The Great Cycle Challenge

This October I am taking part in the “Great Cycle Challenge” to raise money to help fight children’s cancer.


To see a little more about the kids and why it is import to raise money, follow this link


My current cycling goal is to reach 150km. In truth I would like to hit 200km, I will just have to see how I go. I am also hoping to raise at least $500. Again I would obviously love to help raise more.


So to help with the fundraising goal, I have decided to offer some incentives as gifts for people who donate. As I rarely offer original illustrations for sale this will be one of the few opportunities you will have to get one of my illustration.

If you donate $25 I will post you one of my books, signed with an original drawing in it. If you donate $50 I will send you an original drawing (see image below). If you are in the Canberra/Sydney area and donate $100 I will offer you either a visit to your child’s school to talk to their class about illustrating and writing books or a commissioned illustration of your pet. The offer for the pet portrait is internationally available. The first person to donate $50 will receive this image which I would call a part of my ‘New England” series.

Cycle challenge 1

I created this image on my recent trip to Boston/Cambridge Massachusetts, America. I will post other illustrations that are available on facebook as the challenge continues.

To donate my Cycle challenge page is

Edward Lear at Harvard

Imaging my delight and surprise yesterday, when after a morning or recording and sketching notes from the original Alice in Wonderland pencil sketches by John Tenniel (with even a few rough sketches by Lewis Carroll (aka Charles Dodgson) I found out the Harvard’s collection of rare books and manuscripts included works by Edward Lear. ELear book

While I didn’t get to see the Owl and Pusscat illustration on this visit, I did look through a wonderful collection of drawings for his 2nd book of nonsense. I was also give a copy of the Harvard Library Bulletin, special edition on the ‘Edward Lear collection at Harvard University’ (2011)

ELear Feathers

This collection is housed in the Houghton Library in Harvard Square. If you want to see some these amazing images check out the libraries webpage as they have scanned some of the work.

I love the ‘Newt’ (below), while a lot of Lear’s book of nonsense poems have simple and often quite distorted characters, you can get a idea of what an accomplished illustrator Lear was form these alphabet book images. If you look at his work online, check out his watercolour works as well.

ELear Newt

Ready to fly

I’m making final preparations for my trip to America on Wednesday. I am heading to the International Visual Literacy Conference which is being held at the Leslie University in Cambridge Massachusetts.  At the conference, I will be presenting a paper on ‘Illustrating Visual Language Research” at 10 am on Sunday the 17th. In which I discuss some of the overlapping theories from the academic world on illustrative works and from the world of illustration practice.

Slide Vector 6 v2

While I am in Cambridge I plan to take advantage of some of Harvard university’s collections. I will be heading to the wonderfully named “Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology” to draw some of the Mayan artifacts from expeditions conducted in South America in the last 1800’s. I plan to include these in an upcoming book project.


I also hope to get access to some early sketches by John Tenniel. Harvard has some of his early drawings for his version of the character of Alice, from Carroll’s “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass”. I’m sure that these will great for future research work and may link back into my current Thesis on illustrative work practices and visual literacy.

Houghton Lib Alice image

And finally, if I get time I would love to catch a train to Salem one evening for a ‘Voodoo, Vampires and Ghost walking tour’. I’m sure that this tour would be illustratively inspirational in some way. It should also be heaps of fun as I haven’t done a Ghost tour in years, The last one I went on was at Port Arthur in Tasmania.