Tag Archives: Constance Anderson

My Television Interview: How To Make A Children’s Book

Recently I had the opportunity to challenge myself by accepting an invitation to discuss my career as an artist and author on the live local television show, Darlene Carman Presents.  The interview is now on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i77skI2ca-w

My first impulse was to say no to the invitation, too intimidating. So instead, I said yes! I am glad I did because it was a great experience.

discussing a page from my picture book Smelling Sunshine with Darlene and Doug Carman on their cable access TV show; Darlene Carman

Darlene Carman, Doug Carman, and I on their television show, Darlene Carman Presents, discussing my picture book, Smelling Sunshine

From participating in the show I learned:

  • How a television interview is put together -  Darlene’s approach is an exchange of information between the presenter and the interviewer; prior to the interview, Darlene and I communicated through email, exchanging ideas as she gathered information about my career.
  • How to help shape and prepare for a live interview – I gave Darlene as much information as she requested about my career, and she put together questions for the interview which worked as a guideline for my appearance;  I knew what we would be discussing.
Discussing how I illustrated a  page from Smelling Sunshine

A page I illustrated from my picture book, Smelling Sunshine

  • What the people involved in filming the show do, and what a great sense of comradely they share; there are multiple cameras for different angle shots and a floor ‘manager’ to conduct the show and keep track of timing; a friendly atmosphere pervades.
  • What a constructive force the Carman’s are for getting information out to the public – go through their YouTube shows, and you’ll notice their diverse interests; interviews include artist and naturalist John Muir Laws, writer Liz Cunningham, and wildlife photographer Elaine Bond.
Darlene Carman and I talking about the teddy bear page in Smelling Sunshine

Darlene Carman and I talking about the teddy bear page in Smelling Sunshine

  •  How to stop my mind from inventing self defeating stories, and allow an experience that is filmed at the moment unfold – preparation and meditation was the key; I had fun and enjoyed myself.

Find the interview on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i77skI2ca-w or look on You Tube: Darlene Carman Presents, How To Make A Children’s Book. I hope you enjoy the interview and learn something about how to make a children’s book.

Holding up an illustration from my new picture book, A Stick Until (Star bright Books, 2017)

An illustration from my new picture book, A Stick Until (Star Bright Books, 2017)

Pete Seeger

Planting Seeds of Song, from my picture book, Rise Up, Sing Out click on image to enlarge

Planting Seeds of Song, from my picture book, Rise Up, Sing Out
click on image to enlarge

Pete Seeger devoted his life to bringing people together through music, to inspiring and empowering them through song. It’s been a year since he passed away at age 94. He lived a life of fearless integrity standing up for what he believed, including freedom of speech, civil rights, labor rights, and the environment. The artwork here is my tribute to Pete as he plants seeds of song, inviting all voices to sing along.

For more information, watch the first authorized film biography documenting Pete Seeger’s contributions to folk music and society:

http://www.pbs.org/wnet/americanmasters/episodes/pete-seeger/full-film-pete-seeger-the-power-of-song/2864/

The following articles are also informative, and include video interviews with this remarkable man:

http://www.poughkeepsiejournal.com/story/news/2015/01/27/seeger-barry-one-year/22379303/

http://www.poughkeepsiejournal.com/story/news/2015/01/27/seeger-barry-one-year/22379303/

 

Fresh Tracks

charcoal, paint, foam board print

Fresh Tracks                       click on the image to enlarge

A new year rolls out ahead, ready for us to make our mark on it. I’ve been making fresh tracks in my studio using charcoal to draw the chatty neighborhood crows, the reclusive rabbit in the hills nearby, and the acrobatic backyard squirrel who hangs artfully from our grapevine in August, his cheeks stuffed with grapes.  I made a print of each of the animals, and painted textured paper for an imaginary snowy landscape. Then I went on an adventure, mixing all these elements together. Voila! Fresh Tracks. Where are your mark making adventures taking you?

 

Drawing Performance

Drawing is a performance –
It is one time then and there
Of the moment
As an act of creation is.

Beatrice Darwin*

anton lewis drums framed

     charcoal gesture drawing

Charcoal is a medium I’ve used for years, but never with such abandon until recently. I draw with willow and vine as well as compressed charcoals in stick and pencil form. Last year I picked up compressed chunky charcoal measuring 3” by 5/8”.  That’s when the fun started.

from left, 4 chunky charcoals, willow charcoal, vine charcoal

      from left, 4 chunky charcoals, willow charcoal, vine charcoal

All of the charcoals have varied tonal ranges, allow for a variety of line, and feel like an extension of my arm. This is especially true of the chunky charcoal which, because of its size, insists on grand sweeping gesture. I find myself drawing with my whole body. It feels like a dance when I draw this way.

Using various sides of the chunky charcoal, I make marks that express the movement or gesture of the subject I am drawing. Gesture drawings are done quickly without attention to detail. Precision is not the nature of gesture drawing. Capturing movement is.

Many finished drawings start as gesture drawings. The two charcoal drawings in my last blog ( Aimless Love, The Wideness and Wonder of The World) each began as a gesture drawing.

gesture drawing using ochre and black chunky charcoal

 gesture drawings with restatements

 

 

gesture drawing with chunky charcoal

Leaving a track of the act of drawing is a story in itself; the stops, starts, and restatements (draw overs) add energy to a drawing. Whether musical or otherwise, performance is one time, then and there, of the moment*. So begin your performance: find a subject, some chunky charcoal, and make your mark.

gesture drawing

Check out the performances of the musicians that I drew here at: www.stringmetal.com.

The epiphany of the everyday: chunky charcoal.

All drawings: © Constance Anderson