Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Folk Art from the Czech Republic

It’s Christmas season and time to get out our creche collection. We just added a new one, a paper cut out creche from the Czech Republic. A week ago we got back from a trip to Prague and Berlin, where we spent Thanksgiving. Christmas lights were up, street stands and shops were filled with traditional Christmas foods (stollen, lebkuchen, mulled wine) and whole stores specialized in hand made decorations, including various forms of creches. I have always been fond of folk art and the simple forms, bright colors have been an influence on my own art. I look forward to cutting out the new creche with my grandchildren when we get together for Christmas.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Video: Put Stripes on the Zebra Art Project

Last spring I taped a television program for the local PBS station (KLCS) for series called Homework Hotline. The programs are linked to the LAUSD schools and teach various lessons after school. My program featured creating a piece of cut paper art using similar techniques that I use in my illustrations. The program is called "Put the Stripes on the Zebra" and promotes both A Zebra's World and the other titles in the series. The project is really meant for elementary school age children, even though the kids helping to demonstrate it on the program are in high school. This was a VERY low budget program. No rehearsals, no editing. What you get is what goes on air! All things considered, I think it turned out quite well. The program was broadcast on April 22nd, and will be rebroadcast at intervals throughout the year. It is available to teachers in LAUSD for use in their classrooms. Anyone can purchase a DVD of the program by calling KLCS (213-241-4007)
The program has also been put on YouTube. Here's the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VBSoJHTfNTg&feature=relatedThere are three 9 minute segments. When you finish the first you'll see a link to the second.
Being on television was an interesting experience. Perhaps it will help sell a few books!

Quiche Recipe

What do I like to do in my spare time? Lots of things, but especially cooking. The following is the story and quiche recipe that I prepared for the All Because of Grace cookbook. Enjoy!

In my freshman year in college, I met six other girls, including Kathryn, who became my roommate in my senior year. After graduation, our group remained close (we now refer to ourselves as the Magnificent Seven!) and got together periodically. We often met at Kathryn’s house, and she always provided us with delicious meals, graciously sharing her recipes with us afterward. One day, two years ago, we received the terrible news that Kathryn’s house had burned to the ground. Everything was lost. What could we do to help? We were too scattered to bring actual food, but we decided that the next best thing was to assemble the recipes she had given us over the years as a small step toward reclaiming her kitchen library. One of my favorites, which has become a staple in my menu rotation, is Quiche Noel. The “Noel” part comes from the garnish of parsley and pimiento, which gives the quiche a holiday flair, but I cook it year round. Whenever I make it, it reminds me of Kathryn and the bonds of friendship of our Magnificent Seven that have strengthened through the years.

Kathryn's Quiche Noel

Prepare pie crust for single crust pie. (I purchase these!)

Combine 1 ½ cups (6 oz) grated Swiss cheese with 4 tsp. Flour. Sprinkle into pie shell.

Sprinkle on ½ cup diced ham.

Combine 3 eggs, 1 cup milk or cream, 1/4 tsp. Salt, 1/4 tsp. Dry mustard. Beat until smooth and pour evenly over cheese and ham.

Bake 400 degrees about 45 minutes. Cool slightly and garnish with chopped parsley or pimiento.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

All Because of Grace Cookbook

On November 4th, a very special cookbook will be published. It is called All Because of Grace. It was inspired by the story of an amazing young girl, Grace Sturm. I was invited to participate in the cookbook project last summer by Jane Martellino, the librarian at the school in Connecticut where Grace was a student. Grace, an avid reader, had just begun the summer reading club when she first got sick and needed emergency brain surgery. Proceeds from the cookbook will help bring hope and comfort to children, like Grace, recovering from brain surgery. I am so happy that I got to meet Grace when I did an author visit at her school in October.
"All Because of Grace" is perfect for children, teachers, librarians, parents and extended families. People of all ages can use this book to create tasty meals and snacks. Each recipe is preceded by a story which will fill you with warmth, humor, joy and tenderness. Along with the recipes and stories by 130 other children's book authors, you can find my recipe for a holiday (or any season) quiche and the story of my friend Kathryn, my college roommate at Grinnell, who gave me the recipe. You can learn more about Grace and order your copy of the cookbook by going to the Yes! Grace Rocks, Inc.website.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Eureka! Award for A Polar Bear's World

Nonfiction books have always been popular with young readers and are often preferred when children choose their own library books. But, for a long time, nonfiction has been neglected in favor of fiction by people handing out awards. So, I was immensely pleased to learn that the California Reading Association has established a new award for nonfiction and that my book, A Polar Bear's World, is a recipient in the gold category. The California Reading Association's Eureka award celebrates and honors nonfiction children’s books and will assist teachers, librarians, and parents in identifying outstanding nonfiction books for their students and children. For more information about the award go to www.californiareads.org .
You can preview A Polar Bear's World in this book trailer on YouTube.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Celebrity Parents Magazine

