From Wellies to War Horse at Paxton
September 13, 2016 § 3 Comments
An exhibition currently running at Paxton House, until 31st October, celebrating the book ‘Where My Wellies Take Me…’ which I was commissioned to illustrate by the writer Michael Morpurgo in 2009.
As well as the fifty or so framed works, which include original spreads from the book, etchings and paintings, there are several display cases with work in progress…
Having never illustrated a book before, I did everything the wrong way, including making a full size mockup of the book to work out how many pages the finished thing would be.
I also went camping in Devon, to do my research, part of which was mapping out the local landscape which is the geography of the book itself.
The best thing about the book is that it is written and drawn (I supposed) by an eight year old, so it was a fantastic opportunity to learn about all sorts of things like wildlife, and erm, how to draw…(not mastered that one yet, but keep practising!).
In the display cases are things no-one normally sees, all to do with how the book was made including some etching plates, which I used for some of the pages, and also one of my favourite things, the matchbox that Michael lent me when I was camping in their garden. I later painted this matchbox in the book…
By a series of misfortunes I was lucky to land myself in the lap of the villagers and to get to know many very kind people, all of whom helped to a great extent with my work on the book, and some of whom even modelled for characters in it, so thank you once again to the good people of Iddesleigh!
All this, and the finished article, is now on display at Paxton House. For more information please get in touch, www.paxtonhouse.com
There is also a wonderful Michael Morpurgo exhibition on at Seven Stories in Newcastle, also featuring some of the ‘Wellies’ & ‘War Horse’ work. Please visit www.sevenstories.org.uk