What is it about fall that brings human beings back to life? Is it the cool weather? The fear of winter? Years of "back to school" conditioning?
At any rate, I've been wildly busy, and wanting to share some of it here. I want to post about an interesting historical structure I recently visited, and toot my own horn about being interviewed for Illustration Saturday, a feature on Kathy Teaman's blog, Writing and Illustrating.
The logo I created for "Brush Master"
But I'll begin with the Highlights for Children Illustrator's party.
I've had the honor of getting together with wildly talented and creative folks in the mountains of the Poconos for fifteen years now. Begun by Kent Brown, the party invites Highlights illustrators and their families to gather for a weekend of "Fun with a Purpose" each fall. We are feted with food, seminars, family activities, a square dance, a themed costume party, and more food. Every year we get to reconnect with old friends, and meet new illustrators. What a blast!
This year, the theme was "Superheros" and we were encouraged to dress as people who were heros to us (teacher, famous artist, dad, firefighters) or a Superhero with our own unique skills. I went as "Brush Master"!
My totally goofy Brush Master costume, and hubby as Clark Kent.
It's SO much fun to meet with these folks in such a great atmosphere. The staff is warm and welcoming. Highlights really is a family business, and they really do care about children.
The illustrators convene from far-flung places like Arizona, California, Texas, and more, and I go green with envy when we share our portfolios.
I love all the events, but I'm always in awe at the costume ideas folks come up with.
David Helton as Super Vincent, and Lyn Martin as Super Frida.
David Galchutt as... you guessed it! (thanks to a Facebook contributor for photo)
Robert and Jessica Squire... The Pink Pearl rubs out Evil Doers, and Duct Tape Girl saves citizens from Sticky Situations!
My friends Ruth Flanigan as "Pantonia" and Judith Moffatt as Frieda Khalo.
The Valiant family, of course, with Graphite Girl!
Three powerful SUPER women. Terry Taylor, Rebecca Thornburg and Sharon Vargo.
Super Girl, StarMan and Pantonia
Don't know who. Justice, I guess. Isn't this a great costume?
Let's not forget Anni Matsick as "Wonder where-I-put-that? Woman" and her hubby as "Retired Super Hero". (thanks to Annie for the picture, and the one of PBAA below.)
Below is a very small sampling of the artists who attended. This group belongs to a listserve with about 150 members, all of whom have illustrated three of more children's books. It's called Picture Book Artists Association, and displays art of all it's members, which changes quarterly.
Back row, l-r: Anni Matsick, Jennifer Emery,
, Terry Taylor, Laura
, Cheryl Kirk Noll, Sharon Vargo.
Front row, l-r: Maggie Swanson, Sharon Holm, Sue Miller, Barry Gott, Laura Jacobsen, Sherry Neidigh, Layne Johnson, Paige Billin-Frye, Len Ebert.
The very Front:
And here is the bucolic scene that awaited us each morning. Thanks to Highlights for Children, for caring about children, AND illustrators.