If you would like to read a brief biography, it can be found at the bottom of this page. But right now, it's on to the important stuff...
This is my dog Matilda.
Today's surprise is that she has a new puppy for a friend.
I always wanted to be an artist. Here is my very first oil painting. I made it when I was fourteen. I'll see if I can dig up some other old art, from when I was even younger......
This is a watercolor painting of my Dad at the beach. It is a hot day and he brought a beach blanket.
When I was in third grade I made up comic strips all the time. I invented a whole neighborhood full of kids. "Tabs" is a talking snake- in one joke he was accidentally used as a bat.
One day my Mom bought me a sketchbook. I thought it was the coolest thing- all that paper and NO lines on the pages. Drawing in the sketchbook was like making my own one-of-a-kind book. I drew everything I saw. This is our family car. I really liked it, so I drew it.
When I was small I had lots of pets. Here's me with my favorite hamster.
When I was small we went to the Jersey shore a lot. Asbury Park, Ocean City and Wildwood, they were just great. My favorite partof the shore was the ocean with its big waves.Or was it the food on the boardwalks...nah, I am sure it was the RIDES! I think I used to get on my parent's nerves because I kept saying, "Can we go on the roller coaster, can we go on the roller coaster, can we go on the roller coaster again?" I was that kind of kid.
So I guess it is not surprising that I did a book called CAROUSEL CAT at the Jersey shore. You've got to see it- it's got Dan the Carousel Man, who looks like Santa on Summer vacation. It's got Madam Fortune who can find ANYTHING. And my favorite guy is The World's Strongest Tattooed Man. I don't have any tattoos, but they are fun to sketch.
So go to my home page and click on the cover of CAROUSEL CAT....go ahead, don't be scared... are you scared? Why, the story takes place at the Pavilion O' Fun, not at a nasty place like SCARYLAND. Here's a sketch of what I think the entrance to SCARYLAND might look like- what do you think? Is it too scary?
Here are some of the drawings I did while trying to figure out what the cover might look like....
People seem to want more facts. Okay.....
I was born in Springfield, New Jersey and went to St. Jame's School. Once a week they served the best hot dogs for lunch. Later, I went to Delbarton High School. While in high school, I studied art with Carroll Jones Jr. He was a great art teacher. He made his students feel very comfortable, taught me about light & shade, how to draw and how to underpaint.
After high school I attended the Ringling School of Art in Florida and then graduated from the Paier School of Art in Connecticut. At Paier I learned from some fine teachers including Leonard Everett Fisher, Deane Keller and Jean Zallinger. Later, I attended the Art Student's League in New York.
That's a great school!
After Art School I worked making art for filmstrips (Listening Library). That's how I learned to paint quickly.
And newspapers (Daily Record, Observer Tribune). That's how I learned about patterns of dark and light.
And phonics sheets (Macmillan Ed.). Where I learned about characters.
And textbooks (just about every publisher making them). I learned about creating art for odd shaped spaces.
And Young Adult bookcovers, where I learned about rendering.
I also made a lot of fine art paintings and continued to study art. I believe the most important part of my education has come from keeping sketchbooks. I draw and write in a sketchbook every day and am now working in book #152. Many thanks to artist John Massimino for showing me how to loosen up and enjoy sketching.
In 1979 I made my first picture book (THE SPIDERS DANCE) and that was it. It seemed to me that picture books were the most creative form of art around. I was hooked and so, since 1979 I have been busy making picture books. They are fun to make. I get to travel all over the world, to hear stories, to write stories and meet lots of interesting people. When I'm not traveling, I live in Nashville, Tennessee.