Words and Pictures

The Lost Words, by Robert Macfarlane and myself is done now. Soon it will be released into the wild. As a picture book it is a collaboration of words, images. Both Robert and myself worked closely with each other and with the tremendous support of the wonderful team at Hamish Hamilton to bring this book to life.

At Compton Verney between October and Christmas there will be a huge exhibition of artwork from the book, an exhibition that gives equal weight to the words, and an exhibition that is also being beautifully crafted, by Antonia, the curator, by John Mitchel, my framer.

And here’s a thing. We have also created two other pieces of work together. The first was a curious project for an exhibition to highlight the mass movement of people, organised by IBBY. You can now see much of the glorious art from this project on a wonderful map site, if you follow this link.

Mine and Rob’s work is no 103

More can be found about this piece on an earlier blog post.

And then there is this:

We were asked by the publisher to produce a piece of work for Waterstones. I suggested that as the goldfinch became the guide in The Lost Words perhaps I should paint them a finch and Robert could write one? And yes, this happened. I sent the painting , with the word Goldfinch written in gold leaf. Then Rob had to write on it. Fair to say he was a bit reluctant, took a bit of persuading. I think perhaps it’s not easy to write on someone’s painting. But it had to be Rob’s words, written in his hand. And how magic it turned out to be.

When we began this project we talked of grimoires and spell books. Having completed the book a few months before, I think in this single piece of art we found the way to work this curious wild magic. Sometimes that is how things happen.

Perhaps this is the start of something new. I love the curling curved of the drawn letters, for that is what handwriting is. Words drawn. I love this charm, this spell. Of all the work I’ve ever done in my life I think this single piece is the piece of work I can, hand on heart say, I am proud of. It is, just, right.


And if you want to know more about it, here. It’s a gift.

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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5 Responses to Words and Pictures

  1. Your voice reading these words, and the image to study, made this morning, THIS morning, a blessed day. Thank you. I can hardly wait to hold The Lost Words in my hands.

  2. Adam says:

    The combination of the poem and the artwork is gorgeous. Also, good to hear you reading it. I’d like to draw attention to your work on my blog. Is there an image that you are happy for me to use? If not, I’ll just pick something from generic stock. Thanks.

  3. Compostwoman says:

    That is so beautiful Jackie. Really lovely.

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