It seems only yesterday (and it almost is) since we came home from holiday. Rome was hot and full of amazing architecture and Florence is now one of my favourite cities.
Inspiration is everywhere you look. My favourite place in Florence is Covent of San Marco and the beautiful frescos done by Fra Angelico.
Since we came home I’ve been working on a new idea for a board book. I like doing board books and I say that a picture book is like writing a novel, but a board book is like writing a poem.
What I mean is, that it’s not easy and one has to be very economical with words and with the story too.
So far I haven’t got very far.
But I like a challenge.
I’m now going to pack these sketches and tomorrow I’m off to the Czech Republic. I’ll start in Prague doing a couple of talks. One of them on 13th September is going to be in the City Library in Prague. Here is the invitation.
Next day at 16.30 I’ll be doing a little event in a newly opened shop “Hamleys”. They are selling my books in English over there. I’ll also pop into a Czech school.
And finally there will be time to travel to the south of Prague and stay in this beautiful cottage next to the wood and apple orchard, and I will paint, write and sketch new ideas. I can’t wait!
This place is magical and I will walk through the woods a lot and I come back with some ideas. My latest picture book “The Greedy Goat” was “born” there.
I’ll sadly miss a couple of things here in England. One of them is a live creative musical storytelling art show. One of the people behind this project is Ann Bruder. Ann was one of my students in Arvon this year and if you haven’t heard about her yet, you will soon.
The tutors on this course are Nicola Davies and Jackie Morris. I’m sure none of these incredibly talented ladies needs an introduction. As far as I know there may still be some places free.
One thing I’m not going to miss, because it’s in Prague is the exhibition of my good friend Vladimir Hanus. I used to study with Vladimir at the Academy of Fine Art in Prague. I discovered books for children, but Vlada never stopped painting pictures. His paintings and objects are beautiful and he is definitely one of the best painters around these days.
His paintings are full of colours and light. I can’t wait to see it!
O.k. I’m off. Here is one more finished illustration just before I go.