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, 28 February 2013

Another Small Stone - A Hedgerow Heart...

(You may need to click on this to read it larger!)
Here's the Small Stone that fluttered its way into my notebook this week - though it is maybe a little long for a small stone and a bit ragged around the edges. 
Earlier this week one frosty cold morning, I rescued a tiny wren from the paws of my Mum & Dad's cat. She seemed unharmed and I could hardly feel her at all as she sat calmly and patiently in my hand.

I was enthralled by the brightness of her black glitter eyes, there seemed so much spirit contained within that fragile form, light as breath. Her beak was like a single curved blackthorn, a tiny embodiment of Hedgerow and breezes and wild greeness. She didn't cower or tremble in my hand, just waited, full of awareness, sparkling with it.

A bit blurry - sorry!
 We took her across the field and I opened my hand where she coiled poised for a heartbeat on my palm before fluttering into the hedgerow. She could fly and perch on the fence wire, so I hope she was strong enough after her tangle with the cat to get away safe and rest.
I was intrigued by the spirit of her, the bright spark of her enfolded in feathers.
I'm sure she has more songs to sing.

Monday, 25 February 2013

'A Monster Calls' - the power of images and words...

Just a quick post to talk about this extraordinary novel 'A Monster Calls' By Patrick Ness. I just finished reading this book two nights ago and its one of the most powerful things I have read, harrowing, deeply moving and full of wrenching truths, it totally floored me.
The last few chapters reduced me to tears and left me shaking, yet it is told with such compassion and strength and depth of understanding. The story of this is sadly very close to the bone for some dear friends of mine right now... they are still fighting but I don't know for how long.
Its an extraordinary, genius book, and I have to thank Jackie Morris for bringing it to my awareness in her review of it on her blog here.
 The illustrations fill me with uneasy awe, they are perfect and I love them. All the more powerful for being black and white. Just looking at them makes my heart turn over with the wonderful wild presence of the monster and all the currents of emotion they carry.

Thursday, 21 February 2013

Small Stones.... fragments and thoughts, wingbeats in sun...

Shining Crows


Like facets of anthracite
                      in the wind-bladed light,

Mobbing a Prince of the Air
                      with relentless irreverence.

Words by Carrie - February 2013

I have been thinking for a while now as a bit of a prompt or a discipline of sorts, to properly stick to a regular 'Small Stone' post, maybe at least once a week, both to keep the writing part of my mind open and fluid, and to try to make more frequent visits to my poor neglected blog!
A 'small stone' as I'm sure many of you are familiar with, is like a moment of distilled perception, a fragment, the words or thoughts that fall into your mind when you truly look or feel and respond to the world in its unfolding, in a moment in time.

This is very much the way I have always written anyway, before I ever heard the term 'small stone' and it suits me well. I used to never be without a notebook and pencil or scrap of paper wherever I went. A thought or a fleeting observation would scrawl its way into my notebooks in fragments. Sometimes that small fragment would spark on into another one and then open a meandering trail that might lead into a story. Sometimes I would gather various fragments up like pieces of a puzzle and discover the thread to bind them together into something other with a life of its own.
My most recent two stories for children that I have written were each sparked from a single small stone, a phrase or two that sparked an entire wild journey of words and images - one maybe a little flintier than the other! 
I love the unexpected leaps and turnings these moments of absorbed perception can take, and often love the fragments alone just for the shape and sound of their words.

This one arrived as I was watching a magnificent young Buzzard in the field beside our house, utterly confounded and grounded for all his broad brindled strength, by a pair of very bold derisive crows.
They would not let him be, every time he tried to take wing they would dive down and harry him relentlessly. He was outdone! He was forced to remain grounded for a good half hour or so in our field which gave me a rare good view of him... Eventually with expansive evasive manouvering he managed to flee to the woods hotly pursued by his jeering tormentors!

So, the first stone posted - I will endeavour to add another each week, and if I'm feeling really pro-active I might even start up a 'sketch-a-day' exercise and fill up those sketchbooks too!

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