Tag Archives: character

Jack the Station Cat-Alan Cliff

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Saturday 9th August

Yesterday I took my little family to meet Alan Cliff, Writer of  ‘Jack the Station Cat‘ children’s books, at Marine Lake in Rhyl.

My Photo of Marine Lake

My Photo of Marine Lake

This is the first real time I have gone to a book signing, and I have to admit, I was really nervous!! I forgot to take a pen for notes and after a few questions my mind went blank!! I really need to sort this confidence thing out! Regardless to my brain letting me down, Alan was a lovely man who was very proud of his books. He said that he composes the stories, his son illustrates the books and then his lovely wife(who was also there) pretty much handles everything else. How fantastic is that? The family working together as a little team to produce some beautiful children’s books!

Before my brain evacuated itself, I managed to ask how long it actually takes to produce just one book, and even though my memory is packed out with school holidays and nappies and feeds, I managed to remember Alan telling me that it takes a good 6 months for just one book to be completed. That seems a long time but when you consider all of the work involved, it really is quite a quick process.

Marine lake, mini railway station

Marine lake, mini railway station

Alan Cliff

“Children’s author Alan Cliff was born in Lancashire and attended both Cambridge and Oxford Universities. In 1960 he married his wife Rosemary and became a Methodist Minister. During a career that first took him to Gorleston, near Great Yarmouth, and then to Edinburgh, where he became the youngest Superintendent Minister; he eventually arrived in Wrexham in 1974, taking charge of the area’s Methodism circuit.

Alan, who now lives in Rhyl, has been a railway enthusiast all his life and is president of Rhyl and District Model Railway Club, president of the friends of the Rhyl Miniature Railway; and vice president of Bala Lake Railway Society. Alan and Rosemary have housed cats for many years and one of them, Jack, also seemed to hold an interest in model railways. This inspired Alan to write a series of children’s books based on Jack’s adventures. Both Grabbit and Skoot and the Invasion of the Grey Squirrels and Jack- Special Agent a tale from Jack the Station Cat and the Space Aliens, and other Stories have been short-listed for the Goodchild Prize for Excellent English: the former in 2001 the latter in 2003. Alan Cliff was the first children’s author to be short-listed for this prize and the first author to be short-listed twice. Alan is a Member of Academi.”

Alan signing my book

Alan signing my book

Alan and his wife

Alan and his wife

The Books

“There are fourteen books in the series to date with the fourteenth (Jack the Station Cat and the Vanishing Lady) having been published in November 2011. Two of  the books have also been published in Welsh, with the translation being done by Berwyn Prys Jones. The books are aimed at children between the ages of 3 to 9 and combine cat stories and railway stories and were originally illustrated by Helen Maffin with the later books being illustrated by Nigel Cliff. As with his Grabbit and Skoot series, the author has chosen to donate half of his author royalties to various different charities.”

 

Alan on the footplate of Mallard with illustrator Nigel Cliff

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Alan pointed out that the ‘Great Little Trains Robbery’ was illustrated by an independent illustrator and that ‘Jack the Station Cat Goes to School’ was the very first of the collection.

I thought I would support my local writers and illustrators by buying one of these cute little books and I  have to admit that my immature side took control when choosing 😀 I chose ‘Jack the Station Cat and the Snail Trail’, mostly because I thought that all of the snails on the cover looked really funny!! The imagination is used greatly as it is not often that you see a convoy of snails slithering  down the path!! Anyways, I haven’t actually had chance to read the book(costing £2.99) yet but I did have a flick through and I was surprised to see that at the back there is a fun puzzle section!! I will be reading the book and who knows, I might even buy the rest of the collection for my new arrival-mickey moo!!

Jack the Station Cat and the Snail Trail-My Signed Book

Jack the Station Cat and the Snail Trail-My Signed Book

 

The books are published by Gwasg Helygain, in Rhyl and the funds from the sale of books yesterday went to the mini railway station at Marine lake.

Gwasg Helygain

Gwasg Helygain: specialists in Graphic Design, Litho & Digital Print since 1974. They produce work in Welsh and English primarily for customers in North Wales (Denbighshire, Flintshire, Conwy, Wrexham, Gwynedd & Anglesey) but with a customer base which extends across the UK and beyond.

