caralockhartsmith

stories and illustration

Common Ground 2

I have no idea whatsoever where this painting is, I cannot remember painting it, but it is obviously a companion to a blue-violet painting of a moor at night. This is the landscape that is in my heart, out there in the central Borders, where I once saw, sitting hunched in a tree, a bird so large I still cannot believe it was not an eagle. These paintings contain emptiness. So different to illustrations, which are full of things – bears, banjos, outraged mayors, butterflies, mean fishmongers, canny seagulls, signposts, dancing children….The moors in the picture book I am creating are seen as places of hunger and desolation, except in the case of the blithe wee bear who chases a butterfly. The illustrations are nearly finished, the story is complete… I think I am spinning it all out, up there in my studio, aka the Tardis, which itself needs painting and patching. It always feels disorientating to finish something a project, so maybe I am putting it off. there will then be the hassle of trying to find a publisher, as there is no way I am going down the self-publishing line again; but being fond of the story, I will not be discouraged.

Soon, perhaps. I will make some more paintings, which I will lose track of – some get sold, some get given, a few are in the attic, where I don’t dare to go very often because it is eminently fall-out-of, having a door which does not fasten from the inside, and stuff and stuff, you have to cling on to the rafters and tippy-toe to avoid the stuff.

Onward…

March 30, 2021 Posted by | Art, Illustration, Painting, Uncategorized | , , , , , | 2 Comments

Common Ground

A painting so much less linear than the illustrations I am working on, just a small painting, I think it is a moor in the Borders, and it is no longer summer, and there are no people. Sometimes in the country when you walk out into less inhabited landscapes, gradually your relationship to yourself changes. Any other living creatures seem to own the place, they have their ways of living, and you are a stranger, and to be jinked away from. But being a stranger feels like a privilege, and one wants to go quietly, not to disturb the natural world going about its business.

January 2, 2021 Posted by | Art, Illustration, Painting, Uncategorized | , , , | 3 Comments

A Christmas Lion

Deciding to put images on Facebook each day, or as near as possible each day, in the New Year, I decided to start early with an image of some time ago, a Christmas card. Still working on a picture book, Musical Bears, but after this is finished and ready to sent out to potential publishers (two months, three months?), I will go back to painting and to wandering in the countryside of the Scottish Borders, with my camera, looking mostly for small details that catch my eye. Until I inhabited in a place where one could walk where one wanted I never understood how Right to Roam changes one’s sense of where one lives. I thought it was an ancient Scottish custom, but no, it was basically set into law round about the Millennium. The only PRIVATE notices you see are round people’s garden, everywhere else you can just wander. Up the road is the Hirsel, the estate belonging to the Douglas-Hume family. Our local aristocrats are very popular, unlike some…

December 18, 2020 Posted by | Art, Illustration, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Music is Amazing, but…

…bears get drowned out.

August 22, 2020 Posted by | Art, Illustration, Uncategorized | , , , , | Leave a comment

Screechy Screechy

So long since I posted, something about lockdown has stopped me walking out with a camera, when I go out it is just walking for the sake of exercise. These are strange times. When I go up to my studio, aka The Tardis, everything feels normal again, the birds feeding in the wild flower bed outside the window, the beans growing, music, paint and crayons. Nice. This is a double page illustration for Musical Bears, I am not doing roughs any more, just finished work. My son, who is a web designer, is setting me up with a professional website for my work, it is intimidating, a whole different world, still on WordPress though, so no doubt things will gradually explain themselves. Moi, je suis technophobe. Was on Zoom last week talking to my grandsons and got cut off, couldn’t see anyone but heard them all laughing invisibly at my bad language. Keep safe. Keep well.

August 22, 2020 Posted by | Art, Illustration, Uncategorized | , , , , | 1 Comment

Musical Bears pages 8 & 9

May 2, 2020 Posted by | Art, Illustration, Uncategorized | , , , | 8 Comments

Musical Bears page 9

Not much luck among the musical cognoscenti…… nor with the seagulls…. hunger rules…

May 2, 2020 Posted by | Art, Illustration, Uncategorized | , , , , | 7 Comments

Musical Bears page 8

The bears try their luck in the town by the sea…..

May 2, 2020 Posted by | Art, Illustration, Uncategorized | , , , | 2 Comments

The Travelling Musical Bears

This is a finished illustration, the first one, for Page 5 of “Musical Bears”. The first version was much darker, as it is an evening scene, but up north the summer is light for longer; and besides the first version was far too dreary. I made the mistake of trying to change things in watercolour, which just does not work, as more than a couple of layers and everything goes a murky grey; or at least that is what happened in the first version. The colours of this book should be up-beat; so this is keyed nearer to how I want it. Any extra layer or correction was done with crayon. I have generally gone back to my usual way of illustration, which is sepia ink and watercolour. The image is A4 plus bleed, so my scanner doesn’t quite manage this. I had to scan several times and then cut and paste, which was quite a process; but if I get a publisher and need to produce my own scans then an A3 scanner will be in the offing. The story is about travelling musicians, a kind of person I have a fondness for, though in this case they are bears (bit of trouble with the fiddle bowing arm if you are a bear). A couple of other commissions have cropped up at the beginning of the year, so I will be working on them as well; but it is fun to have got started on finished work; it is such a different process from the original sketching out. Like writing, there are two distinct phases; for me, at any rate.

January 29, 2020 Posted by | Art, Illustration, Painting, Uncategorized | , , , , , | 2 Comments

Winter River

December 22, 2019 Posted by | Art, Illustration, Photography, Uncategorized | , , , , , , | 5 Comments

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