The last year has been a whirl of a year. Far too much away from home, not enough time spent painting, but when I did it was with a sharper focus, I think, and a stronger desire to learn and grow.
Sometimes it’s hard to find the words that are needed. This blog post is just to say thank you. Thank you to all of those who found The Lost Words, took it to their heart and helped it to grow, from bookshops to readers, to all of those who took it upon themselves to fund raise to place the book in schools, hospitals, care-homes, hospices, thank you. To all those who donated to make the crowdfunders into such a success, thank you, and to our publishers for being open to such an astonishing movement of people, thank you. And look at these crowdfunders. Aren’t they amazing! And there were others, where The Wildlife Trust in Suffolk, Norfolk, Herefordshire, and more partnered with people to raise the funds. And The John Muir Trust gave us a platform for the Explorer’s notes and under the guiding hand of Rob Bushby we reached out to so many teachers, explorers. And thank you again to Hamish Hamilton for supporting and extending this to the Challenge Cards, which, like the Explorer’s Notes was crafted by Eva John with help from Robert and myself.
And thank you to all the teachers who have taken The Lost Words into the hearts of their schools. The work both Robert and I have seen inspired by the book is amazing, and the enthusiasm the children have shown is incredible. At one school Father Christmas reported to me that all the children were full of talk of kingfishers, acorns, wrens and nexts and when asked what they wanted for Christmas it was their own copy of the book. How utterly amazing and beautiful.
Thank you to Compton Verney who continue to tour The Lost Words Exhibition, and to the 52 000 plus visitors to the show so far. It’s been such a pleasure working with all the people at Compton Verney, and The Foundling Museum and The Botanic Gardens in Edinburgh were just amazing. It’s such a privilege to have my work shown in such amazing places. ( The next venue is Nyman’s Gardens in West Sussex and I will be there for 2 days talking to people about the paintings and signing books.)
Thank you to Hay Festival for making The Lost Words their Book of the Year last year. If you don’t know the Hay Player then follow the links, for those who couldn’t make it Hay sometimes record, sometimes film…Both Winter Fest with Robert and Summer Fest with Kerry Andrew and Nicola Davies were amazing!
I think the best way we can say thank you is to begin work on something new. Over the last few months Robert and I have been talking, with each other, with our publisher. It’s time now to settle to work, to make a new book. That will be our best way to say thank you, to try to craft something, together. Another creature that we hope will find a way to hearts in the way that The Lost Words has. Not a book for children. Just a book for people, of all ages. As we settle into it, let it embed itself into our hearts, we will be able to say more.
But for now, just thank you. And I hope your Christmas is a peaceful one, and as good as it can be.