Get Back to Work!

March 1st, 2017

My readers normally write to me in pencil. Letters sit at the publishers for a good six months or more,  and by the time I get them the senders  are all  grown up and I imagine them reading War and Peace. They don’t care anymore if I have any pets or how I get my ideas or if I have any children and what their names are.  But not this time. In the midst of an especially stressful flurry of the flotsam and jetsum of life coming at me, with 1099s and backround checks and bla bla bla  I suddenly got a delightful thing: a nagging email from a fourth grader. I print it here, leaving out identifying details in its entirety. Thank you beloved reader ! ( I will respond as soon as I am able). You put a smile on my face! I needed your message today.  Enough with  fretting over your taxes, enough with dentist appointments and every other stupid detail of adult life that ties you up. Get back to work because  there are readers out there that want your books! Shut up and make another.

Here’s what she said and it makes me purr:

I am in love with your books but the only thing is that you only have two books in the series Thumbelina and Cinderella. They are great books. They make me love reading. Also, my friend Libby loves your books too. We would really love if you could take the time to read this letter. And please it would make us so happy if you will respond to this email and could make more amazing books.

If you do read this letter and think about what I’m saying and think to yourself and you decide to make more books here are some Ideas: Ariel, Tangled, Snow  White, Sleeping Beauty, or you could do made up fairy tales, childhood stories, or even scary stories.

I think little kids would love your books as well as I do. I think if you made some little kid picture books, they would love it, I bet.

If you have read this email or letter. Thank you so much for your time. Please get back to this email as soon as possible. Thank you again so much.

and thank you!

Serge Bloch

January 28th, 2017


Then I discovered myths, wonder tales and fairy lore: ordinary life went on but I was diving to the bottom of the sea with weights on my feet to pick the flower of immortal life and then losing the magic elixir to a passing snake – for ever; I was dipping my finger in dragon’s blood and tasting it and then finding I could listen in on the conversation of the birds and hear what animals were saying; I was saving my numerous brothers who had been turned into swans by knitting them shirts made from nettles which I’d spun into thread with blistered, burning fingers; with Electra I was helping murder her father – I could go on, but these are the kinds of stories that kept me reading under the covers with a torch, stories that every culture created long before print or even, perhaps, writing itself.

Marina Warner


April 3rd, 2016

I’m illustrating a story in just two colors. Which is three in a way, since the two sometimes overlap. And four if you include the white of the page. Things are often a lot more complicated, but whether you are writing with the 26 letters in the alphabet or rendering with a certain number of colors it is all about finding the patterns and revealing them. Or so it seems to me today, as clouds float by the window.

woodcut in 2 colors

woodcut in 2 colors

woodcut of a condor preening in two colors

woodcut of a condor preening in two colors


March 11th, 2016

Lately I have been feverishly experimenting with woodcutting. There’s a particular challenge when you introduce more than one color that bends my mind causing one plus one to equal 3 colors

Woodcut by José Borges

Woodcut by José Borges

Right now these are my two main influences: a Brazilian artist named José Borges and the logo for Mount Sinai Hospital. Soon I will post a few.

logo for Mount Sinai Hospital

logo for Mount Sinai Hospital

cross cultural cut outs

July 10th, 2015


Stitched together by groups of women in Uzbekistan, Suzanis make my heart sing.

playing with the knot

February 27th, 2015

program sketchMy daughter and her intended are soon to wed! (Their cats are Rambo and Cricket.)


November 27th, 2014

condors fly landscapeI am working on a story about birds. Or rather a story about birds is working on me. It has got me noticing how utterly obsessed the human race is with birds. And I’m thinking they don’t feel the same way about us.

Have I Thanked You Lately?

September 27th, 2014

How I See Myself

June 28th, 2014

Not for the first time I have been asked for a self portrait only to have it politely refused in favor of something more cheerfully normal. All of us are so many creatures, we wear so many hats.

selfie .

This dear blogosphere is myself in my mind’s eye.