Saturday, 21 June 2014

Scraps of Summer

'Not invited', pencil, 2009

An early concept sketch for the book that eventually became Rules of Summer five years later. Most of my stories begin as sketches with unfocused narratives (if any at all) and often don't progress much further than this. But they can sometimes evolve: the image here ended up splitting into a few different paintings such as 'Never forget the password' (below, as a rough colour sketch - you can see the compositional similarity) all of which deal with themes of exclusion and longing.

While I really like the concept of this original drawing, it didn't quite fit into the structure of the final book, something that often happens, and so needed to be sacrificed. The phrase 'kill your darlings' – removing favourites – applies to illustration as much as writing.  However, there's no reason why I wouldn't revisit this again in a different context, and a sketchbook is always handy this way, a literal scrapbook open to all kinds of recycling and adaptation.

'Never forget the password' colour sketch, pastel 2013


  1. both works are really intense.....your universe likes me too much !!

  2. Good to know it's 'drawing' you in! I find I keep returning to the same kinds of images again and again, and not entirely sure why, clearly this little universe likes me too. BTW, I think Rules of Summer will be published in Italy soon.

    1. thanks a lot Shaun,i have yet a copy of the book,now i m waiting for "Sketches from a nameles land "....i pre ordered it..


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