New website

A new website and with CSS!

Sorry to be so nerdy or geeky – I’m not sure which applies to computer bores. At least the webpages load in the middle of the screen and not to one side like Gourock. Don’t ask me. I don’t know why Gourock is to one side.

The date for the exhibition has been decided – July 2013 so that gives loads of time to produce enough work and throw the dud stuff in the bin. I’ll let you know how things go.

Will add new work as and when.

And I have decided to go to London Book Fair 2012.

Howe of the Mearns

Have just been in Angus for a few days near Laurencekirk. The area, The Howe of the Mearns, was used as the setting for Lewis Grassic Gibbon’s trilogy of novels, A Scots Quair which includes ‘Sunset Song’.
There was a lot of snow still lying on the hills but the roads were clear. I eventually found what I wanted to draw – it was too cold to sit outside so I needed a quiet road where the car wouldn’t get in the way of farmers! Easier said than done.
The red clay is a great colour but unless the sun is shining – it wasn’t – it can be very ‘dreich’.
The sun eventually came out and warmed up the car. The rooks were making such a racket that I could hardly hear my radio! A great day.

Chieftan o’ the puddin race!

I drew this before eating it! – and it was more challenging than I expected – very subtle colours and its shape was fairly puddingy as well. Headed off to The Cloth Shop to buy some tartan for the background – I think this is Royal Stuart. I liked the Black Watch fabric but was told that a Macdonald can’t use a Campbell tartan! You live and learn. My own tartan is Buchanan – verrrrrry bright! BTW MacSweens definitely make the tastiest haggis! With lots of peppery neeps and fluffy mashed potatoes.

Sun again

The sun has appeared again in the garden! It stops in December and starts again mid January and, along with the spikes of snowdrops poking through the bare earth, gives a sign that Spring will come eventually. This terracotta cane finial was transformed but I had to draw fast – in no time the garden was again grey and dark.

Dusty old canvasses

Clearing a space in the garage I have just found some very dusty, spidery canvasses from art college days – terrible condition. Maybe salvageable after cleaning. Roberta would know what to do as she cleans old paintings  – 19C rather than 1960’s!

Am also in midst of tidying plan chest full of drawings but all over the place – filing is not a strong point you may have gathered.

I am starting the FCAW for the 4th book in the ‘Refugee series’ but all these jobs keep screaming to be done. I can’t work in a midden(Definition – dump!)

Why a Blog?

Why do I need a blog? Well maybe website visitors want to comment on the art content. Also Andrea said it was a good idea!

Questions are probably better in an email – but a blog is certainly quick and direct.

Art students often ask how do you get started as an illustrator. In the days before fast internet access, and online portfolios, I took my portfolio to the publisher. The best bit was a day out in London. The worst bit was getting wet, lost, carrying a heavy portfolio on the underground with glares from fellow inmates and then getting the polite but rather inevitable knockback.

But you  bounce back and learn to take the rejections.Now art directors use online portfolios to search for the right illustrator.

Get an online portfolio and list it with a site like  ‘ukchildrensbooks’ – a great site full of other interesting information about authors and publishers.

If you think your illustration can fill a niche out there, keep creating and email jpegs of new work to Art Directors who show interest in your work  – then they’ll remember you and it is wonderful getting those enquiries and new jobs!