Category Archives: News

Something different …. book cover illustration



this one is dedicated to the power of facebook ….

I’ve been doing quite a bit of sketchbook work recently, and I’d been posting on my facebook page about some zentangle work I’d been playing with ….

Zentangle 1 (1) (more of that in a future post, I promise)

An author friend of mine saw it, and asked me if I could do an illustration for his about-to-be-published Young Adult fantasy novel …… Sea Talker: Hated by the people around him, sixteen-year-old Mercaj expects everything to change for the better with the arrival of his predestined soulmate. After she fails to show up, he’s forced into exile where he discovers long-forgotten powers over the sea, which despite his efforts to carve out a peaceful place of his own, might just destroy the whole world.

To fit with the themes of the book, he wanted a pen & ink line drawing that felt like a polynesian tattoo …… after some panic and hyperventilating, I thought I might actually be able to do this, and dug into some research …. turns out that there are layers and layers of meaning in the symbols used in these tattoos …. which made my life a bit easier ….


book cover illustration - Sea Talker

Working with those symbols – the ocean (life, death, the world beyond) represented as waves, jagged sharks teeth (guidance, power), the stylised turtle (the navigator who moves freely between land and sea, family, unity, harmony) and matching them with the themes in the book made it easy(er) to develop an idea ….

book cover illustration - Sea Talker


and refine, and simplify …. the suggestion of a vortex with the spiralling whirlpool of waves, and the mirroring so that the front and the back cover, laid side-by-side, made a heart-shape ….. very much fun, once I’d got over the odd-ness of working with pen, brush and ink instead of needle, thread & fabric ….

book cover illustration - Sea Talker

to get to the finished pieces ….

sea talker

Sea Talker – Alex F Fayle
(click to go to site)

Looks good, I think!!!! Makes me feel a little light-headed to see it!! It’s a great story, too ….




The summer holiday edition

2013-08-13 Xabia Cabo di San Antonio (31)

I’ve spent the last couple of weeks sunning myself on the Costa Blanca in Spain …. one of my truly favourite places. I deliberately didn’t take any sewing (or knitting!) with me to make sure I properly recharged my batteries ….

…. so a lot of this happened ….

but we did go on a bit of an explore, too, up to the Cabo de San Antonio  – plenty to spark the imagination and get my creativity flowing …

2013-08-Xabia Cabo di San Antonio (7)

the shadow of a cloud moving over the water ….

2013-08-Xabia Cabo di San Antonio (10)

the texture and pattern of a rusted gate, threaded through with barbed wire ….

2013-08-Xabia Cabo di San Antonio (16)

looking through the trees into the barred entrance of an old windmill …

2013-08-Xabia Cabo di San Antonio (19)

the texture of old stone looking out of a ruined windmill ….

2013-08-Xabia Cabo di San Antonio (35)

the bright yellow sunburst of this flower against faded brown foliage

2013-08-Xabia Cabo di San Antonio (38)

bold spikes of wild agave ….

2013-08-Xabia Cabo di San Antonio (56)

plants and rubble seen through the regular grid pattern  of an iron mesh fence …

all made my fingers get twitchy for needle, thread and cloth …. what if, what if, what if?

2013-08-09 Xabia (1)