Archive for the ‘Lanie: Girl of the Year 2010’ Category

Blogging for Ethiopia Reads

I’ve written a few blog posts to share the new bookmaking project with Ethiopia Reads supporters.  The second one just went up today: http://www.ethiopiareads.org/blog-date/2016/3/7/stories

Meanwhile, as I describe where the inspiration came from for these new stories, I am blown away by the powerful example of how Stephanie Schlatter as a painter gets similar flashes of inspiration from the world she sees:

The road between Tum and Maji as we returned one evening last month…acaciainspire2-3616.jpg

And one of Stephanie’s paintings.

acacia2-3616

I also was awash with warm memories of the Ethiopia Heritage and Culture Camp near DC as I looked through pictures of the time my son and his wife and their kids joined me.

Ellemae at camp

Noey at camp

Awwwww.  So glad they worked with me on creating these new stories for Ethiopia Reads.

An Ethiopian Diary: From Maji to Tum

Writers and all other artists try to tap into vivid, surprising, primal moments and details in order to spark the vision. So powerful to see how Stephanie does it.

Stephanie Schlatter Art

acaciainspire2-3616.jpg The view that inspired so much.

Many painting in this Ethiopia series were inspired by that magical moment on the road from Maji to Tum when the sun was setting and the mountains glowed as they rolled on all around us.

acacia1-3616 24 x 48, acrylic

All of us four painters who were a part of An Ethiopian Odyssey II were glowing, basking in the warmth of a perfect day.  We had trekked to a waterfall, saw the vast dramatic expanse of Nafis Bir and brought the Polaroid out in the town square, with many memorable exchanges.

acacia2-3616 24 x 8, acrylic

Our truck was bopping along the ever-twisting and turning road and suddenly, this acacia tree was before us, popping out of the landscape like a regal, proud ancestor. It’s given me loads of inspiration, burning the memory even deeper in my mind. This is a joy of painting, to be…

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An Ethiopian Diary: All 21 Ethiopian Odyssey II Paintings!

I write…Stephanie paints…deep gratitude for seeing my magic world through her eyes.

Stephanie Schlatter Art

all21EOpaintings.jpg

I know as the year goes on I’ll be painting more in this series, but for now, it’s a wrap!

When you have a concept of a series, it’s like something bubbling up inside you. You’re bursting at the seems to get all these images held inside of you out. Especially if you are a landscape painter who has just been to one of the most beautiful places on earth. Especially when you have been traveling with other artists who inspire you and with whom you’ve had the time of your life.

But alas, I came home with a crushing jet lag (eight-hour time difference, 30 hours in transit), the usual culture shock, a cold and a pile of “catch up.” I was delayed in my start. But maybe that was a good thing because once I started this series, I could not stop. It was like running down a hill…

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An Ethiopian Odyssey: The Final Days (Making Books)

No matter how much I thought about the bookmaking ahead of time, I could never have guessed all the things I would learn on this adventure!

Stephanie Schlatter Art

eoiiblog-book-pic13

The rest of my days in Ethiopia found me in the capital city. I’m not a city girl; no matter the country, I love the countryside. Addis Ababa is a bustling, rapidly growing city. It reportedly has a population of 3,384,569, with a growth rate of 3.8 percent, but  both numbers are widely considered underrated, according to Wikipedia.

But it gives you an idea. The pollution and chaos cannot be overstated. I try to spend as little time here as possible, but I still have some work to do. So I’m resigned to a few more days. The city has a certain energy and bustle that is charming, but for me the charm lasts about an hour, so let’s go visit a few artist studios and make some books and get me out of here.

First is bookmaking day. My dear friend Jane Kurtz is a very accomplished children’s book …

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5 Ethiopian traditions that should be brought to America

Yes! Beautifully put and makes me miss both Ethiopia and my little bit of Ethiopia here in the US.

Curing the Reading GERM by Jim Bailey

Ahhhh…this blog fills me with hope!

Nerdy Book Club

Four years ago I was ready to leave education.  I loved my school, I loved my principal, I loved my colleagues, and most of all I loved my students.  Unfortunately, I was infected with a GERM, as Pasi Sahlberg calls it, the Global Education Reform Movement.  The obsession with high stakes testing, lack of autonomy in the classroom, and general standardization of education was forcing me to reevaluate my career path.  I was most affected by this GERM in the area of teaching reading, if you could even call what I was doing teaching reading.  It would have been better titled, “Accelerated Reader time,” or “Over teaching a novel class,” or “Everyone read the same boring excerpt and complete workbook pages period.”  Whatever it was, it definitely was not reading.  Luckily, several people in my life had also been infected with this GERM and they knew the cure.  They had…

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Stop Making (so Much) Sense by Dev Petty

Thinking about this as I start getting ready to teach the picture book semester at VCFA…

Nerdy Book Club

It’s night time. We cuddle up as we always do, and I begin, “Once upon a time…”

Isn’t that funny? Why do I do that? The books I write and the books I enjoy don’t usually start with “Once upon a time” or end with “Happily ever after.” Part of it is just trying to concoct a story, bleary eyed, at the end of a long day. But conventional, fairytale storytelling, the kind with tidy endings and linear story-lines, is deeply ingrained in me and it’s a lot of work to break free from it.

This is a box I strive to think out of. A box built from once upon a times, happily ever afters, dogs that chase cats and princess movies. Even though I was raised in the 70s and had first editions of some truly experimental writing, and even though I try to write unconventional picture books…

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