A visit to the Eric Carle .. and time to reflect.

Couple of weekends ago I had one of those surreal-y fab days that stay in the heart for a long time.
We threw a bag in the car, got the animal sitters organized and travelled down to the far reaches of Massachusetts to visit the Eric Carle Museum for the 10th Anniversary celebrations.

The museum was buzzing with fabulous illustrators and authors, excited children and an amazing new exhibition of art from all periods of children's illustration and by an array of stellar artists. There were book signings and readings and among others, Eric Carle and Tony Deterlizzi madly raising money by doing doodles! (Like 100! that's A LOT of drawing in a day). The lines were out the door.

Here are some gorgeous gals ... Kelly Light, Heidi Stemple and their beautiful daughters.
Oh and me on the end!


 How can you not smile standing in front of this beautiful painting?

The Eric Carle is a beautiful museum and arts facility. If you get the chance to visit, go. It lifts the heart! A special moment for me was stopping in front of works by Ashley Bryan and finding Jerry Pinkney next to me and exchanging some thoughts with him about Ashley. 

Then it was right on to the 23rd Children's Exhibit at the R.Michelson Gallery in Northampton. My first visit there and what a cool place this is! Situated in a beautiful old bank and full of STELLAR illustrations and art. Again, if you are in the area GO! For several years I have had attending this event on my bucket list. I'm glad I made it and it won't be the first visit. So much talent, so many HUGE people in the book world there, humbling.  It's moments like this that keep you warm through the winter in the lonesome studio when self doubt and pressure of work overwhelm. Then I will look back at these pictures and find inspiration.

So many interesting conversations, re-meeting of friends and making of new ones.

Plus - breathtaking art work!



Fellow illustrator Russ Cox was there with his prize winning print from the NESCBWI poster contest 2012. In the Dr Suess section no less! Congrats to Russ and Maine!

I got to meet an artist I really admire, Wendell Minor!

 Norton Juster presenting Anita Silvey with her award. His speech was SO FUNNY.

The biggest thrill of the evening, though, was being in this line up of talent. OMG!! After seeing this yearly pic oline for several years, I didn't imagine I would get to be in it. I feel honoured. I won't go through all the names ... I am sure you recognize many of them. If not click here to see the full line up on the website.
All I'm saying is; there I am, on the left, 3rd row, next to MO WILLEMS. That is all!!

 Afterwards, to dinner with Kelly Light and family, Russ and Lynn Cox and an explosive time was had by all!

I love book people. LOVE I say!