Thacher Hurd

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Thacher’s Blog


Sep 27, 2012 • 2:49 pm • 5 comments

I've gotten distracted from children's books lately, and been wandering around doing all the things in life I always wanted to do. Somewhere on the list was the banjo, so I started building one last summer, then started taking an old-time banjo class at the Freight and Salvage in Berkeley last Fall. This summer I spent lots of time working on the banjo, trying to figure it all out from a book called Banjo Craft, and from those ever-so helpful videos on YouTube. It's about 85% done, and now I'm starting to do a bit of inlay for the headstock and fretboard, then I'll put on some kind of finish and put it all together and hope that the thing plays at least halfway decently.




Nice, Thacher. Is the neck made of walnut?

By Matt Talbot on Oct 26, 2012 • 11:38 am


I never knew you to be “handy”. Glad you are stretching your wings still at the advanced age we find ourselves.

By John Weyand on Jan 2, 2013 • 3:57 pm


I still have a cherished signed copy of “Art Dog” that I acquired from you when you visited the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts in 2006. It is inscribed:“To Christina (The Docent)—Have fun with Art Dog! Zip! Splash! Smoosh!” We were all charmed ! I do hope that none of your wonderful books will never be “purged”!

By Christina C. Griffin on Apr 9, 2021 • 6:28 pm


Hi Thacher,
You kindly invited me and my two little kids to your studio in Berkeley in about 2004 after we came to a book signing of yours of Sleepy Cadillac where I had raved about your Quiet Evening, saying it was better than your mom’s Goodnight Moon! I still think so, and am sorry I can’t find more copies to pass around.

I teach watercolor painting and drawing to older adults—emphasizing turning down our ubiquitous negative self talk and fear of criticism and turning up our natural creativity and inventiveness.  I give your Watercolor for the Artistically Undiscovered to all the nieces and nephews and little kids I can as you use a similarly freeing approach to making art and having the paints and paper right there is genius! A breath of fresh air! Congrats on reissuing this necessary call to artistic freedom and of being oneself! I too believe EVERYONE is a master of creativity!

I always appreciated how kind you were to my intense little girl Felicia, taking her seriously and making sure she had her tea. She is now 22 and getting a degree in Graphic Design. My son Russell is also an artist, a wonderful oil painter and cast paper sculptor—they both remember you and our studio visit, and of course all your books, read hundreds of times, fondly. We even named our dog Arthur after Art Dog!

Thank you very much for all the art and kindness you spread to the world!
Sarah Strand
We moved to Eugene, Oregon in 2006

By Sarah on Feb 27, 2022 • 2:59 pm


So much to say! 30 years of teaching art. Half of which was at the elementary level.  Art Dog was a staple And check out Amesbury MA’s local muralist: Jon Mooers. Goes by Art Dog.  I showed him the book way back when and he embraced it.  Look him up online!
  And now one of my grandson’s favorite books is Zoom City. My librarian sister gave it to him.  I loved it immediately and then noticed it was yours.
  Take care!  Enjoy the banjo. I’ll be back. -Susan (Panton VT, UVM grad.)

By Susan Olsen on Jun 2, 2023 • 9:55 pm

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