Sunday, 19 September 2021

William Grill

William Grill's Bandoola, the great elephant rescue is released in October, published by Flying Eye Books it is a delicate homage to the bond between elephants and man. It features illustrations of Myanmar’s forests and mountain ranges and is rich with facts about Asian elephants and how humans live and worked with them in the past and today.

"I came across the story of Elephant Bill and Bandoola while I was studying at university. At first I was struck by the grainy images of elephants hauling enormous logs in the jungle, but what later gripped me was the epic journey they undertook, and the incredible bond between them. Our relationship with the animal kingdom is constantly evolving, and this true story proves how a kind and patient approach brings out the best in humans and animals."    William Grill

Saturday, 18 September 2021

Joanna Concejo IV

Joanna Concejo has won the 2021 Youth Illustration Grand Prize. The Polish illustrator Joanna Concejo with  Sénégal, written by Artur Scriabin, translated from Spanish by Rafael Concejo, was published in 2020. Joanna's works have developed into sensitive pencil collage-style drawings that feel like a family album or diary, precious and tender. 

Friday, 17 September 2021

Zdzislaw Witwicki III

'Z Przygod krasnala halabaly' written by Lucyna Krzemieniecka illustrated by Zdzislaw Witwicki and published in 1985. Has such regard for nature and innate kindness, it is a wonderful book.  Zdzislaw Witwicki (1921-2019) seems such a wonderful gentle man it is lovely to see him reading some of his seventy books for children. 


Thursday, 16 September 2021

Adam Kilian II

As we travel deeper into autumn in the Northern hemisphere, it is time for a classic 'Misie nie chcą spać', written by Ludwik Górski and illustrated by Adam Kilian (1923-2016), published in 1973. Adam Kilian studied Architecture in Nottingham from1944-1948. but on returning to Poland became one of the lead creatives working in puppet theatres. 

"My mother and aunt salvaged the qualities of childhood from oblivion. They taught me what was most important in art: frankness, joy and making choices." Adam Kilian


 This wonderful book features many real pressed leaves and has unique illustrations with areas of colour overprinted with woodcuts. 

Wednesday, 15 September 2021

Tuesday, 14 September 2021

Andrea D'Aquino V

Andrea D'Aquino's new book; “She Heard the Birds” about the life of Florence Merriam Bailey, is released next month. and has also been accepted into this year’s Society of Illustrators Original Art Show. 

It looks, as ever, absolutely wonderful with bold print and paint collage combined with delicate line.

Monday, 13 September 2021

Mariano Rio

I am sorry to have been suddenly so unreliable in my daily posts, many commitments and problems are gobbling my time, but that has always been the case, so apologies I have taken my eye off the ball briefly.

I am using this illustration by Mariano Rio as much of my spare time is being spent trying to free the attic of clutter as my daughter has decided this is where she wants to live. It is a great space that has like many attics fallen to the clutter of cherished abandoned childhood toys and other loved, but surplus objects. 

This is one of Mariano's award-winning illustrations for the Acquisition award at BIG Guimarães.

Thursday, 9 September 2021

Book Launch Day


Today my book 'Rock and Roll', is officially released in the UK and I have just gone back through the blog that accompanied its transition from my originals to the final book. It is fascinating with the passage of time, a year and a half to publication after handing over the spreads, to look back at the threads of thought and reason behind different decisions. 

Looking to the present it is wonderful and really interesting how people are interpreting and using the book to teach mindfulness or geology and to introduce fossils.  

                          Ceridwen Eccles used Rock and Roll on the first day of term with her new pupils which was wonderful to see. 

For me, this book is about contentment in nature and oneself, but then narcissism and jealousy work their way in, creating selfishness and arguments until with sharing, happiness returns. That is a great deal for a seemingly simple picture book of less than 500 words, and this is something that is amazing about the picture book format, how many ideas and concepts can be worked into the text and image like magic. 

It is also about the actions of people, seemingly well-meaning, but ultimately thoughtless in what they leave behind in nature, and a homage to Chief Seattle's quote: 'Take only memories, leave only footprints", a mantra for me.

Ultimately the book is about beauty, the beauty of  the world from giant mountains down to tiny pebbles and treasure, like lichen and fossils and fairy dust that are everywhere even in our urban environments. 
So on book launch day. I am hunting giant (prehistoric) millipede tracks and fossilized tree trunks on the beaches of Fife before heading to the mountains. 
“Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves."
John Muir (21 April 1838 - 24 December 1914)

Monday, 6 September 2021



It was open studio weekend last weekend, so I'm sorry I was missing in action. 

Because my studio is in my home that means a massive domestic overhaul I have to say the prep has been exhausting but the doors were thrown open and it has been lovely to chat with visitors and exchange info, as you can see from this picture I have been busy painting seascapes and also diving gannets and puffins. 

Now it is the beginning of a big week for me as my first-ever children's book Rock and Roll is released in Britain on Thursday, I can't wait to get people's reactions to it.