New Book Start

I found these old watercolor sketches from six years ago and thought they would be nice to use in a children’s story. Some small character needing to make boats. They were assembled with spare bits of Nature in my studio and then a bit of imagination to get them into active, floating positions.

So I came up with a ship wrecked rat named Scrabble. It is, or will be a story of how he survives and makes a new home on the shores of Tasmania in 1792. All he wants to do is build a boat and go back out to sea. Some of these boats will be ideas for what he builds with the help of new friends on shore.

So first the sketching…how does one draw a rat in distress!

Naturally my rat will be saved by a floating bit of wine (port) box. With some perilous encounters he will make it to shore….but just barely.

He will meet new friends there…among them, a wallaby, an echidna, a wombat, a native hen and a brushtail possum. So far I have been playing with sketching some of them.

Do you have any idea how long you can spend adding fur to an animal? Anyway, my inspiration is, of course, Beatrix Potter. She had to draw and paint her characters for her stories in the sizes they would appear in her very small books. I won’t have to be so fussy with each hair but it is a good idea to understand how it grows and shadows on the body of such animals.

Beatrix Potter used only pencil, watercolor and pen. The latter mostly to help separate her characters from the backgrounds. I have very little practice with using a pen….it is so permanent once it hits the page!

Anyway I am going to see this idea through and will post pictures when I have something worth seeing.

I am still working on the short story about Joey, the librarian. And will get back to him and his new friend while sitting with my Manhattan and legal pad at the bar in about two hours.

The holidays were wonderful. Such lovely gifts…thank you Claudia for the amazing scarf you picked out on your recent trip to Australia and to Madeleine for sending those lovely Eucalyptus coasters all the way from there. You have been very kind over the last few years since I left Australia. A country always in the back of my mind…always with me….as are my students who continue to inspire me.

The poetry meeting is this week and I have a couple of new ones to try out on them.

More later…I need to go to the store to pick up some ingredients for a winter sangria. If it is any good, I will share the recipe.

Til later…