Rochester native Jayne Piazza is coming home for the holidays in a big way. She’ll be bringing her first book in print, “Fish Line Rhymes,” a children’s book of glittering artwork and rhymes that roll off the tongue with aplomb, home to Rochester.
The Montana-based artist’s first book “Fish Line Rhymes” is comprised of fishy rhymes accompanied by glittery paintings. Piazza wrote, illustrated, painted, and fished the whole thing on her own from her home in Billings, Mont.
Piazza will be signing her book at the holiday boutique at Shorewood Senior Campus on Friday. Residents will be able to have their copies signed from 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m., and the general public is invited between 2:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m.
This may not be the only opportunity to get a copy signed. Other local businesses may begin carrying the book soon and Piazza returns to town every three months or so to visit family here in the city where her talent took root.
“I don’t recall a time when I didn’t draw,” recalls Piazza. “Our crayons were well worn! From quick drawings at family gatherings, spending quality time at Mayo High School’s art department and eventually to the community college’s art department, I was always engaged in art.”
Her engagement in art is what led her to Montana. She’s lived there ever since a professor at Rochester Community College recommended she pursue further study under Rudy Autio at the University of Montana in Missoula.
Over the past 30 years, Piazza has had her work featured on CD covers, reality TV, and in a slew of shows and exhibits across the country. Her global travles and run-ins with thousands of children have culminated into a unique voice.
For “Fish Line Rhymes,” she set out to remake her favorite nursery rhymes. Soon, she found herself in pursuit of the perfect rhyme. She consulted fishermen, librarians, strangers, musicians, wine experts, family members, and strangers about elements of the perfect rhyme.
The book’s glitzy artwork is produced by “bleaching,” a technique employed by watercolorists to mix elements like sequins, glitter, pastel, or dimensional paint into their works. The result is a piece of art that moves with its own rhythm.
She’s reported sales successes in Montana, and has sold books to people in Iceland, Finland, Holland, and Mexico.
“My work makes me happy, therefore it pays perfectly well!” said Piazza. “Making your own path and seizing an opportunity, as benign as it may seem at the time, will always propel you somewhere interesting. The best line ever: ‘you never know where you’ll be when your life begins,’ from the movie classic, Amelie.”