Saturday, 27 August 2011
For the last four years I’ve been working with the de Havilland Philharmonic Orchestra on a series of children’s concerts. I think what we do together is pretty unique and is certainly a highlight of my year. Apart from narrating stories around sections of the music I also illustrate them at an easel as the orchestra play. This is then projected onto a screen behind the orchestra so everyone can see the pictures grow in time to the music.
It’s a bit of tight-rope walk, which takes months to prepare and lots of careful rehearsing. But I love it and believe truly it is the very best way to introduce children to classical music. The concerts are fun and exciting yet also true to the composer and stories.
Since I was a child I have loved Rimsky-Korsakov’s “Scheherazade” and at last I am able to bring the original stories alive in words and pictures with an orchestra. I am so excited. What could be a better theme than that of the world’s greatest storyteller, Scheherazade herself? Her immortal stories include Sinbad the sailor and many other fabulous tales of geniis and magic and monsters. I’ve been researching and planning since March and I truly believe this concert will be the best ever!
As you can see, I have been experimenting with posters and advertising... hard to get right when so much information needs to be conveyed...
It takes place at a fantastic modern theatre, The Weston Auditorium on the de Havilland campus of the University of Hertfordshire in Hatfield – only 20 minutes out of London. And the date?
NOVEMBER 6th 2011 two performances at 2pm and 4.30pm
Obviously we can only continue this distinguished series with an audience. So please spread the word and come if you can. I promise you an unforgettable afternoon of music, art and stories!
Booking opens on Tuesday August 30th: Box office: 01707 281127
CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFO!
Monday, 22 August 2011
Edinburgh is a city that never disappoints. Once again I have returned from a visit to this remarkable city, full of ideas and filled up with excitements and culture and pictures in the head. This time my family came with me and my free time was spent climbing Arthur's seat, the castle, the Camera Obscura... everything seemed to involve climbing (my poor Suffolk-trained legs are still recovering)!
And here are few photographs to decorate this posting.
Now it's onwards with the Naxos CD sleeves, the Katie & The Starry Night cover, preparing for family concerts, the Bath and Cheltenham Festivals, and writing and illustrating Ella Bella Ballerina and The Nutcracker. And developing something NEW and secret... It's going to be a busy autumn.
You can read about the Katie celebrations on my KATIE'S PICTURE SHOW website. It was quite something!
Friday, 12 August 2011
Recently I have been working away on the 12th book in my Katie series, "Katie and the Starry Night", a magical exploration of Van Gogh's pictures. It's been a tough book as Van Gogh felt harder to interpret than many artists, because of the very obvious struggle and drama in his life and work. It seems a bit ridiculous, comparitively, to apply the word "struggle" to my own work. But it's been a full on few weeks, with Cheltenham Music Festival, the Pop Up festival and other things - lovely things - all coming at the same time. I was, simply, pushed for time.
To compound the problem, I was unwell and, very regrettably, had to cancel my planned visit to the Seven Stories centre in Newcastle; I hate letting anyone down and I was especially looking forward to this event. I can only apologise to those who had booked and I hope that you can forgive me and that I have an opportunity to make it up to you in due course.
Orchard Books sent a splendid bouquet this week to cheer me up. It worked, for I was rather taken with the Van Gogh theme in the sunflowers, contrasting with blues, reminiscent of the Starry Night palette. So I put them on my very own Van Gogh chair for a quick snap...
Meanwhile, apart from the cover, the book is FINISHED. And my pills are working, so I'm all set for my events in Edinburgh next week - at the Book Festival on Tuesday 16th and at the National Gallery of Scotland on Thursday 18th. I love Scotland and I can't wait to celebrate Katie in Scotland with my good friends North of the Border.
And when I return... a new beginning: watch this space! (something very different that I've been experimenting with...)
Tuesday, 2 August 2011
Katie and Waterlily Pond is published in paperback this week. The hardback went out of stock within weeks of publication in the UK, and I know there are people who couldn't get their hands on a copy. So now's your chance! With five Monet masterpieces reproduced within the story, it's another mad-cap romp through art with Katie...
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