Part One: USA

Part Three: Iceland! (to come)

As usual, this is a best-bits version of the trip, where “best-bits” = anything that stayed still long enough to be sketched. You should be able to see a larger version of the pictures by clicking on them, which in most cases will take you through to their Flickr page.

I was on a round-the-world ticket so I guess that is why I had to sleep in Helsinki airport between NYC and Heathrow.

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Once landed, I picked up my hire car and drove directly to Dartmoor – unexpectedly passing Stonehenge in the evening sunlight. I spent the whole week in one town and it was of course wonderful, because it’s the sort of town where even the local scandals feel like the start of a Midsomer Murders episode, and it is full of many friends who are busy writing and painting and making things.

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I was there a few days earlier than originally planned, but Terri soon found me hanging over this gate, drawing sheep.

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I spent my first few nights at Greenbank B&B, a 10 minute walk out of town, and I highly recommend it. They had poultry and a bad-tempered parrot and dogs and a great big Aga stove and lent me Cold Comfort Farm.

Some notes on Cold Comfort Farm.

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I went back to visit several times after moving on.

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And this was the road along the back fence.

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When drawing English plants, Liberty prints suddenly make a lot more sense.

 

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Sheep-shearing at Greenbank.

Page 14 Detail - sheep

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And one night, on sunset, I walked up the top of Maldon Hill barefoot in the cold golden light, which was chilly but felt important, especially as I was thinking about Picnic at Hanging Rock for academic reasons at the time.
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Here is Terri’s beloved Tilly, being mystical in the woods.

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For Ruth’s birthday, we went to a ’70s space disco in a Devon field.


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After Greenbank, I moved in with the lovely Elizabeth-Jane, harpist and dealer in sugar-mice.

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Her house was full of music and books, and one evening we went down to the woods where Alex was living and owls hooted overhead.

Also, I finally visited Chagfarm!

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Page 18 Detail - Chagfarm

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At the farm I drew goats and pigs (for reference), and one evening I drove out over the moors and drew the Dartmoor sheep and ponies.

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Showing my sitters their portraits.

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You have to drive carefully over the moor – the sheep and ponies are unruffled by traffic.

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I did leave Chagford once to go to Moretonhampstead and see the Widdershins exhibition with Virginia (whose hand and art are shown here).

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One of the many things I love is that you can just go… walking out over the fields and the moor: up behind the studios with Terri and Tilly, over the common with Alan and Virginia after tea, wandering over to Todd’s for maps, traipsing out by moonlight with Elizabeth-Jane in search of standing stones which look deceptively like sheep.

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One last sketch of goats and parking inspectors, then off to Heathrow again. The last song to play on the radio as I reached the airport was, suitably, “Jerusalem.”

Then, off to Reykjavik.

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Part Two: Dartmoor

Part Three: Iceland (to come)

As usual, this is a best-bits version of the trip, where “best-bits” = anything that stayed still long enough to be sketched. You should be able to see a larger version of the pictures by clicking on them, which in most cases will take you through to their Flickr page.

So: Once upon a time it was almost winter in Brisbane, as you can tell by… the shawl on the left hand page, I guess. Then I flew north. I am reliably informed that was the only cold week Brisbane had this winter.

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At the airport I drew various hi-vis dramas out on the tarmac. This is one of my favourite things to draw.

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On the aeroplane, I drew Cinderella-Die Hard mashups but that is for another post.

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In LA, I stayed with Katharine (aka The Fictator: a lot of you don’t know her but you should) and in a surprise to absolutely no-one we talked about books and stories and old movies. She was the best person to stay with in LA because she actively loves its geology, geography, history and likes driving. She took me to very odd museums, such as the cumulatively bewildering Museum of Jurassic Technology which feels like it was created by the protagonists of Eco’s Foucault’s Pendulum and had Borges in the bookstore.

We also went to the Last Bookstore.

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California is full of palm trees. Someone should have warned me. I got Josh Ritter’s California stuck in my head.

 

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NEW YORK! I like New York. I like the New York in which my friends live. Ellen and Delia sent me to the theatre (Something Rotten and Fun Home, the latter with Eliza and Karen), took me to the theatre (Shuffle Along) and to Klezmer concerts. I accidentally wandered into a theatre reading.

