"Beautiful dreamer, beam on my heart, E'en as the morn on the streamlet and sea; Then will all clouds of sorrow depart, Beautiful dreamer, awake unto me! Beautiful dreamer, awake unto me!" by Stephen Foster. This little sleeping dormouse illustration was painted as an illustration for my book "A Book of Days". When the days shorten and the temperature drops I sometimes wish I could hibernate, possibly waking up for a brief spell over Christmas. At the moment I feel as if I am wading through mud and achieving nothing. If you follow Rima Staines at The Hermitage you may have heard about her quest to raise money for a storytelling project and if you are avery quick you might be interested in this auction here at Hedgespoken.
Don't be like the dormouse and sleep all the way through. x
We have been to several remembrance
services in our home town and visited the installation at The Tower of London-
“Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red” marking the centenary of the outbreak of
the First World War. This amazing and poignant work of art was created by
ceramic artist Paul Cummings, with stage settings by stage designer Tom Piper.
The installation was far from complete at the time of our visit and yet the
effect was breathtaking. By the time of completion 888,246 poppies will have
filled the entire moat, each poppy a life lost including one for my great uncle
On this day, a hundred years ago, my
grandfather Thomas and his brother John were already enlisted as regular
soldiers. As a mother of two boys I can only imagine my great grandmother’s
feelings on hearing of the outbreak of WW1. John was killed at the very
beginning, Thomas, a Royal Engineer, survived the entire conflict from start to finish.
Many of those who returned home safely went on to develop what is now understood to be post traumatic stress disorder, a condition little understood in those days. One of the charities to benefit from the Tower of London poppy appeal is Combat Stress who help today's veterans affected by stress. Coping with life after conflict can be
extremely challenging, not only for the ex-service men and women but for their
families too. Victims often suffer horrendous flashbacks, depression and
character changes; fortunately charities like Combat Stress can offer help and
support but need our help. You can find out more here-
Double page spread from "Can it be true?" by Susan Hill
Illustration by Valerie Greeley.
With so many references to WW1 and with
thoughts about my grandfather and his brother, I found that WW1 imagery crept
into my work. This illustration from “Can it be true?” could have had any
number of interpretations; I saw it as a nightmare from the trenches. For me the
two men represent the brothers Thomas and John. With so many disparate images
to include- whales, soldiers, shrews, ferrets, stoats and a General dreaming, I
choose to make the bed covers part of an undulating landscape with dreamlike
waves and harpoons turning into arrows and bayonets. It was certainly the most
challenging thing I have ever had to illustrate and kept me awake on more than
My name is Valerie Greeley. I am an artist, surface pattern/textile designer and illustrator. I have a special interest in the book arts including illustration, bookbinding, printmaking and artist books. I also have an interest in quilting, nature and bumblebees.