Friday, July 18, 2014

The Writing and Illustrating Process: Author/Illustrator Blog Tour

  Waiting To Take You Away.............

Thanks to friend and fellow author/illustrator, Jenny Betton Rogers, for the invitation to participate. I first met Jenny in L.A. at the SCBWI national conference where she won a coveted Mentorship Award. This last May she scooped up the Portfolio Showcase Grand Prize at the New England Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators conference! Enjoy more of her work:

Oh, look! The Magical Mystery Tour Bus   has pulled up to my studio.

What's that? What am I currently working on? Well, first of all, nice hat. You're welcome. I am currently juggling a lot of balls. Art for moi. Art for thee. Art for sale. Art for glee.

F.Y.I. I wrote a poem that goes with this image.
Send me a note or some smoked salmon and I
will send you the poem. Just kidding about
 the smoked salmon. And for the
record, I never said I was Dante
 Alighieri, Emily Dickinson,
or Pablo Neruda.

Currently I'm in the thumbnail stage of a fabulous picture book project for young readers (some of which haven't even opened their eyes yet) which I will talk about later.

This painting is of my friend Joe, a fabulous barista & juggler on display at Simon Mace Gallery .
Here, have some fresh roasted, fresh brewed Ethiopian coffee. Why do I write what I write? Well, since I am juggling both words and images the question ought to be, Why do I write or paint what I write or paint?

I write or paint because if I did not I would be vexed. Sad. Drowning in the Firth of Forth. Wallowing in some Hogwartian Netherland.  Why I'd be sunburned on Saturn or chilblained in Chile. It's what I love to do.

 How does my writing/illustrating process work?

 Whether I'm writing, illustrating, or free-fall-moshpit-giddyup-painting/sculpting, I re-call my childhood openness to the universe. Then, miraculously things show up or evolve into a phrase or image that wants to become more.

 Like this painting. My other friend, also named, Joe, walks around town every day followed by forty or fifty crows.  Well, I ask you.  There was no way I could not paint this curious slice of life.

Sorry but this painting called, "Confluence" just had to happen.  When we first came to Port Townsend, we went to the William James used bookstore. There are at least twelve or thirteen authors or references to great books  in this image.

Other than some possible mural projects, that's what I'm working on these days.  And splitting wood for this winter.  Not counting the long term Chaucerian epic projects in the works.

Now step right this way! Next stop on our Blog Tour ––––––––>>>>
Please visit the delightful blog of writer, poet, illustrator, and my beautiful daughter, Faith Pray here at her blog Sacred Dirt.


Half-heard in the Stillness said...

Wow Richard does your friend 'really' walk around with 50 crows following him like the Pied Piper? Oooh! I love crows...I was sooo glad when two came to live in our neighbourhood.
I loved your posts and stories and paintings, and I've been across to Faith's blog it's lovely!

'Openness to the universe' as you mention, is that the key?..I seem to have lost that ability somewhere along the last 65 years

Looking forward to hearing and hopefully seeing something of that fabulous book project you mention!

Hugs to ya!

Richard Jesse Watson said...

Hi Half-heard in the Stillness. Long time no chat. Yes, my friend really does walk around town followed by a forty or fifty crows. He also has seagulls hopping up on his knee so he can feed them out of his hand.

As to loosing your openness to the Universe, I know that we go through seasons. Some seasons suck. Or at least some of them catch us overwhelmed. But don't you think that discovery is the state of openness and conversely openness inevitably leads to discovery.

I guess I am an optimist overall, even though I can be super pessimistic about some things. Ebb and flow. Ask some questions into the ether and see what happens. I have found that answers do come, even if in strange packages.

Hugs back ~ RJ

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