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I ate pastry with editors and lunches with art directors and found my pictures at the Society of Illustrators! (Thanks Irene, Miriam and Christine!IMG_0104
Genevieve took me to the Museum of the Moving Image and (almost as importantly) a grilled cheese cafe. We both promptly downloaded Ginger Rogers and the Mystery of the Scarlet Cloak.IMG_0079

 

Then a final evening of wine and chocolate among the New York rooftops before I caught the train to Massachusetts to stay with Kelly and Gavin.


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We had a lot of pool parties in Massachusetts. And writing, of course! It was a pretty productive week: workshopping novels and reading manuscripts and finishing illustrations off for Small Beer Press. I also met Cassie’s Scottish Fold, Maggie, a beautiful creature who regarded me with deep suspicion. And of course the writing barn which is even prettier than this article makes out.

 

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This were some of my notes from a workshop with Holly.

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Then: Readercon! It was my first Readercon, and I had a grand time, catching up with and meeting many very excellent people and lying around talking about theatre and Sayers, Broadway and Dunnett. If I try to list everyone I will (a) sound like I’m namedropping and (b) forget people.

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I moderated two panels, was on a third and gave a reading from my Masters novella-in-progress.

And the next day, I left for England.

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Before I went overseas, I mentioned I was working on some illustrations to accompany a live reading Angie Rega was to give at the Australian Fairy Tale Convention.

That went very well, and I can now show the finished illustrations. I cut them as one continuous image: the back, with pencil lines, is shown here. It was very tiny. I did not cut myself. I cut myself pretty badly trimming green beans in New York, but this is safer than cooking.

Bush Bride - work in progress

This I scanned in and tidied up.

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Because it was to be projected behind Angie while she read, we decided on a fairly clear, strong colour palette. Here is the first of the three slides the image was divided into. The background goes from dawn to day to night.

Bush Bride - Frame 1

And here is the whole series as one image. If you click on it, you should go through to its Flickr page where you will have the option to view it at a larger size.

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Bush Bride - coloured

In which Tansy Rayner Roberts interviews me as part of the Australian SF Snapshot Project (which has some fabulous interviews).

 

2016 Snapshot: Kathleen Jennings

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I’m home at last! Six weeks was a little long for living out of a too-large suitcase (but I had to take art supplies and boots). America and England were full of friends, Norway full of babies. Iceland was beautiful and so new. You can see the geology happening.

 

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I climbed over a lot of rocks.

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I’ll post more sketches (and a few photos) once I’m near my scanner for long enough.

 

Lana Crooks

Lana Crooks

Lana Crooks is the fifth member of Light Grey Art Lab‘s 2016 Iceland Residency: Team Mist to volunteer to be introduced. Previous interviews are all linked on this post: Iceland.

K: What lights you up about what you do?

Lana: I enjoy trying to figure out shapes and patterns and new way to build forms. I spend a lot of time researching so it makes me feel like I am unwrapping mysteries. I started out as an illustrator so I still like to bring some narrative into the works as well.

K: Do you have an example?

Lana: Snake oil was a piece for an exhibit called Zealots Elixir at Modern Eden, It was my first attempt at a snake skeleton. Each vertebrae is 7 individual pieces of fabric so it is a pretty good example of translating the flat to the 3D.

Snake Oil by Lana Crooks

Snake Oil by Lana Crooks

 

Snake Oil by Lana Crooks

Snake Oil by Lana Crooks

K: And where can we find you online?

Lana: I am at 

Bee

I am posting this from beloved Devon, but am soon to move on to Iceland for a week. Internet and free time are both erratic, but I will post more (and sketches!) when I get home. In the meantime, I update Facebook and Twitter a little more regularly.

These are regular bees but I have seen real live bumble bees in Devon and it was just as exciting as coming around a turn in the road and unexpectedly seeing Stonehenge for the first time on the way here.

The Bees of August

If you click on the images below, you can download the calendar to print and (if desired) colour:

KJennings August Colour KJennings August Lines

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