stories and illustration

Centre for the Children’s Book,, Newcastle: The Little Boat

Newcastle 3

Renovations of a magical place, the Centre for the Children’s Book, opening again in July. The Centre is set in Ouseburn, a very individual  part of Newcastle upon Tyne – spent a wonderful day there with a friend of long-standing. Every time I go there is something new to see – an inexhaustible area of the city.

June 22, 2015 Posted by | Art, Illustration, Photography, Uncategorized | , , , , , , | 5 Comments

The Centre for the Children’s Book Newcastle: Renovations 2

Newcastle 2

June 22, 2015 Posted by | Art, Illustration, Photography, Uncategorized | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Old Leaf New Work

the old leafWinter has come to Coldstream, but it hasn’t managed to devastate the new shoots yet.   I went out in the dark and my feet were crunching on what felt like soft glass fragments, I didn’t realise what it was until the morning. Snow has nearly all gone now, except for a ring of white hills against the sky line.  I spent the afternoon in my studio, playing around with gouache and crayons and pencil, and at last started to get some idea of how I might make the illustrations for a new picture book. I have been looking at other people’s pictures in some books about the techniques of illustration, and after what I thought was a pretty organised rough, realised the placing of the text was all wrong. Now the words and pictures are one entity. It has been such a luxury not to have to deal with deadlines, unpaid bills, lack of materials, chaos, frustration.  I have always enjoyed working, but “Work” gets in the way sometimes. Something seems to be emerging at last.

February 5, 2015 Posted by | Illustration, Photography, Uncategorized | , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Illustrations for an Exhibition

There is an exhibition of children’s illustrations taking place in Berwick upon Tweed, and I have been asked to put in some work.  I needed to take some photographs, so propped the illustrations up on the ironing board, and hooked back the lace curtain, and did my best. These have been reduced down to 4 centimetres, so as to be able to email them without too much trouble, and the images are just for quick reference.  I wouldn’t win a prize for photographing art, but maybe the ramshackle nature of these photographs, together with my faint image here and there where I am reflected on the glass, adds a certain slightly amateurish je-ne-sais-quoi to the whole enterprise. Over the pictures themselves I have taken a fair amount of trouble  The ones with rabbits in were for two picture books published by Orchard Books  At that time we only had one table, for eating and working. Spaghetti spills were a constant worry. The cat used to walk across the table, and over my paintings too at times. I remember a nice picture of roses with a path of dirty paw marks over the top. But the rabbit illustrations took a long time so I tried very hard to protect them.  There were 26 rabbits in the Fitzwarren family, plus Ma.  The 26 rabbit offspring were named, from Alice (an artist rabbit) to Zanzibar (a magician rabbit). The  continuity problems were immense. The cat, the lovely cat, had a passion for Marks and Spencer Chinese Chicken, it could smell it through the bag and its wrappers.  I remember my son talking about something, whilst eating Chinese chicken, and the cat sitting on the table and nicking a chunk of chicken off his fork. Hygenic days….

August 27, 2014 Posted by | Art, Illustration, Photography, Uncategorized | , , , , , | 4 Comments

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