Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Wheaton College makes an appearance in Friends for Freedom!

When women were allowed to attend college (not just female seminaries and finishing schools) I of course thought showing my alma mater would be most appropriate. :)
I worked from a photo of Mary Lyon from the Wheaton archives for this illustration.

I still miss you...

Monday, September 22, 2014

New review for With Books and Bricks!

History comes alive in Suzanne Slade and Nicole Tadgell’s With Books and Bricks: How Booker T. Washington Built a School, an engaging overview of the life of the legendary educator. Washington’s dreams begin early, during his boyhood as a slave. A glimpse of sentences on a chalkboard in the white kids’ classroom sparks his desire to learn. Washington pursues his goal as slavery ends, teaching himself to read and graduating from an institution in Virginia. From there, his dreams get bigger, as he sets out to build a first-class school for blacks from scratch—literally—out of Alabama clay. With the help of students and supporters, he makes his vision a reality, establishing the world-renowned Tuskegee Institute. Tadgell’s softly realistic pencil and watercolor illustrations add special appeal to this tale of a tireless leader whose legacy can still be felt today. This article was originally published in the September 2014 issue of BookPage."

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Friends for Freedom Launches Today!

Book Birthday!
Author copies arrived in the mail just in time for the big day!
 So many months of hard work, and finally the book is arriving to the world today! I think back on the earliest drafts:
early rough sketch

Finished art
Early rough sketch

Finished art the finished art, and often things change dramatically, but the spirit of the scene stays the same. I really love how this book turned out. I feel that I've helped bring two historical figures to life for kids to learn & hopefully inspire them to read further about how both Frederick Douglass and Susan B. Anthony helped change America – in part, by simply being friends.

Saturday, September 06, 2014

Early work found!

When Mom said come get your stuff, I thought I had taken everything when I moved out already. Turns out there was some art I did that was still hanging around, and not going with her. So I took some photos & scans to remember them. Space wins over nostalgia - unless anyone wants 'em, they're going to the recycle bin!

The land of happy trees! A study done after watching Bill Alexander. Around 1980. Acrylic on canvas board.
Watercolor. This one won a ribbon in Norton Middle School contest. My teacher was Mrs. Gagnon.
Long Island Back Yard. Watercolor. About 1982. This one was painted from a photo. I remember how I felt while painting this. We had moved from LI to Norton, MA and I was homesick.
The Dirt Road, Paved. 1980-1990? Oil on canvas board.

Maple or Sycamore tree in the yard at the house in Norton, MA. Around 1981-82 I think was acrylic, on canvas board.

This is a study from another artist. Does anyone know who she is? I'd love to look her up. I copied several of her works to study how she treated light. Oil on canvas board, 18x24.

1984. Another study from a magazine. Learned how to paint transparent bubbles. Oil on canvas board, 18x24.

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

Starred review from Publishers Weekly!

Wonderful to hear this!

Publishers Weekly
At a time when “it wasn’t proper for women to be friends with men” and “You weren’t supposed to be friends with someone whose skin was a different color,” Anthony and Douglass sought out each other based on mutual respect and a shared commitment toward equality. Tadgell’s carefully drafted and evocative watercolors capture both the past and present obstacles Anthony and Douglass faced, from Douglass’s youth as a slave to rotten eggs hurled at the two when they appeared in public together and combative differences of opinion, as when the Fifteenth Amendment proposed to give voting rights to black men but not to women. Author and artist notes and a time line conclude a powerful testament to a friendship that spanned decades as it challenged conventions and “helped America grow up, too.” Ages 6–9. Illustrator’s agent: Christina A. Tugeau. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 09/01/2014
Release date: 09/09/2014