They specialize in high quality print & design for large companies, small businesses and individuals.”

I am looking forward to following ‘Jack the Station Cat’ on facebook and as soon as I had read my book, I will be right back to tell you all about it! 😉

Bodelwyddan Castle-Whats on at the gallery..

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Watercolours and Drawings: 18th to 21st Century

“This exhibition is the third to be brought to Bodelwyddan Castle from Hastings by Caroline Gee, a Sussex art dealer who has been specializing in Watercolours and Drawings for over thirty years. It will follow a similar format as her previous exhibitions, beginning with the early years of the watercolour school in Britain, moving through the early nineteenth century, the ‘Golden Age’ of British watercolour, and finishing with delightful twentieth Century examples.” Watercolour is an interesting subject for me as it is an area I would like to develop and explore. As an expert in that area Caroline Gee would be an ideal candidate for information! Caroline Gee Caroline Gee, a dealer in early English and 20th century watercolours and drawings, is particularly excited by the potential of watercolours from the first half of the 19th century by John Varley and David Cox. Both were among the earliest members of the Old Watercolour Society, the founding of which in 1804 saw watercolours starting to be considered an art form in their own right. She says: “In the late 19th century, Cox was considered to be on a par with Constable and was only marginally less expensive than Turner. So what’s on display? ” Featured works on display include some of the most prominent artists who exhibited with the Old Watercolour Society (formed 1804), among them David Cox, Peter de Wint and John Varley. The Victorian Age is mainly represented by those artists who followed in the tradition of the early landscape painters, and will include two large and splendid views of North Wales by William Evans of Bristol. In the twentieth century section there will be another group of the wildlife drawings by Eileen Soper which so delighted visitors last time.” I have to be honest, I am not very familiar with these Artists! So I am going to do a little research 🙂

A Short History of the Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours

“The beginnings of the RI can be traced back to 1807 with the formation of the New Society of Painters in Water Colours. The New Society was inaugurated as an alternative to an existing society (now the RWS) which had been founded in 1804 and which exhibited only the work of its own members. From the start the New Society showed the work of non-members’ alongside that of members, a policy still followed today. Both societies were started at a time when the Royal Academy was refusing to accept watercolours as a suitable medium for serious artistic expression despite its use by many highly regarded painters including Cotman, Turner, Cox, de Wint, Bonington and many others. The New Society changed its name in 1808 to the Associated Artists in Water Colours. The exhibitions attracted some of the foremost watercolourists of the time including: David Cox, Peter De Wint, William Blake, Samuel Prout, Paul Sandby and Joseph Powell. Even so financial problems caused them to fold in 1812.” (www.royalinstituteofpaintersinwatercolours.org/)

16 Old Bond Street Gallery of New Society of Painters in Watercolours, 1834 George Scharf (1788-1860)

How amazing is it to look back to how, just one aspect of Art, was used? And  how it has developed over the many years until now! I love how all the paintings in the picture are all bunched together across the walls.

David Cox 1783–1859

Cox was born at Deritend, near Birmingham, the son of blacksmith. In around 1798, aged fifteen, he was apprenticed to aminiature painter named Fieldler. Following Fieldler’s suicide, Cox was apprenticed around 1800 as assistant to a theatre scene-painter named De Maria. In 1804 he took work as a scene-painter with Astley’s Theatre and moved to London. By 1808 he had abandoned scene-painting, taking water-colour lessons with John Varley. In 1805 he made the first of his many trips to Wales, with Charles Barber; his earliest dated watercolours are from this year. Throughout his lifetime he made numerous sketching tours to the home counties, North Wales, Yorkshire, Derbyshire and Devon. Cox exhibited regularly at the Royal Academy from 1805. His pictures never sold for high prices, and his earned his living chiefly as a drawing-master. Through his first pupil, Col. the Hon. H. Windsor (the future Earl of Plymouth), who engaged him in 1808, Cox acquired several other aristocratic pupils. He wrote several books, including Ackermann’s New Drawing Book (1809); A Series of Progressive Lessons (1811); Treatise on Landscape Painting (1813); and Progressive Lessons on Landscape (1816). The ninth and last edition of his Series of Progressive Lessons was published in 1845.”

