Most of 2016 was spent in my new third floor studio meeting the daily challenge of painting illustrations for a new picture book about Frank Lloyd Wright. It comes out in September 2017-- so I will write more indepth about it in the coming year, but for now, here is a studio glimpse:
Because my children have chosen to live faraway in their creative lives, I have the great fortune to visit them.
In 2016, my studio time was paused three times by three weddings- the first two filling my home in Minnesota with friends, family and love and the third in Tangier, Morocco, surrounded by new family, new friends, and a new culture. My daughter, Ruby fell in love with a wonderful Moroccan man and when two such diverse cultures meet, more than one celebration is a necessity.
Meanwhile in Montreal, my son, Cooper, continued his training in the circus arts at ENC. Seeing his end-of-the-year performances fills me with awe at what he and his fellow students are pushing their bodies to do creatively and dramatically.
Next, thank you to Addendum Books in St. Paul, where Marcus and Katherine fill the shelves and walls with the most wondrous collection of books, filled its windows with Yellow Time and offered leaf cookies with yellow sprinkles to everyone who came to my reading!
Thank you to the Red Balloon Bookshop, who let me paint their window with yellow time and gave me a stage to conduct a Yellow Time orchestral reading of the book (the audience were the musicians!)
And thanks also go to Valley Bookseller, who invited me to ride the roller coaster trolley all around Stillwater, MN and share my picture books with my fellow riders!
- And now for the end-of-the-year lists!
- Favorite podcasts of 2016 are here.
- There are so many beautiful picture books every year, but here are some of my favorite picture books of 2016 -
The Singing Bones, by Shaun Tan
Frank and Lucky Get Schooled, by Lynne Rae Perkins
You Belong Here, by M.H. Clark, illustrated by Isabelle Arsenault
Cloth Lullaby, the Woven Life of Louise Bourgeois, by Amy Novesky, illustrated by Isabelle Arsenault
And I love all of the books on this list.
- I love to listen to audiobooks when I am in my studio or walking around a lake. Not all audiobooks are the same-- so much depends on the narrator! Here are some of my favorites from 2016: The Lovesong of Miss Queenie Hennessy, by Rachel Joyce, narrated by Celia Imrie
H is for Hawk, by Helen McDonald, narrated by Helen McDonald
Two Boys Kissing, by David Levithan, narrated by David Levithan
His Dark Materials Trilogy, by Phillip Pullman, narrated by Phillip Pullman and numerous actors--a brilliant listen!
- Some of my favorite picture book blogs in 2016:
Art of the Picture Book
Books Around the Table
And if you like to cook and you like to look a illustrations, follow this illustrated food blog!
I could keep making lists of my favorite books read this year and favorite museum shows and favorite music, mostly found through my kids great music lists, but I think I will stop here-- my daily practice of my word for the year, "curiosity," brought much enrichment to my life. Thank you 2016!
And when the clocks toll midnight, I will begin my wishes for 2017...
Wishing everyone a Happy New Year!