Monday, November 14, 2011

My Eric Carle Museum NEA Grant Visit

What an honor to participate in the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art's very first National Endowment for the Arts grant. Read the press release.

The NEA grant brings three author-illustrators, Jerry Pinkney, Raul Colon, and myself to the Donahue School in Holyoke, Massachusetts.

The purpose of our visits is to guide second grade students to write and illustrate personal narratives in preparation for their very own exhibition at the gorgeous Eric Carle Museum in Amherst, MA in June 2012. The students were going to create 3D collages based on my book A CITY IS.

More about the museum here.

October 19 was Day 1 of my two day visit. I was facilitated by the museum's Curator of Education, Rosemary Agoglia. The day started very early and was spent presenting my author-illustrator elementary school programs in three classrooms sessions. At the end of each session the students shared what they saw in their city. I drew their images on a large pad, breaking down each idea into easy shapes they could draw and cut for collage.
I was very tired after the long day, but by a stroke of good luck I was invited to a meeting with the area's prestigious local authors and illustrators at the Richard Michelson Gallery in Northampton.

Luckily, my hotel was across the street. I signed 60 copies of SUPERMARKET while resting in bed and watching TV. My publisher, Holiday House, was incredibly generous to donate a copy of the book to each student in the second grade. Thank You, Holiday House!!

Day 2 of my visit was in the art room working with Art Teacher, Martha Mulcahy
and the Eric Carle Museum's Public Art Program Educator, Diana Mackenzie, pictured here with Margaret Bartley, Language Arts Media teacher at the Donahue School who helped bring the NEA grant alive.

There were lots of paper materials to choose from both the art room and the museum who donated neon papers and pre-cut shapes.

The young artists got busy.

When a student got stuck I helped out,

but most artists like to work on their own. I observed quietly and offered encouragement watching their art progress.

Here are the results from one day of art work.

After I went home the students followed up with another day on their collages. I cannot wait to see how it will all turn out for their exhibition at the museum.

THANK YOU, Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art and the M.A. Donahue School!

We are close to the Holiday Season. My FREE Coloring Page is a holiday detail from the book, SUPERMARKET. Here it is in the book.

And here is the sketch I used to create the original art. Click on the sketch to enlarge. Print and color! Enjoy! Happy Thanksgiving!

Photo Credits: Melanie Hope Greenberg Copyright 2011 and Diana Mackenzie/Eric Carle Museum Copyright 2011

Monday, October 3, 2011

School Visits: *Authors and More* in Austin, Dallas and Houston, Texas

Hi Texans! It was a great honor to be selected as the artist for the 2011 Texas Library Association's Disaster Relief Fund Raffle. I got to meet so many great librarians at the TLA Conference in the Austin Convention Center. I was even interviewed on the Austin based Cynsations blog.

Thrilled to announce that I am now represented by Authors and More. Click the link to get to their website. Authors and More will represent my author and illustrator visits in the Austin, Dallas and Houston areas in Texas. Authors and More is a full service company providing authors, storytellers, illustrators, and musicians for schools and library programs.

I even have my own page on the Authors and More Blog.

I'd love to present at your school or via Skype.  
My interactive workshops share simple step-by-step visual formulas for picture book creation, writing, art and structure. From idea to published book, bridge art with literacy. Grades K-5. Reading, Drawing, Q&A. 

For honorarium and workshop details contact:
Carole Weitzel 
(512) 914-2596 
Click on the links to get to the
Authors and More Website
Authors and More Blog

My donated original picture book art from "Supermarket" on the Jumbotron in the Austin Convention Center at the 2011 Texas Library Association Conference.
Photo credits: Copyright Melanie Hope Greenberg and Jeanette Larson

Thursday, September 15, 2011

How I Create an Illustration 3 - SCIENCE

If you are my Facebook Friend then you might have seen my Profile Pic for September 2011. What, you are not a FBF? Please join me on Facebook.

The "S" was from an illustration I created for Young Children Magazine. It was one of the letters that spelled S-C-I-E-N-C-E.

On my desk is displayed the different elements I used to create the letters and the art to go along with them. First, I traced letters from a template. Then, I measured and placed each letter in the middle of a box.

For the illustrations I widened each letter. My job is to capture images or a mood from the magazine articles.

The last step was to figure out the color scheme. I had to be very sensitive about how the letters worked all together and if they worked side by side.
I can always tell I'm done when I feel a sense of balance in my body.

Then the letters were published. Each article had one letter pop out.

Scroll down to see all the letters from SCIENCE.
BONUS Scroll down to the end and get a FREE Coloring Page!

