Tag Archives: PNCA

Josh Ritter my Muse

Here’s the thread: Josh Ritter tunes were my background sound while in the drawing studio this spring and summer (Hello Starling, The Animal Years), with a little Tom Jones and Yo-Yo Ma for variety.  In June, I chose Josh’s Bone of Song as the text for a workshop assignment to create a 32 page illustrated machette, at PNCA’s “Writing and Illustrating Children’s Books”, in Portland. Like many of his songs, it’s a poetic narrative lyric, full of visual metaphors…and it made my job easier to focus on illustration and skip the writing part for now (only a 4 day class).

Preliminary thumbnail sketches for the book dummy (machette). I imagined a boy, about 10 years old, as the narrator. But you can’t have a boy wandering through the Palouse fields and woods without some kind of companion, a dog perhaps?

While at PNCA, I found out Josh was coming to Portland in July for a book reading at Powells –he just released his first novel Bright’s Passage.  Soooo Greg (my other muse) and I took off for Portland yesterday, early enough to grab two front row seats at Josh’s reading. The energy in the standing room only crowd rose when a Powell’s dude placed a glass of water and a guitar at the speaker’s podium. 

Josh interspersed the readings with 3 songs and I will sound like a goofy fan if I gush on, but it was AWESOME!  Do not miss him if you get the chance to see him in any venue: bookstore, concert hall, poetry group. Got my autographed copy of the book and I’ll read it when we get back to Idaho in a few weeks …at the cabin, up the St. Joe, with a bottle of Guinness draught.