A number of years ago, I decided to take a two year “sabbatical” from making picture books. During this time away, I created abstract art out of my painted tissue papers. I also used other materials such as silk fabric, plate glass, aluminum foil, and plastic sheathing. When I started making books again, instead of a white background – the animals in my story were set in front of bright colorful swatches of painted tissue papers as background. This was a change from my previous way of working. My time away making abstract art had influenced my book art. I still make abstract art for fun and creative enjoyment. I call it my “art art.”