Doodling on prints for various people. Thinking about gallery. Facebook no longer works well for me as an online gallery, so watch this space for something more ‘user friendly’. New book by Robin Hobb working very well as a paper weight.
I first met Shadow of the Wolf over supper in London. The day had been long, school talks, and exhibition opening. At the exhibition I had been interviewed by Matt Imrie. During the course of conversation I asked what he was reading and he pulled from his bag Shadow of the Wolf. Even then I wanted to steal it. Put it in my bag and run from the restaurant. “Forget everything you’ve ever heard about Robin Hood”……. Yes, and run from the restaurant into the London streets….
A week later at Art in Action Richard Collingridge starts to set up his stand and unpacks a box of books for which he has done cover art. There on the table, Shadow of the Wolf. Again I get the chance to pick it up, hold it, turn the pages, but… it’s the only one he has and we arrange to do a swap at the end of the show. I give him East of the Sun, West of the Moon and it feels like a poor exchange and then I wait.
Richard reminds me of me when I was younger. He works long and hard crafting images and his covers are many that have shone out from the bookshelves over my time wandering through indie bookshops. Beautiful, strong covers. And his book, When it Snows, is just beautiful too. Elegant, simple, spare prose and beautiful illustrations. He has that hunger to make marks on paper, but far more skill than I ever had.
So, now. The past few days I have been reading. Half way through the book I found myself trapped this morning in its pages. Magic. If you love Alan Garner, Mythico Wood, wild gods and wild places then read Shadow of the Wolf. Reading this book takes me back to that place in my teens where a book carried me away from all the worries of the world and the chaos in my head to another place. If you love Robin Hobb, then this has a similar taste and feel of entrapment in text. Breathless. Hunting. Wild. Magic.
Borrow it from the library, order from your local indie bookshop.
Something About a Bear is my next book, due to be published in late September. It is where Mary was born, so I decided to read it to Mary, in my studio, while I was waiting for paint to dry. So, get a cup of tea, pull up a chair, quietly now, and listen……
We walked to the sea through fields hot and scented with clover. And the sea lazy lapped the shore. Cool water, no swell, clear. I walked out from the land. The cliffs splintered the sea’s surface with golden glows, reflected. And beneath the ceiling of the sea a tiger was hunting.
If, while out walking, you find a feather on your path and feel inclined to do so, would you please send it to me. I need to make some wings for someone so that he might fly.Please send all feathers to me C/O Solva Woollen Mill, Middlemill, Solva, Nr Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire, SA62 6XD. By return of post I will send a card with the shortest of short stories written on it, each one original.
I was asked last year to work on designing twelve library cards for four London library authorities. Despite being far too busy I said yes. Who wouldn’t. Twelve credit card sized images. Twelve small keys that unlock a whole world of books. Twelve cards that encourage people to join the library.
So far three of the images have been made into cards and I have just completed the artwork for the next three.
The brief: whatever you want please, as beautiful as you can.
The cards are for Harrow, Ealing, Croydon and Hounslow.
Waking to early morning slant of light. Sea-salt calling. Coffee, reading, then slip away to the edge of the land. A sea so blue. I walk in and cool water welcomes my fractured mind. Light splinters in the dancing ripples. Further out a raft of gulls, a yacht, anchored, islands. Behind me, the land, lifting waves catching sunlight in their restless turning. Gentle. Salt sea, weightless, cool arms wrapped around. Soul full.
I made this, for Robin Hobb, with the help of Natasha Bardon, Emma Coode, Jane Johnson and Dominic Forbes. Harper Collins dress fantasy Fiction in beautiful clothing making brilliant reads beautifully covetous.