Puffin Fest is back! Last year I took part in the Scottish Seabird Centre’s first ever Puffin Festival and was kindly asked to take part again. The festival runs from 15 to 25 May and will host a 10-day puffin celebration with fascinating facts, games, activities and competitions for the whole family. For more information visit the Scottish Seabird Centre site. There will be a group exhibition, here are two of my pieces . . .
The lovely folks at Floris have just posted an interview I did with them recently, click here to have a read. Oh, and here is one of the photos we took for the occasion. Unfortunatly I am not exactly natural in front of a camera – one of the many reasons I enjoy illustrating from the comfort of a hide-away studio most of the time!
I am a bit of a fan of villains and Shere Khan, from Kipling’s The Jungle Books, is one of my favourites. He was born with a crippled leg, seeks to rule the Jungle and is cunning and intelligent. I much prefer him to Mowgli, who wouldn’t?! Anyway, here is my very sympathetic illustration of Shere Khan
As it is Easter I fancied illustrating a fable that involved an egg. This is another fable from Jean de la Fountaine and I had thought it must be a version of the Golden Goose. However this fable involves the slaughter of a rather special hen and the moral ‘Those people always seeking more can learn from this dunce.’ So on that merry note, happy Easter!
This week I have been reading through the fables of Jean de la Fountaine. La Fountaine began serious work on his body of fables in the 1660s and it is amazing that so many of them have lasting significance. I won’t post the full fable here as it is a bit lengthy and I do like a short and sweet blog post! However, if you wold like to read it here is a link to the fable.
p.s Gustave Doré created an amazing engraving for this fable in 1868 (I think the Met Museum holds a copy of it).
‘It happened that a Dog had got a piece of meat and was carrying it home in his mouth to eat it in peace. Now on his way home he had to cross a plank lying across a running brook. As he crossed, he looked down and saw his own shadow reflected in the water beneath. Thinking it was another dog with another piece of meat, he made up his mind to have that also. So he made a snap at the shadow in the water, but as he opened his mouth the piece of meat fell out, dropped into the water and was never seen more.
Moral of Aesops Fable: Beware lest you lose the substance by grasping at the shadow’ Aesop
Apparently a fable is a story, ‘in prose or verse, that features animals, mythical creatures, plants, inanimate objects or forces of nature which are anthropomorphised’. This is convenient for me because it means just about anything goes and I can have a lot of fun over the next year illustrating my favourite tales. This week is Pinocchio. I could happily dedicate months to illustrating the whole story as it is a childhood favourite, however I am trying not to spend more than a couple of hours on each Fable Friday illustration. Here it is!
A Dove shut up in a cage was boasting of the large number of the young ones which she had hatched. A Crow, hearing her, said: “My good friend, cease from this unreasonable boasting. The larger the number of your family, the greater your cause of sorrow, in seeing them shut up in this prison-house.”
Moral of Aesops Fable: To enjoy our blessings we must have freedom.
After Oscar was born I decided to do the ‘A Doodle a Day’ project. It was a great way to stay connected to my work without taking too much time away from home, however it was quite tricky to keep up! My daughter, Elizabeth, was born in December and I feel ready to do another fun project, but this time I am going to make it once a week. I love fables, who doesn’t like an anthropomorphized creature?! And so, today begins Fable Friday. My very first fable is The Dove and the Crow, which isn’t at all symbolic of being locked up in the house over the long, long winter months . . .
Please feel free to join me (don’t feel the need to do the same fable), I would love to see other people’s Fable Fridays!