Saturday, August 29, 2009

Get Inspired....Horse Show Sept 4-6; Griselda Sastrawinata blog, CTNX

Hey kids... I'm re-introducing subject headings to the Blog. "Get Inspired" is a series where I share sites and events I hope you'll find inspiring to visit... These are some of my favorite pictures from last years Portuguese Bend Natl Horse Show 2008:

This 3-day event is a charity horse show... all the proceeds benefit Children's Hosptial Los Angeles. The location is Ernie Howlett Park, on Crenshaw Blvd in PV. If you want to get up close to horses and sketch in a shady, sea-breeze environment... with lots of fun, food, and clean restrooms nearby this is the place to be Sept 4-6th 2009 There is a nominal admission fee. Parking is free. You can see even more pics at my post for the event last year. Website for this year's 2009 show is:

Not yet on our website, but coming soon, is a collection of charming, inspiring prints by Griselda Sastrawinata. I was lucky to meet Griselda when I tagged along with Stuart, who was invited to the recent DreamCon 2 at Dreamworks Studios. More on that event soon. I was so taken with Griselda's prints that I bought 2... and she graciously allowed me to bring a set to our showroom to sell.

The prints are in our showroom now... but you can see some images and read about their origin on her blog:

If your creative batteries need a recharge... either of these "Get Inspired" options should give you a boost!

We have LOTS of new arrivals coming .... and we are gearing up for the CNTX (Creative Talent Network Expo) animation expo in Nov. Don't know about it yet? You WON'T want to miss this Burbank show where artists, pros and students can mingle and network without the hassle of those larger events...

I have been doing lots of posting and would welcome some comments and feedback. Heellllloooo out there :)


Griselda prints at SNB Showroom 8/29

Remember this sign from the comic store in Paris...

Well, here's a pic of the SNB showroom, and our little corner for "tolerant companions"... We have a cozy chair, some magazines... and a toy box for kids (just ask).

And something new... a little table where I am happy to feature some of the artist who have a broad appeal. Here's where you can find something to give as a gift or for yourself. And the first artist I'm featuring is Griselda Sastrawinata. You're seeing these prints here first... they are at the showroom right now, and here on the blog before the New Arrivals page...


Thursday, August 27, 2009

Your Science Lesson for today, Musee Curie video

For today's science lesson, I'm sharing a video clip I shot from my 2009 visit to the Musee Curie in Paris. (You can see other pics from the museum on the post YOUR SCIENCE LESSON FOR TODAY, ELEMENTS ARE EVERYWHERE).

In this clip Renaud Huyhn, Director of the Musee Curie, demonstrates the equipment and process Marie Curie used during her 4-year process to determine the existence of 2 new chemical elements. (The instruments are replicas). This clip ends abruptly, and my apologies for that. I have a longer version that I'm also trying to upload, but the longer version also has my "science geek" commentary, so this version is actually more educational.

I have been visiting the Musee Curie since 2007. The clip takes place in the room that was Madame Curie's actual laboratory! This area of the museum can be seen but is normally roped off, so with this clip you are not only seeing Behind the Scenes at SNB, you're also getting "Behind the Scenes at the Musee Curie."

So kids, if you think work day is tough, just remember that Madame Curie and her husband Pierre were doing this.... oh, yes, not here in a real lab... but in a drafty shed with no heat or AC, and they didn't know it at the time, but they were also getting dangerous levels of exposure to radioactivity. Even so, they both claimed these years in their make-shift shed/laboratory were the happiest of their lives... and their work made a lasting contribution to science and health care.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Our Amazing Peggy & our unpredictable USPS

Here's photographic evidence of the many packages our amazing Peggy had packed and prepared for pickup on Saturday 8/22.... we left the boxes out until 8PM, but they were NOT picked up by USPS in spite of a confirmed pick-up being scheduled. So they'll go out today. It's not a perfect world... only Peggy is perfect :)
Be sure to view the posts about our East Coast trip... More New posts & pics coming. Thanks for visiting.

Friday, August 21, 2009

More Savitt art and Illustrated Terhune books

Here are 2 books that I loved as a kid and I've never gotten over:

I can't remember now which one I read first... but the pictures drew me to the story (no pun intended) and the story helped make me a reader.

The 40th Anniversary edition of LAD: A DOG by Albert Payson Terhune w/ the illustrations by Sam Savitt. This version was first published in 1959.. and is still in print.

Here's an adaptation of LAD. This is a re-print from the 1970s of a book first published in the late 40s. Illustrations are by William Bartlett and Harry Michaels:
The interior shows a view of the real Sunnybank house. Based on photos I've seen of the real home when it existed, these images are pretty accurate.

Detail showing house:
In every copy I've seen of this book... and I always look.. there is this printing error in this illustration of one of the most dramatic stories in the book. Can you see the rattlesnake Lad is saving the baby from?

