Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Cover image for The Panda's Child.

My hands smell of the summer scent of tomato plants, from picking out the side shoots. They are green bushes, some with small flowers.
I am excited after talking with Catherine Hyde. We are working on a book, together, hoping to find a publisher soon. Little Evie in the Darkwoods.
The washing is hanging on the line in sunshine and breeze.
Time to paint.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

A list on a sunny day.

1. Finish horse.
2. Draw out Pand'a Child cover
3. Work on 2 mug designs for MBF.
4. Roughs for East of the Sun.
5. Change front page of website (long long overdue)
6. Play with Procreate on the iPad.
7. Work on I am Cat.
8. Start big painting for Art in Action.
9. Write list for Art in Action.
10. Take in washing.
11. Write a book.

Walking to work: or beautiful distractions.

Here, where the meadowsweet slopes down to the sea. Almost in the shadow of the wind, warm air heavy with the honey-mead heady scent. The sea, wind wrinkled, calm, breathing to the shore.
A raven call.
In the bluest water an silver seal dreams.
Wren song echoes loud from the dark cliff walls, tangled with the sea's song. A soft base note beneath it all the churring call of grasshopper warblers.


Further on Shakespearean pillow banks of wild thyme.
And in The Gessail  the family of kestrels has fledged, at least 3 chicks. They fly just above the beach, wings not yet strong enough to lift them to dance on the wind. Hesitant flight. All they lack is confidence.
When a parent returns with food the air fills with the wings and calling clamour. Four chicks. Then silence, until a grasshopper begins to tick away at time.


On the way home a peregrine, small in the sky, a dark death dart, until a kestrel begins to hang behind him, waiting, watching. Then a family of vagabond ravens crashes black against the blue. I thank them once again for the story of the Ice Bear they gave me some years ago, and make my way home.

Doodling on my iPad gives a sense of freedom and freshness.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Playing shop.

Afternoon tea?

Bags and iPhone cover and mousemat from cafepress. So far, so good. Just ordered samples to show at Art in Action.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

List for the day

 Mary's bagfrom cafepress, posing beautifully.

1. Blog.
2. Link.
3. Bank.
4. Paint.
5. Walk.( Take big bowl)
6. Read.(Bloodstone, Gillian Philip, dangerous)
7. Think.

Artist and Illustrator Magazine have a facebook page. Interesting for people who love art. Please pop over for a look and if you could just click the 'like' button on my card that would be lovely. Upload your own images. The more, the merrier. Beautiful work there from Catherine Hyde and Hannah Willow too.

 My desk today, troubled and messy. Time to tidy.

 Slow worm, beautiful, yesterday.

Cliffs in sunshine, with fulmars nesting, yesterday.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Boxes of Delight

Hannah Willow's boxes sparkled, each a small jewel. And inside each box something more precious, made with heart and soul, a wild charm, magical.


But one in particular was wrapped in tissue of silver and ribbon. Inside the bear slept, waiting to enter the world. To enter and then to search for his love. East of the Sun and West of the Moon.


Sunday, June 19, 2011

St Anthony and an overdue confession.

Last year I went to Norfolk and as part of my visit I was miked up to record talks etc. As the mike went on the necklace came off. The necklace that Hannah Willow made for me to wear when I performed at events to publicize the Ice Bear. The totemic beauty of a necklace that combines the bear, fox, owl, stars, moon and raven, the shamanic spirits of the book. The one off, beautiful handcrafted silver necklace that I love.
I put it in a safe place.
That was the last I saw of it.
I searched my bag, my wallet, the car, I emailed Marilyn form the bookshop, but I knew that if she had found it she would have let me know. I asked the hotel, and then I just hoped that it would give joy to whoever had been lucky enough to find it. For months after it made me sad when I thought of it.
Today Robin drove back to Milton Keynes. I reached into the car to say goodbye to Larry, Robin's dog. Something glinted at me from the dark, something silver, chain, amber. And there it was. And I remembered the 'safe place' I had put it, and the sound of the metal against the small pocket in the car came back. My necklace, back again.
Tomorrow Hannah is coming to visit for the first time ( bringing jewels and things that shine). And she has something for me. 
I do love a happy ending and cannot say how glad I am to have my beautiful necklace back, how glad I am hat it was me that found it.

Saturday, June 18, 2011


I have worked with Resurgence as an illustrator all of my working life, met Satish Kumar a few times and feel very privileged to know him. Today I was just sitting down to work when the dogs barked and the post arrived. When I opened one envelope I found this....

A beautiful edition and I feel so proud to be included. Thank you Resurgence, and bless you.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Calendar dates

The new moon,

Chinese New Year, The Year of the .........dragon!



