Posts tagged Out of the Egg

Star Guest – Tina Matthews talks about illustrating

Hi, my name is Tina Matthews and I’m an author and an illustrator.  This is International Year of the Forests so I’m pretty pleased that my two books, which are both about trees , have been published in 2011. Not only are they about trees, wood was an essential part of making the pictures for both books.

The top of a tree always seemed a very safe place to me when I was small. Even at school we were allowed to climb the huge trees  and I can remember how smooth and shiny the bark was in the places where shoes and feet had found their footing as kids of all ages climbed to the top. In the weekends and after school, from way up in the big trees at home, I could see places I knew, tiny in the distance.  I could hear people I  loved near by. And I could feel the world turning as the sun and the sickle moon went down. Those pleasurable recollections led me to write Waiting For Later. I think kids still love climbing trees, but adults are more nervous about children hurting themselves than they used to be. So I’m very pleased with the cover Walker Books chose for Waiting for Later.

My first book Out of the Egg has just come out in paperback. It’s about a hen, a seed, a little red chick and a great green whispery tree.  It’s about not giving up on a good idea, and children not accepting the silly things their parents sometimes say. It’s a bit like the old story of The Little Red Hen but I’ve given Out of the Egg a new generation and a new ending.

I did all the pictures for Out of the Egg using woodblock prints. It’s a long process which involves drawing the picture on paper then transfering it to a woodblock, carving the picture out of the wood, inking it, then printing it. This is an old way of making pictures and it seemed just right for Out of the Egg. With Waiting for Later I did simpler wood block prints then stencilled over the top of them. I even drew in a few of the tiny details by hand.


People sometimes ask why I go to all the trouble and effort of doing pictures this way. But however you do pictures they can take time and I love the way wood makes its mark on mine. It gives me a hand to get the pictures right.

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