Here's Lad bored at the dog show... read the book to find out what happens AFTER he wins.
This illustrations shows the dogs "Benched"... back in the 1920s, dogs had to stay at the show all day.

This illustration shows the grounds at Sunnybank... including the red barn building which stood on the grounds during Terhune's time. The barn was also the kennel for the Sunnybank collies.

planes, trains and bookstores back east

How does Stuart manage to have books you can't find anywhere else???

Part of the answer is he travels to find them.... This trip took us across the country....

We were meeting our beloved bookseller pals Barb and Cliff Erickson of To and Again Books. They used to live in CA and exhibited near our booth at SDCC. They are now in Maine. Our rendezvous point for this trip was in NJ for the Sunnybank Gathering (see post below), followed by book scouting in NJ and PA.

Here's Stuart Ng crossing the Delaware....

We got to Philly... but never had a cheesesteak sandwich :(

We took planes, trains and automobiles...

to find little bookshops and bookstalls....

You will note that, in the photo above, Stuart is proudly wearing his T-shirt for Eric Goldberg's Animation Crash Course book :)

We enjoyed this huge mosaic at the East Market train station....

I love the feeling that art is everywhere if you're looking for it...

A trip like this takes planning, of course....

Book scouting w/ Stuart is part Indiana Jones adventure.... part Sherlock Holmes sleuthing... be sure to pack lots of patience and persistence... and you need that secret ingredient, Stuart Ng karma, to find the treasure in the trinkets....
We love to bring them all back for you to enjoy at our showroom and on our website.

Birdwatchers guide; Know your magpie

Tagging along on a scouting trip brings out my inner magpie.

If I'm not careful, I lapse into a trance where I feel myself drawn to anything shiny and glittery accompanied by a strong urge to possess it even if it lacks any purpose for my purposes. I am absolutely NOT ALLOWED near "high risk" zones such as trays of costume jewelry..... shelves with old typewriters..... any displays of lifesize fiberglass livestock.... (some of my ancestors were farmers, and from regions in Wisconsin where families still put little deer and ducks and gnomes in their gardens)

There are always more pretty things to see than we can ever bring home... so here are some pictures from our scouting trip of items we left behind..

from a flower stall at an indoor market in Philly..

more views of the outdoor antique vendors... Walking around there is like living the "horse fair" chapter in "Black Beauty"....

a table of duck decoys...

Everybody loves snowglobes.... a story behind each one from each place..

Musical instruments... if only they could talk as well as sing....

Another view of the indoor market...

And a train station... cute store space, if only we could transport it back to Torrance....

Sunnybank, Terhune, Bransom, Kuhn & Savitt, UPDATED June 2019

Two rows of books by Albert Payson Terhune, circa 2009, from the Emanuel Einstein Public Library in Pompton Lakes, NJ.  (pictured below). Terhune was a nationally known author, journalist, and magazine short story writer. He even appeared on radio. Now his hometown library is one of the few places you'll find so many Terhune books in one place...

Every year in August, collie and Terhune fans spend a weekend celebrating all things APT (fan slang for the writer) at the Sunnybank Gathering. Here's a link to the website with more info on this fan fest and charity event

In 2018, the dedicated volunteers behind the annual Sunnybank Gathering accepted my donation of these Terhune titles pictured below. The 12 Grosset and Dunlap editions in this gift are a favorite of collectors. These editions are reprints, not 1st printings, but they are prized for their colorful dust jackets. (The artwork was a commercial illustration job by noted wildlife artist Bob Kuhn.) Many APT fans grew up reading these editions of Terhune's collie stories. I was one of many who discovered these in the local library as a young reader. It was beyond moving to learn the special honor these books would help launch.
Barb Backer was a long-time Sunnybank supporter and local resident of Pompton Lakes. She was also the post office employee who answered all the letters children wrote over many decades tying to contact Terhune. Barb's replies gently explained that APT was no longer with us and would include some information on the Sunnybank park. Barb was a familiar face and popular speaker for years of Sunnybank Gatherings. I was lucky to meet her and hear her at these events. She passed away in 2016. Thanks to the Sunnybank Gathering core volunteers, these books became the inaugural titles in the Barb Backer memorial Terhune collection in the Children's section of the Emanuel Einstein Library.
Terhune's book "Lad: A Dog" was an instant best seller and remained so for decades. It was exciting as a young reader to learn these adventures were based on a real collie! The real Lad lived from 1902-1918. Terhune's stories about Lad first appeared in large circulation popular magazines of the day. Lad the book was released in 1919. This era was a seminal time in collie history. The breed was just getting established in America. Thanks in part to Terhune's stories, collies soon soared in popularity. Collies came to be known as "Lassie dogs." Lad made that public embrace happen long before the 1940 classic, "Lassie, Come Home."
The Von Riper Hopper House, the local historical museum at nearby Wayne Township, has a room of Terhune artifacts. There is even a lock of Lad's fur in the center of this showcase!! (center in the photo below). This link has a virtual  tour of this museum:
And even though Lad lived over 100 years ago, people still visit his grave.

