This is my 101st blog post, so by rights it should include some dalmatians, but it doesn’t. It’s more about rabbits.
When I get that rare luxury called ‘free time’ I love to read, but if I have more free time than time to just read, I do like to make handmade cards, but this is quite rare these days with more commissions and so many other concerns and worries that the world seems to be throwing at us all at the moment!However, putting the world issues to one side, I recently found these handmade cards that my youngest niece, Cora and myself made a few years ago, before my middle sister and her family moved to California. Most Saturdays my sister and my two nieces would come over for a cup of tea and a piece of cake and Cora and I would either play Cluedo (my very favourite board game) or make cards.
Cora has a natural talent for card making and crafts and together we fashioned some cardboard templates and found some nice gingham paper backgrounds and things that would be suitable for Easter cards and we got to work. Quite quickly we could produce a good few cards and then put on the wording and the features of the rabbits’ and chicks’ faces.
Easter is my favourite time of year and although this Easter has been anything but usual or expected, I have still found time to enjoy this special time of year and the odd one or two pieces of chocolate eggs.
There’s nothing like an Easter egg, unless of course you can have two…
A friend and former colleague, Jacqui, contacted me a few weeks ago, to ask if she could commission me to create a birth illustration for a new member of her family, who is called Scarlett. Jacqui’s cousin gave birth to the little girl last year and she is to be christened today (Easter Sunday) in a church in Durham city.
When Jacqui stated that her cousin, Steph, had requested an Easter theme for Scarlett, I wasn’t sure how pastel-coloured eggs, ducklings and rabbits were ‘going to go’ alongside a name like Scarlett, which evokes a bright vivid red to one’s mind. The name Scarlett originates from the colour scarlet and the name became well known during the 1940’s when Vivien Leigh played the part of the vain, self-centred and bewitching Scarlett O’Hara in ‘Gone with the Wind’ (1939). The name has also had a recent boost of interest, which is probably due to the popular and glamorous actress Scarlett Johansson.
After careful consideration of the colour scheme and layout and despite my initial forebodings about the pastel colours and the name ‘Scarlett’ I was pleased with the finished result. I had used a mid-pink for the lettering, adding in small scarlet-coloured dots to the edge of the letters, so that there was some scarlet included in the picture.
I hadn’t done an Easter birth illustration (though I was really looking forward to doing my first), so I was as happy as a sandboy when drawing the ducklings and the bunnies that are enjoying the spring sunshine amongst the Easter eggs. And of course, I had to include one of my favourite spring flowers too – the forget-me-not, which always flowers in my garden from mid-April.
The sketch for the illustration
I hope the illustration is a success with Scarlett’s family and with Scarlett herself in years to come. My client, Jacqui, was so pleased with the illustration that she confessed to wanting to keep it herself, which I consider very high praise indeed… Michael