Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Musical Picture Books

Just a little taste of an extraordinarily beautiful adaptation of "The Night Garden", by Elise Hurst and "The Rainbirds", by David Metzenthen (illustrated by me.) This will be a wonderful family-friendly event held during the September school holidays, combining animation with live and recorded classical music.
So far I have only seen snippets of what will be the whole performance, but it has been incredibly exciting to see two of my favourite picture books brought to life. I can also tell you that this is a true labour of love by MRC education co-ordinator, MaryRose Harrison, musical director, Jo Beaumont and animator, Diana Ward, yet, at this stage there will only be one Melbourne performance - September 26th, at the Melbourne Recital Centre. So make sure you get your tickets! I will be there with as many children as I can drag along with me. I can't wait to see it all come together on the big screen!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Picture Books and Picasso

Earlier this year, I was asked to write a short picture book text for an illustration competition run by the State Library to coincide with their children's book illustration exhibition: "Look! The Art of Children's Picture Books Today".
Each month, a new section of the story was released and children were invited to send in their interpretations of the text. It goes without saying that it was VERY difficult to choose the winning entries as the work was so diverse and so lovely and sometimes the other judges: author/illustrator Anna Walker and author/publisher Jane Godwin and I would disagree. But I think you'll agree that the finished books in all three age categories are simply stunning.
Click on this link to look at the e-book, and make sure you read all the way through as the different age groups are all bound up together.
As an illustrator, I find children's artwork constantly inspiring: the spontaneity of their line work, the freshness of their ideas. Looking at children's drawings helps loosen my rigid adult way of seeing the world. As Picasso once famously said: "All children are artists. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up."