Lad's world was The Place ..... also known as Sunnybank.... on the shores of Pompton Lakes in New Jersey. This link, with photos by a visitor who came from Viet Nam, gives an excellent summary of the sites at the park:

Every summer, fans and scholars of the author Albert Payson Terhune attend the Sunnybank Gathering. In the 20s and 30s, he was one of the best known and most beloved writers in America. He had a long career as a journalist, sportswriter, and novelist, but he was best known for his dog stories, most of which were based on real collies that he owned and raised as his country estate in NJ. "Sunnybank" was originally 40 acres with a huge home and working farm. The house no longer exists, but thanks to the efforts of a smart, dedicated, amazing woman named Claire Leishman, and other fans, 9.6 acres of Terhune's land is now preserved as a park. The beautiful grounds still evoke memories for fans of Terhune stories. Lad and many other of Terhune's canine "chums" are buried at Sunnybank. The Sunnybank Gathering raises money for the restoration of the park, and for the Collie Health Foundation, which funds projects to find causes and cures for canine disorders.

"Lad: A Dog" was the best known Terhune dog story. Sam Savitt (1917-2000) was a famous equestrian artist. He was also a prolific author-illustrator of children's books. Savitt did the cover and illustrations for the 40th anniversary edition published by Dutton in 1959.(image below from Google Images).

This link on the blog shares some Savitt illustrations from the interior pages
Beloved animal artist Marguerite Kirmse also illustrated Terhune books and stories in the 1920s.
(Image below from Google Images)
Renowned photojournalist Margaret Bourke-White took pictures of Terhune's collies and estate for the original edition of "The Book of Sunnybank." (image below from Google Images)
There has been a resurgence of interest in Terhune in the last decades, and it's heartwarming to see support for the preservation and display of these artifacts, most of which hung in Terhune's home.

POST UPDATE OCT 1, 2011.... there's a clip on You Tube of newsreel of Terhune at Sunnybank with his dogs: (sadly, this link from 2011 was later removed from You Tube and has been inactive for several years)

more on Terhune illustrators....

In glass case below is a copy of the book about Terhune's blue merle collie "Gray Dawn", along with a photo of the real dog. Cover art for the book is one of the Bob Kuhn dust jackets from the Grosset and Dunlap series. Kuhn (1920-2007) reportedly denied creating these beloved portraits of Terhune's canine heroes, even though the "Kuhn" signature appears on at least one. Perhaps he wanted some distance between this early side job and the later fame he found as a wildlife artist. Meanwhile, many current collie owners are delighted to know researchers have established that families of AKC collies today are descendants of Terhune's dogs!

Here's a closer view of the "Gray Dawn" cover by Bob Kuhn. (from Google Images)
These are two of my favorite Kuhn covers. You can see his signature between Lad's front paws. The "Sunnybank Home of Lad" eluded my collection for a long time, but is one of the first Kuhn covers I remember seeing in my public library. The dogs look so happy, and the house looks like a good representation of the Terhune home.
Some of the Grosset and Dunlap dust jackets have a list of the titles and some of the cover illustrations on the back.

Illustrator Paul Bransom (1885-1979) was a friend of Terhune's and knew many of the Sunnybank collies. Bransom illustrated many of the magazine stories where Terhune's dog tales first appeared. Bransom also did dust jacket illustrations for early editions of some of the books.

Here's  Bransom's stunning color cover for the 1st edition of "Lad of Sunnybank."
The original for this artwork is in a private collection. It's rare for illustration originals to survive. They were considered commercial work when produced and not fine art worth preserving. The demand for Bransom originals of the Terhune collies speaks to the century old appeal of this art and the characters it captures.

Terhune wrote during a golden age of illustration. Several of the most highly regarded artists of this era produced images for his stories:  Diana Thorne; Charles Livingston Bull, Robert L. Dickey among others.

The Von Riper Hopper house is home for this Bransom original. Bransom did several portraits of Gray Dawn for magazine stories and for books. This one shows the dog with his favorite toy, a flannel elephant.
I was a fan of the books as a child. My mental images of Terhune and his collies were formed by the art of Bob Kuhn and Sam Savitt. I started collecting Terhune books once I met Stuart. Looking for Terhune books gave me something to do while Stuart and I visited bookstores together. That was well over 25 years ago. I've completed my Terhune collection, but I still like to go to bookstores with Stuart. Sadly, there aren't as many good, general used bookstores around today. The internet now features Sunnybank websites, and has made books like the old Terhune titles accessible, but it was more fun finding them among shelves of other children's books or dog books.