Rhyl Sands c.1854

I live in a small village right next to Rhyl, So to see a painting from the 1800’s, of Rhyl Beach, is amazing. I think the sky looks quite realistic but I get a grass feel instead of sand. I can see it is sand and the longer I look I wonder if it is windy right there by the sea and so the sand is moving?

PETER DE WINT, OWS
(British, 1784-1849)
Hastings from the East Cliff

Peter de Wint, OWS (British, 1784-1849) Hastings from the East Cliff watercolour heightened with bodycolour 38.5 x 56cm (15 3/16 x 22 1/16in).

“The son of a Dutch-American father and Scottish mother, Peter De Wint drew on the British landscape for his subject matter. Whilst working as an apprentice to John Raphael-Smith, De Wint met William Hilton, who was to become a life-long friend. Stylistically, De Wint was influenced by John Varley and Thomas Girtin whose sweeping brushstrokes and subdued blocks of colour were introduced to him by his patron Dr. Monroe. During the summer months, De Wint visited his patrons at their country estates in order to sketch the landscape and work as a tutor to the children of the family. He was to teach throughout his career in order to supplement his income and this resulted in numerous pupils working in his style. “(www.bonhams.com) Although this is a very beautiful piece of work, painted by a very talented Artist, to me, it feels old and the colours feel dark and dull. Maybe Peter de Wint actually used colours the colours of what it actually looked like on that day? I do like the visual lines running and swirling through the grass and I think the tiny detail of the people and buildings is very clever.

JOHN VARLEY OWS (1778-1842)

John Varley was a central figure for the watercolourists of the early nineteenth century. A founder member of the Society of Painters in Water Colours, and its most prolific exhibitor, he was also a highly significant teacher of both professionals and amateurs, and a writer of instruction manuals. He encouraged his students to paint in the open air, but also promoted the Picturesque theory of adapting nature to the requirements of composition. Of Lincolnshire descent, John Varley was born in Hackney, Middlesex, on 17 August 1778. He and his brothers ‘were said to have been born at the Blue Posts (formerly the Templars’ house), after their father had converted it to private use, although the building was still an inn in 1785’ (T F T Baker (ed), A History of the County of Middlesex: Volume 10: Hackney, London: Oxford University Press for the Institute of Historical Research, 1995, pages 10-14).”

KILCHURN CASTLE ON LOCH AWE

Whilst scanning through the Chris Beetles website, this is the painting, from Varley, that first caught my eyes. Varley has used dark and dull colours as I said about Peter de Wint’s piece, but he has added contrasting colours to the dark greens with brighter yellow tones. And the, as a further compliment, he has added a soft toned sky which I think makes the trees and land stand out very well. WILLIAM EVANS

William Evans of Eton (1798-1877) was a late-Georgian and early-Victorian landscape artist of real distinction, who painted exclusively in watercolour. Further qualification is needed, however, to explain why he was remarkable. Numerous watercolour artists augmented their income by teaching privately, including his own teachers William Collins and Peter de Wint, as well as his rival at the Old Watercolour Society, JD Harding. But as a Drawing Master teaching at Eton, then the premier public school, he stood above most of his peers, occupying an office which had been held by that innovative teacher Alexander Cozens in the previous century. He came second in a painting dynasty which through four generations lasted over 120 years.

He was the ardent supporter of institutions, both of his own school and of the Old Watercolour Society, where he never quite achieved official recognition. His signature, William Evans of Eton, was developed after 1845 when another member with the same name joined the Society. Throughout his life he remained loyal to watercolour painting, finding that the medium was capable of everything he wished to express, and considering those who experimented in oil renegades. His quarrels became bitter and absolute, and few of his artistic friendships remained intact. It was a period when the inventive quality of the British School of watercolour painting gradually ossified, and critics such as Ruskin damned the annual formula exhibition pictures which were sure of their market. By the 1850s William was himself producing ambitious, large pictures which lack the freshness of those painted in the 1830s and 1840s; but he reacted with a rush of inspiration to the south of France in a group of pictures painted in 1867-8, which have since been lost. As ill health inhibited his output, he became more and more involved with the administration 0f the Old Watercolour Society and was one of those who insured it retained its elite exclusive character, keeping out the more progressive ideas emerging in the mid-century.”

