Thursday, November 19, 2015

My Cancer Days


It's November! Happy book birthday to my newest picture book:
My Cancer Days by Courtney Filigenzi
Published by the American Cancer Society. ISBN 978-1604430912

Helping children with cancer cope with their illness, this illustrated book approaches their emotions from diagnosis through treatment in a way that they can easily understand and can help describe what they are feeling. In the story, a young girl uses color to express her full range of emotions as she undergoes cancer treatment. Some days she's sad, some days she's happy, and other days she's scared or angry. The girl comes to realize that these ups and downs are perfectly normal for her situation. The book assures children with cancer that they are not alone, and helps them understand that it's okay to let out their feelings.

There's a beautiful interview of the author by Stacy Simon on the American Cancer society's website  here, and a video as well here.

This book was an amazing experience for me. Special thanks go to Danielle Perron and David Hagan of Why Me, for taking the time to talk with me and let me be involved in experiencing the lives of children and families in cancer treatment.

Dr. Naheed Usmani and the graduate students of UMass Memorial, and Child Life services were also very helpful. I can only hope my small part provides a bit of help and understanding for kids, friends and families.

The most wonderful thing I experienced was how overwhelmingly positive the kids were. Kids are amazing. They have the ability to develop acceptance quickly, and they live with such grace and joy.

I also made some coloring pages! Click here!

Neviyah was the perfect model!
A visit to the New England Aquarium was excellent inspiration!
I used a limited color palette for each of her "days". This day is blue.
I felt that keeping the watercolor especially loose worked well. I love how the light from the balloon tints her face and hands.

Rough pencil sketch for a wraparound cover.


Inspirational Photo for Sisters art

Thursday, November 05, 2015

Friday, May 01, 2015

Tai Chi and Qigong

I started my first Tai Chi class in August 2014. Since then, I've lost weight, become more fit and flexible. I feel more balanced mentally, physically and spiritually. This year I missed World Tai Chi and Qigong day (I was on my way to Rochester for a school visit), but next year for sure.

As an artist and graphic designer, I spend a lot of time sitting. I had lots of muscle pain, took ibuprofen almost every day. Now I rarely take pain medication. There is different muscle soreness from working out in class, but it is an excellent trade off. As someone who never participated in any sports, not a gym rat or runner, this fitness program works for me.

I highly recommend Tai Chi and Qigong!

My teacher, Laoshi Karim-Ben Saunders is amazing. His experience, patience, and cheerfulness are something I look forward to every week. He's written an extensive article on the health benefits of Tai Chi. (link here). He is really too modest. It's a joy to watch him practice the forms, he makes it look so easy and graceful.
He teaches out of Shaolin Kung Fu Centers in Worcester, and at Spencer Yoga Home in Spencer.

Lucky for both of us, Karim was looking for a logo for his group, so I volunteered to work with him to come up with this nice one:

Our Full Circle group celebrating Chinese New Year

Thursday, April 30, 2015

A Visit to the Susan B. Anthony House

Wonderful visit to the Susan B. Anthony House Museum in Rochester, NY. This was in April, 2015. Photos from my dear friend Lara - we'll be friends at least as long as Susan and Frederick were.

Looking forward to visiting the Frederick Douglass museum site in D.C. someday!

Thursday, April 16, 2015

A Visit to the Susan B. Anthony House!

Coming up soon - A Visit to the Susan B. Anthony House in Rochester, NY.
Sunday, April 26 2-4pm.

Tuesday, April 07, 2015

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Pequot Library Today!

Today I'll be in Southport, CT at the Pequot Library! It's going to be quite an awesome day, they have so may great things - even Irish Step Dancers!

Sunday, January 04, 2015

23rd Annual African American Children's Book Festival!

It's coming soon!

And this year I am going to be there! I'd love to meet my Philadelphia friends. I'll be there with my newest titles; Friends for Freedom: the Story of Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass and With Books and Bricks: How Booker T. Washington Built a School both written by Suzanne Slade.

For more info, visit the festival website at: