Monday, November 26, 2012

Beatrix Potter Exhibit at the Morgan Library & Museum

What a beautiful place to hold a reading of Beatrix Potter stories, in Mr. Morgan's library surrounded by books. I read Mrs. Tittlemouse (a couple fans already knew the story well but still enjoyed hearing it again). Also Squirrel Nutkins - you gotta have a naughty animal too. The kids were great. Thank you to Marie Trope- Podell of the Morgan Library for a wonderful afternoon, and Laura Goetz of CBIG for taking the pictures for my memory book.

 Don't miss the exhibit, Beatrix Potter The Picture Letters, it's wonderful!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Beatrix Potter

Gather around the fire with me in Mr. Morgan's Library for a reading of Beatrix Potter stories! I'll be there Sunday, November 25 for the 2:30pm session and again on Sunday, December 23 at 11:30am. For details about the exhibit click here  at the Morgan Library & Museum.

Sunday Storytime
in Mr. Morgan’s Library
Join us and some of your favorite Beatrix Potter storybook
friends—Peter Rabbit, Jemima Puddle-Duck, and
Tom Kitten— for Sunday Storytime in Mr. Morgan’s
Library. This one hour drop-in program offers families a
refresher on the beloved tales before viewing Beatrix Potter:
The Picture Letters. Presented in collaboration with The
Beatirx Potter Society and the Children’s Book Illustrators
Group. Appropriate for ages 2 and up.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

THEATER- August Strindberg Repertory Theater

I've always wanted to contribute my art to theatrical productions, so I am very excited to be a part of this season's productions by the August Strindberg Repertory Theater. A huge thank you to Robert Greer, Director for this opportunity.

Here's the info: view   web site   for complete schedule and information Updated Schedule due to Hurricane Sandy!
Casper's Fat Tuesday and The Stronger
Friday, October 26 - Saturday, November 17
Gene Frankel Theatre
24 Bond Street, (@ Lafayette)
New York City, NY 10003  
Show me a map.

For tickets, proceed to Smartix.
Show Length: 1.5 hours
General Admission: $18
Student Admission: $9

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Gallery Hours Changed for Dickens Exhibit

UPDATED GALLERY HOURS as of 10/9: Due to circumstances beyond our control,  the gallery will be open only during the events on Oct. 13, 23 and 27. We apologize for the inconvenience and hope you will be able to join us. 
To view the schedule, please click here 

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Day of Dickens Two - Oct. 13 and Special event Oct. 23

The second Day of Dickens event day is October 13 with two new events added, and a special event added October 23. Click here for the schedule update. The exhibit, Dickens, A Celebration In Pictures: Illustrations by the Children's Book Illustrators Group is on view through October 31st.

For more Dickens celebrations, don't miss the exhibit, Charles Dickens: The Key to Character at the New York Public Library Stephen A. Schwarzman Building at 42nd Street. Loved it!  And, if you were as engaged as I was by Catherine Robson at our event in September, she will be speaking at NYPL on Nov. 14 in association with this exhibit.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Dickens Event Day Sept. 13

The day started with 59 kids in the story time.
Followed by 32 kids in the craft session and an explosion of glitter. This is a substitute photo, there was no time to take a picture!

The calm after the storm. The library staff was amazing - not a spec of glitter anywhere!
Wallace West demonstrating Dickens Character drawing

Wish I had taped the panel discussion!
Panel discussion guests:Betsy Bird, Catherine Robson, Mike J. Quinn 

Carol talks about layout for comic books using Great Expectations text as the theme.
Comic Book Art demo, Carol Burrell a.k.a Klio
Another illustration demo with Wallace 
Wallace West demonstrating his illustration process

  Performance Reading  
Friends of Dickens waiting to perform and Mike J. Quinn 

Mike J. Quinn
The next Day of Dickens Event day is October 13!
Click to View Schedule

Friday, August 31, 2012


The exhibit is up and looks great, thanks to Susan Kart, Yonkers Riverfront Gallery Curator and Emalyne Feitshans, (student at Sarah Lawrence College and an artist herself) both worked tirelessly on the aesthetics of the exhibit right down to the bookmarks with the event day schedules and book displays. The library: Susan Thaler, Branch Mgr., Steve Force, Director, James Hackett, The Yonkers Public Library Foundation, custodians and staff, have given CBIG a warm welcome. Additional thanks goes out to the Morgan Library and Museum for the images of Dickens at his podium and the facsimile of a page from A Christmas Carol of a ghost encounter with Dickens handwritten notes, Esther Raushenbush Library, Sarah Lawrence College, Pam Horovitz and Hudson River Museum for loaning books and support for the programming.
Meanwhile, here are some great u-tube videos I found while doing the research for this exhibit:

Simon Callow on Dickens as a performer

Ruth Richardson on Dickens and the Workhouse (interesting new info she discovered with scenes of modern day streets that are in his novels)

Ralph Fiennes' reading performance with the ceremony to show how Dickens is honored in the UK: Royal couple Prince Charles and Camilla visit Charles Dickens's grave at Westminster Abbey, Ralph Fiennes reading from Bleak House

animated ghost stories from the Pickwick Papers

A short oral bio on Dickens

An animated bio on Dickens

Dickens' great, great grandson, an actor himself, performs A Christmas Carol excerpt and spcomments on Dickens as a writer. 

How Dickens has influenced our language BBC:

They're fun and interesting!  

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Dickens Exhibit

The artwork is in! Once again I am amazed at the variety of styles, medium and approach to a single topic represented by the exhibition participants for the show Dickens, A Celebration of His Work in Pictures: Illustrations by the Children's Book Illustrators Group. Curating and creating my own artwork for the show has been both a challenge and a labor of love. I'd like to thank the artists for contributing such wonderful work, also to the following people who worked behind the scenes: Susan Kart, Emalyn Feitshans, Susan Thaler, Judith Schwartstein, Diana Ting Delosh, Deborah Cuneo, the Friends of the Yonkers Riverfront Library for funding the exhibit, and to the Day of Dickens guests for their participation. Their support has made this a richer exhibition and truly a celebration of Dickens in this bicentennial year. 
Dickens: A Celebration of His Work in Pictures

Illustrations by the Children’s Book Illustrator Group
Exhibit: August 25 – October 31, 2012
Day of Dickens Event Days: September 13 and October 13
Yonkers Riverfront Library
One Larkin Center, Yonkers NY 10701

About the Collaborators:
The Children’s Book Illustrator Group
CBIG was formed in 1987 by a group of Brooklyn illustrators. Today our member illustrators and author/illustrators have a wide range of experience including: graphic design, product and surface design, animation, fine art, digital media design and publishing. Our members’ work spans all children’s categories for trade, editorial and educational publishing preschool through young adult. As a small, volunteer run organization our aim is to further our members’ careers within the children’s book industry.

EXHIBITING MEMBERS of the Children’s Book Illustrators Group: Lisa Cinelli, Deborah Cuneo, Diana Ting Delosh, Peggy Dressel, Doris Ettlinger, Laura Goetz, Leeza Hernandez, Mike Herrod, Sara Kahn, H. Ruth Karpes, Lisa Lavoie, Doreen Marts, Donna Miskend, Sawaka Norii, Marilyn Papas, Clare Pernice, Roberta Rivera, Vicky Rubin, Cheryl Taborsky, T. T. Tyler, Wallace West

Art Gallery, Yonkers Riverfront Library
The mission of the Yonkers Riverfront Library Art Gallery is to present a diverse and balanced schedule of exhibits of high caliber, progressive artwork and related programs not frequently seen in Yonkers or Westchester County, with an emphasis on educational merit. Riverfront Library is located at One Larkin Center, across the street from the Yonkers Train Station (Metro-North Hudson line). Parking is available in the nearby Buena Vista Parking Garage. The library is handicapped accessible.

About the Event Guest Participants:

James Armstrong is a playwright who adapted A Christmas Carol for the Epiphany Theater Company in Saratoga Springs, and adapted everything else Dickens ever wrote in the play Dickens Condensed, in which a troupe of five actors performs fourteen and a half novels in a single hour. James is a member of the Dramatists Guild of America, and you can keep up with him at

Elizabeth Bird is the Youth Materials Specialist for the New York Public Library system and creator of the SLJ blog A Fuse #8 Production. She wrote the ALA Editions title Children’s Literary Gems: Choosing and Using Them in Your Literary Career. She reviews regularly for Kirkus and The New York Times and has a picture book out with Harper Collins in Spring 2013 called Giant Dance Party. In Fall of 2013 she and two other bloggers will publish a book for adults on the true stories behind their favorite children’s books with Candlewick Press.

