrylic on paper. For some reason, I thought the contributions were supposed to feature a letter of the alphabet, but I must have been following a directive from a prior year. Oh, well!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Laundress Mice Carrying Linen

My mother has a collection of laundry-related art and objects and she also loves mice, so I made a little painting for her birthday, based on "Laundresses Carrying Linen" by Edgar Degas.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Scans of Read It, Don't Eat It!

Some scans from Read It, Don't Eat It! appear on HarperCollins's "Browse Inside" site.

Read It, Don't Eat It! Released Today!

Today is the "Release Date" of Read It, Don't Eat It! which (I think) means it has officially been released from warehouses across the country. So, you should be able to find it in a few days at your favorite, independent, brick-and-mortar bookshop. Or, it should ship today from Amazon.I hope you're hungry!