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.