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As a child, Diane Goode loved books and art. She has been drawing for as long as she can remember. Of Italian and French descent, she enjoyed the richness of both cultures and traveled to Europe every summer visiting family, as well as cathedrals and museums. She feels that these early impressions helped shape her appreciation of art and life. She studied art history at Queens College, but switched to fine arts, in which she earned her degree.
Her love for Europe shows in the setting of many of her books, Paris in particular, where two of her picture books, Where’s Our Mama? and Mama’s Perfect Present, take place. She drew on her experience of living for a short time in Pennsylvania for the artwork in Cynthia Rylant’s story of Appalachia, When I Was Young in the Mountains, for which she was awarded a Caldecott Honor Medal.
Goode has illustrated 59 books for children, including anthologies and stories she has written herself. She’s always been drawn to the classics and has illustrated many traditional fairy tales. Of her process she says: “I always begin with a rough dummy and then work on the individual pages, sketching very loosely and quickly to establish movement and composition. I do these dozens of times for each repositioning, enlarging, reducing, adding, and omitting. There are always hundreds of sketches for each book. It sounds tedious, but it is the most exciting part of creating a book. When I’m satisfied with these, I do the final art. All of my work is done on opaline parchment, a thin but strong paper. I sketch lightly in pencil and use water colors applied with very fine sable brushes. Sometimes I use colored pencils with the paint to soften the atmosphere.”
Goode lives in Watchung, New Jersey.
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