March 2013


Bookplate

This was a cut-paper design for the birth of two friends’ son – both a small piece of art (although larger than some I have made, as I was trying out some heavier paper) and printable as a book plate. Also practice in boys and dragons.

I am not fond of many particular dragons (they are often austere and irritating, or unduly domesticated), but I have a fondness for the species due primarily to poor Eustace crying to the moon, the glorious Dawn Treader itself, and Chrysophylax prancing along carrying baggage, which suggests that the dragons I love are dragons as imagined Pauline Baynes (who of course illustrated both Lewis’ The Voyage of the Dawn Treader and Tolkien’s Farmer Giles of Ham).

The next dragon is in pen and coloured inks. It was for my nephew’s 13th birthday – he requested “money and an awesome card”, so I broke out the gold paint and drew a dragon, as is traditional for us. When he was very small he used to sit through repeated readings of Margaret Hodge’s Saint George and the Dragon (with Trina Schart Hyman’s lovely illustrations).

Ben's Card

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The Dalek less travelled

Oh look a Dalek!

This instalment of the game is for a book by Stephen Fry (yes, that Stephen Fry): the readable, entertaining and beautifully validating explanatory/musing/instructional guide to poetic forms, The Ode Less Travelled. I love this book. It is very practical, far from dry, genuinely useful as a reference guide, a practical course, a lever for disengaging the angst from the rigour, and a handy-sized object for beating friends over the head with until they produce werewolf sestinas (Caitlene, I know where you live).

The drawing is also in honour of travelling at home, on two fronts: the one where you do all the things at home you like to do travelling (for me, that is sketching in cafes and writing in restaurant windows, so that works out well); and the one where you plan trips to very-likely-Dartmoor-after-World-Fantasy-this-November. So please feel free to let me know if you know the identity of the mysterious “iconic figure in Australian land law” who is connected with Dartmoor. That person is not the reason for going to Dartmoor, but I received a flyer for the 2nd Annual UK Property Case Law Tour today, and now I need to know!

Also, I just finished a new book cover and set of internal illustrations for an amazing collection of stories for an author whose last publication from the same press was illustrated by one of my heroes of illustration and I’m just going to faint quietly off the back of the chair now.

 

March header

Still alive! Still here! Still… a bit feverish, and meeting a deadline (like an adult), but Things to talk about once that is done, like a lovely screenprinting workshop with Milli & Fink, and more Eclipse and Lair pictures, &c…

In the meantime – there’s a new header (above) and a glimpse below of the sort of things that show up on my friends’ phones when they leave me alone with the flu and a project (the messages start at the bottom of the strip and work up, and the marginalised unicorn is a response to a comment by Gillian Polack on some marginal unicorns).

Fever/deadline sketchesAlso, it has been raining and raining and raining for months, and we could either have dry towels or clean towels, but never both at the same time (said the Red Queen) so now I have bought a dryer and am in love with the 21st century all over again.