Evans. Cricket on the College Field. 1830s

It feels like there is a lot of white area in this painting, in everything there is white space. It feels a little hollow to me. I do love the circles that make up the trees on the left.

Eileen Soper

                                                      “the enchanting world of the Famous Five illustrator – Eileen Soper “Eileen Soper sought success at an early age, and was considered a child prodigy when she was the youngest artist ever to exhibit her work at The Royal Academy in London – at the ripe age of just 15. She was fantastically well received. But Eileen was not new to art at that age – she had experienced a lifetime of top tutoring from her father, George Soper, also a well-accomplished artist.

He drew out the creative side in both his daughters.

Eva, Eileen’s elder sister by less than two years, was a skilled potter, producing many designs for Royal Worcester – whilst Eileen and their father were more focused on etching and painting. Eileen produced around 180 different etchings, two of which were bought by Queen Mary. Her set of etchings of a specific group of children are particularly popular. The same set of children appear numerous times, enjoying different games and activities, and all these drawings were produced during the 1920’s, but they are still hugely well-liked today.”

Brush strokes – Eileen Soper painting.

The Famous Five & Eileen Soper

The Famous Five are among Enid Blyton’s best-loved creations and countless children have gone adventuring with them since the publication of Five on a Treasure Islandin 1942, the first of twenty-one full-length adventures and numerous short stories. Enid Blyton’s original books were charmingly illustrated by Eileen Soper but there have been numerous interpretations and adaptations of the Famous Five over the years including continuation novels written by French author Claude Voilier, cinema films, stage plays, two television series and, more recently, a Disney cartoon series featuring the children of the Famous Five.

First edition: 1944 Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton Illustrator: Eileen A. Soper Category: Famous Five Genre: Mystery/Adventure Type: Novels/Novelettes

THE BOAT SWING

EILEEN SOPER   I absolutely adore this illustration, the movement that is illustrated is beautiful. I like how the drawing shows a small section of what is actually happening but it leads the viewer to imagine the rest. I think the overlapped lines work well for the movement and the lack of colour makes  no difference at all.

ETCHING ON LAID PAPER 6 X 4 INCHES FINAL STATE

This illustration also moves me, the child really is sad about her broken doll and Eileen Soper has illustrated that very well. I really like her use of sketchy line work and again although this is not a moving picture it still gives the viewer a feel that the image is alive. Round Up That’s all I have time for today but I hope I have given a good insight to the exhibition now showing at Bodelwyddan castle! There are always exciting pieces being shown so be sure to keep an eye out for new exhibitions! keep a look out either by facebook, twitter or via their website!

Creative futures 2014 continued….

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I am now 30wks pregnant and due to that reason (and feeling like the size of a baby whale) I could only manage 2 of the 4 days of creative futures!! 😦 So I don’t totally miss out on the exciting people who have come to visit Glyndwr I have decided to have a look at the schedule and research the speakers anyway.

Wednesday 5th March/ Thursday 6th March

Bex Raven

BA (Hons) Fine Art and History of Art and Material Culture 2002

PGCE Art and Design 11 – 18 2009

MA Fine Art Engaging the public with Art 2011

Bex has always loved Art and has a wide background in many disciplines.

It was her vision that founded Funky Aardvark based on her MA research into making Art accessible for everyone. She is a great believer that Art and Craft should be inclusive and welcoming, but most importantly fun!

Bex creates work with a wide range of techniques yet the thought behind the pieces is often similar. She draws inspiration from her own life experiences to generate quirky, often mixed media artworks. Bex loves to create work which actively involves the audience and often asks them to join in with the pieces in some manner. She often generates interaction via text and encourages the viewer to share their own experiences. Look out for lots of her work in the interactive exhibitions and out on the streets.

