Yesterday was an exciting day as it was time for the next meeting for my second book with the senior editor and my Publisher from Search Press. As I have so many paintings for this next publication it made sense to hold the meeting here in my own studio. It was wonderful to see Katie and Roz who arrived at my cottage to discuss the schedule and stages to work on before going to print. I was really looking forward to the day and had my paintings and ideas ready as the book is evolving in such an exciting way. I thought the day would be interesting but little did I know what lay ahead of me!
Ducklings on arrival!
I couldn't resist showing Katie and Roz our youngest ducklings. Living in the countryside by water we now have up to fifty ducks with six families of ducklings coming to feed throughout the day at regular intervals. Their little legs race as they run towards me when I appear with their food which is so cute. It was a wonderful way to welcome guests and our laughter led us into a great frame of mind to get to work.
Ducklings from our cottage.
Over coffee we looked at how my second book is developing and where we are heading with the time frame of having everything ready before the end of the year for publication. This is a very large project and as it is not a commission the contents are totally mine which is very exciting. The Search Press team knew right from the start this could be a very special watercolour book. I am thrilled but keeping the contents very secret for now so that it will be like unwrapping a gift when it is finally launched and received in early Spring 2012
Interrupted by Sidney!
Things were going really well and everything was positive until we had an intruder. Over lunch Roz exclaimed " Theres a swan on your patio!". Sure enough Sidney our very overly friendly swan had decided to join us. As he is very large this can be quite alarming for anyone who hasn't seen him before and most people do not have swans tapping at their windows for food!. I calmly walked him back to the waters edge and he followed like a puppy. Much to Roz and Katies amusement. He was well behaved and I thought that was that.
How wrong can you be?
Sidney feeding on our lawn.
House Martin Causes Chaos!
( No photo as I was too busy trying to rescue it! )
We tried to resume our conversation only to be interrupted by a house martin that flew in through the French windows and was panicking as it couldn't find the way out. I hastily opened all the doors and then helped it by holding it near a window. It flew away quite happily and I suggested we move to my studio to continue working. This would have worked only Sidney decided he wanted to join us there too. Katie told me he was back so I hurriedly encouraged him to leave us alone. Personally I think he had fallen in love with Roz who is blonde as he isn't nomrally quite so amorous! At this point it felt as though nature was completely against us ever finishing our discussions but we bravely continued.
Biscuit the Critic
By now Biscuit the cat felt she should add her opinions to how the book should be written. Walking all over our papers she let us know her views. Apparently she is quite concerned that there could be one too many dogs in my next book and far too few cats at the moment. In fact she feels that even one dog is far too many. She certainly let us know she was not impressed with that arrangement!
(Note to self, remove a dog painting from the book lay out!)
Biscuit totally disgusted with dogs being in my next book. Maybe they will be removed!
The Meeting From Hell?
The day was not going as smoothly as I had planned but Roz and Katie kept laughing and loving their day out seeing nature at its' best here in Hampshire. But by now we were deeply engrossed in the book layout, design,content, aims and exciting new techniques. This was where my heart leapt because we all know magic is happening in the way things are progressing. I can't explain it but I will be working on the content from here in with such a feeling of intense enthusiasm allowing my passion to shine. We covered so much yesterday and it is as though a terrific "on" button has been hit making me want this next book to be even better than any of us could ever have imagined at first and I have to say that was already very wonderful. The wait and patience to make sure everything is absolutely right is so worth it. I want every reader to love every page and feel as though they just have to paint from reading it. Like a peaceful addiction to working watercolour,the way I feel each day which is so fantastic.
Jean and Katie after Sidney had interrupted us in my studio!
The Last Interruption Stole the show!
The last interruption came out of the blue. A family of swans that I had not yet seen arrived with their three young cygnets to show us. While they were feeding I took this shot. We were all mesmerised as they were so beautiful. Katie asked if I could add a paintuing of a cygnet to my book somewhere and that is a lovely idea! Is there room though?
We brought the meeting to a close and looked back over how amazing the day had been.There had been laughter,serious moments, wonderful ideas and excitement at where my book is heading. I now have so much to achieve in the next few months if I want all of this magic to be captured in the pages I am about to write.
Roz and Katie left saying they had never had a day like this before. It has to be one of the most unusual meetings ever. And magical.
Roz and Katie having survived nature at its' best!
With the cottage to myself, and all the wildlife now peacefully sleeping outside it was time to reflect and consider all that had happened. Oh yes, and I must contact Roz today and let her know, yes , that idea for a third book really DOES appeal to me. But somehow I think our meetings will be at head office in future!
If you have dream about writing please never give up. Think about how you work, if you have something to share that is unique and consider how much time you have to work on your project. There may be many books already out there but the world is always big enough for one more and yours may just be the one that lifts someone soul.
Aim to have calmer meetings than mine though!