Last week I had the honor of being interviewed by Jennifer Parris of Celebrity Parents Magazine (an online weekly magazine) while I was in New Fairfield, Connecticut doing a school visit. We did a photo session in the school library and then talked about my books and the challenges of being a parent while developing a career. I began writing and illustrating when my children were in preschool. At that time my work hours were limited by the number of hours they spent in school. As they grew, they spent longer days at school and my work day grew as well. You can read the interview at www.celebrityparentsmag.com.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Art Show Opening

The show at the Blue Dot is up! The opening reception was a great success attended by friends, family, art lovers and neighbors of the Blue Dot. We had a craft table for the children, who created some very colorful penguins and koalas with crayons and cut paper. The show will be up until November 5th. If you live in the Bay Area, stop by and see it and enjoy the delicious food at the Blue Dot. It is open for breakfast and lunch and features yummy home baked pastries and excellent coffee. The Blue Dot is at 1910 Encinal Avenue, Alameda, CA 94501.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Exhibit at the Blue Dot, Alameda, CA

Art Exhibit, September 25 - November 5, 2010
Animal Prints
by Caroline Arnold
at the
Blue Dot Cafe and Coffee Bar
1910 Encinal Avenue
Alameda, CA 94501

The exhibit will feature limited edition giclee prints of original cut paper art illustrations from the children’s books in Caroline Arnold’s Animals series published by Picture Window Books.
To see a sample of some of the images that will be in the exhibit, go to www.etsy.com/shop/carolinearnoldart

If you are in the Bay Area, please stop by the Blue Dot any time until November 5th to see the art and enjoy the delicious food! Hours: m-f, 7:30-5:00; sat, 8:00-4:00; sun, 8:00-2:00. Phone: 925-944-9678. For directions, go to www.bluedotcafeandcoffeebar.com

Friday, August 6, 2010

Polar Bear Coloring Page

I am starting to add downloadable coloring pages to my website, www.carolinearnold.com. Look on the page of my new book, A Polar Bear's World, for the link to a picture of a polar bear. The challenge will be to decide on colors to use for a white bear in a white landscape! Of course, there are many shades of white, with polar bears being a yellowish white and the surrounding snow being various shades of blueish white.
For more coloring pages and other projects go to A Panda's World and A Penguin's World.
You can preview A Polar Bear's World in this book trailer on YouTube.
Update, 2012:  You can also learn about polar bears and how they have been affected by global warming in my new book A Warmer World.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Photos or Art? Which is Better?

Photographs are not always the best way to illustrate what animals do, especially in books for young children. For animals that live underground or underwater, are active at night, or live in remote locations, sometimes a drawing is better for showing their behavior. One of my recent books, A Walrus’ World, which I illustrated with cut-paper art illustrations is a good example of a book better illustrated with art. It would have been impossible to follow around a mother walrus on an ice floe in the Arctic to get the photographs I needed! I did go to zoos to observe walruses in real life, but creating illustrations made it possible for me to tell my story about walruses in their natural environment.

Making Cut Paper Illustrations

My basic technique is the same for all of my books.
The first step is to write the story. This involves basic research in the library, on the internet, and if possible, observing the animals in real life. I need to find out everything I can about the animal–what it looks like, where it lives, what it eats, how it behaves, what its special adaptations are. All this information helps me with both my writing and my art.
Whenever possible I like to observe animals in their natural habitats. I also like to watch them in the zoo. I always take my camera when I go to the zoo. The pictures are a type of visual note taking. They help me both with my writing and my art.
The first step in creating my illustrations is the drawing. If I’m drawing a baby moose, I need to know exactly what it looks like. I then transfer the drawing onto colored paper, cut out the pieces, and glue them together. The final step is putting the animals on a background.
This illustration is from my book A Moose's World.
Update, September 14, 2011
VIDEO:  You can now see a short video of my cut-paper process on YouTube.  Click here to view it.

MY ETSY GALLERY: Cards and Prints

My Etsy gallery has been slowly growing. Here is a recent addition. This blank greeting card is an illustration from my book A Bald Eagle's World. Please visit! I have lots more cards and prints.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Cards and Prints now on Etsy

As of yesterday I have opened a shop on Etsy, www.etsy.com, an online site for artists and other craft people. You can now purchase my artwork there at CarolineArnoldArt. (Remember not to put spaces between the letters when you search.) I'm excited to have an easy way for people to see and order my artwork. Take a look and let me know what you think!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Since my last post (more than a year ago! See 2008 posts) I have created new prints. See www.carolinearnoldart.com. More info later.
My New Year's resolution is to post more often on my blog! I'm inspired by a weekend scbwi workshop on cyber promotion organized by Alexis O'Neill. We met at the Santa Barbara Mission Renewal Center (inspiring in itself) and talked nonstop for three days about blogging, tweeting, webbing, and all the myriad ways to become involved in social media. Today I began to update my Facebook page. Tomorrow I'll work on my website. Stay tuned for more!