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, to be encouraged. In 2018, with support from the Jetty Foundation we managed two funded residencies, one at the Bruny Island Lighthouse cottage on South Bruny and the second at a residence in Adventure Bay. We are also now managing the third Bruny Island Art Prize (Bruny20) with the major sponsor, Bruny Island Coastal Retreats. Jetty Foundation have given us more support for another two funded residencies, again one being at the Lighthouse. These 4 week residencies encourage our artist to devote uninterrupted time to their projects in the isolation of the southern part of Bruny, with the weather as a companion. Check out brunyislandfoundation.com for further information.
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, an endangered species, was produced for the 2016 Bruny Island Bird Festival. Written by Kate Morton, book design 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. A Victorian visitor, with a property on Bruny Island, Neil Werrett asked me to illustrate a book dedicated to his son, Billy. ‘Billy’s Bruny Island Garden’ was a pleasure to develop with Neil and Deb.
The second and third in the Endangered series, 'Quentin the Quoll on Bruny Island’ has been launched by Melbourne Architect John Wardle at Dennes Point in January, 2018. The third book, highlighting the plight of the swift parrot, hit the shelves in time for the 2018 Bird Festival and is called ‘Suzi P, the Swift Parrot on Bruny Island’. I took the books to the Deloraine Craft Fair and Cygnet Folk Festival with great success….the pack of 3 look great in a big red ribbon!
Life in the studio at Dennes Point