Paintings from meetings with my publisher for my previous books
The Journey Begins.
I am not sure how I am able to type this morning. I have the inner excitement of a child on Christmas Eve combined with the nerves of a student taking their final exams, giving me a really incredible feeling. I hardly slept last night as ideas whirred through my mind while the thought of waking this morning seem so far away. I finally rose to walk my dog with my head completely in the clouds. Now I have raced to my studio to grab all my papers and paintings for what could be one of the most important meetings of my life.
My next book is about to be conceived. I use the word "conceived" because it won't be born until 2015 when I will be celebrating its launch with very special workshops. You may wonder why this new book will take so long to publish. The answer lies in the content. This is not a book hurriedly thrown together. Nor is it a casual catalogue of demonstrations. It has a specific goal and its readers, I hope, will adore every single page and not be able to put it down.
Here, I need to look back at how I came to this point in my own career as an author. I had been writing for an art magazine and was contacted by my publisher with an offer for my first book. "How to Paint Colour and Light in Watercolour" was a commission by W&N and because it was part of a series the lay out was almost pre determined.
How to Paint Colour and Light in Watercolour
by Jean Haines
But my writing and style led to my next book "Atmospheric Watercolours" which saw my dream of becoming an author of a hard back book come true. I wanted to share and give away all the tips that had been given to me over the years by artists from all over the world. It was important for me to put as much into every chapter as I could and I loved writing it. What I didn't foresee was its success coming. Or its international popularity.
by Jean Haines
"Atmospheric Watercolours" has had to continually go for reprinting and in its first year alone sold over 10,000 copies worldwide. Which according to my publishers has beaten all their previous sales records for a hard back book. This is where you may be expecting me to say how thrilled I was when I heard the news. But I wasn't. I was stunned. At the end of the day I am just someone who loves working in watercolour. .
But something has happened since writing my last book. By examining how I work, from this last book, my own art has grown and my techniques have changed. I now see so many ways to simplify that I missed before and I also see a whole new range of possibilities for making creating, in this medium, far more exciting. I have also eagerly listened to feedback on what has been enjoyed most about "Atmospheric Watercolours" and for everyone who has been kind enough to buy a copy and tell me what they love most, I want to give more.
Initially I took a break from writing and gave my focus to my gallery exhibitions and my own workshops but the seed of an idea was already playing on my mind. A while ago I had a lovely message asking me if I would like to work on a third book and of course, my answer was already known. A resounding YES! But this is when things started getting even more exciting as the title was born before the book itself and it is perfect.
So why couldn't I sleep last night and why am I finding it hard to type this morning? Because today is the very first meeting with my publisher where my new book becomes reality and more than simply the seed of an idea. Its' outline will confirmed in black and white and the planning for filming of demonstrations in the year head will take place. I have a very fascinating foreseeable future where I will become engrossed in my world as an author. I will definitely have more sleepless nights where the excitement of a new chapter will completely take over my mind. I will certainly suffer the frustration of not being able to share what I am working on or painting with you , as I will be keeping many new subjects secretly hugged closed to my heart, until my new book is published. There is so much already definitely going in it, plus I love the step by steps so much that I cannot wait to paint them myself, over and over again!
It know it will be a long wait for this book but it is going to be so worth it. I'm going to give a little tip to anyone who is looking forward to buying a copy too. Please "Pre -order" as the first prints will sell out quickly. I will share details when this is possible and it won't be for some time.
For now though I need to gather my paintings and arrange them for my meeting. I am so excited and also very grateful I can share this moment with my blog readers. I feel you are all close friends holding my hand through this very exciting adventure. One which I intend to share all the ups and downs of so that my journey will give a clear insight into how a book is formed from start to finish.
Wish me luck, its going to be a memorable day!