Bex plans to further her own knowledge with another return to academic study and write her PhD. She is also working on publishing her first book that will bring out the artistic side in anyone. Most of all Bex continues to pioneer a way through the modern world of Art convincing everyone that really it should be all about having fun.

Bex Raven

I like the way Bex has thoroughly portrayed her unique style and personality within her dress sens and her artwork, she seems to find inspiration in many different areas and I really like her interest in stitching. When I sew, I tend to try and hide the stitching but with Bex, she openly displays her thread which I think gives a different feel. I also love the way she has created hearts differently above by using an actual heart aswel as different shapes and texture.

CAROL RAMSAY

Illustrator turned Installation Artist, responding to site and working with recycled and found objects. I deconstruct forms of everyday life, as such creating and fabricating unusual or delicate works of art. I have a strong belief that contemporary art can be aesthetically pleasing, yet still viable.

“I base my practice in contemporary installation and community based artworks and would call myself an accidental artist activist. I choose not to work in one media, preferring first to discover site through research then also through the art of conversation, breaking down boundaries between artist, place and people. These conversations can then define the media used. The collaboration of ideas can make creativity ever more powerful.”

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Title: It’s a Jungle out there

The exhibition title was ‘Inhospitable’ so taking a book entitled ‘It’s a Jungle Out There: The Feminist Survival Guide to Politically Inhospitable Environments’ I made a play on words and took certain quotes from the book out of context thus making feminism inhospitable.

Again, a totally different artist with another style and views on how she likes to portray art and for her own reasons, I was taken by the book page idea here as I have had a go at something similar myself. I didn’t really have anything that specific in mind, more the fact of how to use old books and incorporate them into another form, artistically, and I can safely say my outcome didn’t look half as interesting as Carols!!

TONY CLARKSON- PUSH CREATIVE

Push Creative Ltd.

“Since Push Creative began over a decade ago, we have gained creative diversity and the ability to create work that is aesthetically, physically and commercially successful. Whether we are working on large or small projects, our approach is the same: original thought, clarity of message and simplicity of implementation.

We are considered a small agency, but it feels like the right size for us to stay close to our clients and build a network of real partnerships with other creative people. All of our clients can enjoy the benefits of a project that has been tailored to their exact needs and we build our team around the project rather than the project around our team. With Push Creative, you’re only billed for what you need and we’re 100% transparent with all our clients.

We work across a wide range of disciplines and we ensure the right creative specialists are working on your project, and you can have direct contact with them, not a third party. We pride ourselves in the close working relationships we develop with all our clients, and we endeavour to make the process as rewarding as the end product.”

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“We had been working with Google on the Line of Site project, a web based architecture competition. They asked us to design an advert for them to be used in series of publications promoting the competition and their software, Google SketchUp. We were happy to oblige and used their actual software to create the 3D lettering model used within the ad. We also included one of the competition

participant’s works that was especially talented in the use of SketchUp to help promote the capabilities of the software for Google.”

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“Deutsche bank needed a series of icons that would sit within specific sections of their website. They had to be bright, busy and striking and all be of consistent size. The client was happy with the result and they were used for many years on the main Deutsche Bank website.”

From the digital perspective I respect the fact that Push Creative have met the customers needs in the above picture for the Deutsche bank. I love the bright, bold colors and also how they have merged different images into the media in an abstract style.

Whilst I was looking for information on Push Creative, I did come across a few other companies with the same name so it was slightly difficult in finding the correct one and making sure that I didn’t mix the information!! But, on my travels through Google, I found a Push Creative website that I thought was pretty cool so I thought I would share it! It is the sort of website that you can interact with, there are even actual moving people doing different things and the back ground music is fun! Ironically this is a branding and design website, check it out!!

CLARRIE FLAVELL

Clarrie Flavell studied at Glyndŵr, graduating in Applied Arts in 2002. Taking full advantage of the ideas – led course, she produced four light-emitting portrait sculptures for her final piece. Since then, having acknowledged her theme, she has based her next steps upon the chance events that have come her way.
                                                               
                                        The Blue Earthworm is a purpose built studio/workshop, owned and run by Clarrie Flavell.
Clarrie has exhibited some of her pretty artwork at Bodelwyddan castle at some point during 2013 and also has her workshop situated right next door!!