Happy Fall and Back-To-School Everyone! xo Melanie

FREE Coloring page! Click to Enlarge and Print.

All Designs and Illustrations Copyright Melanie Hope Greenberg 2011

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Second Visit to the Eric Carle Museum

My second visit to the gorgeous Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art was much busier than my first visit. Not only did I present a Story Time in the museum's library and sign bunches of books, I also presented a literary craft workshop with young students in the Art Room.

They jumped right into getting their hands busy.

Here are the beautiful 3D collages they created. Some were literal.

Others not so much. This boy told me the psychedelic strip of paper he glued to the top was the second Sun in the composition. I love that!

This young artist followed her own spirit. Love that, too!

This boy mixed the media using markers. So creative.

After my programs I had some time to hang out with Rebel Bookseller, Andy Laties, the manager of the museum's bookshop. I was very fortunate that Andy provided my car lifts to and from the Springfield Amtrak station. Talking shop with Andy is always enlightening and appreciated.

With the museum's librarian and bookshop manager.

The shop is stocked with Eric Carle everything. But it's also creatively stocked with everything else. For book lovers, there's a vast array of children's books, graphic novels, and kid-lit related cross over to adult books. Greeting cards, toys, and plush dolls are colorfully displayed.

Thank You Eric Carle Museum for selling my books in your shop and on your website!

For art lovers there are signed prints and limited edition lithographs and fun minimalist sculptures.


Visit the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art!

All Photos Copyright Melanie Hope Greenberg 2011

Sunday, May 22, 2011

PS 250 Brooklyn Asks Questions

On May 20, 2011 I gave presentations to second graders at PS 250 in Brooklyn. Ms Steinlauf's class had adorable hand drawn mermaid bookmarks which cleverly had some questions written on them as well. There was not enough time to answer all the questions before the program was over. So I promised to answer their questions on my blog. Thanks PS 250!!

Q: How do these ideas pop in to you?
MHG: Many times I get ideas from what I see or take part of in my own community. My books are about places to eat, or to do laundry, visiting the beach, and even celebrating holidays and traditions.

Q: How do you picture the Book?
MHG: Read and see the process of how I create picture books here.

Q: Have you ever written a song book?
MHG: No, because I have never written any songs. I enjoy making up stories.

Q: Do you write books? How many books did you write?
MHG: I've written 6 of the 16 books I've illustrated that have been published. See all my books here.

Q: Are the things you write are ture (true)?
MHG: Yes! Many of my books are based on what I see or have experienced in real life. Even when illustrating for other authors I paint what I see around me. For example, I marched in a Mermaid Parade. Real New York City views are displayed in A CITY IS. I shop at the supermarket in SUPERMARKET. I've been riding the subway since I was a little girl. ON MY STREET is based on Brooklyn Heights.

Q: What class were you in as a little girl?
MHG: I went to PS 93, PS 119, Jr High School 125, then graduated from James Monroe High School. All the schools were in the Bronx. I skipped the 3rd grade, the last semester of High School and graduated at 16 years old.

Q: Have you ever wrote a book about the bronx?
MHG: I wrote and illustrated a book about my true story of my father's luncheonette in the Bronx. It is called, MY FATHER'S LUNCHEONETTE.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

How I Create an Illustration 2

Muriel Feldshuh was kind enough to invite me to participate, for a second time, in her traveling children's picture book artist quilt project. She sent a kit containing a lovely note, a blank square of muslin, packing, and a self addressed, stamped return envelope. How could I refuse?

The first muslin square I painted is in the red quilt above. Feldshuh's quilts exhibit in galleries throughout the United States.

For the new quilt, consisting of Brooklyn based illustrators, I chose an icon that both represents Brooklyn and my picture books. This is a sketch of a book cover test for MERMAIDS ON PARADE. The publisher thought it was "too old" for the age level of my book.
I still love this sketch and I've wanted to use it somewhere else. So, I did.

I work with a copy machine. I cut out extras and fixed some lines. Then copied again. There's my outline.

I copy once more, and experiment with paint on the paper first. I discovered my glitter nail polish made a quick drying sparkle over the paint. Yippie, no glitter mess.
Using a lightbox, I trace the mermaid's outline onto the muslin square with pencil. I lay down shapes of pure colors.

Now I add some details to the under layers of paint.

I add purple pen out line and carefully brush in the glitter. I do not want paint or glitter to spill onto the muslin outside the mermaid outline.

Remember to always ventilate while using the nail polish in large areas. I painted by an open window.

Finished art.

Mermaid Art : Copyright Melanie Hope Greenberg