2014 SCBWI Southern Breeze Gallery Show Wrap-Up!

It couldn't have gone better! That's the bottom line. This year our show was on the Decatur Arts Alliance map for opening night ArtWalk and the Decatur Arts Festival, and wow, did it show! We had a steady crowd of folks milling through the entire time.

I love the way this show works - each piece of framed artwork is accompanied by the book from which it came. So kids and adults read the books and look up to see the actual artwork hanging above.

But of course, it's really about the kids. THIS is what the show is all about:

Here's this year's gang of illustrators and folks who made it happen. From the left is Laura Freeman, Prescott Hill, Joe Davich (Georgia Center for the Book), Amy Schimler, Mark Braught, Lee Mayer - wife to Bill Mayer, Yours Truly, and Zach Steele (also of the GCB). And my hubbie, Stan, is behind the camera:

Illustrators who weren't able to join us were Jill Dubin, R. Gregory Christie, Susan Nees, Mike Lowery, Sarah Frances Hardy, and Lori Nichols. Although their work was greatly enjoyed, we missed partying with our buds. Because we had fun!

Especially when we headed out for our annual post gallery show meltdown (this year at Colbeh)...

The show will run for two weeks at the Decatur Library in Decatur, Georgia. I hope you get a chance to see it in person!


2014 SCBWI Southern Breeze Children's Book Illustrators' Show

Our annual SCBWI Southern Breeze Gallery Show will open this Friday, May 23rd, at 7:00pm at the Decatur Library (215 Sycamore St., Decatur, GA, 30030) as part of the Decatur ArtWalk - opening night for the Decatur Arts Festival, which lasts through the weekend. Galleries throughout Decatur stay open late to kick off the festivities and attendance is vigorous

Our show will be in the main lobby of the library for two weeks (through June 7th), which is a big hit with patrons. This year’s show will feature works by Yours Truly, Mark Braught, Jill Dubin, R. Gregory Christie, Prescott Hill, Susan Nees, Amy Schimler, Laura Freeman, Bill Mayer, Mike Lowery, Sarah Frances Hardy, and Lori Nichols. Each framed piece of art is accompanied by its currently available for purchase picture book - a great introduction to art for kids! Many illustrators will be on hand to sign your books if you bring them with you on opening night. (It’s a party!) All are welcome and I hope you can join us!


Sketch Book Event - TRAINS!

Perhaps cogs and gears set your artistic heart aflutter; maybe you’re on a quest for unique detail to incorporate into your steampunk vision; or you might just be looking for textures to challenge your creative mind. . . Then it’s all aboard for the next Sketch-Book Event at the Southeastern Railway Museum. Join us on Saturday, June 14th at 10:00 am as we explore more than 80 pieces of retired trains and railway equipment, including steam locomotives, uniforms, a ticket office and much more. Authors, illustrators and photographers are welcome.

And to set the tone for this visit, the theme book is HOW TO TRAIN A TRAIN by Jason Carter Eaton and John Rocco. As always, we have planned several optional challenges, which are designed to have you approach your sketches and stories from a new perspective.

There is an $8 admission fee to the museum grounds. We also will be going for lunch afterwards. Please RSVP at michael@austinillustration.com.

3595 Buford Hwy.
Duluth, GA


Illustrators' Day Wrap-Up from Scholarship-winning Connie Lynn Reilly

I am so grateful for the opportunity to attend Springmingle ’14 as the Liz Conrad Scholarship winner. The conference left an unforgettable impression on me.  
      Over the years, in addition to receiving formal training and mentoring from several renowned artists, I have made a point to educate myself in various forms of art. Fine art portraiture and figurative painting have been my major focus throughout my art career, but the last couple of years, I have been learning more about illustrating children's books. I've learned what I could from various books and other sources, but realized I still needed feedback on my illustration work. Therefore, in 2013, I did a mentorship with Michael A. Austin, which opened the door for me into the world of imagination and illustration.
      Receiving the scholarship has been so encouraging to me as an artist. Illustration is a new journey in my art career, and it was so helpful to hear confirmation from professional illustrators that I am on the right track.
     I was shopping at Dillards department store when I received a phone call. I did not recognize the phone number from the call and was listening carefully after I answered "Hello". The caller identified herself saying "Hello Connie, this is Elizabeth Delumba from SCBWI Southern Breeze" and it took me a second or two to understand who was calling me. I could not have been more thrilled when she said "You have won the Liz Conrad Scholarship". I could not believe my ears. The sales girl was smiling as she saw me jump up and down with excitement from the call. Wow! It made my day, made my week, made my month. Well, the feeling will last a very long time, maybe a lifetime!
     The conference faculty was superb. Everyone was extremely open and willing to share what had taken them a lifetime to learn. There was so much great information given, I felt like writing a book afterwards and it seemed as if I had attended a complete children's book illustration and writing course. I know I will be referring to my notes for a very long time.
      One last word of thanks, to Stephanie Moody, who took a portrait class from me several years ago and turned me on to SCBWI. Thanks, Steph!

      Connie Lynn Reilly is an international portrait and figurative artist including corporate, children, adults, business, family, animals, and historical art. She works in the mediums of oil, pastel, watercolor, and colored pencil. www.ConnieReilly.com See Connie's winning entries - CLICK HERE.