I need to boast about a monster achievement...
I have been ignoring my blog for a long time, and here is one of the reasons why: my shiny new book just delivered ! I think this must be the first picture book illustrated in egg tempera since the Middle Ages. It is a bi-lingual story (English/German parallel text) for children of all ages. The Monster of Millstatt is a thirty-foot scarlet dragon who has been hibernating for a few hundred years in the mountains behind my house. When he finally emerges from his den he goes on the rampage and creates a load of comical trouble for the locals round the lake, till he is finally brought to heel and instated as a member of the community. The text and illustrations are all my own, though naturally I had a deal of help with the German. British humour is not easy to translate, it seems. The whole idea first grew out of a school cultural project frustrated by Corona restrictions. I thought it was a shame to waste a good idea, but it took over my life. I'm not a fast worker, and I quickly gave up counting the hundreds of hours spent on the pictures. Then when I realised that hiring a graphic designer to help with the layout was unaffordable, I had to set about learning all the software skills to do it myself. As for the printing, since I first approached printers for a quotation, costs have risen exponentially thanks to a world paper shortage. Reader, be warned! If ever the fancy should come over you to produce a book, have a little lie down and let the feeling wear off. Now comes the work of shipping 500 copies out of my cellar and on to the coffee tables of Carinthia - not a small task for a sales-shy artist operating in a foreign language. But I think that luckily the book has appeal both for locals and tourists - a souvenir with local flavour which is neither kitsch nor too heavy to pack in a suitcase. And the book has already been adopted as an event in the Millstatt Music Festival for next summer - a reading with musical interludes, along the lines of Peter & the Wolf, orTthe Carnival of the Animals. Local music director Stefan Hofer will compose the music:, and I am so looking forward to hearing what comes - my only stipulation was that he must include bagpipes and alpine horns, Fortunately he has both those instruments at his disposal. -Millstatt has everything.
Copies available direct from me at €20 each (order form here).
The view from my desk
Current work, places and events, art travel, and interesting snippets about Christian icons, medieval art, manuscript illumination, egg tempera,, gilding, technique and materials.