The Defences Get Higher

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‘He proceeded to build a fence another three feet above the gate to ensure I couldn’t see out and wouldn’t consider it an escape route in the future. I didn’t want to escape but I had to have routes planned in case the jet monster came back and I couldn’t control my fear. I watched with interest as Richard sawed and hammered in nails to make the defence strong.’

After numerous escape attempts by frightened Dylan, Karen and Richard decide to take action, raising the height of the garden fences to keep the scared pup at home. Will this effort stop him, I think not…

This is my eighth illustration for Karen Sanderson’s ‘Where’s Dylan? The Story of an Anxious Dog’.

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The Forgotten and the Fantastical 3

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‘The Forgotten and the Fantastical 3’ collective view of illustrations. I was asked last year by Dr. Bellamy of Mother’s Milk Books whether I would like to create a series of illustrations for modern fairytales. Having been more engrossed with lengthy novels of science fiction and dark dystopian futures, I wasn’t sure that I could fully appreciate, let alone illustrate these short stories while still capturing their essence and morals all within a few inches of white paper. However, these individual tales captivated me from the moment I started reading and the imagery flowed through my mind like living beings. The final illustrations are barely any different to the first rough jottings I scribbled down – the stories knew who they were, what they wanted to be, and how they wanted to be portrayed. They really do have a life of their own. So when the chance came again this year to illustrate the third anthology of the series, I couldn’t wait to get started, and here’s the result :).

The characters in these tales can’t wait to meet you and I’m sure there are any more that want to share their stories. Visit the Mother’s Milk Books facebook page for news of upcoming events, new publications and updates on the independent press’ activities.

And of course, visit their website to delve into their literary works.

‘Girl on a Pied Horse’

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As ‘The Forgotten and the Fantastical 3’ draws to a close we begin the final story and join the flight of a young girl and her horse. Racing desperately from the clawing darkness, searching restlessly for the first rays of dawn, we begin to wonder… Who is this child and why does her pursuer give chase with such ferocity? Is she a threat or might she just bring a whisper of promise to us all…?

‘Girl on a Pied Horse’ by Sarah Hindmarsh is the seventeeth and final story in ‘The Forgotten and the Fantastical 3’, published by Mother’s Milk Books. Visit their website to support and learn more about this Nottingham-based independent publisher:

Inktober 2016 – Day 1 – ‘Life on Mars?’

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For 2016’s Inktober, I’ve decided to focus on illustrating designs inspired by the various forms, shapes and patterns in Sacred Geometry – this is anything form the Fibonacci spiral to The Metatron Cube to dodeca-whatsits. Day 1’s illustration shows a small section of the geometry ‘The Seed of Life’, itself a small section of ‘The Flower of Life’. A very black and white Mars (only monochrome because my red pen is currently A.W.O.L) makes up the centre circle.

 

‘Time is Running Out’ – (save our bees)

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Sitting in the garden at my parents’ house – I would sit in my own garden but my own gardening skill amounts to horticultural genocide, thus there are no plants to observe – it’s difficult to believe that the bee population is in such massive decline. Their garden is, literally, swarming with bees – I swear they must have at least 50% of the UK’s bee population in their backyard. It’s an anaphylactic nightmare.

Still, it’s suprisingly therapeutic watching them go about their daily pollen-collecting and distributing enterprise with such dedication, most likely completely unaware of how much of a benefit they are to us in the process. According to the ‘Bumblebee Conservation Trust‘s website, bees (alongside other pollinating insects, can’t give bees all the credit), contribute £400 million per annum to the UK economy alone, just by pollinating commercial crops. There’s nothing like a millions-strong monetary statistic to kick government conservation schemes into action.

Although many independent schemes have been established to help conserve bee populations, the battle to halt their decline is really just beginning. Even the smallest green space – even a plantpot will do – can help in providing bees with the floral resources they require. I myself am refusing to pull up the one stubbornly thriving plant in the garden – a now 6-foot tall weed, unfortunately – as the bees seem to love it. That’s my small contribution until I acquire some green fingers. But the most important thing to remember is that we can all help out and show our appreciation to the bees. 🙂