- That feeling you get when you realize you are the only one on your own in the cafe/ cinema/restaurant. Being a lone wolf is hard sometimes.
So, what have I been up to for the last while, I hear you say? Well, settling into my new studio for one thing! I am now resident at the Custom House Studio’s, Westport, Co. Mayo.
The Studio’s are lovely and have central heating which is amazing. My desk looks out on to the Quay below which is endlessly entertaining.
I have been working on some new graphic novel ideas and practicing the new language of comics. It’s a learning curve, drawing small and with specific intentions, but I am enjoying the new challenges.
The area which is most love to explore is narrative. I love the way that images can tell a story. This sketch above is kind of a layering of memories. It represents the area I grew up in, but also how you eventually out grow your surroundings and set your sights on new adventures. It’s a warm up to test my skills, as I resume work on a graphic novel ‘Ciudad Perdida‘ which I started a few years ago, before my MA. Graphic Novels are such a wonderful blend of Narrative, storytelling and imagery. A great graphic novel is in my opinion a true work of Art. A Pocket great work, that engages our hearts and brains. So watch this space!!
Do they live here?
What do they like to do?
Do they have a pet?
Do they live near the sea (of course!)
Since my MA finished and I returned to Ireland I have been working on some new stories. I am still working out the details but I imagine the main characters as two quirky kids, that love spending time outside. They spend time camping and surfing, and they live in a rural location. The stories also have an environmental theme, and perhaps an air of mystery. No wonder I have not actually finished any of the stories yet!
This year I have began using oil paint. I like painting on wood because of the contrasting textures-the rough wood and the smooth paint. These paintings are made to be held and examined. I haven’t quite figured out how to reproduce these pieces for print yet.
I am so pleased to announce that last week at our MA final show I was awarded the Falmouth School of Art award for Outstanding Curation. I am so pleased that all my hard work paid off. The Sophronia show was incredible and I am very proud to have been a part of it.
The ecologist Aldo Leopold believed that when making environmental decisions we should ‘Think like a Mountain’. The idea behind his philosophy was simple. He urged us to think of the ecosystem from the soil up. What is good for the Mountain is good for the whole ecosystem, including us. But do we think like a Mountain? Do we ever ask the Mountain if the Mountain is happy? If we did, what would the Mountain say?
I have tried to answer that question in my first book: The Mountain that moved. This book is a fun tale about a lonely Mountain that decides he is sick of being a Mountain and is going to try being an Island. This causes chaos for the people in the city below. The book itself is constructed in a very playful and engaging way. I used folds and cutouts throughout the book to create suspense and to engage the reader. I hope this story will entertain young readers and also feed their imagination, allowing them to think about Landscape in a new way.
This space where humans and the Land meet has been at the core of my research over the last two years. My work inspires the audience to think beyond the page, to wonder about the natural world and start to ask questions. And ultimately to want to experience this world for themselves. See more images from the book here
So it is coming to that scary time of the year when I have begun to realise how little time is left till our final MA show, on August 22nd. Tomorrow is the beginning of our final term, and it has begun to dawn on me how little time is left, and how much work is left to do.
I am currently finishing up some half completed oil painting and starting some new paintings for my ‘The mountain that moved’ book. Below is a sketch of Foxes Lane Gardens. I plan on doing lots of sketching around town to create content for my current project.
Sketch of Foxes Lane Gardens