Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Recent School Visits

This is me giving a presentation recently at Our Lady & St Patrick's College in Knock near Belfast.
I did another the same day at Belfast Girls' Model School.
It was a great pleasure to meet and talk to young people who were mostly very interested in art as a possible career.
Especially as they were from my own home town.
When I was at school there was only one other student doing art in sixth form, and I was the first from my school to go on to Art College for many years.
By contrast, there were dozens of youngsters from these two schools considering going to Art College.
I made a big point of showing books by Martin Waddell, Sam McBratney, Anita Jeram, Flora McDonnell and Oliver Jeffers, all of whom are from or live in Northern Ireland, just to show the success that local artists and writers have had in the world of children's books.
There's another name to add to the list.
Emily Donegan, in year 14 at Knock, has already illustrated children’s book, "Alfred and the Pirates".
She did it when she was just fifteen years old.


Susan said...

Is that Jessie with you in the photograph? It's another one of yours where the light makes an ordinary pose very special.

Illustrating a book at 15, wow. That's something.

PJ said...

Hi Susan
Yes that's Jessie.
It's one of my favourite pictures from that book.
I love the relative emptiness of that composition.

Emily has gotten off to a great start. She won a Blue Peter competition, and her prize was to illustrate a book. She did a really good professional job of it too.

I know of a couple of authors here in Dublin, including Aisling O"Loughlin, who wrote their first books aged 14 or 15.
It doesn't seem to happen so much with illustrators
all the best

Karen Tazi said...

eing a teacher at an international school in Paris, I have endless opportunity to look at and share my favourite P.J.Lynch illustrations with my students.This particular image of Jessie reading the letter from her grandmother is for me one of the very few illustrations where an illustrater has captured the true emotions of a young girl and succeeded in reflecting all that lies within her heart, on the expression he has painted on her face, the raised eybrow, the finger to her lips. The illustration of Jessie on the steps of her apartment in New York when Lou says "Marry me", reduces me to tears every time I read it, likewise when I look at Gandmother's expression on the very last page, I am so captivated by the illustration, that I usually call on a student to read the last sentence as my nose turns red while I start choking back tears. I look forward to every new publication with the excitement of new characters, new lives, and wonderful new images.

Thank you, P.J.! Karen Tazi, Marymount International School

PJ Lynch said...

Hi Karen
What a lovely comment
Thanks so much.
That picture of Jessie is one of my favourites too.
It's the last line of Jessie that always gets me. So I sympathize with you asking a student to read it for you.
Many thanks