A few thoughts on illustration. I do think that if I didn't paint I would want to be a picture book illustrator. I have drawn ever since I can remember and it was my first love. I adored, like many young children do, books about fairies and goblins. I have never really grown out of this and still collect books with fantastical themes and beautiful illustrations. I have a very well read copy of Brian Froud and Alan Lee's book 'Faeries' published in 1978. When I was in Italy many years ago travelling with a friend I bought an entire suitcase to drag my Italian picture books around in. This wasn't easy as there are alot of stairs in train stations. But as a result I do have a collection of Italian fairytales that I may never be able to read, but are however, very beautiful. Drawing, illustrating, doodling what ever you want to call it has been the artist tread through my life. I drew all through school - and during class much to the displeasure of my teachers. I swapped drawings for Smurfs and sold illustrations and posters of fantasy characters while at Art school.
In my 20's I carried around with me a diary of sorts that I kept notes, important phone numbers and addresses and of course drawings in. I would sketch what I saw, what was in my imagination...creating characters out of people I met and places I visited. At Art School drawing was definitely my strength as I didn't really develop an interest in painting until years later. I loved life drawing and was never very good at the fast drawings preferring the 1 hour to 2 hour sittings. Since becoming a professional artist I haven't focused a much on drawing as I would like to. It comes down to deciding where I want to use the time. Painting has been my focus but there is always a nagging voice in the back of my mind wanting me to revisit illustration.
So 'one day' I will illustrate a book. I have been saying this sooo long that my friends and family don't believe me. The problem is that I want it to be 'thee' perfect book...even if that perfect book is just my perfect book. I have pages of illustrations that I have held onto from my 20s where I developed part of a book...well more like the characters of a book. In an ideal world I would have a year to focus on this book and only the book. I guess I will know when the time is right. In the mean time I am drawing while planning paintings - taking the time to map out compositions and ideas. I like this work in progress look [ See below] and I think this is what inspired me to work with some black and white prints of my work.