Carol Burrell is Editorial Director for Graphic Universe, the graphic novel division of Lerner Publishing Group. On her own time, she draws a webcomic called SPQR Blues and other art online under the name Klio.

Friends of Dickens, New York
A literary, cultural and educational not-for-profit organization devoted to activities that celebrate and disseminate the works of English novelist Charles Dickens. They present staged dramatic readings of the famed author’s works for libraries and service organizations.

Michael Patrick Hearn has remained one of the most respected contemporary writers about children’s literature since the publication of The Annotated Wizard of Oz right after college. His many other books include The Annotated Christmas Carol, The Annotated Huckleberry Finn, The Victorian Fairy Tale Book; Myth, Magic and Mystery; and The Porcelain Cat, illustrated by Leo and Diane Dillon. He has curated numerous exhibitions including the recent Tomi Ungerer show at The Eric Carle Museum. He has lectured on children’s books and their illustration all over the United States and Europe. He teaches The Picture Book in the Simmons Graduate Program in Children’s Literature. He is often interviewed by the media and most recently by BBC4 and TCM. He is currently preparing The Annotated Edgar Allan Poe.

Fred Kaplan, biographer and literary scholar, Fred Kaplan is Distinguished Professor Emeritus of English at Queens College and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. He is the author of Lincoln, the Biography of a Writer (2008), The Singular Mark Twain, A Biography (2003);Gore Vidal, A Biography (1999); Henry James, The Imagination of Genius, A Biography (1992); and Charles Dickens, A Biography (1988). His Thomas Carlyle, A Biography (1983), was a finalist for the National Book Critics’ Circle Award and was a jury--nominated finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. Lincoln, the Biography of a Writer was a Lincoln Prize book. His Sacred Tears: Sentimentality in Victorian Literature (1987), Dickens and Mesmerism: the Hidden Springs of Fiction (1975), and Miracles of Rare Device: The Poet’s Sense of Self in Nineteenth--Century Poetry (1972) are contributions to the study of Romantic and Victorian British literature and culture. He has edited Dickens’ Book of Memoranda (1981), the Norton Critical Editions of Dickens’ Oliver Twist (1993) and Hard Times (2001), and Traveling in Italy with Henry James (1994). His latest book, Visionary American, A Biography of John Quincy Adams is scheduled to be published in 2014. He has held Guggenheim and National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowships, and been a Fellow of the National Humanities Center, the Huntington Library, and the Rockefeller Study Center at Bellagio. He lives in Boothbay, Maine.

Doreen Marts is a children’s book illustrator living in NJ with her husband, two- year old daughter and puggle pup Baxter Blue Cheese, some of Doreen Marts’ clients include: Penguin, Blue Apple Books, Scholastic and Running Press Kids. She is a member of CBIG.

Donna Miskend, CBIG president and exhibition curator, is also an illustrator, textile designer and writer. A member of the Society of Children’s Book Illustrators and Writers (SCBWI), she additionally contributes as a judge for art organizations. Her artwork appears in publications and is exhibited in museums and galleries.

Mike J. Quinn, actor, educator, writer and retired parole officer living in Riverdale, NY, Mike is the founder and former executive director of The Friends of Dickens New York chapter. Along with his colleagues from the Friends of Dickens, Mr. Quinn frequently presents stated dramatic readings of the famed author’s works for libraries and service organizations.

Catherine Robson is associate professor of English at NYU, where she specializes in nineteenth-century British cultural and literary studies; she has been awarded Fellowships for: Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin Fellowship, 2008-09; Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship, 2004-05; National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship, 2003-04. Dr. Robson is also a long-time faculty member of the Dickens Project.  Author of Men in Wonderland: The Lost Girlhood of the Victorian Gentleman (Princeton UP, 2001) and co-editor of The Victorian Age for the Norton Anthology of English Literature, she has just finished a book on poetry recitation in school (Heart Beats: Everyday Life and the Memorized Poem will be published by Princeton UP this October)

T. T. Tyler is an aspiring children’s book author and illustrator who enjoys using a variety of materials to create artwork. She is a member of CBIG and the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI).

