Greenseid, Diane 1948–
Greenseid, Diane 1948–
Born September 1, 1948, in Los Angeles, CA; daughter of Alfred Greenseid (in wholesale produce sales) and Adrienne Vinetz (a teacher and homemaker); married Pete McCabe (an illustrator and musician). Education: Art Center College of Design, B.F.A. (illustration), 1982; attended University of California, Los Angeles Extension. Hobbies and other interests: Walking, bike riding, dancing, gardening, "my animals."
Illustrator of children's books. Jewish Federation of Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA, graphic artist, 1988-92; currently freelance illustrator. Formerly worked as a waitress and secretary. Exhibitions: Work included in Society of Illustrator's Original Art Show, 1997, 1998.
Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators.
Science Books and Films Best Children's Science Book listee, 1996, for Get up and Go! by Stuart J. Murphy; Bank Street College Best Children's Books designations, for Get up and Go!, When Aunt Lena Did the Rhumba by Eileen Kurtis-Kleinman, We Had a Picnic This Sunday Past by Jacqueline Woodson, and And Then It Rained … and Then the Sun Came Out by Crescent Dragonwagon; Notable Children's Trade Book in the Field of Social Studies designation, Children's Book Council/National Council for Social Studies, 1999, and Bill Martin, Jr., Award nomination, Kansas Reading Association, 2000, both for We Had a Picnic This Sunday Past.
Debra Hess, Wilson Sat Alone, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 1994.
Stuart J. Murphy, Get up and Go!, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 1996.
Bethany Roberts, Cat Parade!, Clarion (New York, NY), 1996.
Eileen Kurtis-Kleinman, When Aunt Lena Did the Rhumba, Hyperion (New York, NY), 1997.
Jacqueline Woodson, We Had a Picnic This Sunday Past, Hyperion (New York, NY), 1998.
Bethany Roberts, Follow Me!, Clarion (New York, NY), 1998.
Jean Jackson, Mrs. Piccolo's Easy Chair, DK Publishing (New York, NY), 1999.
Frances Minters, Chicken for a Day, Random House (New York, NY), 2000.
Arthur Dorros, When the Pigs Took Over, Dutton (New York, NY), 2002.
Crescent Dragonwagon, And Then It Rained … and Then the Sun Came Out …, Athenum (New York, NY), 2003.
David Gershator and Phyllis Gershator, Kallaloo!: A Caribbean Tale, Marshall Cavendish (New York, NY), 2005.
Margaret Read MacDonald, Teeny Weeny Bop, Albert Whitman (Morton Grove, IL), 2006.
Lynn Manuel, The Trouble with Tilly Trumble, Harry N. Abrams (New York, NY), 2006.
Helen Ketteman, Waynetta and the Cornstalk: A Texas Fairy Tale, Albert Whitman (Morton Grove, IL), 2007.
Also illustrator of Live Inside Out—Not Upside Down: A Dynamic New Method of Self-Therapy (adult nonfiction), by Fran Lotery.
Growing up in California, Diane Greenseid enjoyed drawing, but she enjoyed silliness even more. Now a grown-up illustrator of children's picture books, she is now able to combine these two passions. Her whimsical acrylic paintings, with their playful use of perspective, rounded shapes, cheerful characters, and saturated colors, have been paired with stories by authors such as Helen Ketteman, Margaret Read MacDonald, and Jacqueline Woodson. As Greenseid once explained to SATA, "What I love most about children's book illustration is that I get to be silly and playful which is a very large part of my personality. I also infuse my illustrations with movement and expression which I feel stems from my love of dancing."
Although Greenseid studied illustration at Pasadena's acclaimed Art Center College of Design, as she later admitted, "while most of my general illustration skills were acquired there, my children's book illustration knowledge was developed after that." She gained a passion for children's book illustration while attending a class taught by author/illustrator Barbara Bottner, and over the next ten years worked on building a portfolio
of drawings. Although Greenseid intentionally developed art with what she characterized as "a ‘crazy’ over-the-top quality" early in her career, she has increasingly incorporated more humor and warmth in her colorful images. Her efforts to refine her work were well worth it. When she finally went the rounds of New York City publishers, Greenseid won her first book illustration contract: Wilson Sat Alone by Debra Hess, which was published in 1994.
