Saturday, 18 November 2017

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

CICADA - an office story

Cover illustration for Cicada, work in progress, 2017. Oil and acrylic on paper, approx 50 x 70cm.

Yes, a new picture book in the works: Cicada, the story of a hard-working corporate bug. Coming 2018; keep your compound eyes alert! I'll post more developmental work in coming months.

Sunday, 12 November 2017

Thursday, 9 November 2017

RADIUS online catalogue live

From today you can now view all the works in Radius online, especially if you can't make it to Tinning Street Presents in Brunswick. Thanks to Emma Michaelis for the toil; to Zoe, Briana and Alex for installation assistance this week, and Matt Stanton for photography; enjoy the catalogue.

Wednesday, 8 November 2017

If you happen to be in Sweden

Poster for an exhibition of original illustrations in Sigtuna, the oldest town in Sweden, at Konsthall Märsta, November 25 to February 17. It includes work from The Lost Thing, Rules of Summer and The Arrival and other books, as well as some unseen and unpublished works. More about this exhibition here:

Tuesday, 7 November 2017

Monday, 6 November 2017

Red and blue crates on a white shipping container, oil 20 x 15cm

Monday, 30 October 2017

Friday, 27 October 2017

Thursday, 26 October 2017

Apartment lights at the end of a street, oil 20 x 15cm

Wednesday, 25 October 2017

Thursday, 19 October 2017

Wednesday, 18 October 2017

RADIUS: Tinning Street Presents, November 6-26

Blue duct, oil on board, 15 x 20cm

Radius presents over 100 small oil paintings of objects and scenes found within a short walking distance of the gallery in which they are exhibited, radiating out from a small laneway in Brunswick, Melbourne: dumpsters, tram passengers, kitchen sinks, boom gates and so on. The most ordinary things and the weather and light that describe them are beautiful and mysterious, but it is hard to realise this unless we are compelled to stop and study them beyond a passing glance. Visitors are invited to look at the paintings, then take a short walk to consider again the fascinating shapes, forms and colours of their immediate radius.  

An online catalogue will be available soon, and I'll continue regularly posting paintings from this show here. Fore more info:

Monday, 16 October 2017

Thursday, 12 October 2017

Tuesday, 10 October 2017

Rummaging though some old stuff I came across this drawing from about 15 years ago, one of the first test pieces for The Arrival which I'd forgotten about. At this time, long before the book was published or even fully sketched out, the drawing style was reminiscent of Raymond Briggs (The Snowman, When the Wind Blows), who has always had a big influence on my picture book work. The 'reptiles' I later felt were too defined here - better that we don't see their heads or too much other detail, lest they become overly literal in the imagination. So the style and realisation here is not right, but the basic image of the family walking down a street with something dark migrating across the sky was one of two or three key images that seeded the rest of the story.

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

Spare Parts Theatre Rules of Summer. Puppeteers Allan Girod and Nick Pages-Oliver. Picture: Simon Santi The West Australian

Congrats to the cast and crew of Spare Parts Puppet Theatre's adaptation of Rules of Summer, which is currently playing at the Dolphin Theatre, UWA (Perth). The show is a wonderful mix of characters, objects and dreamlike situations extrapolated in a very innovative way from the book, actually less an adaptation than a reinvention of parts. And many of those parts bursting from the stage into the audience and occupying the entire threatre space: bubbles, snails, wind, recalcitrant socks. I always imagined this would be a terrific book to recreate theatrically simply because it is so open-ended and 'unwritten', and SPPT have picked up those threads with their trademark originality and insight. Excellent performances full of humour and pathos, and wonderful to see kids totally buying into this universe and raising a ruckus! Rules of Summer  runs until October 8.

Wednesday, 6 September 2017

Desert Storyteller, pastel on paper

Today (or rather yesterday, I'm a bit late with this post) is Indigenous Literacy Day, a celebraton that aims to raise money for excellent programs to promote reading and distribute quality books to Indigenous communities across Australia. Please join me in making a donation to @TheIndigenousLiteracyFoundation today to support young and keen readers in remote Australia. #ILD2017”

Monday, 21 August 2017


Ghibli! pastel and pencil, 50 x 70cm

As part of the month-long Celebrate Studio Ghibli, I've been invited to create a special poster for the event by both Madman Entertainment (the Australian distributor with whom I worked on The Lost Thing) and Studio Ghibli in Japan. The brief: create anything you like in the spirit of the studio's films, but in your own style. Too much inspiration to choose from! Well, if I have to choose, I've always been fascinated by character Kamaji, who stokes the bath house boiler in Spirited Away: I imagined he would be the ideal multi-tasking projector operator in a Ghibli universe, assisted of course by a young girl – a favoured protagonist of so many Ghibli films – and a few hundred archivist soots. 

I also love the working drawings of Ghibli studio artists, from concept art to loose storyboards, and how the liveliness of hand-rendering lies at the heart of so much Ghibli animation, and so wished to pay tribute to this craft in my own way, keeping the image fresh and sketchy.

CELEBRATE STUDIO GHIBLI is a month-long event that will show screenings across cinemas in Australia and New Zealand, from August 24th to September 20th, 2017, and I will be briefly introducing one of my all-time favourites Totoro at the opening night in Melbourne. A rare opportunity to see all the studio's work on the big screen.

For more info, and also how to acquire a poster, visit Madman's site,