Bodelwyddan Castle family day out…

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Last year Bodelwyddan Castle held an exciting Quentin Blake exhibition to display some of his most important illustrations within their own gallery. As a huge fan of his work I took my family to visit the Castle and also made use of the other facilities available there, it really was a fantastic day for myself, my partner and the children( see the day further down my blog).

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Photo: My own photo from the exhibition

Gareth Whitley

Since the visit I decided to follow the Castle on Facebook and twitter so that I could find out about any more up and coming events. Gareth Whitley, volunteer at kids museums, editor and publicist of the sites had taken notice of our interest and has kept in contact through out the year and more recently had made me an offer I really couldn’t refuse. As he is part of a team who have been making some changes to the castles visiting facilities he has been looking for different ways to spread the word and to let the public know about the exciting new changes he has made, he also needed volunteers to test the said changes!! That’s where I come into it..Gareth kindly offered my family and I a FREE day out to tour the castle, view the latest exhibitions and basically give feed back on the new editions to the castle guides and touring system.

I was over the moon with his offer, obviously as I got to have a free day out with my family at an educational venue but I also felt very grateful for his offer, I could see that Gareth was keen to update the castles visiting facilities, had a general interest in the public’s views and he was willing to do what ever it took to meet both needs of the castle and the customers I thought it was very refreshing to be part of that and hopefully help him on his mission.

So what are the changes??!!

The first thing I noticed when I entered the reception was the ‘Children’s Explorer Tools’. The brightly colored tools have been specifically introduced to enable children up to age 5 to explore each historical room easily whilst having fun interacting with them, and whats more is that whilst the children are having fun exploring, Parents and guardians get their time to join in with them or take in the sights themselves. The explorers tools include magnifiers, torches, toy cameras and tape measures. (To be returned after use)

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(Photos were taken by me unless stated otherwise)

*Getting the children involved*

There was lots of other ways that Gareth and other members have thought about to encourage children’s to become involved in the gallery and history of the castle and so he has introduced drawing and coloring sheets designated for each historical room. (might I add that it is not just that children that enjoy drawing and coloring 🙂 .)

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Whoops!! I don’t have the best camera skills!!

Whilst at the main entrance, children can take some pencils and a clip board so that they can take their activity sheets along their journey with them or even fill their sheets in before they set off.

Activity and Educational Booklets

Cute little activity booklets have been created to specific parts of designated rooms for children to enjoy and to easily learn about the works and history of the castle.

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Mini Signs

Something else I noticed on our tour was the really cute illustrated signs which have been placed around the building, illustrated to tell a cat and mouse story for the very young children (just the right height for them too!!) to enable toddlers who cannot yet read or write and take part in the activity booklets, to feel part of the experience.

At this point I was wondering if there was anything that hadn’t been thought of! I felt that lots of different areas had been explored within the castle personnel to ensure people and children of all ages were considered to maximize an enjoyable and educational visit.

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Extra fun

So there is already a few new changes to aid children on their visit but there is more! More educational features have been placed in the historical rooms themselves just waiting to be discovered!! They have been carefully selected to tie in with the room itself for example, the library has been adjusted to enable visitors to access some drawers and also toys have been placed in there, like prisms and looking glasses to show what kids of historical people are associated with that room. People such as scientists and astronomers. I think the Library was just one of my son’s favorite rooms, as you will see in the following pictures.

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The following photos will show what is new in some of the other rooms for children  to get hands on with 🙂IMG_5870 IMG_5871 IMG_5895 IMG_5896 IMG_6041

Guided tours

Bodelwyddan castle have recently updated their touring system so not only is there some lovely people spotted about during the tour, who are fully educated within the history of the castle itself, and the younger generation are covered with everything I have talked about so far, they now have some really cool handheld media guides!! iPod styled media guides that are packed with everything you will need to learn about the castle and aid a relaxed tour environment!! My son was very excited about having the use of one of the new gadgets and even more so that he could wear one around his neck leaving his hands free to interact with all of the activities.

