7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #55 (the Sunday-and-Monday-’cause-it’s-Easter Version): Featuring Kelly Murphy

h1 March 23rd, 2008 by Eisha and Jules

'Poppies' by Kelly Murphy; visit www.kelmurphy.comJules: IT’S SPRING! And here are some poppies for you, courtesy of the very talented Kelly Murphy, an illustrator whose work Eisha and I adore. We’re so glad she’s stopped by today to share some new art work from some upcoming projects. This one, actually, is already featured on her site. Please do go see her re-vamped site. It’s seven kinds of awesome, people. Very beautiful. Anyway, Kelly gave us permission to pick which images we love the most — as well as sent us some new stuff, which we’ll get to in a minute — and it was very hard to pick, indeed. But here are two more:

'A True and Faithful Narrative'; visit www.kelmurphy.com

From A True and Faithful Narrative by Katherine Sturtevant;
Farrar, Straus and Giroux; 2006

'Frisky'; visit www.kelmurphy.com

“Frisky” from a prospective manuscript

Don’t you just wanna know more about Frisky? Anyway, as mentioned, Kelly sent some brand-new, “hot-off-the-desk” stuff, and we’re thrilled to be sharing those. Let’s get right to ’em.

First, here’s a spread from her newest illustrated title, Hush, Little Dragon (Abrams), by Boni Ashburn. This was just released, and I saw a copy on Friday. It’s good stuff. This is a wee dragon’s version of the old folk lullaby, “Hush, Little Baby.” Baby Dragon can’t get to sleep and wants a bed-time snack. In a book that takes picky eating to a whole, new level, the dragon’s mama — who’ll do just about anything for him — searches for some food in the village in which they live. But here’s the delicious twist: They are dragons, after all, so baby has to choose between the village musician, the king, the not-so-nice queen, the princess, the three musketeers . . . you get the picture. It’s a clever take on the mama-will-do-anything-for-baby motif, and it manages to be both slightly dark and sweet at the same time (I mean, they are talking about eating people). I enjoyed it. And I give seven bonus points to Ashburn for the lines: “Here she comes with a fresh magician / Don’t mind the taste — he’s good nutrition!” (as well as for rhyming “queen” and “cuisine”). Kelly’s illustrations exude her unmistakable Kelly-charm, and here’s one spread from it:

And here are two spreads from a forthcoming title, Brand New Baby Blues by Kathi Appelt:

And what else is Kelly up to? you ask. Well, we can deliver on that question. In her words:

{This} is actually the start of a new adventure with Antoine Revoy, a French artist. We are slowly forming a joint studio, Shybird Studios, where we will eventually work on collaborative illustration projects. You can see a tad more at the beginning of our website, http://www.shybird.com.

You’ll see at the site that the studios will specialize in “illustration, concept art for animation, character and motion design.” I’m unquestionably going to sound like a nerd saying this, but the first thing I wanted to yell when I read that and saw the site was, SUPER KEEN! “Collaborative illustrations,” and he’s in France while she’s in the U.S. How do they do it? I wanna know more, and it’s a good thing I’m trying to develop a new 7-Imp format for interviewing illustrators, but I digress.

Here’s one of the first illustrations from Shybird:

On the left below, is “La Mort,” another “experimental piece, hot off the desk,” Kelly told us. “The Living Room” is on the right, a “hot-off-the-desk and just a fun piece about me and my sister when we were very young”:

'La Mort' by Kelly Murphy; visit www.kelmurphy.com

Here’s some art work from another upcoming title, Masterpiece by Elise Broach. Elise’s web site says the following about the book: Masterpiece, illustrated by Kelly Murphy, is an art-based mystery set in New York City, will be published by Henry Holt Books for Young Readers in 2008. Ages 8-12. What do a lonely ten-year-old boy named James, the great Renaissance artist Albrecht Durer, and a beetle with excellent night vision have in common? Find out in this middle-grade novel about art, forgery, and friendship.”

