Grace’s Book Launch

It’s been a while since I last wrote a blog post here. I’ve been so busy setting up my business in surface pattern design. There have been some delightful goings on in the children’s picture book area though. This weekend is the first book launch for Grace’s Mystery Seed. I was fortunate enough to meet the author the other day and she is a bundle of enthusiasm, so the lunch should be a lot of fun. This Sunday 24th March 2019 – 2pm, Ford Street Publishing, 162 Hoddle Street, Abbotsford, Melbourne

New book on the way

This week I’ve been working on Naomi Hunter‘s new book. If you know her first picture book you’ll know that she doesn’t shy away from tackling the big issues. This one is about parenting and depression. Which sounds very sad, but it’s a book full of hope. It’s beautifully written and I really hope the pictures do it justice.

Depression and mental health are uncomfortable issues to discuss in relation to parenting. My oldest is nearly 15, so I’ve been to many playgroup sessions week after week and school mothers nights out. Predictably there’s always a lot of talk about mile-stones and achievements. The one thing you can count on not hearing is ‘Do you know what? I’m not having such a great time of things’. Parents can’t talk about not coping. It would be like admitting failure. And when you live in a gorgeous suburb by the sea, with a nice house, good jobs and healthy children….well failing to be anything but joyful and grateful is frankly not on!

Picture books often tackle the big issues. Here are some of my favourites:

Refugees and migration:

The Arrival by Shaun Tan

Memory loss and Altzeimers disease:

Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge by Mem Fox and Julie Vivas

War:

The Treasure Box by Margaret Wild and Freya Blackwood

Grief and Loss:

Badgers Parting Gifts by Susan Varley

Anxiety in children:

Go Away Worry Thoughts by Nicky Johnson

Playtime!

I’ve had a day day of messing around and experimenting. I listened to a gorgeous podcast interview between Wil Anderson and Bryony Kimmings yesterday (Wilsophy). She said something fabulous about being an artist, something along the lines of not understanding why artists are so self important and claim that making art so so hard…..it’s not hard, it’s just playing and experimenting. Loved it.

So today I played and experimented, and it was totally appropriate because I had this to do for the Illustrators Australia 9×5 Exhibition titled ‘Playtime’

This was watered down acrylic and graphite on wood sealed with gloss varnish.
20151007_142411

More cake creativity

Loved making this cake last week. It was for a birthday….yes, chameleons again. It isn’t over, we still have the party to come! I really enjoyed practicing painting on fondant again.

The chocolate cupcakes were made for the class at school. They are completely gluten free, dairy free, nut free, colour and preservative free. Not egg free, but I am assured that that is also possible. They’re really delicious. It’s great to be able to cater for everyone.

20150909_170514

20150914_221423

Myths and Magic

It’s my middle child’s birthday this week and she’s mad for chameleons at the moment so I was inspired to combine the ‘52 week illustration challenge‘ with something to do with chameleons. According to African Mythology a chameleon discovered the first tiny humans in a basket by a river. I thought he probably found them pretty funny looking.

20150908_115019

And here is a little bit of magic

20150908_115034

Did I mention I’m enjoying doing these pop-ups?

Still keeping on track with these pop-ups for the 52 Week Illustration Challenge. So far I haven’t managed to scalpel into any of my fingers. Anyone who knows me well will know that that’s pretty good going!

This one is ‘Portrait’ I used to do a lot of portraiture and sold quite a few of pastel paintings of my eldest daughter. She gets fairly bored with sitting for me.

20150804_122200

20150804_122224

20150804_122235

 

Here’s the first painting I ever did of her. Wow, that was a long time ago!where-does-she-go-01

Thumb Blister!

The 52 Week Illustration Challenge continues! I’m enjoying it so much and my books of pop-ups are growing every week. This is Week 29 ‘Love’   Week 3 ‘Retro’ The inspiration for this was 50s dress pattern covers. i’m not sure it’s very successful because it was hurried a bit. …