Otters, stones, books.

Home, from London, tired. It is a long way. With the sun shining I decided to walk on the beach and paint inky otters.

The crowd funding is almost done. Five Days left. And I want to play with ink.

Today I painted, conjured, two otters, using Japanese ink. So dark. A beautiful texture on the paper. Fluid. The yearning for ink came at the Foundling. I drew a pair of otters with pencil, while speaking the otter spell. But liquid is my first language, water-colour, and others are muscle and blood and bone but they are fluid. So today I played.

Both were to be offered for sale at £1 000, for a short time only. The offer closes on 9th Feb at 6.30, and payment needs to be made, on exchange of emails, direct to the crowdfunder.

But the first, the running otter, sold before I could even blog the idea, and payment has already been made.

The second, ‘Ever dreamed of being otter’, holds in its paw a labyrinth stone which I will gild tomorrow. It will be sold to the first person who leaves a comment on the blog post with an offer of £1 000. I will post a picture of the piece finished tomorrow. Waiting for the ink to dry. There will also be a line for the otter to stand on. A fine line of gold.


Stones have been painted too, so I have more gold fragile things to post and stones to leave as wild gifts.

In between times I walked on the beach with Ann, to whom The Lost Words is dedicated. I joked that given the success of the book I should dedicate all my books to her. Ann taught me the names of things, and the name I love most of all that she taught me is the silver-y moth. And we left a stone.

I gave her a stone and she placed it beside the pond in her garden, sent me a picture later.

Meanwhile, outside my studio there is a pile of curious creatures.

Still reeling from the brilliance that is Kerry Andrew, who brought a room to tears with her setting to music of Mr Macfarlane’s bluebell spell. She enchanted the whole room. More on that later.

So, if you feel that the otter with the stone wishes to live with you then leave me a comment and I will be in touch to let you know the next step.


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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11 Responses to Otters, stones, books.

  1. Margaret Gorman says:


    It would be a wonderful end to this magical weekend if I am the first person to comment. I would be happy to give him a home.


    • Jackie says:

      All yours lady!
      And yes. Perfect.
      Gilding the stone tomorrow, writing a piece from the otter spell.
      Can you send me the name of the otter poem you read at Foundling.
      I will post in a week. Need to be sure is dry and am away until next week.
      Thank you. This will bring the books to so many many children who might not find it any other way and bring a gift of greening the classroom.

      • Margaret Gorman says:

        The Small Giant
        Kenneth C Steven

        The otter is ninety percent water
        Ten percent God.

        This is a mastery
        We have not fathomed in a million years.

        I saw one once, off the teeth of western Scotland,
        Playing games with the Atlantic –

        Three feet of gymnastics
        Taking on an ocean.

        I shall have to work hard on my lemurs now!

  2. Angela Sykes says:

    I was at the Foundling Museum event. My friend Linda and I travelled up from Devon specially. We had no idea what a memorable night it was going to be; Kerry’s contributions were wondrous moments.
    In the signing queue afterwards as usual I couldn’t find the proper words. What I meant to say was that in my mind, words, images and music had come together in a perfect combination of beauty. And that beauty had a powerful message.
    Thank you Jackie.

  3. Bernie Bell says:

    Jackie – you’re a honey.
    And that’s a very determined otter!

  4. Bernie Bell says:

    Nothing to do with otters –
    I know you like the Moomins – have you read Tove Jansson’s ‘The Summer Book’? – wilding the child!

  5. laurie says:

    the otters are beautiful! Of course the stones are as well, I have said before how i love them, we spent my hours watching the otters at our home and were fortunate to have swam with them, such curious creatures they were and came to swim with us in the evening, in contrast in winter they tried to lure our small dog to open water on the ice, clever creatures they are but very fierce.

  6. Dorothy Hallam says:

    Wish I’d seen this post before. I would have been very tempted. Never mind. Will enjoy planning how to use The Lost Words with my Y1 class for Book Week. Listening to Kerry for added inspiration. Once again thanks for a magical evening at the Foundling Museum.

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