Wallace West, a New York City-based freelance illustrator and writer, Wallace’s influences span the spectrum from Quentin Blake to Modigliani to Parisian couture. A firm believer in lighthearted living his artwork is rooted in humor, honesty—and a touch of irreverence. Wallace studied with The School of Visual Arts in New York City and Parsons School of Design in Paris and is a member of SCBWI and CBIG
Ages: children - adults. Free and open the public.
This exhibition programming is underwritten by the Yonkers Public Library Foundation.
View the schedule of events HERE    and my new blog, Conversations... where I will post interviews with people in the arts. Related to this exhibit are: a conversation with the ARTISTS, Mike J. Quinn, and Fred Kaplan

Monday, August 13, 2012


Working on the last details for the Dickens exhibit that opens August 25th at the Yonkers Riverfront Library. I'll have links to the relevant pages including interviews , the schedule and some pictures. Meanwhile, here's a taste of what I've planned: - Dickens, A Celebration In Pictures: Illustrations by the Children's Book Illustrators Group

Wednesday, July 4, 2012


To mark the bicentennial of his birth, opening August 25th and running through October 31st at the Yonkers Riverfront Library Gallery is Charles Dickens, A Celebration Of His Work In Pictures: Illustrations by The Children's Book Illustrator Group. I've curated the show for CBIG and organized two days of events in support of the exhibit A Day Of Dickens  September 13th that will include the artists’ reception, and A Day Of Dickens October 13th.

I'm hosting a discussion panel on Dickens and there will be artist demonstrations, craft sessions, talks with Dickens experts, performance readings by The Friends Of Dickens, picture book story hours and a book signing and sale of published works by guests participating in the events and CBIG exhibiting artists. During the exhibit run, check the library for additional related Dickens offerings. I'm hoping to have films and other support material available. All events are free and open to the public, ages 3 and up, great for the whole family.

Look for further information on the exhibit including a detailed schedule on this blog and I'll post it on our new exhibits page for CBIG at 

Sign up for email notifications on both sites so you don't miss exciting news about CBIG and what I'm up to. Happy 4th of July!

Friday, May 25, 2012


Here's some news about what I'm involved in -
A Conversation with The Children's Book Illustrators Group
Saturday, June 2, 2012, 2 - 3 p.m.
NYPL Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, at 42nd Street, Rm. Margaret Liebman Berger Forum (Map and directions)
Join me, President/Exhibition Curator of CBIG and my colleagues: Vicky Rubin, Webmaster/Listserve Manager, Diana Ting Delosh, Communications Officer/Blogzine Manager, Maria Madonna Davidoff, Postcard Designer and Ruth Karpes, Meeting Venue Hostess for a discussion about who we are as a group, where you can see our member's work, our accomplishments and future goals with moderator Elizabeth Bird, Youth Materials Collections Specialist and creator of the children's literary blog A Fuse #8 Production
This program is for adults.

CBIG is a group of 60 illustrator and author/illustrator members with experience in the children's book publishing industry, commercial and fine arts. Visit us at  and see work from participating members at our upcoming exhibits: The Yonkers Riverfront Library Gallery, Yonkers, NY celebrating Charles Dickens opening in August and The Flinn Gallery at the Greenwich Public Library, Greenwich, CT interpreting Mother Goose opening in December. Check back for further details about the exhibits and associated events closer to the dates. 

Monday, May 21, 2012

Friends and Colleagues- Theater

I'm so excited for my friend Robert Greer, Artistic Director of the August Strindberg Repertory Theatre. Their new production, Playing With Fire, runs through June 10th at New School for Drama 151 Bank Street, NYC. For further information about the company, the play and performance schedule visit 

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Friends and Colleagues

If you find yourself in Long Island, stop by and see the portrait entry of artist and fellow CBIG member Laura Goetz. To see more of Laura's work visit her blog at and on CBIG's web site

It is said that the eyes are the window to the soul. For me, Laura has the ability to bring the soul of her subject alive through the eyes. It's subtle, but it hits me every time. There's always a quiet emotion just below the surface in her work whether she paints people or animals. Her subjects breathe.

