Puttapipat’s Christmas Classics

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Jill Bennett of Red Reading Hub has written a really lovely review of The Nutcracker (plus a few words about the mini edition of Jingle Bells). Thank you so much!

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The Nutcracker
illustrated by Niroot Puttapipat
Walker Books
I’ve received not one, but two gorgeous versions of this ‘cracking’ story in the past few weeks, which only goes to show how much a part and parcel of family seasonal celebrations it is becoming.
This one by Niroot Puttapipat uses stunningly beautiful silhouettes set against gloriously coloured background scenes so that every turn of the page is sheer visual delight. I’d like to show you every single spread but you will have to get your own copy to see them all; here’s just a taster of first an interior: it’s Clara who, just before midnight, has crept downstairs to check whether her damaged princely wooden ‘nutcracker’ has been fixed, and over-sized mice cascading down behind her …

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The second shows her and the prince seated upon a flying swan travelling ‘over gold-flecked oceans and silver-edged cities.’

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Doesn’t that…

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‘Se equivocó la paloma’

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Ink on Strathmore Bristol, vellum surface, 79mm diameter

‘Se equivocó la paloma,
se equivocaba…’

 This was inspired by a song by Carlos Guastavino, which in turn is a setting of the poem, The Dove, by Rafael Alberti, to music. I particularly like this choral performance of it. The drawing isn’t meant to illustrate the poem/song as such, but was more a reflection of my own thoughts which took the opening lines and refrain as inspiration.

Pudgy Unicorn

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Pudgy Horse assumes unicorn guise and contemplates the tragicomedy of the Human World. Blue pencil on hot pressed watercolour paper, 150 x 150mm.

One of a few recent drawings I didn’t quite get a chance to post. I’ll try to intersperse them along with work from The Nutcracker in the coming weeks. This drawing has now found a new home with the brilliant and much-beloved illustrator, Cory Godbey, who shared a picture of it on his Instagram.

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You’l notice that my signature appears in the bottom left corner of the original but not in the scan. That was simply because I’d forgotten to sign it prior to scanning, then promptly forgot to re-scan the piece again before posting it off to Cory.

Pudgy Unicorn is available as a print from my Redbubble store.

Blue jasperware bauble

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Last winter, whilst working on The Nutcracker, I shared this little detail on a few social media platforms and said how much I’d love such a blue jasperware bauble as the one I was painting.

Today, I discovered that of course Wedgwood actually do produce such things. It seems perfectly obvious now, but for whatever reason, it didn’t occur to me then. Doh!

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At £25 per bauble, I’m not yet in any position to afford one. But perhaps someday.

Incidentally, Wedgwood blue is one of my favourite blues ever.

A little flurry of updates

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For aught that the five persons reading this blog might be interested. ;)

I moved house back in May, which in large part explains the lack of recent updates. I have more space in which to work, to breathe, to move around, to reach for and find things. No more leaking roofs and subjecting my books, materials and things to water damage. No draughts, cold and mould. I won’t list them all, but the new home is, in short, so much better in scores of ways.

I had a small spot in the October 2015 issue of ImagineFX magazine in a feature about artists who work monochromatically.

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I must admit that I’m a little disappointed with the reproduction of the images. Because I work intricately at a small scale and the subjects within the images themselves are small, having them greatly reduced means that one can’t see very much at all. Oh, well.

The Nutcracker, published by Walker Books, is now out! I was signing some 200-odd copies at the offices of Walker Books back in September. As I understand it, these copies are going to a number of independent booksellers in London. I will be sharing a few things from this book from now up to Christmas.

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Also available now is a mini version of Jingle Bells, first published last year. A follow-up to the happy reception of the mini edition of Night Before Christmas.

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Finally, for now: I’ve recently finished work on a small collection of four Grimm tales retold by Joanna Davidson, to be published by Oxford University Press. Strangely, I got to draw rather many curtains for this book. They were necessary elements at key moments in at least two of the tales, and for the rest, they simply had to be there by virtue of such things as bed and room furnishings. For me, they also make good compositional devices in interior scenes, much as trees do for outdoor ones. I didn’t get to draw many trees (disappointingly); but many curtains.

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Butterfly cut

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Yesterday was my grandmother’s birthday. She was born in 1914 — the year of the start of the first World War, and would have been 101 were she still with us. Today is Leonardo da Vinci’s birthday. It is also the last day of the traditional Thai New Year celebrations (Songkran).

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None of these things have anything to do with the butterfly papercut, but there we are. Though let us regard the piece as a New Year greeting, shall we? ;) Happy New Year!

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Quatrain LXX

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lllustration to Quatrain 70 for the 150th anniversary edition of Edward FitzGerald’s translation of Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám, published by The Folio Society, in a limited edition of 1,000 copies, 2011. Watercolour and gouache on Arches cold pressed watercolour paper, 280 x 200mm.

Quatrain LXX

Indeed, indeed, Repentance oft before
I swore – but was I sober when I swore?
And then and then came Spring, and Rose-in-hand
My thread-bare Penitence apieces tore.

Happy Vernal Equinox! I’m off to Paris tomorrow for three days with a few friends to welcome the spring!

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