Reviewing Greenseid's illustrations for Crescent Dragonwagon's two-sided picture book And Then It Rained … and Then the Sun Came Out …, a Kirkus Reviews wrote that the artist's "bright, acrylic illustrations have a curvy, skewed perspective that fits perfectly" with Dragonwagon's text, and Booklist contributor Carolyn Phelan noted her use of "rhythm, movement, rounded forms, and warm, vivid colors. Noting the fit between Greenseid's exuberant art and folk tales, Mary N. Oluonye wrote in her School Library Journal appraisals that "Greenseid's bright and vibrant acrylic illustrations are a perfect interpretation" of David and Phyllis Gershator's Kallaloo!: A Caribbean Tale. Helen Ketteman's Waynetta and the Cornstalk: A Texas Fairy Tale, a lone-star-state adaptation of the story of Jack and the beanstalk, also benefits from Greenseid's playful art; as a Kirkus Reviews writer noted, the illustrator's colorful images "perfectly suit" Ketteman's amusing tale. In her work for Teeny Weeny Bob, a folktale adaptation by Margaret Read MacDonald, Greenseid applies her characteristic style, depicting what Booklist John Stewig described as "humorously exaggerated characters" that, with their "jaunty look," pair well with the story. "The bright, energetic pictures match the silliness of this tale," noted Martha Simpson in her School Library Journal appraisal of Read's folkloric tale. Using "electric shades of green and purple," Greenseid's "bold, exuberant acrylic illustrations" in The Trouble with Tilly Trumble enrich Lynn Manuel's "satisfying" story about a quirky woman whose life is enriched by a loyal canine companion.
"When I first started doing illustration I worked at night and weekends, and it really took a toll, so I don't do that anymore unless I really have to," Greenseid once explained to SATA. Now working more regular hours, she refuels her creativity with "tons of breaks." These breaks provide her with what she called "my dreaming and replenishing time, something that is necessary, because illustration, good illustration, can be hard!"
Greenseid's advice to would-be illustrators: "Believe in your own style and voice, and try to develop this as much as possible. I remember in school how I wanted to paint very perfectly and tiny, but my natural inclination was to show more brush strokes, energy and aliveness. It took a while to appreciate this quality in myself. But the truer you are to yourself, the more you will stand out from the others because there is only one
you! Also keep persevering. It took me ten years after I graduated art school before I was ready to redo my portfolio into something I could stand behind and be proud of. Everyone has their own individual time frame (I just wish my time had come a little sooner!)."
Biographical and Critical Sources
Booklist, October 15, 1996, Carolyn Phelan, review of Get up and Go!, p. 428; May 15, 1997, Ilene Cooper, review of When Aunt Lena Did the Rhumba, p. 1579; August, 1998, Ilene Cooper, review of We Had a Picnic This Sunday Past, p. 59; February 1, 2002, Annie Ayres, review of When the Pigs Took Over, p. 945; June 1, 2003, Carolyn Phelan, review of And Then It Rained … and Then the Sun Came Out …, p. 1784; April 15, 2006, Shelle Rosenfeld, review of The Trouble with Tily Trumble, p. 53; May 15, 2006, John Stewig, review of Teeny Weeny Bop, p. 51.
Kirkus Reviews, December 15, 2001, review of When the Pigs Took Over, p. 1757; April 15, 2003, review of And Then It Rained … and Then the Sun Came Out …, p. 606; February 1, 2006, review of Teeny Weeny Bop, p. 134; March 15, 2006, review of The Trouble with Tilly Trumble, p. 295; February 1, 2007, review of Waynetta and the Cornstalk: A Texas Fairy Tale, p. 124.
New York Times Book Review, November 13, 1994, p. 52.
Publishers Weekly, April 21, 1997, review of When Aunt Lena Did the Rhumba, p. 72; June 8, 1998, review of Wee Had a Picnic This Sunday Past, p. 59; November 2, 1998, review of Follow Me!, p. 81; September 13, 1999, review of Mrs. Piccolo's Easy Chair, p. 82; December 17, 2001, review of When the Pigs Took Over, p. 90.
School Library Journal, November, 1994, p. 82; February, 2002, Ann Welton, review of When the Pigs Took Over, p. 98; May, 2003, Sue Morgan, review of And Then It Rained … and Then the Sun Came Out …, p. 112; June, 2005, Mary N. Oluonye, review of Kallaloo!: A Caribbean Tale, p. 115; August, 2006, Martha Simpson, review of Teeny Weeny Bop, p. 93; December, 2006, Elaine Lesh Morgan, review of The Trouble with Tilly Trumble, p. 108.
Diane Greenseid Home Page,http://www.diangreenseid.com (April 15, 2007).