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Gloversville artist's humorous illustrations appear in new children's book – The Daily Gazette

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Every household has a packrat. Or, as recently discovered by Gloversville illustrator Sherrill Bieri.

Working on a children’s book, The Boy Who Left Nothing Away, due out Tuesday, she found that many people connect with Tommy, the young protagonist who can’t let go of anything, whether it’s a broken toy or an old stuffed animal. Did. animal.

“I think it resonates with people. Everyone is a hoarder. I don’t think I’m exaggerating,” Bieri said.

The book follows what happens when all the toys pile up around him, he loses something as important as his brother, and becomes trapped in a towering pile of possessions. Tommy’s parents eventually help Tommy realize a solution by donating toys and clothes to others, and recycling things that cannot be reused.

Written by Margie Peterson, the story is told through rhyming prose and brought to life by Bielli’s detailed watercolor illustrations.

The cover features piles of teddy bears, baseball bats, trains, planes, trucks, and toy chickens. Inside is an intricate illustration of Tommy’s cavernous room full of toys. Some toys are characters in themselves, such as a headless superhero or a chicken that lays eggs when you pull a lever.

“There’s a lot of detail in the book…it took forever,” Vieri said.

Vieri has been an artist for decades, but this is the first time he has illustrated a children’s book.

“I was always writing little books and stuff for my friends. I was drawing when I was little,” Vieri said.

As a teenager, she also drew caricatures at community fairs. Early in her career, she did illustrations for newspapers and magazines.

“I draw illustrations for stories. I did it because I felt the need. [an image] You just push a button,” says Bielli.

She has also written feature articles for The Reader Herald, The Gazette, and other publications. Later in her career, she returned to college to earn her teaching degree and worked as an art teacher in the Johnstown and Gloversville school districts.

In 2020, she left teaching to begin working on The Boy Who Left Nothing. Her longtime friend Peterson submitted the story to Crave Press, who agreed to publish it.It is based on her son, Tommy, who had a hard time letting go of anything.

During the illustration and planning process, the characters evolved, including Tommy, his mom, and his dad. rice field.

Some of them were especially difficult to draw due to the amount of Tommy clinging on. Another challenge was the fact that there was no way to set up a model of Tommy’s full room to use as a visual reference.

“[Usually,] I am trying to use spatial relationships and proportions. . What if?”

In one scene, Tommy sends dirty laundry to his mother on a toy plane. His mom is sending meals on a toy train. The first illustration she completed for her story took about 30 hours.

During the months she spent working on her illustrations, she visited schools, craft fairs, and even the Sauve Faire in Saratoga Springs to demonstrate her work. She seems to connect with people of all ages.

“I’ve gotten a lot of good feedback. People of all ages seem to relate to what their children accumulate and having a pakrat in it. More often than not, people are the resident pakrat.” I’m proud of myself,” Vieri said.

The book ends with a hidden picture page that is popular with both children and adults alike.
“Adults find one batch of hidden things and children find another, so it’s great to see how perceptions change with age,” Bielli said.

The Boy Who Left Nothing Releases Tuesday and will be available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Indie Books.

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Categories: Art, Life and Art, Life and Art