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The red media guides are available at the main entrance for a deposit, which is understandable considering the cost them, and they give access to the new app which is also downloadable from your own phone or device!!! I was curious about the app so I downloaded it to my own iPhone and I have to admit, as somebody who grew up in Bodelwyddan I was surprised and very interested in the past history of the village and castle!! Do check it out!! And don’t forget to leave a review!!

All of this wasn’t just down to Gareth, The deputy director, Morrigan Mason was responsible for the trails and toys and the coloring in sheets, Whilst the visitor services manager, Laura Verga-Birtles was responsible for the media guides. Gareth Whitley, whose job role within the castle is also directed at Learning and audience development, has been busy researching visitors comments, how they use everything and finding out views and people’s opinions for future services. Further aid came from CyMAL, Museums Archives and Libraries Wales, providing funding/money from the Welsh government.

I have pretty much covered what’s new at the castle where guides and children’s learning is concerned but our day didn’t end there!! My next post covers the rest of our visit, the latest exhibition and what’s coming up. I will always be talking about the illustrator behind the new children’s activity books so keep a watch out very soon!!!!!

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London Serco Competition

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I was working on a competition distributed by London Transport Serco and although I did complete the brief and enter the competition, I felt that that my final illustration didn’t quite meet the criteria of the brief. I don’t feel dis-heartened by that though, as I felt that I discovered quite a lot about my drawing style and also that my style is still developing at a very slow pace!! The brief took lots of turns and twists and I came to love the little characters that I had developed towards the end.

I began looking at time machines to try and portray the time over the years within London but also changed midway to the history of London transport shown together.

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Mrs Pepperpot to the Rescue..Re-illustrated

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Narrowing down my illustrations to the children’s sector, I have been looking at Mrs Pepperpot to the Rescue by Alf Proysen.

I thought that this would be an interesting book to illustrate as not only was it one of my childhood favorites, but there has not been a lot of illustrations based on this book and therefore I felt that there was less influence to my ideas.

After reading through the book one more time, I had decided which parts of the stories I would like to try and illustrate.

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The above illustrations show the progress of planning my drawing, looking at water color and tone and using Photoshop to place the illustration example into the book itself to see how it would look.

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Character development, this was my favorite illustration to work with from this subject. I really enjoyed finding and applying the reference to create the character (George) and trying to figure out how to add a dragon into the picture without drawing the obvious and using the dragons shadow for shape and negative space.

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The roughly, not so finished cover I have been working on, still trying to establish, plan and prioritize what really needs to be in the illustration, how to make it inviting to draw the eye in.

ARD503 The Message, That Looks Dangerous….

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Required to work with a given dialogue, illustrate a basic story line which includes at least 2 characters, create a sequence of illustrations or comic strip.

From what I recall, a  fun brief that required lots of imagination. I found this brief relatively easier than the last few that I have described,  probably due to the barriers I had overcome within them and everything I have learned from working on them. I concentrated on making full use of my selected imagery chosen for research to enable myself to create the illustration direct from my mind. The characters for the illustration were a family of spiders, a Gran and Grandson, who lived in a bathroom so photos of bathrooms was essential to draw from. I had fun getting these photos sneakily in-store at B &Q ( thanks to my partner, Michael), at my mother’s house and also my own bathroom…positioning myself around an empty bath tub is not a good look but does enable essential photographic angles from a spiders point of view!!

Getting the right image research proved to be a very important part of the illustrative process as i Learned at this point, I knew I had it right as my visual ideas seemed to be flowing freely so I was able to draw throughout this brief quite fluently.

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Sadly ( haha) there is no picture of me taking the photos….

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BA6wyXeCEAAvSKc.jpg large BA6w22uCQAAasGJ.jpg large BA6w7klCQAAxkxH.jpg large BA6v7_8CMAAOtfn.jpg large I decided id like to have a try with ink for these illustrations and some thicker paper to be able to hold the ink, i found it very easy to use, and seem to relate to the Sepia color, I am not sure why that specific color but I just know I feel at ease with it for now.

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This is definitely a brief I will go back to progress in the future, I had so much fun created the story and characters and also enjoyed the use of ink.