I’m not known for painting animals, it has to be said. It took a long time to accept that I could draw and paint animals that look like humans , mainly because I got hung up on the word that describes this process; Anthropomorphism.
Or, perhaps I couldn’t let myself enjoy considering the possibility. The work I do is mainly about people and objects and how they interact. I spent a lot of time doing that. But, as every day is a learning day, last year seemed like the perfect time to start focusing on a new skill – two new skills, actually; creating animal characters and then creating stories where they could be free. Creating them in my own way is like cutting through a thick jungle with a blunt blade and maybe one day things will start to come together.
It’s taken all this time to believe, understand and get excited about this new process. Here are a few from the sketchbooks. All of these characters have made their way in to a book idea with the working title ‘Norton’s Nose Knows’… I’ll leave it at that for now!
Just in time for the Festive season, here are the first four of a set of twelve (yes, twelve) nursery rhymes hand painted or made by yours truly. If you live in the London area the prints can be delivered by hand, in keeping with the hand made theme. They are available unframed in A4 (£10) or A3 (£15) sizes and printed on nice heavyweight art paper with inks that won’t fade with time.
In Baby Ruby Bawled, published by Tamarind books in the UK, baby Ruby will not stop crying. All the grown ups try every remedy they can think of with no success. It is left to her slightly older brother to come to the rescue. The task, as I saw it, was to try to convey the super control being practised by the adults, giving them expressionless faces, or slight frowns. If you are a parent you might know what I mean. This was opposed to the total abandonment of baby Ruby’s bawling which had to be over the top and piercingly loud. A third factor to convey was the eager-to-help expression of Ruby’s brother, ignored by the grown ups (probably because they were too busy trying to stay calm).