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

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

Happy New Year

December 31, 2019 Posted by | Art, Painting, Uncategorized | , , , , | 2 Comments

Happy Christmas

Happy Christmas, Season’s Greetings, and a peaceful New Year.

December 16, 2019 Posted by | Art, Illustration, Painting, Uncategorized | , , , , | 6 Comments

Owl and Mirror

Someone put these words on to a painting that I can’t even remember putting on-line. I quite like the words, and I like even more that someone used this image for these words.

November 21, 2019 Posted by | Art, Painting, Uncategorized | , , , , | Leave a comment

The Bears Arrive in Town

November 5, 2019 Posted by | Art, Illustration, Painting, Uncategorized | , , , , | Leave a comment

Bears in a Red-Sailed Boat

November 2, 2019 Posted by | Art, Illustration, Painting, Uncategorized | , , , , | Leave a comment

Musicians in the Forest

Looking through my files, wondering when I will have time to cull all the imagery on my computer (which will have to be done) I come across this painting, now sold, and from quite a time ago, and I notice two things: firstly, my attraction to wandering musicians, which is the subject of my new story, goes way back; and secondly, I have made a very serious mistake in the shape of the guitar case, which I will now have to carefully rectify in about fifteen illustrations at least. I got so involved with the story I didn’t check the details. I had forgotten about this painting – it is strange how ideas and imagery recur. It’s much more orange than my usual work, which tends towards blue and mauve and deep red, with a fair smattering of brown (sepia being one of my favourite colours) and naples yellow (ditto); but it certainly has the feel of what I am working on now. Glad I came across it, almost by accident, it has proved useful.

September 16, 2019 Posted by | Art, Painting, Uncategorized | , , , , , | 5 Comments

Old Photographs

I seem to have been presented with some new elements by WordPress which I certainly didn’t mean to ask for. I like everything staying the same! How do I get back to my old trusty way of doing things? (Oh go on, read the book, not just the first two chapters). I spent yesterday looking through a chest of papers that I haven’t seen for about ten years, and I find photographs from long ago. Two things I thought I had lost in transit: a photograph of Seamus Heaney and Ted Hughes, taken by a photographer who worked for Faber and who gave me this copy as a present, which photograph somehow seems to have detached itself from its frame; and a photograph of myself, my grandfather, my grandmother, mother, father and little brother in romper suit in the porch of a faraway house near Chailey Common, a photograph I included in a painting but then could not find as I gave it to someone to look at and now don’t know where it is; this is a near equivalent, taken at more or less the same moment, it has always meant a lot to me, I am the little girl half-leaning against my Granny’s skirts. I also found a box of slides from 1984 which I have never seen before. And there is a letter to my mother which I cannot remember writing, saying how my young son used to call Sigmund Freud Sycamore Fraud. I never throw anything away. I don’t know why the old photograph means so much to me, it is imprinted in my heart. I look a tad dour, all the same, and was even more morose in the photograph I used for the painting. The painting is about the people in the photograph. A bientot.

September 14, 2019 Posted by | Art, Painting, Photography | , , , | 5 Comments

<span>%d</span> bloggers like this: