I’m back from my annual trip to the Czech Republic. To me autumn is the prettiest time of the year and autumn in the Czech Republic is beautiful. I left more than two weeks ago.
The first couple of days I spent in Prague. I visited the book shop “Amadito and Friends” run by two nice ladies Sylvie and Olivia.
”Amadito and Friends” is a bookshop which sells books in their original languages and I did a talk there for a small audience. The evening had a friendly atmosphere and I really enjoyed it. Because of the people who come to the shop (partly foreigners, partly parents of children who are learning foreign languages), the shop has a good relationship with “International School of Prague. I also went there to do a talk and a bit of art with the children. A very busy, but lovely day. I met with very talented and enthusiastic children and also with nice parents and a great school staff. The principle of the school was very nice and I had a good chat with the art teacher too. His nickname is Chip and he’s been living in the Czech Republic for some time now. Have a look at his work -https://williamchipdoehring.wordpress.com.
I got some nice cards and drawings from the children.Then it was time for me to move to South Czech and do some work in solitude – the reason I go to Czech every autumn.Very good friends of mine lent me their cottage by the woods. It’s in the middle of nowhere. One of the nicest places I know. I made fires, raked fallen leafs in the orchard, walked and painted in the woods and I also wrote down some new ideas for books.
I love woods and I love painting outside. The thing is I don’t do it as often as I would like to these days.
When I was working on this picture a herd of deer came not knowing I’m there. They were beautiful, and we gave each other a good fright.
It got colder later in the week, so I was painting closer to the house. It had the advantage of being able to run back to the cottage, get warmer and make myself a nice cup of coffee.
When painting this gate my hands were so cold, that I could hardly hold the brush. It was snowing in the hills further south of Czech.
There were days when I couldn’t paint at all, so I was just walking and writing some new ideas for books.
No internet, no telephone, just a sketchbook, pencil and fire in the stove. Heaven!
I also got a couple of ideas for new board books.
Then the weather got better and I could paint outside again. My friends and their children arrived at the end of the week. I got this nice drawing from Vincent. It’s me with animals.
And one more picture from Vincent.The truth is, this is exactly how it looks at the place where I was staying. The sunrise and sunset are so magical and deer are everywhere, making terrifying noises in the evening.
I love my annual trip to the Czech wilderness and I know I’ll live from my latest experience for a very long time.
Since I came back I did a talk at Exetreme Imagination in Exeter Library. It went well and the audience was great. I’m now packing for a trip to Belfast, where I’ll be visiting some schools and libraries, talking mainly about “Puffin Peter”. I’m looking forward to it!