Sunday, 12 April 2009

Children's Book Artwork: Mice, Pirates and Hens in Space

I've been going through all my picture book artwork, trying to select pieces for this summer's exhibition in Tameside. The curator is coming to the studio on Wednesday to help me choose likely pieces, so I thought I'd better get my head round things, sharpish like!

It's proving hard work: there's so much stuff to go through. I'm only considering UK books, but with anything between 15 and 30 drawings each, that's still tons. I thought maybe I'd leave out the older titles, but then I do have a soft spot for poor Grumpy Smudge (above) and Big Bad Wolf:

I store all my artwork wrapped into A1 clear plastic envelopes, a book at a time. Much of it was archived in the eaves, which meant scrawming into very awkward places, and dragging it out (as you can imagine, it's a bit heavy). I needed a cup of tea and a sit down before I had even opened the first package!

Being pastel, my work occasionally gets smudged during the scanning process, Class Three all at Sea was one that suffered badly, partly because of all the black and white chalk involved, so though it's good fun, I will eliminate that.

Books with flaps are often difficult to frame up, because the artwork doesn't make a lot of sense. You have to draw what the page looks like without the flap, so you get strange anomalies in the middle of the illustration, like the page above from Lark in the Ark where the animals will eventually be covered by two spotty duvet flaps.

Both When You're Not Looking! (above) and An ABC of Nursery Rhymes (below) feature all cut-aways (ie illustrations without backgrounds) which makes the original artwork less appealing, because of my pink paper. So they're out of the running too.

I've also got to bear in mind the potential for children's workshops and interactivity linked to the work. Oh dear, oh dear...

I'll let you know what I decide.


Buskitten said...

Wow Lynne - your work is totally AMAZING! I just love it all!

cathyjune said...

Even tho you have difficult decisions to make it must have been fun to go back in time through your work... like an old photo album. Also your work is so delightful! Thx for sharing! I especially love the mouse in the rain :)

Lynne Chapman said...

Thank you both!

Yes, it was fun getting it all out. Although I see the images in the printed books fairly regularly, the actual drawings do still have that extra zing!