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"The celebrated fifteenth-century Japanese artist Sesshu Toyo's ink drawings of animals were said to be so realistic that they would sometimes spring to life."


~James Gilreath, preface to facsimile edition of The Boy Who Drew Cats, 1987, Library of Congress, Washington


"When I visit schools to talk about writing and illustrating, I recall childhood afternoons I spent in my grandfather's library. I sat in his overstuffed chair enraptured Howard Pyle, N.C. Wyeth, John Tenniel, Arthur Rackham, Winsor McCay, Walter Crane, Maxfield Parrish, Wanda Gag, Dante Gabriel Rossetti and more.


My reading skills were rudimentary, but in the universal    language of pictures I was fluent, as most children are. I scrutinized favorite illustrations for hours, revisiting them over and over again. A Catholic child of stained glass churches, I knew a sanctuary window when I saw one; and each of these color pictures seemed to me a child-sized window or doorway into another world.




Day after day, I slipped through these portals, visiting the strange and magical places beyond. I warmed myself by fires in Sherwood Forest, ate charred game from a spit and caroused till dawn with outlaws; I befriended elves and outwitted dragons, evil hags and idiot kings; I found treasures and adventures as real to me as any in my own life and, at day's end, I imported these experiences back into my own ever-widening realm."

from essay, Windows on Worlds, ©2003 Clay Carmichael

Clay Carmichael's award-winning picture books have been translated into many languages. She teaches writing and illustrating and speaks about writing, illustrating, publishing and the exotic life of the author to students of all ages.

Clay lives and works in Carrboro, North Carolina, with her husband, sculptor Mike Roig. More samples of her artwork and information about her presentations and workshops can be found at and Orange County Artist's Guild web site.

Follow Clay on Goodreads here.

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Cat illustrations from Wild Things (Front Street, an imprint of Boyds Mills Press) © 2009 Clay Carmichael.

Book covers and Bunny with Bear © Clay Carmichael, ©1996-2001; All Rights Reserved.

Pitcher Plants © Consie Powell.

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