Have a great w/e. And try not to eat too much.
Despite the weather’s best efforts the rain held off to help make Oxfordshire’s Read-a-thon a great success. Hundreds came throughout the day to take part in the many activities that were laid on. There was storybook-character-spotting, Gruffalo walks (in the woods), Mad hatter’s tea parties, pony rides and so much more (see previous post). The children had a great time hugging Douglas as well as being entertained by the wonderfully engaging poet John Foster and author Alan Gibbons (above left and right of me respectively), I hadn’t met either before so it was a real pleasure to sit in on their events and see just what makes them so popular with the children…and adults for that matter).
The READ-a-THON took place in and around the grounds of Milton Manor House.
But for me, the real star of the day was local primary school teacher and good friend Anne Wattam, the brain-child behind the day. Initially inspired by Boris Johnson’s London Read-a-thon earlier in the summer, Anne built on the idea to develop this incredible day, specifically designed to celebrate the wonderful world of stories and reading. She wasn’t alone, of course, her incredible family as well as an impressive support cast from the local community and schools (not forgetting authors John Foster, Alan Gibbons and fantastic illustrator Charlie Sutcliffe).
Unfortunately, it only occurs to me now, I didn’t seek permission to post some of the fabulous photos documenting the day (all of them were filled with happy smiling families), so all I can do to finish off is end-of-day picture of the Frankenstein outfit whose owner apparently dissolved…
It was truly a fantastic day but I know how he felt, by the time I got home I was shattered. Thanks to everyone who helped make it such a huge success, not forgetting the friends and families who pitched up on the day.
You can read what Alan Gibbons thought of the day here.
Work on the new title Happy Birthday Hugless Douglas is going well…
…as the big ol’ bear bounces across the page.
Painting Douglas is like trying to control and manipulate a puddle of paint. The trick is to guide the various colours into position by understanding how they behave as they begin to dry…and then knowing when to ‘fix it’ with the hairdryer.
And, away from my drawing board, here are a couple of pictures following a recent visit by Douglas to my two local bookshops. More here .
Douglas the ventriloquist.
Conscious that I haven’t blogged for a while…some nippy deadlines out there at the moment…so please accept this image as a filler…a small token of my appreciation for dropping by. I’ll be back in a more meaningful capacity (such as it is), soon.
Disclaimer: Some of my regular followers may recognise this image from a previous post; something about having a heavy head (the morning after the night before), but while you may feel short changed I would like to think you welcome the chance to re-visit the archives once in a while. As an illustrator of books I tend to deal in artwork re-use when convenient. Well, it is today. All I ask of you is to replace the ‘Heavy head’ tag with a new metaphor, something along the lines – balancing the weight of burden that is THE DEADLINE.
Thank you for your kind attention.
I’ve been been away from my desk quite a bit in recent weeks trying to honour as many of my event commitments as possible. I sincerely apologise to those people (schools and librarians), whose events I’ve been unable to attend and have therefore reluctantly had to cancel. A combination of overwork and the (unforeseeable), ongoing problems with my knee has limited what I have been able to do.
And now, I’m back at my desk. I have a book to finish in only a few short weeks; Happy Birthday Hugless Douglas. The painting will start any day now, under the watchful eyes (or should that be nose) of a certain bear. Look out here for sneaky peaks of work-in-progress in the coming weeks.