International Peace Day

International Talk Like a Pirate Day


The full moon.

And to go with the signed copy of the Cat and the Fiddle as the prize for guessing what is in the bottle there will now also be a signed copy of the calendar.

Thursday, June 16, 2011


Jane and I have been working on a calendar to take to Art in Action for sale. The calendar will be an 18 month one, starting in July and going through to December 2012. The print run will be limited, partly depending on how many advanced orders we get and the price is £25 a calendar. Each will be signed, numbered and doodled on.
Each page has a painting or drawing and a short piece of writing. The paper is a beautiful heavy paper, the print quality excellent and they are spiral bound. Images above are jpegs from a pdf so the quality is compromised. The size is 11 3/4 inches by 16 1/2 inches ( for those who bought the cat calendar way back it is the same format).
So, the long preamble is by way of saying that if you would like a calendar please email me at jackie@jackiemorris.co.uk and reserve one.
There may be more at Christmas running for a further 18 months, if this run is successful.
And there will be cafepress calendars of both paintings and cats at some point, but the handmade nature of these makes them more desirable for collectors. 
( Hopefully we will also have moon names and phases on also and maybe dates for eclipses and Perseids etc. Useful dates, rather than bank holidays etc.)


Love at first site

It began some years ago. And it was love at first site. 

To be fair it can be said that unlike with some affairs the passion only grew, from the first days of the orange clam shell to the macbook to the iMac. 
And then she met the iPad. So slim, so seductive and offering such magic.

But very soon things began to fall apart. Years of living on a dial up connection meant that updates had been impossible. The iMac was old, sad, tired. The iPad wouldn't connect as iTunes was an antique and she railed against the foolishness of this, one purchase too far. It say there on the shelf, beautiful but useless. Until Julia came to her aid.
It seemed that all that was needed was to replace the tiger with a snow leopard ( the irony of this was not lost on her).
Everything was backed up in case of emergencies, the snowleopard was purchased and with fear in the heart, despite the gentle encouragement of Julia at Apple.com, she installed the snow leopard.
And now the iPad worked and the iMac was like a new creature. It was as if a caterpillar had woven a chrysalis and then hours later emerged as a beautiful butterfly. The iPad came to life in her hands and love blossomed.

And in between times the painting of mountain lions for I am Cat progressed.


Tuesday, June 14, 2011


In the early morning garden beautiful things were kissed by the dew.

Sunday, June 12, 2011


On the way home I stopped at Jaffe and Neale for presents for my children and my dad. I do love real bookshops, though I walked out with heavy bags and a light wallet. And needless to say I managed to find a thing or two for myself.
One of my favorite illustrators and authors, Shaun Tan, is on this side of the world soon for the launch of his film of The Lost Thing. So, how many favorites can you have in a short space of time? Well, the story and pictures are by Shaun Tan, the music by Tim Minchin. And I bought The Bird King, published by Templar. Beautiful. It has got me doodling again as I am more and more drawn into drawing!
And then I picked up an older copy, of Tales From Suburbia. This is one I dip in and out of like a swallow.

I always pick up shopping lists in supermarkets when they have been left in trolleys. Always try and work out who left them, how they live, what they do. Curiosity. But here Shaun Tan has done so much more with that. Read these, words and pictures.

The Illustration Cupboard has an exhibition to coincide with his visit. It will be in August. It will be astonishing.


Before I went to London I played with my new desk, making a space for it and myself in a jumble of rubble and stored things. It now looks like a shrine to Robin Hobb.
On my return I found ruby jewels in the garden.
And London? Well. The Pop Up Festival began this week and they have so much planned. It is ambitious, expansive, inclusive, exciting, enticing, informing, playful and much much more.


I met and talked to children in a library, The West Library, in Islington ( and in my mind, Neverwhere by Neil Gaimon). Then the next day I went to The Grant Museum and as a result am now haunted by a jar of moles. So many stories tied up in this place. I think for me the most disturbing thing I saw was the Tasmanian Tiger skin and skeleton. For the children the most disturbing thing was probably me telling them how polar bears lick the ice clean after a kill. Perhaps a bit too graphic and I don't think any of them will ever ask for one of those slush puppy things you get in newsagents again.


And meanwhile I found that my garden obsession could continue as Robin and I wandered a wonderful city allotment while Robin's brother Jeremy picked strawberries for our supper.


I have so much work to do. And supper calls. In the oven, butternut squash, bright golden, roasting to be made into soup, and beetroots also roasting in their deep red for a beetroot and yoghurt creation tomorrow.