Monday, July 12, 2010


I am about to tell you something strange and wonderful~oh, wait a sec, I mean, I'm fixin' to fill yer craw with some right fine viddles. Yer thinkin', "maybe he's a Texan, maybe not." Well, I just got off the wagon train from Abilene, Texas. I'm here to tell you, you either die and dry on that rugged dusty trail, or you eat yer way out.

I ate my way out. See that poor lady at the bottom of the photo? Not so lucky. Don't you know, there's slim pickin' when it comes to vegetables in Texas. Why, there's a law that if they find one, they have to deep fry it to make sure it's dead. And if you want iced tea, forget it, unless you ask for "Aas tay". Also, just so ya know, molasses is pronounced, "Mol-eye-sayess".

I went to the country of Texas for an exhibition of art curated by the brilliant David Diaz, at The National Center of Children's Illustrated Literaure, (NCCIL for short). This art opening features illustrations by the Golden Kite Medal and Honor winners. The Golden Kite is awarded annually by the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI).

There are around eighty original works of art from a mind-blowing array of artists such as Sid Fleichman, David Diaz, Diane de Groat, Alice & Martin Provensen, Tomie dePaolo, Trina Schart Hyman, Don Wood, Barbara Helen Berger, Susan Jeffers, Jerry Pinkney, Kevin Hawkes, William Joyce, Keith Baker, Robert Sabuda, Aki Sogabe, Janet Stevens, Uri Shulevitz, Laura McGee Kvasnosky, David Shannon, Kristen Balouch, Marla Frazee, Barbara McClintock, Larry Day, Yuyi Morales, myself, and many others.

This show will be touring the country, and if you have a chance to see it, don't miss it.

Above, Barbara McClintock sketching and telling stories. She and I had a marker pen duel, and she kicked my but with her robotic fox and its fifty ton tongue. I've gone into therapy and training for a re-match.

There are a lot of skulls around Abilene. This is on account of all the meat everybody eats. Here is Barbara McClintock, me, and a bronze buffalo. Barbara is the one with the sunglasses on.

At Perini's Restaurant in front of the catfish cook. Me, Kristen Balouch, Heather Powers, Diane Stanley, and Jacqueline Gramann.

Heather, Priscilla Burris, Cecilia Yung, David Dias, and Diane Stanley.

The heat and the meat can get to you after a while. Above, Larry Day laying around on the ground in his nice clothes. But this shows the dedication of the illustrator. It seems it was imperative to get a butt-shot of a bronze buffalo.


jesse joshua watson said...


Heather Powers said...

You were in the heart of Texas! The cities a little different. It was great to meet you and see your amazing egg tempera demo!

Richard Jesse Watson said...

Thanks, Jesse Bear.

Thanks you Heather, I so enjoyed meeting you in the heart of Texas (Abilene). What a cool city. Well, not cold-cool, but cool-cool. Love your blogs~how do you do it? They are amazing.

Zuzana said...

Did you win that award on the picture? I quiet can not read it.;)
I have been to Texas once in the 90's. I drove across the US, east to west and back and the return trip went through Texas. It was a great state in every sense with some incredible cities such as San Antonio. I also spent some time on St Padre Island of the coast.;))
Hope you are having a relaxing summer.,)

Richard Jesse Watson said...

Hi Zuzana. Yes, I did win that nifty little Golden Kite award statue for children's book illustration given by The Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators.

Driving across Texas is like driving across a whole planet. We once drove across it in a blizzard in a VW bug (and those heaters didn't work worth beans) with a month old baby. the interstate freeway was closed, so we went along farm roads all the way across Jupiter, I mean Texas.

BJW said...

This is hilarious. Bravo pops. Hope I get to see this show someday too.

Richard Jesse Watson said...

Thanks, Ben. They are planning to have the show at the LA conference (next summer, I think?) and NY, and all over the country. So we will have to catch it together somewhere.

BJW said...

Done deal.

Kat_RN said...

Congratulations! Well desearved. Sounds like you had a lot of fun too. This post brings back oh so many memories. My oldest brother lived in Texas so we got to visit when I was a kid. As an adult, I spent eight very long weeks in San Antonio courtousy of the Air Force, but never got off the base. I was stationed near the border in New Mexico when my kids were little. My husband agrees, driving across Texas really is like another planet.