What traditions from your childhood do you continue? My mother was big on using good china and silver for everyday. I like to do the same. Although, I am not big on polishing silver. And always garden or wildflower bouquets on the table.
What situations influenced you to start writing and illustrating? In art school I had a friend who loved picture books. Through her I discovered that picture books had changed a bit since I was a child – bigger, bolder, more artful. I had always loved books and reading and here was a showcase for art, that was personal not like advertising or editorial illustration.
What was the most interesting thing you discovered when writing this book? Well, I discovered that I wanted to make it more. The book starts on a WHITE background – white being all color. Goes through the colors of the spectrum in the backgrounds. Ends on a BLACK background which is absence of color.
What was one of the best things that happened because of this book? Gosh, all my books made good things happen. Mouse in ‘Lunch’ is a real favorite with kids, so he has a second book where he constructs an alphabet – ‘Alphabet Under Construction’.
What is the most creative interpretation you have seen or heard about your book? Schools have ‘Lunch’ buffets. Where all the fruit and vegetables are tried. Most kids have never had turnips. They think the slices of turnip are apples. One teacher blew up a balloon as Mouse ate. With each fruit or veg addition she blew it up a little more and when Mouse is done eating, she lets it whirl around the room propelled by the releasing of air.
Can you tell us a bit about your handmade paper and technique? I use recycled cotton rag fiber. Think threads floating in water. I color the fiber. I then pour the fiber/water mix on a screen. The water drains through, the fiber stays on top of the screen. I layer colors. I use squeeze bottles filled with the water/fiber mix to draw. I also cut stencils to create different shapes. When the piece is done I flip it off the screen and press and dry it. I made a sheet of paper and a painting at the same time.
Were the foods you incorporated in ‘Lunch’ favourite food of yours or were they chosen because they are graphic or worked well with the text? I like all the fruits and veg in the book, but they were picked because of color.
What are your favourite gadgets? I love power tools. I just recently bought a chainsaw on a stick. Loving that.
What is something that most people might be surprised to know about you? I am an introvert.
What are you working on next? I am just now starting the art for a books about ducks.
Read my review of ‘Lunch’ here.