How to make a happy new year.

A conversation with a friend made me realise something. He asked how things were going and I said I was frustrated because life was getting in the way of painting. He said, “You are lucky. Some people work to live. You live to work.” Well, yes.

So, with Christmas and New Year and other expectations out of the way I have found time to get back to work.

Last year I painted, but also, for the first time ever worked on a book without first securing a publisher for it.  One Cheetah, One Cherry; a book of beautiful numbers. Now, with the book almost finished I have secured a publisher for it and am pleased to say it will be my first new book with Otter-Barry Books. Hopefully the book will be published in autumn 2016. And in the meantime I have been having fun with the front endpapers. Hidden in the gold are seven keys ( I think. There might be eight. I was tired, lost count.)


oncherry1 onecheetah1

The book is a simple 1-10 counting book. Lots of colour, pattern.

pandapainting thankyouSo, back to work. Thinking. Writing. Changes.

Nicola Davies and I are running a writing course in October at Ty Newydd, Rooted in Nature. Places are limited. There is a 10% discount if you book in January. It is booking up fast. It will be hard work for everyone, but we hope it will be good. I certainly hope to learn  a lot, although I am supposed to be teaching, but that seems to be how it works.

I have 4 or 5 books coming out next year. More on that later.

For now, I need to go and write. For now I need to go and paint. And yes, I live to work, and my work is so very tangled in my life.

About Jackie

I am an artist and writer. I live in a small house by the sea in Wales where I write, paint, walk and watch and dream of bears and whales. I love to read, have a wish for wings and prefer the company of animals to that of humans, though at times I can be quite friendly. I am learning how to work with wood engraving tools and hoping to show that you can teach an old dog new tricks.
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9 Responses to How to make a happy new year.

  1. Chris Gillies Ms. says:

    Absolutely beautiful Jackie!!

    I don’t know if I could come, or afford it right now . . but how much is your course in Oct please, and if there’s any extras attached, if you have the details worked out so soon that is? (I don’t have a car either, so if own transport is essential . . may be off the cards?)

    Many thanks,
    Chris (Gillies) x

    • Jackie says:

      You need to click on the link on the blog post for all the details. I am only teaching it. Ty Newydd is run by literature Wales. Not sure of dates or cost I am afraid. I don’t even know where it is, but assume you can reach through public transport.

  2. jessie falkenhagen says:

    So happy to hear ‘One Cheetah, One Cherry’ is being published- I will be eagerly awaiting it’s arrival!! Also VERY excited to hear more about the 4-5 other books you have coming out!!Congratulations!!❤

  3. Caroline Bray says:

    The book will be very beautiful and I’ve enjoyed watching it build up, exquisite picture after exquisite picture. Might you be willing to sell some of the originals?

    • Jackie says:

      Always. It’s how I make a living. So hard to make ones living in books these days. Selling the originals helps to subsidise the pittance authors get for each copy. Sometimes as low as a penny a book because of discounts.
      The average author earns less than £11 000 a year from revenue from books. I am lucky to have an audience for my paintings. So, yes. Definitely. But not until autumn and not sure of prices just yet.

      • Caroline Bray says:

        Thank you. I might tentatively put my name against one if that would be OK. The publishing industry is similar to the music industry in that the creator of work seems to get less than just about everyone else in the process of getting it to the public. The idea that artists do it for pure love seems so ingrained in the public psyche and the need to make a living forgotten.

  4. helen says:

    Dear Jackie

    I bought a copy of Wild Swans for my daughter’s Christmas present from Solva Mill (you very kindly signed it) and I wanted to let you know that we’ve read it now and it’s wonderful. My daughter is still quite little (five) and didn’t understand everything but she was spellbound. She likes to sit and ‘read’ it to herself (she can’t read, she just looks at the pictures and turns the pages and tells stories to herself that have some relation to the book). Thank you so very much for bringing her and me so much pleasure.

    A very happy new year to you (and your new book looks exquisite!).

    Best wishes, Helen

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