Marisabina Russo in her new studio

Marisabina Russo in her new studio

My dear friend Marisabina Russo, aka Cookie, invited me to her home in Westchester today so that I could see the new studio she recently had built on her property.

Cookie and I were art majors at Mount Holyoke College with adjacent easels in painting class. From the moment she graduated, Cookie has pursued a career using her talents of writing and illustration. Her career as an author/illustrator of children’s books has been a testimony to creativity, hard work, persistence and success.

Cookie's Drawing Board

Cookie’s Drawing Board

Seeing her in her new building was heart-warming beyond measure. I was witness to her careful selection of the perfect track lighting with bulbs that won’t alter the color of her work, magnificent skylights, arched windows and a solid barn-red door with 4 panes of glass that match the windows surrounding it.

Here she is in front of a complete book layout pinned to a homasote wall so that she can visualize the entire book at one time–unheard of when she was laying out pages on her old studio floor or on the bed in her bedroom.

Although I have no intention of picking up my old tools to create artwork, I was tremendously inspired by Cookie’s dedication, longevity in her field and renewed energy for her art.

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