‘It’s so hard to make things sometimes, you know?’
~ The ‘Hi, Stranger‘ Stranger.*
Pudgy Horse and I thank you for your support.
I’ve updated my biography page. Most of it is just by-the-by; but I would like to draw attention to the last paragraphs, which I hope should clarify a few important things for those not yet aware. The highlighted words are linked on the page itself.
There is considerable contextual information concerning them which I may or not not write about one day, but I felt this was simplest for now. 🙂
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!
Incidentally, Wedgwood blue is one of my favourite blues ever.
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.
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.
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.
I’ve been invited by Gerald Kelley to share my own #CreativeWeaponsOfChoice. I would have usually just taken a picture of my work desk, but it’s undergoing an upheaval at present and I’ve moved to work in the living room; so instead, I’ve gathered together my most frequently used materials for a picture. I’m sorry about the poor light, it’s been dismally grey here for days.
Chinese ink, Winsor & Newton and Holbein watercolours, W&N gouache, Daler Rowney FW acrylic inks, Doctor Ph. Martin’s watercolour inks, Noodler’s ink, Derwent pencils of various ranges (mostly Drawing and Coloursoft as well as tinted charcoals), sepia powder, and most recently for my current project, Turner’s acrylic gouache. I also use Kuretake Japanese watercolours and Marie’s Chinese watercolours, though there wasn’t room for them here! Many readers already know from the many progress pictures I’ve shared that I use mostly Chinese brushes (to draw with as well as paint) and a few ‘western’ sables. I use mostly Saunders Waterford and Arches watercolour papers. For drawing, I love using tinted papers, besides my Moleskine sketchbook.
My Easter weekend was spent visiting Blackgang Chine and Dinosaur Isle on the Isle of Wight with my friend, Marc (the magpie). It rained implacably on the Sunday, and though I had a wonderful time and the apparent dreariness in this illustration by no means encapsulates the experience, it does however make for a humorous picture and adds a dose of bathos which I think Marc would have appreciated.