'Giovanni' is now officially out in the world. I'm so happy with the way it's turned out and it was a joy, not just to illustrate, but to research the (true) story of four-year-old Giovanni and his family's harrowing journey from Italy to Australia in 1881.
Written by Crystal Corocher
Illustrated by Margeaux Davis (me!)
Published by Wombat Books
Translated by the Volpato Family
This trailer was created by Romi Sharp of Books on Tour PR & Marketing
I'm excited to finally share the cover for my latest children's picture book 'Giovanni', written by the very talented Crystal Corocher. This one will be published by Wombat Books next month and is now available for pre-order.
This moving story follows four-year-old Giovanni and his family on the perilous Marquis de Rays expedition - from Italy to Australia, in 1881.
"In the tradition of great high seas adventure stories of times passed, with one key difference - this is a true story. The epic adventure of four-year-old Giovanni and the journey that could have ended his life, bringing him instead to start a new adventure in a new country, Australia".
I loved doing the research that came with illustrating a story like this one. Thank you to Crystal Corocher for your beautiful writing, and to Rochelle at Wombat Books for this wonderful opportunity :)
Here is my entry with this year's theme, 'Door to adventure'.
I'm very excited to announce that 'Kingdom of Rooms' written by M. J. Gibbs and Jenny Catalano (and illustrated by myself) has just been published, and is availabe to purchase via the author's website.
With the theme of 'royal palaces' and 'collecting', this fun-to-read-aloud book is full of poems that children will enjoy.
I loved spending time researching and drawing the kinds of things that I think would be in a palace full of interesting bits and pieces - coats of armour, statues, Victorian toys, books and rocking horses... and soooo many peacock feathers!
And luckily for me, I had my boys to help me with ideas when I got stuck like, "The boy on the cover should be roller skating and wearing a knight's helmet". Brilliant!
I created the illustrations using watercolour, pen and ink on paper and I hope you enjoy the book as much as I have!
I've just restocked my little illustrated holiday greeting card packs. The cards feature three of my watercolour illustrations - all pine tree / Christmas tree themed of course!
They're available to purchase via my online store, are ready to post straight away and are sustainably packaged.
Obviously there are quite significant postal delays right now, due to the pandemic, so holiday mail will have to go out a lot sooner than usual, to arrive by Christmas.
The estimated delivery time for these cards to reach you is up to ten business days within Australia, and up to four weeks outside of Australia. Plenty of time!
I've shared photos of my sewing table here so many times but I don't think I've ever really shown you where I spend the other part of my working life... this desk on the other side of my work room / studio.
This is where I draw and paint - mostly with watercolour but sometimes with oils or acrylic paint. It looks out into our garden and holds all my precious bits and pieces for illustrating or designing. I found the old desk second-hand and I absolutely love it... lots of drawers and cupboards underneath and it even has a secret compartment (don't tell my kids).
Author Marg Gibbs and I were recently interviewed by the lovely Romi Sharp for the Just Write for Kids blog, about the making of our new book 'Goose at the Gate'.
You can read the interview here and watch a short video trailer all about this fun book of poetry for kids. Enjoy!
My Covid lockdown period earlier this year was spent creating illustrations for a new children's poetry book by author Margaret Gibbs (and home-schooling my kids and designing elephant dolls), This is the kind of thing I've been wanting to do FOREVER and I had so much fun illustrating Margaret's gorgeous poems.
'Goose at the Gate' includes 40 poems for kids, along with a collection of my watercolour illustrations and Margaret's own bright and colourful collages. And it's out now!
'Goose at the Gate' is available to purchase here.
This year I've spent spare moments here and there, creating watercolour paintings that represent the Christmas of my childhood imagination. I've just had them made into holiday cards which you can purchase in sets of three or six, via my online store.
Ironically, Christmas here in Australia does not look like the Christmas of my childhood imagination (or these cards). I guess all of the Christmas stories, movies and images I enjoyed as a child were set in the northern hemisphere - hence the snow, pine forests and foxes in my illustrations.
I promise next year, I will paint wallabies and wombats gazing at a decorated Eucalyptus tree... and probably no snow :)
I've been happily working away on a commission for vegetable drawings this month, which will be used to illustrate recipes. Such a satisfying job and so nice to have a little break from sewing. Here is a selection of the images I've finished using pen and water colour.
The art prints of my paintings 'The fox and the Crow' (inspired by the Aesop fable) are now available to purchase in my online store. Hooray! I'm so happy with the way they turned out. They are professionally printed on the most beautiful art paper and are available in two sizes.
Wishing everyone a safe and happy Christmas. I hope that the new year brings you peace and maybe something exciting.
I made this little painting of a fox and owl enjoying a Christmas tree in a snowy forest, as a card for my children. We are in Australia so Christmas doesn't look like this for us, but this is the Christmas I dreamed of as a child. Next year it will be a wombat and wallaby gazing at a decorated gum tree :)
A free afternoon for a little bit of painting. I'd like to be hanging out in the shade under that tree right now :)
This painting is now available to purchase as an art print.
A couple of my recent drawings... moody eucalyptus trees (based on a photo taken by photographer Ian Brown), and a crow. I've found that drawing branches is quite relaxing, the more twisted and wonky, the better.
And this little crow was a good exercise in varying tones and getting the blackest blacks from my pencil. Also, I really like crows :)
School holidays means drawing instead of sewing. I don't know why. Also there are lots of fairy wrens flitting around at the moment. If I sit very still, they come through the windows and hop around on my desk. Here's a little watercolour drawing I made, inspired by my little friends.
We've had almost a week of steady rain here in the Northern Rivers so I've been sketching my boys with their gumboots and umbrellas, among other things...
Another scene from the Aesop's fable, 'The fox and the crow'... a little challenge (see previous blog post) I set for myself this year. This one is watercolour, pencil and ink and is now available to buy as an art print, in my online store.
To challenge myself to draw and paint more this year, I'm illustrating an Aesop's fable. It's good to push yourself out of your comfort zone from time to time, isn't it?
Anyway, here is what I have so far. I really enjoy illustrating and have only just recently started using watercolour and I'm loving it!
This one (above) is now available to buy as an art print via my online store.
Six weeks at home with my kids during the school holidays means I don't get very much of my work for Willowynn done... in fact I don't really even try to get any work done. I have been drawing though... which has been so nice. I think I'll try to spend more time drawing and painting this year... it's something I used to do all the time but dropped away once I had children.
My name is Margeaux Davis. I'm a doll-maker, sewing pattern designer and children's book illustrator, based in northern New South Wales, Australia.