Sit on the shoulder of a children's book author / illustrator and Urban Sketcher. Nosy into the ups and downs of my world. Find out how my books are created from your spy-hole inside my studio; peek into my sketchbooks; celebrate with me when books are published and help me tear my hair when it's not going to plan!
Sunday, 29 July 2012
Potfest in the Park
This weekend, John and I made a flying visit to the Lake District. I was working in a library all day Friday, so John came to meet me after my last workshop and we zoomed straight up the motorway.
We have some old friends who live right on the northern border of the national park, very close to the coast, and they invited us to visit and go to Potfest with them on Saturday.
We have been once before: it's an outdoor event, in the huge gardens of Hutton-in-the-Forest, showcasing some really exciting ceramics. Artists come from all over the world to show their latest work and it's incredibly varied.
The weather was a bit iffy and we had more than one shower, but they were pretty well timed. The first was when I had just bought a rather nice brie sandwich and a lump of handmade orange and poppy seed cake for lunch, and I was able to hot-foot (wet-foot?) it under a marquee in time. I scoffed my lunch while John was still queueing for a BBQ burger in the rain. Then I drew these ladies scoffing theirs:
I couldn't resist this lovely dog and had just started a quickie-sketch when the rain began again and another mad dash was needed!
It was a really fun day, with my friend Mary and I cooing and 'Look-at-that-look-at-that!'ing every two minutes. We treated ourselves to a few little bits and bobs, but resisted spending any serious money. I did fall in love with the most extraordinary sculpture of a gorilla though, and if I'd had the odd few thousand pounds set aside...
On Sunday afternoon we had to drive back home, as I am back running illustration workshops in libraries again on Monday. Not before a walk on the beach though, looking across the Solway Firth to Scotland, with the wind whooshing our hair around and our pockets soon bulging with free treasures.
As you can see, I sketched in the car on the way back to Sheffield, as the weather was still threatening, so the light and clouds were interesting. It's an interesting discipline, since most things you see are gone almost immediately, so it forces an instinctive response.
I finished my sketchbook before we got to Sheffield: the drawing above was the last page. It's a book that's been knocking around for quite a while: I've generally got about half a dozen half-finished ones on the go at any one time, in various shapes and sizes.
Finishing a book and putting it up on the shelf in the studio with its brothers and sisters is always a slightly sad but mostly proud moment.
Thank you Martin and Mary for the great idea, the great company and the great nosh (again).