And, though we know this post already rivals a novella in length, here are three bonus images, ’cause we love Kelly’s work. On the left is a book cover illustration from the Our Generation toy line by Battat. The books were written by Susan Love and are included inside the dolls’ packaging, Kelly tells us. On the right is “Guillaume et Delphine” — for proof of Kelly’s ability to swing the pendulum from one tone to an entirely different one (if you hadn’t already noticed that) in her illustration work.

'Guillaume et Delphine' by Kelly Murphy; visit www.kelmurphy.com

And the final bonus image? The one pictured below. Enjoy! And many thanks to Kelly for stopping by to share some art work.

As a reminder, our weekly 7 Kicks list is the meeting ground for listing Seven(ish) Exceptionally Fabulous, Beautiful, Interesting, Hilarious, or Otherwise Positive Noteworthy Things from the past week — whether book-related or not — that happened to you (as well as featuring artists like Kelly). You — yes, you reading now — are more than welcome to leave your kicks from the week, whether you’ve ever done so before or not.

We hope you’ll share your kick-worthy moments from the week, though we have a feeling people might be busybusybusy today, doing things like hunting for eggs and eating Peeps. For that reason, this kicks list is not just a Sunday version; it’s for Monday as well. People are always welcome to leave their kicks after the Sundays on which they’re posted are over, but we’ll leave this up two days to encourage folks who are busy on Easter to also leave their kicks on Monday.

* * * Jules’ kicks * * *

1). A copy of Kadir Nelson’s We Are the Ship arrived at my door this week, and I knew I hadn’t ordered it. Turns out it was a surprise from my husband, as a way of saying “good job” on our interview with Kadir (not to mention he KNEW that the library was going to have to pry that thing from my fingers when it came time to return it. Now, things won’t get ugly, since I have my own copy.)

2). Some lovely literary surprises from Elaine Magliaro in the mail.

3). I wrapped up the three-week program at my local library that I volunteer-taught (good for the ‘ol resume, too). When the course this last week was over, three other mothers who attended and I sat around and just talked about motherhood for probably thirty minutes. It was nice.

4). Spring, watching my girls hunt Easter eggs yes-
terday at an egg-
hunting party, and seeing old friends at said party.

5). I’m leaving town this week to head to Boston for a company meeting (for the very part-time contractor job I have), and I’m looking forward to meeting everyone (though I won’t be posting as often as I normally do at 7-Imp this week). I have never even met these nice people I work for, except for one who lives in middle Tennessee as well. They are all terrifically smart and all have their Harvard business degrees or something like that, so I hope the dorky literary one (me) fits in!

6). This might seem like a very prosaic kick, but my wee daughters had their very first dentist visit this week. When you become a parent, it’s the little things, huh? And, best of all, they had no cavities, but my poor two-and-a-half year old may have what’s called a crossbite. Ack!

7). My favorite singer/songwriter/musician ever ever ever, Sam Phillips (who is the fifth Beatle) and who has a new CD coming out in June (the release date got pushed back, just to torture me), has re-vamped her MySpace site. It’s remarkable that she even has a MySpace site with actual new photos and such, ’cause she’s normally rather media-shy. Anyway, the first track that plays when you launch the site is a “collage” from her NEW CD! I am a hard-core fan. It makes me very happy to hear snippets of the new music. (Plus, there’s a great story from her at the “About Sam” portion of the page about smelly Bibles and one of her first attempts to make art as a child.)

Oh, and she’s been making collages lately (“I recycled Madison Ave. to advertise the things we can’t buy,” as she puts it), and this is one (above). God, I hope I don’t get sued for sharing it here. I’ll be sure to link the image itself to her page.

7½). One little extra kick: Look what I found. How GREAT does that look? Love Almond. Love Dave McKean. I wonder if it’ll also be released in the U.S. this year?

* * * eisha’s kicks * * *

Ooh, have fun in Boston, J. Why couldn’t you have had to visit while I still lived there? Oh well. Go to the Isabella Steward Gardner Museum if you have a chance – it’s fabulous.

Also, your girls are so cute I cannot stand it.

1* I just love the ilustrations this week. Can’t even say which is my favorite, but maybe “Poppies,” or “Guillaume et Delphine,” or almost definitely “Frisky.”

