PRETEND…for IF “We Ate the Whole Buffalo”

November 17, 2008 at 7:06 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 12 Comments
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I just got back from the indescribable HIGHLIGHTS FOUNDATION FOUNDERS’ WORKSHOP…”The Visual Art of the Picture Book, instructed by Dominic Catalano.   I actually got back a week ago, but it seems like yesterday!  I highly recommend this workshop to any artist who currently illustrates picture books, or if you are an artist who wants to illustrate picture books.  

This little mouse is perfect for PRETEND.  He demonstrates a lesson from one of the assignments that Dominic Catalano gave us for one of the sessions.   He wanted us to choose a scene from the previous storyboarding session we had, and illustrate it with BAD SHAKESPEAREAN ACTING in mind.  In other words, he wanted us to do all we could to capture the gestures, personalities, and mood necessary to create the scene.  I think I got it in the little mouse, but his proud parents could have been even more exaggerated.  The shoulders could have been more correct if I had them more “lifted” more…a bit “prouder”.  Anyway, this was a wonderful excercise. 

More about the workshop:  Where to start???!!!  There were seven artists attending: Tess Feltes, John Shroades, Lisa Dragonetti, Sharon Edwards, Tanja Bauerle, Tatyana Starikova Harris, and me, of course.  The faculty and guests included: Dominic Catalano, Tim Gillner of Boyds Mills Press,  Cynthia Faber Smith of Highlights magazine, Kelley Cunningham from High Five magazine, Suzanne Bloom (stripey socks and all!), and Lindsay Barrett-George..(make sure you check out her latest book ALFRED DIGS!)….Alfred and his itty bitty friend and his momma just melt your heart with their journey…. 


nick kelley suzanne tim

nick kelley suzanne tim











I will post more links and/or photos for all those mentioned as soon as I get them rounded up! i mean swipe them from Tanja’s blog. 🙂  Here are a few I took with my camera phone.

Here is the cabin I got to inhabit:



The awesome van we got to ride in:  You know you want a van with a goose and a polar bear on it!!! You know you do! How great would that be!  Oh, and if you haven’t read that book, DO IT. It is wonderful.  We got to see her latest dummy, too.  Let me tell you: THE FOX ROCKS!!!!! wait til you see it in WHAT ABOUT BEAR?


Lindsay, Tanja, Dominic, John, Suzanne

Lindsay, Tanja, Dominic, John, Suzanne

 I should have taken pictures of the FOOD! Award-winning gourmet chefs Marcia and Deb were incredible.  We were so spoiled.  A few of the dishes include: shrimp encrusted talapia, LOBSTER lasagna, chowder, chili, potstickers, homemade breads and pies, the list goes on… I came home so nourished!  Now when I go to my own cupboard “I feel like I am at a smorgasboard and all you give me is bean dip!”  (to understand that, go to 2:36 of the incredibles youtube posted below…then keep watching until past 3:50ish for the infamous buffalo quote.)

To sum it up, this workshop truly helped me to gain a sense of direction and peace in my work.  Thank you to all the attendees, faculty, and guests who helped me “tilt my head to get a better view.”   Each one of you hold a special place in my heart and I am very grateful to have met you.  

Here is a shot of what I saw from the plane on my way home:



Oh yeah, and last but not least…as long as I am cramming so much into one post I may as well take care of the tag that Candace threw at me. 🙂

Seven random facts about me:

1. I don’t really like ice cream.

2. I live in an old two story school house.

3. I live 13 miles from any town.  That means no pizza delivery for us!

4. I graduated high school as the salutatorian. 

5. My dad taught me to read when I was four.

6. I spelled CAT wrong in a spelling bee –in THIRD GRADE!!!

7. We burn corn to heat our house.

The four people I tag are: Tanja, Kari, Linda, and ok, make that three–I am such a rebel. hehehe Let’s blame Candace. She took it from seven tags to four. I will go with three. Three is good.



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  1. Hi Teri,

    Great photos. Thank you for plugging my blog. You can use any of the photos if you like. Thanks again for an awesome weekend. I’m working away with a new outlook.

    Hugs and talk to you soon,


  2. Wow it looks amazing Teri! What a wonderful opportunity to learn and meet other illustrators and writers. Plus the setting looks so charming! Thanks for sharing this.

    BTW, I love your little shakespearian mice! :o)

  3. I love it!!! Adorable!

  4. Wow, that workshop sounds like it was inspiring! And I love that you live in an old schoolhouse! 🙂

  5. oh you guys, it really was incredible! i am so glad i got to go!

  6. How wonderful!!! I can imagine going away to study like that being part of a big dream come true. One of my dreams is to write children’s books. WHEN it happens, I’m calling you about illustrating.

    P.S. We’re always looking for good library books and I hadn’t heard of that one (“Spendid Friend”). We’ll be there today and I’m checking it out.

  7. I so love your work and style – you are brilliant!
    More, more, more!!
    Best Wishes,

  8. Thanks, Marni and Liz!

  9. It looks like you have been having lots of fun!!! Sorry I missed you in MSP……… maybe next time.

  10. what a charming character and his family too! A beautiful vignette of them and your colours and texture are super appealing! Your adventure sounds well timed and wonderful!!! Thank You for sharing 🙂

  11. Glad to hear your review of the workshop! I had wanted to go this year, but circumstances didn’t work out, so I hope to make it next year!

    And thanks for the link to the Incredibles videos. I watched all three. I love that behind the scenes stuff!

  12. hey karlene! sorry we didn’t have time to get together!

    val and tom, thanks for stopping by! tom, you should go for sure next time! it truly was amazing….


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