Leaving China, A Brief Book Review

Years and years ago I took an illustration class with James McMullan at the School of Visual Arts in NYC.  I was a bit intimidated since I love his work, but it was a really good class: Illustration as Visual essay.  (the class gradually morphed into the current MFA program.) One of the assignments was to illustrate the life of someone who wore a uniform for work.  It forced me way out of my comfort zone and I found myself following my subject through the halls of NY Hospital, through the neo-natal ICU, and on to fancy dinner parties —all in the guise of a journalist/illustrator.  In the end, thankfully, he told me he thought I would be a good illustrator.

Now I'm teaching at SVA and last night one of my current students gave me a signed copy of James McMullan's new book, "Leaving China" – a memoir of his childhood during WWII when his family was living in China. It is filled with beautiful illustrations that must have been simmering in his soul for nearly 80 years until he was finally ready and able to put them down on paper.  There are also lots of pictures of people in uniforms. The story of his childhood —a harrowing  adventure for a timid boy—was the reason, I'm sure, that he became the artist he is.

Thanks for the book, Catherine!



Under the Lilies

Here is an older piece that makes me think of summer on the first day of Spring.  Working on some things that I can't post right now, so hope you enjoy the Frog Prince.


Sketching with my class

I think I will somehow turn this into a larger painting.  It has a "Klimt"look that I like.  It was from a still life I set up for one of my classes.


Sister Wolf

Here is the first attempt my Traveler series. I've been playing around with painting on road maps, mainly because I love maps, and the texture and color of the old road maps are really great to work on top of.   It's acrylic & pastel on a map mounted on a board.


Prints for Sale

Giclee Prints, beautifully printed on 100% rag papers with archival inks.  See more HERE
Contact me for available sizes & prices.


ABFFE Auction starts today!

For Banned Book Week, the American Booksellers Fund for Freedom of Expression is holding an online auction of children's book art.  I've donated this print from "Moon Child", which they are featuring on their banner ads! Bid early and often!


A Most Magnificent Fall

Still one of my favorite's after all these years... from "Nettie's Gift."


Anne Frank's Chestnut Tree

My latest book has just arrived from Random House, and it looks great.
Anne Frank's Chestnut Tree is a Step-Into-Reading book, written by Jane Kohuth.
Based on Anne Frank's diary and it "explores Anne's strong belief in the healing power of nature..."
Available  from Amazon in hardcover and also in paperback (but the hardcover is really pretty.)


Bidding for Books

Main Article ImageNYC's P.S. 363  has lost funding for it's school library. (gulp, what Mayor Mike??)  So they are throwing an auction to Save their School Library! You can get one-of-a-kind art and autographed books and artwork  from some of the greatest children's book artists working today.

I've donated a print from Moon Child (see below), and there are books and art by  Maira Kalman, Sophie Blackall, Paul O. Zelinsky, Nancy Carpenter, Javaka Steptoe, Disney, Betsy and Ted Lewin, Emily Arnold McCully, Raina Telgemeier, Beth Krommes, Anna Raff and many, many more. Show your love of books as well your civic spirit... and learn more about the incredible library here.

The Neighborhood School's Save the Library Auction runs from June 10 (Maurice Sendak's birthday) to June 21, 2013.  Let the wild rumpus and the BIDDING BEGIN!


One Ton of Fun

Hot off the press, "The NeoIntegrity Omnibus," is the 712-page catalog documenting the 2010 exhibition at The Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art: "NeoIntegrity: Comics Edition," curated by Keith Mayerson.   

The exhibit was magnificent, overwhelming, amazing and joyous.  The walls of the Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art in NYC. were plastered floor to ceiling with original artwork by Maurice Sendak, Charles Addams, R. Crumb, Dr. Seuss, Winsor McCay, Roz Chast and over 200 more artists, including me and many of my colleagues at the School of Visual Arts.  

Keith and the NeoIntegrity team pulled off a herculean job of putting this exhibit together– and fitting it into the space.  Artwork hung floor to ceiling, edge to edge, wrapped around corners and down the sides of tables.  And now it has all been stuffed into this book.  These are three (of the four) of my pieces included in the book. It is a treasure trove. Check out NeoIntegrity  HERE.


Books you can walk into.

Lately I've been designing exhibits, which is a little like
making a life size picture  book that you can WALK INTO!
Here are 2 of my latest exhibits:

The Ghost Army (When you send Artists to war, they bring back Art)
Edward Hopper House Art Center
82 North Broadway, Nyack, NY 10960
Now thru June 9
more info

And Greetings from Summer Camp
at the Historical Society of Rockland County
20 Zukor Rd. New City, NY
May 18 – Sept 15

more info


A Conversation with Donna Miskend

Illustrator Donna Miskend interviewed me the other day about my life as an illustrator.
I met Donna when she took my Illustration Portfolio class at School of Visual Art.
This is one of my favorite pieces that she did in that class.

My Beloved © Donna Miskend

I'm thrilled to have Liz join me for a conversation about her art and the illustration industry. She has illustrated numerous children's books as well as writing and illustrating her own. Liz's other illustration work for advertising and editorial projects include clients such as Lands End, Delta Airlines and T. Rowe Price to name a few. She has a keen eye and a generous spirit. Take her class. Her assignments are cool and you'll learn a lot about being an illustrator.   Read the whole interview here...

Thanks Donna!

Mashed up Fairy Tales

Mashed up Fairy Tales

Just Starting Out

Just Starting Out
This piece is featured in Profiles Issue #8 .

Tomb 10A

Tomb 10A


All artwork on this website is
© 1996-2013 Elizabeth Sayles (unless noted otherwise)
and is registered with the Library of Congress.
Any unauthorized usage including downloads, etc. is punishable by law.

Ask first if you would like to use something.

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