I think I am ‘in between books’. East of the Sun seems to be really finished this time. ‘ThePanda’s Child’ is waiting impatiently in the wings tapping its panda foot and ‘Little Dragon Small and the Search for Story’ is buzzing in the distance. Meanwhile I work on this years Musicians Benevolent Fund Christmas card design. As I work the original from last year hangs on the wall behind me, waiting to go to its new home in Richmond.
I have other things to do also.
1. Dinefwr Literature festival on 1st July: two sessions: one for families in the morning and in the afternoon a masterclass for adults on writing and illustrating for children’s books. ( Do not be confused by the website’s description as ‘a picture book making workshop’ and bring scissors and glue. This will be an audience led question and answer session and I will bring dummy books and sketch books and drafts of manuscripts etc.
2. Cheltenham Music Festival: exhibition of some of the originals and prints from the series of works produced for the Musicians Benevolent Fund over the years. This will be held at the Parabola Arts centre in Cheltenham and begins on 5th July.
3. Art in Action: 4 days of working at a simulation of my studio in a tent in Oxfordshire. Given that at one time I couldn’t work if anyone was around it is good that I have learned to cope with the audience of about 30 000 or so visitors to Art in Action, although I seem to send too much of my time signing books and not enough painting. But it is a wonderful event and if you like art, in all shapes and sizes I would recommend a visit. But be prepared to be tempted by beauty. This is what was in the Best of the Best tent last year.
Art in Action is a bit like being on stage for four days so I will be looking forward to having a rest when I get back. So, perhaps after the
4. Book launch for I am Cat at Solva Woollen Mill on 8th August from 4.30 until 8.00ish. Always lovely events because the Mill is such a beautiful place and Anna and Tom brilliant hosts, if you know you want to come and also how many books you want would be great if you could email Anna and let her know so that she has an idea of how many books to order. You can also order signed copies online from the Mill’s online store. This event is closely followed by:
5. ‘earth sun, moon sea’: the first exhibition by The Sisterhood of Ruralists at Oriel y Parc runs from 9th August to the end of September. Preview is on 9th, so you can make a double date of it. I have seen some of the glasswork that Tamsin is bringing and it is just beautiful. Hoping for sunshine. Through the exhibition at odd times there will be readings and the odd talk, maybe a walk so keep in touch with Oriel Y Parc for details. ( Also there will be the most amazing show of work by John Piper in the main gallery of theMuseums and Galleries of Wales area. Just stunning. )
In between all of these things I need to paint a book cover or two and another card, draw, read, write, visit pandas in Scotland and pick up a dragon and some paintings from a bookshop in Stockport. And sleep. Mustn’t forget to sleep. And walk, and dream and watch the clouds go by, and keep walking past the open windows.