Spherical Thinking

More from the amazing Dick Termes.  His one-man show, Thinking In the Round will be on display through the end of this in Rapid City, South Dakota.

What can children’s book illustrators learn from his work? I think, that we grasp artistic perspective most easily when we think in a round way.

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Austin illustrator and designer Marsha Riti  gave a great interview to children’s author and kid lit blogger Tara Lazar, recently (and I’m not just saying that because she mentions me there.) You can read about Marsha’s path into the world of illustration, and the art history that inspires her here. 

Marsha has a B.F.A. from the University of Texas at Austin and is active with both the Austin Society of Children’s Book Illustrators and its elite swat team of  picture book scribblers, The Inklings.

She also maintains what I would describe as an exemplary illustrator’s blog. I recommend that you check it out — for fun and also if you are looking for ways to do an art blog right. It’s on our blog roll and  right here.

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Tuesday night we conducted our first group conference call for the
Make Your Splashes; Make Your Marks! children’s book illustration course.
We looked at students’ work and just talked about it as if we were all sitting around in a studio classroom eating pizza — except we were at various points around the country — California, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Texas, as it happens. We had all four directions covered!

And you can be a part of this!  Technology has made distance-learning suddenly very, very easy. How easy? Find out for yourself by signing up for the  course — and join the  meetings. 

You can test drive  a huges section of the course content for free, while it’s still available,  by going  here. 

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And now back to our spherically scheduled programming.

Mark Mitchell hosts the How to be a Children’s Book Illustrator  blog.

“Outside the Box” (two cases)

We’re into some lessons  on linear perspective in the course.
It’s a big subject, of course, that has preoccupied the intellects of artists from Leonardo Da Vinci to David Hockney.  But no discussion on it today is complete without a mention of Dick Termes of  Spearfish, South Dakhota,  who has learned how to turn the world inside out.

I’m nuts about this artist and his website and his videos and creations.  His meticulous painting reminds me a little of the art of late great children’s illustrator Barbara Cooney.  Except his illustrations employ vanishing points to your left and  right, below and above,  in front of and behind you — all on the surface of a beach ball — or rather, a “Termesphere.”

The largest exhibit ever of these brain-bending orbs, Thinking in the Round is on display  at the Dahl Art Center in Rapid City South Dakota through May 31.

Meanwhile, in case you’ve ever wondered, refrigerators,  too can be exquisite vehicles of self-expression.

So can children’s  nonfiction. And when you combine the two, you can get something like
Chill: Discover the Cool and Creative Side of Your Fridge by Allan Peterkin (Kids Can Press, Toronto, Ontario. 2009) cover

With chapters named “History”, “Theory”, “Practice”,  “Business” and “Resources”, you know this is the definitive self help book on the subject of refrigerator art.  It even tells us how refrigerator magnets are made. Animator and children’s television program director Mike Sheill provides the zany, sometimes gross though appropriate (in a Sponge Bob sort of way) cartoon art — and endpapers that feature what else but refrigerator contents. Chill proves that you can make an entertaining children’s nonfiction book  of almost any topic, which is the attitutde kids take in seeing the world, anyway.