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Inspired by Carlo Crivelli's 1480 Mary Magdalene altarpiece...

..and also an earlier Wallace Collection piece, a dish made by an unknown artist in Deruta, Italy, some time between 1515-1540.


London's been VERY hot and then today the sky poured rain; I was a bit worried no one was going to come to our Grumpycorn party in central London on a Saturday morning! But even if no one else had come (and lots did!), I would have been thrilled just to get the chance to hang out with CHIP THE PUGICORN...

Photo by Stuart Pyle: Hat by Eddie Smith, Dress by Esther Blessed

Thanks so much to Waterstones Covent Garden for hosting! Here's bookseller Josephine Balfour-Oatts (aka JJ) with the gorgeous unicorn cupcakes that Scholastic publicist Louisa Danquah ordered from Flavourtown Bakery.

And here's our Scholastic team! From the left: Louisa Danquah, my new editor Fiz Osborne, publicist Penelope Daukes, bookseller Ella Wilson and me. Big thanks to the book's designer, Strawberrie Donnelly, who ordered this giant copy of the book so I could read it aloud to everyone and show them the pictures! And to Pauliina Maliinen, who edited the text! Thanks, too, to Dean Haywood and Michael Korel at Waterstones for organising our visit.

Photo by Stuart Pyle

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The Seldovia Summer Solstice Music Festival has 'Plein Air' arts programme where they invite artists to talk about our work, lead workshops and go out with other artists sketching from the local landscape. This year I shared the Headline Artist slot with Anchorage-based artist Jen Jolliff. Here's a drawing I made of her during her talk:

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Last month I got to visit the original Alaskan artist cottage that inspired Grumpycorn! It's the studio of Seldovia-born artist and illustrator Valisa Higman (who is very much not grumpy but possibly part magical unicorn).

If you look at the dedication in Grumpycorn, you'll see Valisa's name:

Here's the cottage where Unicorn rows to work on writing the most Fabulous Story in the World.

Valisa does indeed row to work, and you can follow her coastal adventures and the wildlife she encounters on her Instagram account and the not very commonly used hashtag #IRowToWork.

And here's her studio, which is every bit as magical as Unicorn's!

I was in Seldovia for the Seldovia Summer Solstice Music Festival, and Valisa hosted a party on her beach. I drew a picture of some of the festival artists, brothers Thano & Demitri Sahnas and Suzanne Lansford, jamming underneath her pilings.

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happy traction wedding

Congratulations on the big day for Jeremy Levett and Francesca Wilks!

Jeremy Levett liked my Mithila art version of a Mortal Engines traction city, and since I was going to his wedding reception right near St Paul's cathedral (which features on the top deck of the London traction city), it seemed only right to draw in the two of them.

If you haven't yet seen The Illustrated World of Mortal Engines that Jeremy and Philip Reeve co-wrote, do check it out. (It's designed by Jamie Gregory and illustrated by a variety of top illustrators: Ian McQue, David Wyatt, Amir Zand, Rob Turpin, Aedel Fahkrie and Philip Varbanov, with maps designed by Lowtuff and illustrated by Maxime Plasse.)

Hurrah, you two! Thanks for inviting Stuart and me to come along!

Philip Reeve has posted some Instagram pictures of the local environs:


Sarah McIntyre

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