Rebel Angels by Libba Bray2* The husband and I went to a St. Patrick’s Day thingy at the neighbors’, where we played Rock Band. I’m deeply ashamed to say that I played fake guitar so badly during the Beastie Boys’ “Sabotage” that I was booted out of the game, but I did passably well on drums for a couple of songs. All in all, it was a good time.

3* I averted a couple of crises at work, and got some tedious stuff done during the slow days.

4* I also got some good news, but it’s a bit early to share it. Maybe next week…

5* I got some lovely things in the mail this week, including a package of books from Jules (thanks, J!), some cute notecards, and some excellent-looking books-for-review.

Dragon Day6* I’ve just finished reading Rebel Angels by Libba Bray in prep for the Teen Book Festival in April. I don’t know why it took me so long to get around to it – I fiercely loved A Great and Terrible Beauty. That woman can write – so imaginative and funny and creepy and sexy. And this was just as good – I absolutely must get my hands on The Sweet Far Thing, like, yesterday. Of course, it’s Easter, and all the libraries are closed…

7* I forgot to mention this one last weekend, but I got to see Cornell’s annual Dragon Day event. Apparently, this tradition goes back over a hundred years, but this is how it’s celebrated now: the freshmen architecture students spend weeks building a large paradable dragon. For a few days before the declared Dragon Day, they do things like paint themselves green and run around campus in packs half-naked and chanting, and rolling trees. Then, on the day itself, they get drunk, put on costumes, parade the dragon around campus for a couple of hours, and end up in the Arts Quad. Then they drop the dragon, throw their costumes on top, and set the whole thing on fire. It was kind of awesome.

What are your kicks on this Sunday or Monday?

21 comments to “7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #55 (the Sunday-and-Monday-’cause-it’s-Easter Version): Featuring Kelly Murphy”

  1. Wow, Hush, Little Dragon arrived in the mail a few weeks ago. I loved the art work then and how cool that you featured Kelly Murphy today.
    Jules, those girls are way too cute!! And it looks like the day was lovely.
    Eisha, you are too suspenseful!! possible good news? We have to wait? The dragon burning looks like it was a blast.
    My kicks:
    1. Our 3 yr old granddaughter tried her 1st sleep over with us so that mom and dad could move things into their new house. We had a blast, went to see Horton…and then there was the vulture scene…and…I want to go home, followed by tears. we distracted her for a while, back on track with the sleep over but…finally, we took her home about 8 pm. Ahh…another time.
    2. I am down to 5 days before I packed my box to the national boards…A kick and Yikes! Then I study for the assessment in June.
    3. In 6 days, I leave for NJ to visit cousins and my aunt.
    4. Gettting the book Hush, Little Dragon in the mail from the publisher.
    5. I published 3 posts at Check It Out this week. The most in a while.
    6. The spring flowers currenly blooming.
    7. Chasing shadows with my granddaughter on the walk yesterday.
    Have a great week. Happy Easter.

  2. Excellent feature. The more Kelly Murphy art in this world the better. Love those beetles (love the Beatles, too, actually). And Jules, Candlewick is releasing the Almond/McKean book later this year (I think). Can’t wait.

  3. Hi, all. Not a lot of visitors today, which I figured and which is why we’re gonna leave this post up tomorrow, too. I myself am just briefly checking in — in the midst of egg-dyeing (sp?) and egg-hunting and generally consuming entirely too much candy.

    Jone, doesn’t it feel like the boards are never-ending for you? It sure seems like it. Glad you got Hush, Little Dragon. I merely stood in the bookstore and read a copy, but I wouldn’t mind purchasing my own copy one day. …..Sorry those Horton vultures scared your wee granddaughter. My girls have never seen a movie on a big, honkin’ screen in a theater, and I guess I could take them to that. It’d have to be just me and me alone taking ’em, ’cause my husband cannot stand Jim Carey. Mention the man’s name, and he starts convulsing. Ah well.

    Hi, Matt. Thanks for the book tip on the Almond/McKean book! Woo! And hoo! I’m going to be interviewing Almond soon, but I don’t even have to ask him about that now, since I got the scoop from you. Thanks!

