Hello, bienvenue and thank you for looking at my site. This is my first attempt at a blog, and thanks to the lovely Emily Canino, who designed this site and has patiently explained all of this techky malarkey to me, I’m going to try and post a wee something today. It’s March and the apple tree outside my window is festooned with chaffinches, sparrows and nuthatches – all busily disembowelling the fat balls hanging there . Sally, one of my rescue cats is sitting on the end of my drawing table quietly seething at the sight of them. She’s in disgrace at the moment because half an hour ago, whilst I was downstairs making a coffee, she decided to press her bottom all over my Intuos tablet and inadvertently removed some layers from a piece of art I’ve been working on for two days. It’s ok. I found them after a bit of detective work, and am philosophically regarding her input as a learning opportunity.I suppose because I now work digitally, things like that can be retrieved, whereas it’s impossible to save a wet water-colour painting that a cat has walked over – believe me, I’ve tried!!
I’m an author and illustrator of children’s books. I used to live in West London, but now I live in rural France. It’s a bit different to say the least. More about that another day. Some things about life here are great, others are somewhat perplexing and challenging.
I’ve been meaning to blog for ages, but somehow, one way or another, things have happened and there hasn’t been time to sit and collect one’s thoughts. I’ve been frantically finishing off artwork for a book. Last month, the weather was so cold, the water supply froze and we had to trek across the field and break the ice in the stream to bring buckets of water for the animals – all of them froze solid within five minutes and split the buckets apart as if they were paper. The winter days have meant an endless round of feeding hungry donkeys and goats, tucking up chickens at night, filling hay nets and fetching yet more buckets of water so we can flush a toilet. It’s a bit of a contrast to life in London! And then, when everybody is fed and watered, my day as an illustrator and author begins…
Recently, something came through the post that made me want to start my blog. Advance copies of my first ever picture book made using digitally produced artwork – Edgar and the Sausage Inspector, published by the extraordinary Nosy Crow, arrived in my postbox. Such a small object, a joyful thing, which represents a long and steep learning curve for me. I am utterly delighted, relieved, stoked and incredibly proud!