some thumbnails of my illustrations

some thumbnails of my illustrations
Please click on the links below to view my portfolio ........ Images copyright of Carrie Osborne

Thursday, 31 January 2013

Of Wolves and Words...

I love language with all the flow and rhythm of the river of words that when gathered and shaped and spoken become something more, something alive and powerful.

I was recently at Toppings and Company Bookshop in Bath for my brother-in-law Jack Wolf's fabulous reading, talk and book signing to launch his brilliant debut novel 'The Tale of Raw head and Bloody Bones' which deserves a special post all of its own (which will be coming up very soon!)
Its a real Aladdin's cave of beautiful, wonderful books and I came home with a small trove whilst looking back longingly at many others I would have loved to added to the pile... (to add to my ever growing collection here!)
One of those I came home with was Alan Garner's Collected Folk Tales in a beautifully decorated and gilded hard cover, a real treasure! The comment on the back cover by Philip Pullman says:

"The great collections of British folk tales such as this one, should be treated in two ways: first, they should be bound in gold and brought out on ceremonial occasions as national treasures; and second, they should be printed in hundreds of thousands, at the public expense, and given away free to every young teacher and every new parent."

But in the introduction Alan Garner says words that strike a resonating chord with me in all my love of language and stories. Of the folk tale he says:

"The real meaning is in the music; it is in the language: not phonetics, grammer or syntax, but pitch and cadence, and the colour of the word.
In this selection I have tried to get back, through the written word, a sense of the spoken. I have worked to recreate the moment of the telling, so that the printed word may sing."

Yes! I thought, exactly that!
Terri Windling on her blog Myth and Moor has been talking about Storytelling in a far more eloquent way than I and is always inspiring and thought provoking - a well of creativity for all lovers of words, art and story! Do go and have a read...

There is something about writing that I love so much. I often hear it as a trail of thought from another place, bringing with it scents and sounds and dreamlike bright or shadowy images. Very often in the past as now, I have written and illustrated in tandem - sometimes the words manifesting first to lead the image, and sometimes the imagery first, sometimes so vividly that all the words have left to do is describe the scene.
The story I am drawing a dummy book for at the moment arrived suddenly and very strong in its words, and I enjoyed the words so much for their own selves that even though it was always intended for a picture book, it stands alone, which I am pleased about.
I wish I could share this tale with you all, but I would really like to give this its best pitch to a publisher and don't want to scupper its chances... so not yet I'm afraid...
Instead I will show the you one of the double page spreads I have been drawing for the dummy book, sadly for now without the words which would sit on the empty right hand side of the drawing...

Here below is a detail of the top right corner...

 And a closeup of Wolf

Until I drew him I had no idea whether or not I could in fact draw a wolf... this was the first spread I tackled to make sure I could do it, so hopefully the images and words will knit together and sing! I really hope so!

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

A world of spectral silences - Seasons of the soul...

A very belated Happy New Year to you all! I hope whatever weather the winter is wielding in your corner of the country, that you are all warm and well, and happy in heart!
I have not visited much here of late, posts I could have written and would have liked to have written have passed by and been left behind, their unspoken words swept away by a heavy trailing cloak of weariness.
It has been that bone deep kind of weariness that has something more to do with the spirit than the body, that paralyses creativity and numbs the mind. I have always been susceptible to it and rising above it takes a conscious effort. Much like the woods in a way -  my soul turns in ever changing seasons and depths of weather!
But its high time to fling the heavy cloak aside and let the wind blow the weariness away...!

I may try to catch up with some of the lost news and pick up the threads in coming posts, but for now I will just start with today... Those of you folks who live up in North America or Canada probably have a chuckle at the fuss a little bit of snow creates here in Britain! But for all the chaos it causes, it is beautiful...

The snows draw down a strange silence and a cold bewitching beauty... our woods have become an ethereal world of spectral silences under crystal-rimed boughs, a breathtaking unearthliness.

It is like walking through the eerie, evocative paintings of Kay Nielsen and John Bauer, and I love the art of both...They were strongly in my mind as I walked...

By Kay Nielsen

By John Bauer

But there is a part of me that longs for the spring, and I so look forward to watching the slow changes of the woods as ferns unfurl and the earth wakes. I can't wait for the fresh green of young birch leaves layered in light and the bright unravelling curls of baby oak leaves. I love living at the edges of the woods. They are seeming to become a metaphor for life in so many layers for me. Thoughts that deepen and unfold every time I walk there in every changing season..

And even beneath the cloaking snow, a rebellious burst of bright yellow gorse petals defies this season...

The woods were even whiter still when we walked there this morning, the snows marked by many small crisscrossing trails of tiny feet - rabbit tracks stalked by fox, bird tracks fine-etched and faint, and the deeper tracks of foraging deer.
Two deer sprang away ahead of us through the trees, soon to disapear like mist as we followed, and again much closer to home another bounded across our path and away. I hope they're finding enough to eat.


I will be back soon with the beginnings of some artwork to show you from my newest story and will try not to neglect my poor little blog for so long this time! I'll leave you with this clip of Yuri Norstein's 'Seasons' - I know I've posted it before but it is so perfect for this post and entrancing however many times you see it!
Bye for now...

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