Slightly, just slightly, late Illustration Friday picture for the theme 'cultivate'. Going to have to start thinking about the theme a bit earlier this week!
Anyway - CULTIVATE. We've had a lot of lovely spring sunshine here this week meaning I've been doing a lot of standing in the garden looking at the mess winter has made. We need to do a big tidy up, but I think the dogs will be furious if we do. They like the garden in it's weedy, tangly, messy state. It means lots of hidey-hole's for things they've stolen ...*
I was walking home in the sunshine from a trip to the Post Office and saw this cute little scene. I had to get back to the studio and draw it. I've never drawn a comic before, but I really enjoyed it. Also, this little girl (about 4 years old) was the sweetest, tiniest little thing with a great big booming laugh like a drunk old man. Made me chuckle!
Above: Ella spends her days doing shores for the Wasp Sisters and her only friend is Miss Buzzbottom, a kindly bumblebee.
Below: " Even in her ordinary glasses, Ella looked more beautiful to Pierre than any other bug in Paris..."
TA - DAH!
I am very excited to be able to show you some sneaky first pictures from my next picture book for Scholastic UK! And here they are!
The book is called ELLA and will be publishing early next year in the UK.
It's a fairytale love story set in Paris starring a lonely ladybird called Ella and a lovesick spider called Pierre who is lacking inspiration for his next painting (he's an artist!).
Poor Ella does have a tough time of it. She lives with Belladonna and Ivy, two selfish, mean wasp sisters and spends her days running around after them doing chores. But things are about to change forever as Miss Buzzbottom, Ella's best friend (a bumblebee), has magical plans in store for Ella and Pierre...
Keep your eyes peeled for more info on ELLA coming soon!
A few days before Christmas my wife and I visited Paris. We'd both been suffering from the 'flu and had been looking forward to a couple of days wandering around the beautiful city. Then the snow came and we got stuck in a queue for the Eurostar for EIGHT HOURS in the freezing cold, so by the time we actually got to our hotel we were feeling pretty ropey. But we pulled ourselves together and had a lovely time doing not very much other than walking and looking and sitting and eating ( oh and visiting the circus)!
On the last day we wrapped up warm and went to the Sacre Coeur ( one of our favourite places) and sat watching a roly poly nun lead some Christmas singing before we went and got a hot chocolate in Montmartre.
Even though it was snowing we decided to sit outside. We'd hardly been settled a minute when a shy Spanish tourist came and asked to take out picture. Then after that a group of Japanese tourists came and snapped us. Then a couple took a picture of us whilst trying very hard not to be noticed and then finally a french woman came and very politely asked if she could take a few pictures. We said yes but forgot to ask why....
I still don't know what it was all about. We were dressed ( as we often are) like a couple of pensioners so I'm not sure it was for a street style thing. Maybe they couldn't believe we were crazy enough to sit sipping hot chocolate in a blizzard...
Anyway, the picture above is us that day, giving each other the eye , both thinking, ' What the heck is all this about?!'