    Hope everyone’s having a good Easter day. Consume lots of candy; it’s the day for it.

  4. Jules, take your girls and see the movie. It might be different with a mom present. I forget the ages of your girls… but I believ the size of the screen and the darkness of the theater all played into the scary factor. Yep, the never ending boards but you know it has been good. I plan to blog about it upon my return from NJ, taking my computer but don’t know whether I will have time or connectivity. But April 1 is next week and that means 30 days of poetry writing. Woohoo!!

  5. Oh, I love the illustrations today! I’m partial to the one with the two sisters, ’cause it reminds me of me and my sister.

    Jules, your girls look SERIOUS about their egg hunting! And mighty cute. Eisha, I believe you owe us a picture of you drumming. Maybe even a video…

    I just had a lovely brunch with friends, filled with way too rich food and topped off by the creamiest carrot cake ever. My head is buzzing from the sugar.

    My current kick: I found out that my brother, who I hardly ever get to see, is coming for my birthday next month. Whee!

    Okay, gotta go for a walk or something to burn off this sugar….

  6. Jone, I know, I love a little mystery now and then. And good grief, I’m glad the boards thing is over for you soon.

    Matt, thanks, ’cause I just visited your blog and saw this. Cracked. Me. Up.

    Sara, so glad you get to see your brother for your b’day. I had a ridiculous brunch today too. I’m now in the throes of a post-sugar-high crash. A walk sounds like a good idea.

  7. Jules, Have safe travels, and I second Eisha’s suggestion to visit the Isabella Steward Gardner Museum.

    And, for real, your girls in their spring dresses are cute, cute, cute.

    Eisha, I wanted to get my hands on Rebel Angels before I left on my trip for this same reason, but I wasn’t able to. I might just buy it.

    I’m on my Great Midwestern Extravaganza, which has led to all kinds of kicks:
    1. We drove 13 hours on Friday, from WNY to northern Illinois. There was snow forecasted all over the place, but we only had an hour of it on the drive.
    2. That first day, we found a DQ, and I had my traditional road trip Blizzard.
    3. Friday night, we Mennonited Our Way (http://www.mennoniteyourway.com/Myw/) and stayed with a mother and daughter who were so, so, so welcoming and ridiculously nice. It was such a comfort after a LONG day on the road.
    4. Saturday morning, I managed to find the most awesome latte in northern Illinois, which was a good start to another long day of driving.
    5. We took the scenic route to Minneapolis, starting with a quick jaunt to Madison, Wisconsin, where we blindly managed to stumble on a cafe where we had a nice, relaxing lunch. I had a BLT and a warm chocolate chip cookie. YUM.
    6. We then went to the Wisconsin Dells. We couldn’t really see the dells because it’s winter and you have to go on a boat trip, but we did spend some time wandering around the Wisconsin River and walking out on a pier and talking to a local who was ice fishing. It’s a very beautiful area once you get past the part with all the theme parks.
    7. I then saw the Mississippi River for the first time ever. I even climbed down and stuck my hand in it.
    7.5. I saw, like, 20 bald eagles on the drive up along the Mississippi. We stopped and watched one flying around. It’s only the second time I’ve ever seen an eagle who wasn’t in a zoo, and it was really exciting.
    7.5.5. I’m away from home and family for Easter, but Jason managed to connect with someone he met on a train once who lives here, and she had us over for Easter brunch and she and her family were lovely and warm and welcoming.

    I really love traveling.

  8. Adrienne, I think this is the first time I’ve ever seen a mention of Mennonite Your Way by a blogger.

    Jules: Your children are so sweet. You know that.:) Eisha, did Rock Band give you the itch to learn an instrument? After playing Guitar Hero, I wanted an electric guitar.

    My seven kicks:

    1) After my yammering on about needing an Easter egg tree, my husband assembled it last night. I’d found a proper branch on my walks, and he balanced it in a potting jar with lots of rocks. I hung up the eggs my mom had sent. Alas, I broke one when trying to restring it, and my husband graciously took over that part while I blew out two fresh eggs to decorate and hang.

