These days picture book artwork usually begins as drawings or watercolours on paper or, more often, computer files created electronically using a digital art software package such as Corel Draw. In contrast, Jeannie makes meticulous constructions which are then photographed for the books. The books are wonderful but seeing the original artwork, quite literally, adds another dimension.
About her technique Jeannie says: "Where I can I like to use textures from the actual materials portrayed such as bark, feathers, cracked paint, earth, knitted wool, tin so that their natural textures become an integral part of the work. The vegetation used is often natural. Using plants was a problem at first but I have learnt how to preserve them so they last and I add permanent colour."
The exhibition of the Mirror artwork is at the Blacktown Arts Centre till February 2nd. It's been touring Australia for the past two years and this is the end of the road. Don't miss it.
Mirror was published in 2010 won the 2011 Children's Book Council of Australia's Picture Book of the year, among other prizes.
|Full credit to Walker Book Australia for tackling such a non-standard book|
Sorry about my ham-fisted photographs. The works are in acrylic cases and, because of reflections from everywhere, haven't done them justice. Also some of them have lights built in and...well, seeing them in the flesh---and feathers, bark and fur---is the only way to see them.
|Jeannie Baker signing a book for a young fan|
|Donna Rawlins and Jeannie Baker|
Photographs with permission from Jeannie Baker.