stories and illustration

The Midnight Hare Appears

 the hare appears

This was always a difficult picture to do, so I decided to launch the final illustrations with this.  It is half finished, but the main elements are in there.  It is so much more satisfying to work against a coloured background, it has the atmosphere that I have been searching for through so many roughs, so at last this is how the illustrations are going to be done: gouache on Ingres paper.

This was always a project that I meant as a self-publishing venture, but winds having brought down a chimney pot (a chimney pot for which I am unfortunately personally responsible) with damage to the chimney and a neighbour’s roof (though very luckily not to any passers-by, which would have been horrific), and with the insurance refusing to pay up, half my printing money for the book has disappeared in a high gale; so I have decided that I will send out the book as a detailed rough with two or three finished pictures to all the suitable publishers I can think of, as a multiple submission, so I will know by September or so if I can get The Midnight Hare produced in this manner; with self-publishing as an alternative. I am pretty committed to this book, so however things pan out, it will see the light of day (or maybe that should by the moonlight).

Having looked at publishing websites I feel that my work is not at all what is fashionable at the moment, but I don’t really care about that too much, though it might make finding a publisher a bit difficult.  But hey, the luxury of a fallback position should never be under-estimated.

January 30, 2016 - Posted by | Art, Illustration, Painting, Uncategorized | , , , ,


  1. Hello Cara, I’ve been enjoying your blog for more than a year now – following the changing seasons along the Tweed River with your sensitive photos and occasional lovely captions, and noticing the similarities with how the earth (hills, valleys, waterways, trees, fields) express themselves where I am in the Umbrian hills on a ridge that looks south over Lake Trasimeno and north into the Mercatale Valley where the NIccone stream flows eastward toward the upper Tiber. I also love the glimpses of your art work, so am especially happy to see today The Midnight Hare in all his/her glory!!! I AM sorry about the chimney pot, and wish you luck in finding a publisher who will aprreciate this style. Thanks for your sharing.


    Comment by allisonjablonko | January 30, 2016 | Reply

    • Hello, Allison – what touching comments. I suppose being a children’s book writer, communicating with others has always ben important to me, so when you react to my photographs and illustrations it means a lot. It sounds as if you live in such a beautiful place. My husband and I were watching programmes on Italian gardens recently and we thought Italy would be the place we would really like to visit, though he has sybaritic ideas about travelling, so we would have to save up. I noticed a little fridge magnet gondola on the boiler just yesterday with Venezia on it, and asked him where he got it and he told me it was from the local charity shop! By the way, The Midnight Hare is a male, the brown hare that my protagonist, Milo, is so fond of, is a female. It just kind of worked out like that.


      Comment by Cara Lockhart Smith | February 1, 2016 | Reply

  2. I find your work magical Cara – best wishes as you begin the process of publishing. So sorry to read about your wind damage.


    Comment by Mary | January 30, 2016 | Reply

    • Thank you so much, Mary, for your kind words. I had visions of the chimney falling through the house, which since the insurance won’t pay out on empty houses except for fire, would have been a catastrophe. Anyway, the damaged roof and chimney pot will be fettled this week, and it could have been a lot worse. But with the gales that are sweeping through the North of the UK at the moment, I just want everything secured before there is more damage.
      The Hare now is proving to be great fun to work on, it is something to do with using a darker background. I ws looking at Vuillard and thinking how lovely his use of colour was, and he nearly always seemed to work against a tinted ground. I also think that my work can get over elaborate, and with this background I feel happier just leaving some of the base showing, which makes the imagery more spontaneous. Also, with a white hare it is a good idea! I find I am working from the inside of the images rather than tracing an outline, which is a change for me as with my illustration I have always been very linear.

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by Cara Lockhart Smith | February 1, 2016 | Reply

  3. You have the magic Cara, don’t stop working and believing…


    Comment by clinock | February 9, 2016 | Reply

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