    2) I got pie installment #1 from a friend of mine who took me up on my offer to trade pies for doing her son’s birthday gig. It was lemon meringue and yummy. I shared it with my friends for today’s brunch.

    3) I got it together to make red eggs (hard-boiled eggs soaked in sweet-beet juice) for Easter– they turned out more brown than red because of the spices, though. But they still tasted good.

    4) This week, we’re going to see “Cabaret” the night before my birthday. It’s one of the few musicals I actively love.

    5) Noodle (of Thoughts from My Noodle) sent me cds of a band called The Bawdy Balladeers that has a song called Demeter’s Daughter I’ve been waiting to hear. Thanks, Noodle!

    6) I found Johnny Jump-Ups at my local plant nursery. I’d been trying to grow them from seed, to no avail. I bought two plant starts and plunked them in the ground. When I went by the nursery again, they were all gone!

    7) Speaking of plants, I’ve got a gig next month where I’ll be trading a birthday party performance for plants.

  9. Sara, happy early birthday, like, a month in advance woot! and so glad you’ll get to see your brother.

    Adrienne, thanks for sharing your travels with us. I’m glad I can live vicariously through it. I miss travelling. I’ve never heard of the Mennonite thingy. I’m going to go read that link. Hope you continue to have a blast and keep us updated.

    Alkelda: Mmmm. Lemon meringue pie. And enjoy Cabaret. I interpreted that once. I like that one, too . . . . I’ve never done an Easter egg tree, but I can see how my girls might get into that when they’re a bit older.

    I think I’ve eaten my own weight in candy today.

  10. I’ve never contributed my own seven kicks, but I feel moved today to contribute! 🙂

    1. I was mentioned on 7-Imp!!!

    2. Kelly Murphy’s very deserving artwork was profiled on 7-Imp.

    3. 7-Imp called my book “good stuff.”

    4. I got seven bonus points! I love bonus points.

    5. My writing was quoted on 7-Imp. In big letters!

    6. Receiving Hush in the mail this week was one of Jone’s kicks! Thanks Jone!

    7. Did I mention I was mentioned on 7-Imp??!!

    Thanks Jules and Eisha! Nothing like checking one of my favorite blogs and seeing my own name there- WOW!
    Boni Ashburn

  11. Happy Sunday, all! I hope all of you who have celebrated this fine Easter day have found it enjoyable.
    I am still woefully behind at work and looking forward to slipping even further behind as William goes on spring break this week. This is probably the saddest thing about working in higher education. William and I won’t be on the same break schedule until he heads to college. What I wouldn’t give to take the week off with him to putter around the house and take some day trips.

    Anyway, we’ve had a lovely week. I don’t know that I can name 7 things, but here are a few.
    1. My husband has a new job and has come home every day practically singing. The only downside is that now he has a relatively long commute.
    2. William started art school again yesterday. After it was over, we went out to lunch and then to the library. It was great fun.
    3. Watching William search for his Easter basket was loads of fun. He was thrilled to find some new art supplies, a puzzle and some books.
    4. Easter mass at 8:30 was packed! I normally sing for all the old folks who don’t care if I mess up. I am happy to say I made it through without embarrassing myself.
    5. We spent the day in the yard, watching birds, reading and drawing.
    6. Fresh asparagus for Easter dinner, along with homemade bread.

    That’s it for me. I hope everyone has a great week.

  12. adrienne, that Mennonite thing is an awesome idea. Glad you’re having such a fab road trip.

    Akelda, you are so crafty. I wish I got paid in pie. And yes – I’d been thinking lately I kind of want to learn to play the drums, and Rock Band cemented it. Probably should wait until we have a proper house, though – don’t want to tick off the neighbors.

    Tricia, congrats to your husband for his new job, and to you for your flawless performance.

  13. Hi, Boni! Yes, your book was a fun read, and I love Kelly’s art work in it. Thanks for visiting.

    Tricia, my congrats to your husband as well. I reeeeeeally wanna sign my oldest up for an art class, too. Is William taking a class that’s part of school, or a separate one?

