keep right on till the end of the road....

Working on this children’s book project (The Bird with the Rainbow Tail) has been a little bit like climbing a steep hill, I started off nice and lickety split but the nearer I get to the end the harder I have to climb and the slower the progress. Do you ever feel like that? I have to be very strict with myself as it is so easy to give into diversions.

This is page twelve out of fourteen, which started life as a black and white pen and ink drawing. The colour and pattern details have been added digitally with the aid of my newest toy, the Wacom tablet. I have been having fun using some of my fabric patterns where appropriate.

James has been working hard on the music, which is nearly complete. Tony has finished the narration in English and the story has also been translated into German and recorded in Germany and although I don’t speak a word of German I can make out some of the words. I say "English" but in actual fact the text has been changed to have an American spelling as our publisher requested. We now have gray instead of grey and color instead of colour. A case of you say "tomado" and I say "tomato" but let's not call the whole thing off.

It has been a joy to work together on this project and I can’t wait to see and hear the finished thing on an iPod or even better an iPad if only I possessed such a thing! (hint hint)


  1. HI Valerie - this looks wonderful! I clicked to enlarge the one of your computer screen... and love the use of your pattern - the flowers - also the bark of the tree is great and the bird's tail - I got that sense of iridescence. Lovely.

    I have yet to test out one of those ipad things... people seem to really love them. I'm so happy to have my MacBook Pro after years of ancient imac that I can't say I'm tempted yet.

    Good luck finishing... and being self-disciplined.

  2. hi valerie, you surely deserve an entire line of apple products don't you?! i gave amy brother a wacom tablet to help with his furniture design and never considered how it could be used in graphic detailing like this - ultra cool you are valerie!!! steven

  3. Looks great - and how I'd love a go with your Wacom gismo!

  4. Oh, it looks so beautiful!!
    Can't wait to see it all!

  5. How gorgeous and how clever to use your fabric! Will this project be made available as a DVD I wonder? I am a Mac person and have an iPhone, so can't wait to do a download on that when it's ready to fly!

  6. Valerie, yes I can relate. I do the same thing sometimes. Can't wait to get into a project that flows like melted butter in the beginning, but as my inspiration wanes, it gets difficult and I have to push myself.

    I'd say you are doing a bang-up job! It looks beautiful!


  7. Your new toy is amazing! Your piece is just so rich and lucent.

  8. Valits looking wonderful, i guess it was alot of pages to do! get distracted when im having to really commit sometimes & have to be really strict or i find myself wandering off doing "jobs"!

  9. What a beautiful and creative project! I love the way you have blended the fabric pattern, and how well it blends indeed.

    American versus British/Commonwealth spellings, we have that situation too. My computer prompts me to correct "colour" to "color", "honour" to "honor" and more. I think our way is better! (Heavens, will it become "or" way?)

  10. Looks good. Its not the medium that matters but the quality of the art - and this is rather wonderful.

  11. Oooo Wacom envy - that's a big new one! Mine's smaller and I use it to the side. It's years since I've used a mouse with my computer.
    Good luck with the uphill stretch - it's always steepest just before the summit and have fun with those layers...

    Best wishes

  12. The Bird with the Rainbow Tail looks wonderful - it must make all the hard work seem worthwhile when you see 'coming soon' on the website - the end of the road will soon appear:)

  13. What a wonderful project and coming along splendidly from what I can see!

  14. I have to say it, Valerie, I would give my eye-teeth to be able to draw like that!

  15. This project is progressing so wonderfully well.
    Can't wait to see the finished product.
    I must say all these modern gizmos have enriched our lives enormously.
    Your bird is a marvel.
    I, too, long for an ipad. There is an Apple store within walking distance (dog friendly too!) so I go and play with them....handcarried one to England earlier this year for a friend.
    I am still at sea after thirty years getting confused about spelling. I was an English teacher both in the UK and here but rather bad at spelling myself. Then seeing things misspelled imprints bad habits too.
    Greetings from horribly too hot NY.

  16. The harder the climb the sweeter the triumph. ;) I know your new cool tools will bring your talent to new heights. =)

  17. This looks really interesting, all the modern technology! I can relate to the feelings of going uphill, I felt like that at times with my quilt, but finished it now.
    So back to some drawing.
    Good luck with this project.

  18. hi valerie..this looks amazing..how do you do it????

    what a wonderful project to be working on..i just love it..as i love all of your work....

    sending love,
    kary and teddy

  19. Artistry meets technology in a wonderful way.

  20. Isn't the Wacom great? I absolutely love mine. I use it most when I'm working with photos in Photoshop. A great tool.

    Oh, and I'd like to have an iPad too! :-)

  21. The book looks just beautiful. What a fascinating project!

    Unfortunately, I still don't have my iPad either. I'm trying to decide if I want to buy the first generation of the thing, or wait for one with a few more bells and whistles (like an integrated camera). We shall see!

  22. How wonderful Valerie. What a great achievement. You must be very pleased with it. I was donated a small Wacom tablet and they are harder to use than you think. Mine has a mind of its own.

    ipads and ipods confuse me though!!!

  23. Love, love, LOVE your artwork~ Such a wonderful bird! Hooray for all the different tools you are a master at!
    Thank you for sharing such a great peek~

  24. Love the use of fabrics with your illustration...superb!
    I can also relate to the 'long project syndrome' ... it's the reason I am currently working on completing all my UFO's.
    Love the new technology, but unfortunately it's moving a lot faster than I am these days. LOL!!
    Warmest Hugs,
    Sandi @ Bearly Sane

  25. wow I've always wanted a go on the Wacom. Your results are lovely.

  26. Your blog is beautiful, it's great to see how your create your lovely art! Thanks so much for sharing.