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To enhance a book signing experience, I enjoy sharing my love of watercolor painting with children and adults of all ages and abilities. As an art teacher at the Arts Council of Princeton, I have years of experience working gently with artists new to the medium. As a volunteer at the local library, I enjoyed reading to wee ones and painting with them afterwards as well. I've learned how to keep my young audience engaged just long enough to make it to painting time. Once at the painting table, we use non-toxic paints friendly to all painting styles. (What I'm trying to say is that if they eat the paint, they will be safe. And it's washable.)

Young readers are young artists too, so this pairing has always been successful at my local library. Though my books vary in style, the theme of art is something they have in common. With RENATO AND THE LION, I've noticed kids enjoy drawing the lion with Renato (and the occasional Fidget Spinner). With QUINCY, I've been using the color proof with my classes to experiment until the book is released in Spring 2018. Young artists respond well to the task of taking Quincy's basic shape, and drawing his thoughts all over his skin. This is something teachers and librarians can have fun with too! He's not a complicated form, so anyone can do this!

But for really wee artists, keeping the focus on painting colors is the most fun. Some of the most beautiful abstracts have been made by my 2-year old audience members. Their confidence and joy in spreading color on the paper is so fun to watch. One young artist squealed with glee the first time he swished his brush in the water to clean it, watching the clear water turn tangerine. He saw magic in the process that I had forgotten after decades of painting.

I'm happy to supply the paints, brushes, cups, paper towels and paper to paint on. If the book store has a table to use, we can cover it to protect it–though the clean up is very easy and washable. If this bonus activity doesn't fit in the physical space, or outside, I'm happy to keep things simple too. A reading with explanations about hidden Easter Eggs in the books or about the process is fun. I'm flexible.

If you are interested in setting up a book signing with me, call or text 347-577-2921.
Or you can email me at


Whether speaking at a school, library, or conference, I truly love talking about the bookmaking process. I enjoy speaking from the heart, sharing my failures that eventually led to published work, and inviting participation through interactive drawing demonstrations. After years of teaching, I'm comfortable speaking in front of crowds of all ages. When presenting, I like to emphasize that every artist and/or writer is capable of learning their craft. No one is born with perfect talent. We all need to develop our skills, to learn how to endure ups and downs in our careers and stick with it no matter what. I focus on how mistakes are a vital part of the creative process. It means we are learning, experimenting and growing.

I also focus on how important it is to follow our instincts with art making. By using our imaginations and coming up with silly or bizarre ideas, we break through to new ideas. If we are afraid of outside judgment, we remain rigid and our ideas don't become as exciting as they could be. I invite kids to help me create characters–I draw what they suggest, and we have a fun time putting our fearlessness to work.

For visits with adults or older school children, I also enjoy talking about the research and history involved in RENATO AND THE LION. I purposefully layered the story to give the older audience something extra regarding art preservation during World War II in Florence, Italy. There are Easter Eggs hidden in the book, which I explain at length. I also discuss the long journey for RENATO AND THE LION–from concept to publication. For talks involving authors and illustrators, I discuss the tips and tricks I've learned over the years–mostly from doing many things exactly wrong.

When visiting classrooms, it's fun to give kids a chance to draw and paint their own characters at the end of the talk. I'm happy to supply the paints, brushes, cups, paper towels and paper to paint on. If the classroom has a table to use, we can cover it to protect it–though the clean up is very easy and washable.

I am starting to plan for the 2017-2018 school year. If you are interested in connecting with me to plan a visit, please call or text 347-577-2921. Or you can email me at


I am excited to announce that my debut picture book, RENATO AND THE LION, is out now! We had a wonderful book launch, followed by an author's panel at Books of Wonder in New York City! I'm eager to plan more book signings and school visits, so contact me if your organization is interested. Find out more on the speaking engagements page.

After many years of hard work, I am thrilled that my chameleon character, QUINCY, will come to life with little bee books! The release is set for February 8, 2018! While a completely different tone from RENATO AND THE LION, this book also celebrates art. But in this brightly colored story, we get to see more from the perspective of the artist.

Currently I am developing materials to post on for teachers to use in anticipation of a school visit. By September I will be eager to share the history of the book, as well as the process of making a book.




CBIG, the Children’s Book Illustrators Group, is a New York City-based group of illustrators and author-illustrators who create high-quality work for children’s publishing and media. For illustrators that are interested in attending this meeting (non-members included) please contact me or visit the CBIG website for more information. Below are our meeting dates:

  • Sunday, September 17, 2017 from 2-5pm
  • Sunday, November 19, 2017 from 1-5pm
    This is a portfolio review for members only.

Blog with some of my PB friends
I'm so thrilled to be a part of this group of talented and fun people. Writing and illustrating can be lonely, so to have some critique partners to liven up the day makes the journey more enjoyable. Visit our blog. Drawn to Picture Books includes: Deborah Cuneo, Mike Ciccotello, Diana Ting Delosh, Barbara DiLorenzo, Patricia Keeler, Jason Kirschner


Currently I am teaching mostly teenage classes this summer until September 1, 2017. It's never too late to sign up if your child is interested in learning classic art techniques but with the freedom to explore and celebrate their own methods of expression. Last summer we told ghost stories around the art table, bringing the "camp" experience to life.

I am also teaching a botanical illustration class at the Grounds for Sculpture on Saturday mornings.

This fall I will be teaching a regular session in the fall at the Arts Council. My main focus this year will be on illustration and making picture books, though I may also include drawing and watercolor classes as well.

In addition to these classes, I'm the Arts Council of Princeton Outreach Program Coordinator, as well as the Program Coordinator for ArtsExchange. If you are interested in volunteering for ArtsExchange, or would like your school or health care facility to benefit from art classes, please contact me.


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