Latest news: My Books

Posted: March 3, 2024


Fifteen years ago, in a small gallery in Cornwall, my greetings cards were spotted by Templar Publishing. They suggested I looked at a modern fairy tale by Carol Ann Duffy with a view to interpreting it with a series of paintings.  This gift of a project became The Princess’ Blankets.

My love of poetry and story has always been part of my image making and I was away on a life changing adventure, taking liberties with composition, adding elements I would normally disregard.  I was so lucky to work on this unique book, now regarded as a bit of a classic and used as part of the curriculum in schools.

This was followed by Firebird by Saviour Pirotta which took a similar format of interpretative paintings which I worked on paper rather than canvas, feeling that the surface would better reproduce the fairytale quality of the story.  It’s a lovely rich tale this one and I adored Stravinsky’ ballet so again it was a gift and a challenge.

A few years later the mighty Jackie Morris asked me if I would like to illustrate her story Little Evie in the Wild Wood.  This, for Janetta Otter Barry at Frances Lincoln was aimed at a much younger audience and for the first time I was in the realm of picture book spreads – placing the words inside the images on the page.  Another huge learning curve and I needed to learn fast. Instead of painting straight onto the canvas to resolve the composition I roughly drew the whole series on paper in order to see how the book flowed.  This helped hugely with the placing of the text.  I then went on to paint the images on paper, larger than the book size which was quite liberating.  I think no matter what you do you never feel a book is perfect – you always look and criticise one element or another but I am so glad that I had the freedom to respond to a lyrical text.  It is good to surprise yourself.

the pathway grew darker

Little Evie in the Wild Wood

Encouraged by Jackie to work on a book where both text and images were my own, I was commissioned by Janetta to write The Star Tree.  Published in 2013, it was written as a children’s lullaby, a dreamy drifting into the comfort of sleep. It is the book I would have liked to have read to our daughters when they were little and one that I hope that many children will have read to them.

Zephyr: The Snow Angel by Lauren St John

The Hare and The Moon

The Bee and The Sun