7.4.06

The Princess's Handbook

Spring is slow. It is kind of here-but-not really. I too feel as if I've been here-but-not-really. No news on the Numptys, I suspect that my submission hasn't been looked at yet, or is about to come home, rejected and folded in two by our Posty. We have signed up to the cottage for another 6 months - the Asda in Devon isn't due to be up now until September, although frankly at the moment it'll feel like a miracle if we pull ourselves out of our collective gloom and get our arses down there. In an attempt to throw off this fug of grey murk, I sent the cat story out to Egmont. It's a start.

Reasons to be cheerful - I have been given permission to put the 'girly giftboo
k' illustrations up on my site - they are rather unlike my private work, for a start, they are very small, and they are spot illustrations, which I've never really done before. Nice not to have to worry about the background. So a few of my favourites, from (drum roll if you please) 'The Princess's Handbook' , illustrated by Sophie Allsop, Fran Evans, Georgina Mcbain - and myself, to be published by Templar Publishing in autumn 2006. (To see all of my pieces, click here).

Tomorrow will be better. I will bake a cake, dye the grey out of my hair, finish all the sketches for 'Woodland creatures', maybe start a painting all of my very own and generally try to be the person I aspire to be when I'm being the person I don't want to be but can't help being sometimes. If that makes any sense...

17 comments:

tlc illustration said...

Ah Gretel,

It's good to see you posting again - and what delightful, little spots. I have several neices for whom this book will be perfect when it comes out!

Enjoy your mini-break and impending spring. Cake sounds good!

John said...

Hi there! I tracked your blog from your post on Illustration Mundo comparing Rackham and Shepherd - sorry I had to correct your info on Wind in the Willows, but the truth must out!

I'm really happy I came across your work. It's delightful, you've a lovely sense of colour, and a charming fresh delicacy in your approach. Perhaps it's the enviable location where you live that has something to do with it.

Here's my (newly raised) blog - http://johnshelley.blogspot.com/

PG said...

John you are absolutely right, and I stand head hung, corrected. But something IS bugging me, because - what with those two being my heroes - there is something (although not what I stated on Mundo) which I have been searching through my books all morning to find - to do with the Golden Age writers and artists and dissatisfaction between one major writer and one major illustrator. . I am going to have a good old research and get back to you on this.

Ulla said...

These are wonderful, especially the princess in the tub! Congrats!

Maya said...

Beautiful illustrations as always Gretel! I'd love a bath like that :)
(and ofcourse I will be getting the book when its out!!That goes without saying I think!)

:)
x
Maya

Nasir said...

Beauty...
Well what happned to cake?

PG said...

The cake...got made, but it was a bit odd - I mixed warm jam melted into the batter before baking. Not one of my best - a funny purple colour and a bit dry. Think I'll stick to fruit and spice cakes in future.

Chris.P said...

Love the illo's Gretel. Even the cutlery's thought provoking :¬)

...who is the person you aspire to be?

Chris

ash said...

The last paragraph makes perfect sense to me - particularly today when I have been crying into my cuppa over our finances and the dreaded 'marketing'. Oh, to be the princess in the bath....

PG said...

Yes, there was a certain amount of wishful thinking when I painted that bath...

Chris, you've found the hidden shallows in the spots ;)

The person I aspire to be fits a lot more into their day; they don't have knitting hanging around which only gets done every second Sunday, they go out for a long walk every day rain or shine, there is always a cake in the cake tin, the garden is neat and seeds planted ready for summer. They find time to go to town once a week to do real shopping, send out weekly samples and book submissions, writes for an hour or so every day, and somehow manages to fit in at least five hours of commercial illustration a day on top of this, paint up the range of toys pictures that have been mentally gathering dust for months AND keep the house tidy and cook a proper dinner every night. Because they do all this, they are a stone lighter in weight, don't suffer from the gripes of self doubt and depression, and are bringing in enough money to think about a mortgage.

Did I forget something? The person I'd like to be wouldn't have...

Chris.P said...

Well Alan Titchmarsh seems to manage so why can't you? ;¬)...don't know about the knitting though.

He was on the radio the other day. He was talking about the animated series he came up with - 'Gordon The Garden Gnome'- He's written and voiced 52 episodes so far. He's just about to bring out his 6th 'romantic' novel. He has a column in the Express. He hosts the proms on telly because of his knowledge of classical music. He's also about to do another Natural History series.

...oh, and his new multi-acre garden ain't bad either!

I'm not helping much, am I!

Chris, (full of idea's, ambition, self-doubt and empathy for you)

PG said...

Ha, Alan Titchmarsh - spreads himself thinly, have you ever read one of his fiction boooks - it's like being suffocated with a fluffy pink tea cosy! Had to review one once, in the full knowledge that I couldn't write anything really nasty about the nation's favourite bumbler. I damned with faint praise instead.

And what's that title all about???? Gordon the garden Gnome - how many g-words can we fit in there, Allan? Breaking one of the no-no's of children's story titles - what next, Dilly the Dawdling Duck and her friend Holly the Happy Hen?

Don't get me started...

Chris.P said...

Oohh...A bit of Alan Titchmarsh sexual tension going on here methinks. He obviously strikes some primeval chord;¬)

'it's like being suffocated with a fluffy pink tea cosy'

I can think of worse ways to go...another fantasy of yours I recon.

Don't diss the gnome. Besides you can't count the silent G in the title.

Enough of this denial. You're amongst friends, you're free 'to come out.'

Chris, ( The illustrious illustrator not of Ilkley)

Joanna said...

The illustrations are so pretty. I do feel spring is hear and then we find ourselves driving through a blizard whats going on. Sorry the cake was not one of your best. Try a few spoonfulls of thick cut marmalade in victoria sponge mix. I like to make it into cupcakes. Very easy and all the chunks give it a lovely texture.

PG said...

I confess to my fixation with tea-cosies...:)They do keep the pot nice and warm!

Joanna, that sounds like a great idea with marmalade. I might try it with lemon flavour. I think the flour ratio was too high, 8 oz flour to 3oz of fat and 3oz sugar, Andy said it was like Weight Watchers cake, very worthy and plain. (He's not getting any more until he eats it all up though!)

Sweet Pea said...

These illustrations are lovely! And I am looking forward to seeing the book. I think Spring is always a hard time to get going and get inspired - I am sitting here in Montreal in my own fug, struggling to finish a deadline and feeling like it is an uphill battle. But as you say, it always helps to wake to a new day - your work really is beautiful and something to feel good about!

PG said...

Thank you Sweet Pea - I love your avo! And your delighfully beautiful work, (just been having a nosy at your blog and portfolios).

I see we have Tim Burton, Withnail, Cocorosie and Finn Family Moomintroll in common! What a nice mix.

Oh yes, and I've got big website envy now, seeing your amazing front page! :)