The last photography session of my new book
My blog has fallen quiet yet again as I have been immersed in work. So much is happening that finding time to add to my blog has seemed almost impossible but here I am and almost in tears. Why you might ask. Well, I am currently sat in front of my computer screen with only two contact sheets left on my desk beside my computer. This could be cause for celebration for most authors of art books but for me? I feel really emotional and my eyes could easily leak or over flow at any moment.
I will try to explain.
Contact sheets are what come back to me from a photography session where my book demonstrations are photographed. It is up to me to choose the sequence of photographs that show what I am trying to convey in a step by step. Often you dismiss many shots, only selecting two to six for each page. This takes a lot of time and careful thought as a teaching author, if you want the book to read well.
Internationally popular leading into the idea for my new book which will be launched next year
When I finished writing " Atmospheric Watercolours" the suggestion of this new book was born. At first it was simply an idea, but this thought "seed" grew until I found myself facing signing yet another contract to write my third book on watercolour. My publishers had given great thought to this next publication because "Atmospheric Watercolours" had become so popular and it seemed only logical for me to write again. So, in all honesty, the buyers of my last book actually made the decision for my next publication rather than me. And to every one I owe a huge thank you.
And so, the idea for " Jean Haines World of Watercolours" became more than just an idea. It was first a discussion at a meeting, which was followed by a contract and then there was no going back. I was committed. After that it sprang to life. What is it going to be about ? Well it includes everything Every subject for sure and many favourite technqiues but growing from my last book. So readers of "Atmospheric Watercolours" will have a head start, to non readers of my last book, when following its demonstrations.
But I have changed as an artist in my approach. My excitement has reached a new level which I never thought possible. Since writing "Atmospheric Watercolours" my enjoyment in painting is even greater. I have pushed myself to find new ways of working, researched new colours to enjoy and disocovered fabulous new subjects to stretch my techniques on. Writing this new book has been a fantastic journey.
At first I wrote the opening chapters loving each new page that sprang to life with images and text. It was thrilling but I knew or expected how I would be feeling at this point in my new books' life. But then something happens which maybe is normal for authors. I don't know but all of a sudden this new book started taking over my whole life. I dreamt about each new addition. As time passed writing became so exciting that I couldn't wait to wake each morning to complete what I was seeing in my mind. I have loved imagining readers turning each page and thinking " Wow, I can't wait to try painting that"! And there is a lot to choose from to paint in it.
Just a small pile of paintings that will be a part of my new book. Some may be small images in corners of a page. Others full size. As an author, you need an incredible amount of work to make an art book interesting to read. It cannot, obviously, be just text!
So where am I now in writing my new book and how far to completion?
Well this week I saw the cover of my new book for the first time. I had an idea of what it could be and how it would work in print but I hadn't seen the finished cover until Tuesday. It looks great! My heart skipped a beat when I looked at it for the first time as this is such an important decision to make for an author. Lets' face it, many people buy art books for their cover so I was really concerned that mine had to be just right and my publishers love it.
This week I gave an interview for a Surrey magazine and yesterday gave the interviewer a sneak preview of paintings fom my new book. Their astonished and thrilled reaction was so wonderful that I cannot put into words how that made me feel. Happy does not cover it!
But here I am this morning feeling very emotional because I am writing the very last section of my new book. With one chapter left to write and then a closing page, I am facing the end of writing this beautiful publication that has become a part of my soul. I don't want to write the last word. I don't want to send all the images to the publishers next week for photography as this will mean a goodbye to the creative process on my part.
There will be a trip to the head office to approve the lay out of my book following my already forwarded submission. There will be vital colour matching to ensure the print is true to the colour of my original paintings. This will all take time but finally the book will then be sent back to me for the final say before it goes to print. Then the celebration launch will follow next year.
I have to face it.
I'm working on the very last pages today. And I don't want to be. Because this has been the very best journey of my life in writing so far. Understandably I don't want it to end, ever.
I will have to start imagining the readers who may enjoy what I have created and shared.
So I will try to lose this emotional feeling but right now, it isn't easy!