Artist-in-residence: award-winning author and illustrator Rebecca Raye

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Ms. Raye teaching an Upper School art class. Katie McCabe '18

Award-winning children’s book author and illustrator Ms. Rebekah Raye passed the paintbrush to Convent of the Sacred Heart students and faculty October 24 through October 28. She spent the past week at Sacred Heart teaching art classes and exhibiting her work in the McLaughlin Gallery.
Ms. Raye’s illustrations are featured in six children’s books, including The Secret Pool and Swimming Home. Tilbury House Publishing first published her illustrations in the book Thanks to the Animals in 2005. In addition to illustrating, Ms. Raye occasionally takes on an authorial role. Both her writing and illustrations are featured in her children’s books Bear-ly-There and The Very Best Bed. 

Ms. Raye teaching an Upper School art class. Katie McCabe '18
Ms. Raye teaching an Upper School art class.
Katie McCabe ’18

Growing up with parents who worked in art and science helped Ms. Raye develop a passion for painting, sketching, wood carving, and sculpting animals. After studying Art Education at the University of Maine, Ms. Raye decided to share her creative insight with children.

“[Animals] seem to be the best motivators for teaching techniques in drawing and painting,” Ms. Raye said, according to rebekahraye.com. She pursues her own unique and fearless brand of artistry which is specifically focused on animals.
Ms. Raye observes animals in their natural habitats and brings them to life through her art. She pays close attention to detail, and this patience is reflected in her work. 
She begins her drawing using solely graphite pencils, paper towels, and kneaded erasers. The next part of Ms. Raye’s process involves revisiting her original drawings and improving them.
“I see the wild animals, so I do drawings and paintings of them. Then, I want to really touch them, so I start doing the sculpture and carving of this very same theme,” Ms. Raye said. 
Ms. Raye spent the week in Greenwich visiting art students in the Sacred Heart Barat Center, Lower School, Middle School, and Upper School. All of Sacred Heart’s students received the chance to meet Ms. Raye and learn about her illustrations, picture book designs, and the book layout process. Ms. Raye encourages all of her students to pursue their interest in art. 
“I hope that all will remember that everyone has their own style and way of telling their story,” Ms. Raye said.
Lower School students getting their books signed by Ms. Rebekah Raye. Katie McCabe '18
Ms. Rebekah Raye signing books for Lower School students.
Katie McCabe ’18

A display of Ms. Raye’s work remained in Sacred Heart’s McLaughlin Gallery all week. Sacred Heart invited the school community to meet Ms. Raye and to explore her bright and inviting prints and sculptures Thursday, October 27.
After a week of workshops, students produced illustrations and pop-up designs which they displayed for students, parents, and faculty members to enjoy.
During the exhibit, students waited in line to speak with Ms. Raye and purchase signed copies of her books.
– Katie McCabe, Staff Writer