  14. Just hopping by with a Happy Belated Easter wish! Jules, your girls are so adorable in those spring dresses! Have fun in Boston this week.

    Eisha, we want a drums video, like Sara said. Can hardly wait to hear your good news!

    Had a nice Sunday with NH visitors. Yum, lemon bars.

    Hopping away . . .

  15. Jules & Eisha,

    I hope you ladies had a great Easter! I’ll be looking forward to hearing Eisha’s good news. And, Jules, I wish I could spend a day with your two little ladies! They are just too cute!!!


    1. I picked up a copy of HUSH, LITTLE DRAGON the other day. What a fun book! I love Kelly’s style of illustrating. I met her at an exhibition of original picture book art at Montserrat College of Art in Beverly, Massachusetts, in 2003. That was the same day I met Grace Lin, Anna Alter, Jarrett Krosoczka, and Amiko Hirao.

    2. Despite the drama of the clogged kitchen drain last Friday just as I was about to start my marathon cooking and baking for Easter, I got everything finished in record time for the holiday. (We were within a couple miles of my sister’s house yesterday when I realized I had left one of our traditional Easter foods–the kielbasa–at home. My husband dropped my daughter and me at my sister’s and drove back to get it!)

    3. Some lovely literary surprises from Jules arrived in the mail.

    4. Although Easter came early this year, we had a beautiful sunny day–the best weather we’ve had for the holiday in many years.

    5. I’ve been seeing a physical therapist and doing exercises for the pain caused by a muscle spasm. It seems my sitting posture when I was writing and blogging at my computer was the cause of my problem. Now, when I write or sleep or drive, I’m pretty much free of pain.

    6. I’m finally over the hump with the respiratory infection that I was battling for more than a month.

    7. My husband and I attended a 60th birthday party Saturday evening for two friends who share the same birthday. The caterer did an all vegetarian/all organic menu. Everything was delicious! Homemade oreos!!! YUM! The chocolate cake was to die for!!!

  16. Hi, Jama. Thanks for stopping by and hope you had a good Easter.

    Elaine, congrats on the good holiday cooking and fine, fine weather. I’m sorry to hear about the pain caused from sitting and blogging (I can relate) — oh what we’ll do for our posts, huh? And glad the respiratory infection is gone or mostly gone.

    Thanks again for my literary snail mail!

  17. Alkelda, You made an Easter egg tree!!! Fun! I think I might have to do that myself next year.

    Tricia, Fresh asparagus. Sigh, but we are still a bit away from that in WNY.

  18. I have never posted 7 kicks before and not sure if I have 7, but here goes.
    1. Jules everyone loved the program you did at the library!
    2. The B&B Moms are looking forward to you being at a program this summer.
    3. Your girls look so CUTE hunting eggs.
    4. I was given tulip bulbs my a neighbor
    5. My husband likes his new job
    6. We will miss you at story time this week
    7. I love reading your web site and reccomend it to classmates.

  19. Hi, Sherry! I love it when people who have never left kicks before leave their kicks. Woo hoo! I had fun teaching that program, and congrats on your tulips. I have some pretty fresh flowers on my table now, but they’re nothing like gorgeous tulips.

    I’ll miss story time this week, too. I still say that anyone who can sing “if you’re happy and you know it” multiple times every week (as most public librarians have to do) and not go insane gets a gold star in my book. 🙂 You all are heroes. Have fun!

  20. Kelly Murphy….Not only does she posess the technical and artistic skills of someone decades into their career, she also has the imagination and impeccable taste to keep those talents sharp and well-served.

    Publishers: keep her busy. Booksellers: sell her books! Parents: Keep her work on on your kids bookshelves.

    Jules, thanks for posting these amazing pieces of work. Inspiring to say the very least.


  21. […] king and queen, to try to feed him. More fun with the cruel, but necessary, food chain. I love it. {Kelly stopped by 7-Imp recently and shared a spread from it, which I’ll re-post […]

Leave a Comment

Should you have trouble posting, please contact sevenimp_blaine@blaine.org. Thanks.