The Art League of Long Island presents:
A Common Theme: Portraiture

An Exhibition of Portraits and Figures
Exhibition Juror, Burton Silverman
May 20 through June 17, 2012

Thursday, April 5, 2012

The Special Award Winners of The Morgan Book Project

The Special Award winning books from The Morgan Book Project are now posted on their web site! Click on the individual names to see selected pages from the kid's books. The Turtle Shell of Torture by 3rd grader Kate Reynolds is a great fantasy story and My Necklace Memories by 4th grader Kelly Chang about a necklace handed down in the family was touching. There was poetry, the surprising birth of hamsters, a dad turned into a knight to save the day, an account of a hunt with a Native American father and son and stories of friendship lost and found. All the stories were great and imaginative, and the illustrations showed a wonderful sense of layout, design, use of color and storytelling. A selection of books were also on view for a special 1 day exhibit. Congratulations to all the participants!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

My Process

It's always interesting to see how an artist works. I'll post my process from time to time because I don't always work the same way in terms of how detailed my preparation is. For the peacock image I did a detailed line drawing and then I didn't do any color sketches but rather delved straight into the painting from the line drawing. My process always begins with an unrecognizable thumbnail sketch. For Noah's Ark I had a pretty good idea what I wanted to do in my head so I moved into a basic outline sketch to size:

Next I traced it and refined the image (I use "refine" loosely):

I added a background for the sky and water, blocked in the boat, and began to add some details: the cloud swirls in the sky, the decorative waves and the lines and color variations in the wood of the boat.

I continued layering the colors and filling in the details. I used some colored pencil in the peacock. It's a little difficult to see where I used the gold from my scan, but it's strongest in the waves, with touches on the wood to catch the light in person, some of the fur and on Noah's robe.

This image was done for the Children's Illustration Showcase exhibit at Gallery Connect on view through the end of March.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Judging Day for the Morgan Book Project

Wow! This past Friday I had the privilege of being a judge for the Morgan Library Museum’s program for children, the Morgan Book Project. Nine judges reviewed a selection of amazing books created by children from 3rd to 8th grades.

Teachers learned the process first and the kids were treated to a gallery tour and an opportunity to see the Morgan’s collection of illuminated manuscripts for inspiration. Back in the classroom, the teachers helped the kids to fabricate the accordion books. The kids wrote their own stories and then illustrated them using paint they created from scratch! Yep, they took raw materials like saffron (for yellow), and cochineal insects (reddish pigment), ground the material up using a mortar and pestle, added a binder and voila! Paint. They were even given 22k gold leaf to use on archival paper. This is serious business! The stories ranged from the anecdotal to full out fantasy. A day with a stomach bug, the birth of hamsters, Dad as a medieval knight, Native American influenced stories, and a magic turtle were some of the themes. They were funny and moving, and the artwork was awesome. As judges we were given guidelines but it was so hard to choose. Well done guys, beautiful work!

Here’s more info on the program:

The Project: In this free program, every year teachers from New York City public schools participate in a four-day Summer Institute for Teachers, developed by the Morgan in collaboration with the New York City Department of Education, and focused on the integration of book arts into the Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts & Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science, and Technical Subject, as well as The New York City Department of Education Blueprint for Teaching and Learning in the Arts. Through the following fall and winter, these teachers lead their students in the writing, illustration, and binding of manuscript books. They submitted their students' four best projects to a jury. At the end of March, the winning books are featured in a one-day installation at the Morgan, while the students whose books were selected receive an award in the presence of their families, school teachers, and principals in the Gilder Lehrman Hall.

For additional information on the The Morgan Book Project, please visit

Thursday, March 8, 2012

The Morgan Library Museum: The Morgan Book Project

I’m so thrilled to have been invited to participate as a juror this year in the Morgan Library & Museum’s annual Morgan Book Project for children. The jury meets tomorrow so check back for further info.

Friday, March 2, 2012

An animated short I recommend

Have a look -
The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore (2011)
Here's the link:


Friday, February 24, 2012

New work

The Three Kings ©Miskend2012

Here's another work on the Bible theme. Scroll down to see Noah's Ark submitted for the Children's Book Illustration Art Showcase on view until March 30th.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Exhibit Info

Noah's Ark, gouache/acrylic gold/colored pencil © Donna Miskend2012
March 4 - 30, 2012
Children's Book Illustration Art Showcase

Featuring Bible art and other children's book illustrations
by members of LICWI and CBIG Illustrators
at Gallery Connect
320 Broadway
Greenlawn Road
Huntington, NY 11743

Opening reception March 4 12:30-2pm
After the reception date please call (631)271- 0272
T-F 11am-5pm and Sunday after services for viewing availability.

Thank you to Debbie Cuneo for organizing the exhibit

I have 3 pieces in the show, here's one of them.