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Saying YES!

Hello there!

Thankyou to all the visitors since my rather long (ahem) absence. Truth be told, I’ve been saying “yes” lots to some exciting projects…some larger, some smaller.

My first “yes” was this cup a dear friend and writer asked me to create for a project she was working on. We had shared rather a magical afternoon over tea and biscuits, discussing our favourite books, illustrators and picturebooks etc. This was the cup she had become rather entranced by, and asked me to capture the essence of it for her project. This dear friend had supported me greatly through my Ma, so I leapt at the chance to say thankyou.

Jane Sunbeam - Magical cup of tea
Final piece in sketchbook for “A Magical Cup of Tea” project

This little piece of thanks grew into rather a good companion, and every time I drank from my cup, I thought of the faith my friend had in me and my work and our magical time together. And as the image sat beside me and the Ma show loomed ever nearer, I needed to think of designs for business cards and publicity postcards – I knew which image to choose, and this little illustration took on a new lease of life – joining me on the next stage of my journey.

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Publicity postcard

So, why this post now? Well, it’s a year since it’s creation, and I meant to write about it at the time, but so much was happening, and also it started the pattern of ‘yesses’, that has lead to exciting times, so it seemed apt to revive myself with this particular cup of tea.

If you wish to see more glimpses of my latest projects, please do visit my Instagram page…

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Second viewing – Cambridge

Well, my second show is now underway – this time all the wonderful work from the Ma Children’s Illustration students are up at the Ruskin Gallery, Cambridge until the 5th March.

Here, due to less space I decided to put less work up, and to fully concentrate on displaying  my prints (collagraphs).

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Work up in the Ruskin Gallery Ma show. Less is more? Or sparse and empty? We need to look at the bigger picture…

 

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A side view of my work

It an odd feeling that at this, my final show I opt to put up so few pieces, and truth be told, my heart, which is full of fun and clutter and all things interesting, wanted to fully fill my space. To cram it full of images of Pepe, and of images from my other books, as I did in my London show (no regrets there as there have been lots of interesting leads to follow up) but I wanted to give these prints a proper viewing, and so my “artist” kicked in – telling me to allow these prints to breathe – to encourage passers by to stop, to look, to pause and take in the details within my intricate prints – some of which take several days to create. And although in isolation (the top image) I feel that the display looks so sparse, when they are looked at next to the colour of it’s neighbour, the display works – the images bounce off each other.

I think what my tired brain (for I am tired after two shows and completing the Ma) is trying to say, is that often one has to carefully choose which work to show, and to match  work to the space, and to not always let the heart rule one’s mind.

And so to the show. For those who can’t make it to the show here’s a sneaky peek…..

Rapunzel in the Tower - An Illustration? A Print? Fine Art? All 3?
Rapunzel in the Tower collagraph on display

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The beautiful gallery space. Well worth a visit to spot the illustrators of the future.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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London Ma Show

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Here are a couple of pictures from the show…Sadly Gertie did not get to hold the pens for the comments book (there were a lot of lovely children who wanted to meet her, but she felt it was safer to sit and watch from above!). More pictures to follow, along with insides from the books. Its odd that this time last week it was all up and had a day of visitors, and now it’s over. But, it was worth it, with lots of great feedback and possibilities. But for now I am having a much needed rest…….

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Gertrude gets ready for the show

Well, I have done it – my journey of the Master’s is almost over, my work is back and its lovely being reunited with it all after such a long time. I have passed, and am now looking forward to the final show and the future.

I’ve been busy selecting work, and mounting some on foamboard (Thankfully I found a company that prints onto the foamboard for you, as that was one job I was not looking forward to…….), and the rest are framed up ready to be shipped off to the show in their gleaming white frames (sadly I was too busy to photograph the framing session).

My business cards have arrived too…. but that’s in another post.

