Thursday, January 31, 2013

La Cours Des Miracles at the UAC

Tonight sees the opening of a show by the Illustrators Ireland group at the United Arts Club in Dublin.
It starts at 8pm, so pop in if you are in the area.
I helped Brian Gallagher and Eoin Coveney (above) with the hanging.
My piece in the show is this preparatory drawing for an illustration to A Christmas Carol.
A French friend said this one should be called La Cours Des Miracles.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

The Art of Pete Suart

Speaking of old friends in the music business, Pete Suart who was with me at Brighton Art College has some gigs coming up.
You can see the details on his poster.
Pete is a man of many talents, and although he concentrates mostly on his music and performance these days, he still continues to illustrate books.
Check out his version of Gulliver's Travels for the Folio Society.
This means that Pete, Chris Riddell and I, who were all best pals at Art College, have each illustrated Gulliver's Travels in some form or other. 

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

‘An Indigo Sky’ launch concert

I was privileged to be at the launch of the West Ocean String Quartet’s new album, An Indigo Sky, in St Werbugh’s Church in Dublin last Friday.
Many years ago I was at school with their cellist Neil Martin, who is also the quartet’s primary composer and arranger.  Neil is a terrific raconteur and is great craic, as we say here in Ireland, so it is always a bit of a surprise for me when I am confronted with the extraordinary beauty of the music that he and the West Oceans create.
In her  Irish Times review of the  concert Siobhan Long writes how Neil has "infused the new material with a rich melancholia ....albeit with a glint in the eye". 
Take a moment an have a listen.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Mysterious Traveler

I got my first copies of Mysterious Traveler from Walker Books today.
It's written by Mal Peet and Elspeth Graham with illustrations by me.
It was a great pleasure for me to work on this book as Mal and Elspeth's story is so involving, and, with it's desert setting,  it took me a long way away from the usual kind of subjects I tend to paint.
As usual Walker's design team have turned the project into a really beautiful production.
The book publishes in April.

Thursday, January 24, 2013


I came across this formidable lady when I was looking for the Children of Lir rough.
She was one of a series of character designs I did for a short film about Fionn mac Cumhaill that was made by the Moving Still studio.
I like this one because it has a looser watercolour technique than I would usually use in my book illustration work. 
I'm calling her Scathach.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Got the T-Shirt!

I was delighted when I received a nice parcel from Carol Lasky in Boston to-day.
It contained all sorts of posters, programmes and even a t-shirt that Cahoots had designed using my painting.
That's me at work on it in my old studio.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

The Country of the Young

I was recently asked to hunt out this rough I did several years ago for a stamp design based on "The Children of Lir".
The rough, complete with sticky tape and photocopied serrated edges, will be used on the cover of a book of academic essays edited by John Countryman and Kelly Matthews.
It is called "The Country of the Young: Interpretations of Youth and Childhood in Irish Culture" and publication by Four Courts Press is in April or May.
Below is the finished artwork that I did for the An Post stamp design.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Brighton Illustration: 'then, now, after…'

I wish I could have gotten over to Brighton for the opening of an exhibition of recent work from graduates and staff at the University of Brighton
It's called Brighton Illustration,  'then, now, after…' 
Some of my books, including "Lincoln and His Boys" are included in the show. 
I spent three happy years there back in the early 1980s and I would have loved to have caught up with the tutors and alumni from back in the day.
If you are in Brighton, do pop in.
PS I can't wait to see Spielberg's Lincoln movie.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Hector Protector

It has been a lot of fun doing a once-off image on a fairy tale subject as a change from the other work I am busy with.
The final illustration will appear in an anthology of nursery rhymes for Seven Stories, Britain's National Centre for Children's Books.

Above are Hector Protector and his hard-to-please old Queen.
I can't wait to get painting them.

Friday, January 11, 2013

‘No Assembly Required’ by Adrienne Geoghegan & Una Gildea

A great evening was had by all who attended the launch at the Culture Box of  No Assembly Required, a show of new collage works by my Illustrators Ireland pals, Adrienne Geoghegan and Una Gildea. 
You can see some of Mario's photos of the private view here.
It's well worth a look if you are in Dublin's Temple Bar in the next few weeks.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Tall Tales

I'm roughing out some long vertical illustrations for the book I am working on at the moment and that made me think of other long pictures I have done over the years.
It was Walker Books' wonderful art director, Amelia Edwards, who first gave me these long window shaped spaces to fill in a book called Melisande by E Nesbit (above), and I still really love doing them.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Alice in the Society of Illustrators Annual Show

The Society of Illustrators in New York are launching the first part of their Annual Show to-day. 
It runs till the 26th of January 2013, and I am delighted to say that a digitally tweaked version of my Alice in Wonderland picture is in the show.
My thanks to my friend Olivier Souillé of Galerie Daniel Maghen in Paris for giving me a lovely open brief to illustrate a favourite book.