11/21/2010

Happy days and reasons to be cheerful, part one.



It has been a very busy time here; lots of lovely projects and illustration commissions have kept me busy, so please forgive me if I have not visited your blog. I will endeavour to catch up soon.

I started work on the dream commission mentioned in my last blog post. I have checked with the publisher and have permission to tell you about it, although it is a work in progress and a million things could go wrong. “There is many a slip twixt cup and lip” but so far so good. The publisher will be Long Barn Books, which is owned by Susan Hill, It is a dream commission for lots of reasons, firstly because I have greatly admired Susan's work for many years now and am thrilled to bits to be working with her. Secondly, she tells me to take as much time as I need, how amazing is that? Time is something I will need plenty of because I am working on what seems like an enormous piece of paper and I want to cover the sheet with lots of details. As you may guess from the photo, I am illustrating “The Owl and the Pussycat” and the result will hopefully be available as a limited edition poster if all goes well. I am touching wood and crossing my fingers as I type this.



At the weekend I went along to my bookbinding group and took part in a workshop run by Mark Walmsley , we had a whole day of play - sheer bliss. The workshop was on Suminigashi sometimes called “cloud art” or “ghost art” and paste papers. We all made a great deal of mess and came home with an array of decorated papers for future projects.



I’ve also been looking for ideas for Christmas presents and once again I have raided this shop run by a very busy town mouse. Continuing on the handmade theme I have been covering little diaries with bits of decorated papers that I have accumulated over the years. Marbled paper, Tyvek recycled from Fed Ex envelopes, bits of mono print and a lovely new material called “stone leaf” sent to me to try by this company.

And, last but not least, we have finally got our children’s book application - "The Bird with the Rainbow Tail" which I have mentioned before here, into the iPad/iTunes store. You can see it here, if you are lucky enough to own an iPad, sadly I don’t have one but I know a man who does.

I hope your weeks are happy and busy too.

25 comments:

  1. valerie i so very badly want to pick up that magnifying glass and get in good and tight for a really close look-see of your work but i guess i'll have to be patient!!!! steven

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  2. A lovely, cheerful post.

    Glad things are going well.

    Lucy

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  3. Hi Valerie, the owl and the pussy cat sounds a really exciting project. I love Susan Hill. That 'mouse' link was lovely :)

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  4. Oh, one of my favourite stories ever! And to have a copy illustrated by you would be so wonderful! Congratulations and I hope all goes smoothly!

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  5. Can't wait to see the "beautiful pea green boat"! How thrilling. I always loved that story of the Owl and the Pussycat! Something was wrapped in a Five Pound Note as I recall. Was it plenty of honey or plenty of money wrapped up in that 5 pound note -- probably the money! Congratulations on such an exciting commission. Looking forward to seeing the finished "poster" part!

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  6. Wow, Valerie, how many fascinating projects you have underway.

    I agree with Steven, I wanted to have closer peek at your beautiful painting underway.

    How I admire your ability to keep all these creative endeavors going ... you've got them all air borne.

    xo

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  7. The owl and the pussycat look wonderful! I clicked on it to make it bigger, so, in a sense I DID pick up the magnifying glass. Can't wait to see the finished piece, I guess we'll all need to be patient for that...

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  8. I like that a "dream commission" in your eyes is much more than the project itself or the paycheque. You appreciate being allowed to take your time. Congratulations! You all seem so responsible, asking for your publishers permission before discussing this.

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  9. What a wonderful project, Valerie. Susan Hill is one of my favourite writers, I love her books. You must be thrilled to be working with her - I hope all goes well for you:)

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  10. I am so excited for you Valerie. I will be cheering you on from Canada. Your work is so inspiring.
    xo,
    Heather

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  11. I can't wait to see how your poster turns out. I wish I had an iPad, but I'm telling friends who have one to keep an eye out for this! I want to see the Bird With the Rainbow Tail in its entirety!

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  12. The Owl and the Pussy cat looks wonderful already - my favourite! Now I need to find someone with an I pad ......

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  13. Your painting is coming along really beautifully and I really envy you your bookbinding course and also your friends who will receive your handmade gifts xx

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  14. Glad that everything's going well Valerie and that you are busy and enthusiastic with so many interesting, creative activities. Sounds like fun, fun, fun. x

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  15. How lucky you are to be working with Susan Hill... The Magic Apple Tree as I think you know is one of my favourite books. I am too frightened to read The Small Hand though...

    Thank you for the link :-)

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  16. Your newest project looks so exciting, Valerie. The Owl and the Pussycat has always been one of my favorite little poems, and I can't wait to see more of your illustrations!

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  17. I loved that huge piece of paper and watching something in progress is thrilling. Filling it with the details of the story will take many, many hours I am sure, but that is your unique style and the world will appreciate the new book. cheers

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  18. Thank you so much for all your comments, I should point out that i am not actually illustrating the whole book, just one piece which will be printed as a poster.

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  19. Hello from Michigan. WOW congratulation on your new exciting project. I look forward to seeing it complete. It looks lovely already. Hugs Judy

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  20. I am truly excited for you and wish you well on your adventure. What a delightful experience it will be to see your talents as it progresses to the finished product.

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  21. This is so thrilling , Valerie!
    How exciting to have a project that you enjoy and enough time to do it really well!
    I hope you are not too too chilly in England today?

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  22. Oh Valerie, the illustration looks simply marvelous so far! I know I will want one. Have fun with it!

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  23. Oh how wonderful, on both counts!!

    The Owl and the Pussycat have long been one of my all-time favourites, since childhood in fact when I had a 'single' with someone singing it (and Run, Rabbit, Run on the B side!) with the most lovely illustration on the cover. Very 70's.

    Can't wait to see the finished result! It looks stunning already. C x

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  24. What lovely projects, especially
    the Owl and the Pussycat. Which verse are you illustrating I wonder?

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  25. Best of luck with the dream commission Valerie. Being faced with a huge piece of watercolour paper must be very scary but I am sure it will soon be covered with your exquisite artwork. The poem was always a great favourite of mine from childhood...and still is.

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