The reason for my posting today is that I have a little friend who is desperate to say Hello…. Everyone, please meet Gertrude (She was named two years ago, so please forgive the connection with Hurricane Gertrude). We are working on a book together called Gertrude and The Moon and she will be appearing at the show. However, she does get a tiny bit bored, so we agreed on a job  for her to do – it is to look after the pencil for the comments book.

Jane Sunbeam textiles (1)
Gertrude

But a bit like the adorable Phoebe in Friends, (when she was allocated the task of looking after ice) Gertrude thoroughly went to town and decided that one pencil was not enough (and she needed to wear her crown!)…….so over to her.

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Look, I can hold a pencil, and more than one. I really can….
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Look, I can hold a pen too…

 

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Perhaps not. I’ll stick to one or two pencils.     Please come and visit me at the show!
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After the Party

Well…. it’s almost halfway through the month and I finally have the time to wish you all a HAPPY NEW YEAR. I hope it was wonderful and that the new year brings you all great adventures and happiness.

I have been busily working away on the Ma hand in for my last module, and have just uploaded images to the Ma website for the final show in London. Its all incredibly exciting. Please do visit the site – there you can see not only my work, but that of all my lovely fellow students. I feel very privileged to be surrounded by so many talented people.

But for now, here is After the Party – an image started whilst doodling in my local, drinking tea. Its wonderful for drawing people, as there is a Zebra crossing outside the large windows.

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Initial sketch….

I wanted to show that the magical world of the child is everywhere. I think the original child was in school uniform and I thought “what if……..?” The greys show the world as some see it – mundane, but for many of us, it is not – it is full of colour, magic and intrigue. I would love to be this girl and wearing her cat costume.

Jane Sunbeam Childrens (31)

 

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My Catalogue page – Mermaid

Hello there! How time is still flying past….

I am still working away on a few projects as ‘ the end of the Ma. Today I want to share the image I created for the design for my  page for the Ma show catalogue. Initially I looked at all my images that I loved, but none sang out to me as ‘the one’. And as mermaids are close to my heart I decided to make a special image for this occasion – after all it was going to go out to some exciting places (publishers, our show, reviewers, past and current students).

I started, as I always do with a sketch, and then decided to bring her to life using watercolours (various makes but Daniel Smith in particular)….

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My mermaid with background

But I had made the background far too “heavy” – and the horizon too high, almost chopping her at the head. So I tried taking the background out, to leave room for my contact details….

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No background – but too plain?

But, rather like Goldilocks who was seeking the right chair, porridge  and bed, it was now “too plain”. Where was she gazing to? What was happening? Where was the drama or narrative? And so I created a second background to add in – and scanned on a couple of different settings…..

And then put them together….

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Final image, with lighter background and lower horizon

Now there is a narrative, and questions to draw the reader in. Where is she gazing?is the ship coming or leaving? I will never know whether this was the right image for the catalogue… but I believe it is.

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Cover Art and Owls

It been a busy week since my last post, as I have been manically working on pieces for hand in, but also I was brave and put work into the competition for the front page of our Ma graduation catalogue for the London show (I submitted 2 in the end). They were not selected, but the image chosen is beautiful (more on that nearer the time).

So, for this week’s post I thought I would take you through the hundreds of choices I made to get to the final covers.

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It started with this little Owl, (made using Daniel Smith Watercolours).
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Some of his details were picked out using machine embroidery.
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I thought he was a little lonely, so added in some parents.
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And a background
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then played with many different layouts
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and added leaves
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then played some more digitally, adding in more leaves and moving the moon
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and adding shadows for more depth
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But it felt too much, so the moon was removed…..
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…..and the leaves. But I didn’t like them all looking so directly out of the image…..
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And so for more narrative, I asked the parents to go to sleep. They said they would happily do so, as it was rather bright for them.
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And then, for my second image, it worked a bit easier – I chose cats! You know by now I love cats. And for the colours I used the “pipette” to choose the colours from the two cats. Oddly I prefer this to the owls, yet it took a tenth of the time.

So there you go….. 2 finished designs, one with more choices than others. The next piece to be created was for my page inside but more on that in the next posts……..