The Harvesters…

It’s almost scary that I drew this pen and ink drawing (later to be coloured with watercolours) almost 21 years ago.  I see that the completion date was ‘St. Ursula’s Day’ (which is the 21 October), so it’s almost ‘come of age’ this drawing in many ways than one.  I have done a number of book illustrations like this one over the years, but most of them I’ve sadly forgotten, but not this one.  This one takes me right back to the years when I was doing a lot of art, whilst also working hard in the world of newspapers…
The Harvesters by Michael Quinlyn-Nixon for blog
The reference material was largely my own photographs, as I can remember photographing these scarlet poppies which were growing in my family village of Tanfield (for those of you who know that area, it’s one of the fields on the industrial estate – opposite the sign to Tanfield Railway).  It was a gorgeous day and I was spending it with some of my family, Carole, Robert and Kirk.

This illustration took quite a long time to do, with the blurry effect behind the mice and the poppies in the foreground being the most time consuming.  I really enjoyed putting the details on the faces of the mice as they climb upon and nibble the swaying wheat.  When I actually spied some harvest mice I could not believe that they were so small; I also wanted to make sure that my trademark ladybird was not out of proportion with these tiny and elusive rodents.

I was rather taken aback by the popularity of this illustration and was delighted when it was reproduced as a greeting card and as one of the summer month illustrations in a rather classy calendar.  The original piece of artwork was purchased by Mr Alistair Thompson, from Scotby in Carlisle, after he saw it displayed at an exhibition.  I wonder if it’s still hung upon the living-room wall of his beautiful home to this present day…

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2 thoughts on “The Harvesters…

  1. Thank you, I have really enjoyed reading your blog Michael, once again. This illustration is so beautiful, and poppies have such a place in most people’s hearts and minds, as they remind us of the fallen. Poppies are also my favorite flowers. I’m sure the gentleman who bought this piece of art, still has it hung and admires it as much today as he did when he purchased it. Keep creating your beautiful pieces of art and illustrations, you have such an amazing talent, yours nd.

    • Hi Neil, thanks so much for your great feedback, it’s much appreciated. Poppies are one of my favourite flowers too, but I also have a special place for forget-me-nots. It’s a great boost to my self-confidence to hear that you are enjoying my work so much (even the illustrations I did many years ago). I hope you keep enjoying the new blog posts as much in the future… Cheers, Michael

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