I create my bird and wildlife paintings for Art at the Point Gallery on Bruny Island Tasmania and illustrations for anything that needs illustrating, children’s books are a favourite. I have for a long time admired and enjoyed the work of illustrators who bring stories to life with their skills and whimsy. Such names as Eliza Wheeler, Melissa Sweet, Ron Brooks and the art of Charles van Stanwych inspire and entertain me.
My commitment to the arts on Bruny Island has led to the establishment, with fellow travellers, of a Bruny Island Foundation for the Arts. It is loosely based on the Shorefast Foundation on Fogo Island, Newfoundland (another island on the edge of the world). This arts-based social enterprise has supported the island life after the demise of the cod fishing industry. Even though we don’t have a cod industry we do have rich fishing and tourism industries and the opportunity to have Bruny Island recognised for its Arts, in all forms, is to be encouraged. The first Residency supported by the Foundation will be held in May/June this year, the location being one of the cottages at the Lighthouse on Cape Bruny. Applications close 26th March, 2018
So in between times, I am keen to continue with children’s book illustrating and work with my agent Brian Cook to gain contracts with the big publishing houses, learn from their experience and push myself under their guidance.
My first book was ‘Annabel’s Dance’ by Di Jackson, published by Wombat Books in 2016. Then ‘The Moonlight Bird and the Grolken’, by Bruny author Anne Morgan, was published by IP Kidz in March. I then had a foray into self-publishing, the children’s book on the Forty-spotted Pardalote endangered special programme was produced for the 2016 Bruny Island Bird Festival. Written by Kate Morton, designed by Julie Hawkins and due to time constraints was an exercise in organisation, efficiency and fun… ‘Little Spot on Bruny Island’ was the exciting result.
The plan is to have a series of the island animals featured in picture books, 'Quentin the Quoll on Bruny Island’ has been launched by Melbourne Architect John Wardle at Dennes Point in January. The third book will be highlighting the plight of the swift parrot in time for the Bird Festival in October, 'Susie P' On Bruny Island.