Yesterday I had a lovely rejection e-mail for a picture book proposal. I was really pleased that the publisher had taken time to write such a thoughtful letter, as I know they are very busy. I had been expecting it, but it's always a flattener. However, through the feedback I was given in the rejection, I had new idea for developing another picture story of mine - and how to put a more exciting twist to it. So I went to sleep feeling quite gloomy, but the minute I opened my eyes today I knew how 'Sandy Mandy at Sea' should be designed, to run two story lines side by side. But before I get stuck into that, I've got my other commitments, and the last two days have been a big push on the commission. And it will be finished by tomorrow. Really.
I've also got a board of 'tiddlers' waiting to be finished - I know there are potential customers for these, so would like to get them finished by the weekend.
And then there is that second commission to compliment Primavera. Combining my favourite things - a hot air ballon, a boat, patchwork, and a cat. All on a windy day. The first birth present expressed a journey or life - started, and here I have the same little characters at another stage of their adventure. The child is helping the cat (who is holding the red hanky) aboard the balloon. The tower they left behind in the first painting is seen dimly in the background. 'Primavera' lies moored in safe harbour - awaiting a new little traveller - and a departing dolphins' fin bobs in the waves; their guardian's job is done. Who will look after them in 'The Onward Journey?'
I wanted to convey a sense of windswept urgency, a giddy tilt as the balloon lurches off - they only just got there in time! I experimented with the landscape and instead of billowing, buxom hills, there is a skewed horizon, rocking beneath them. The little church symbolises the occasion - a christening.