Shearing Time is a companion tale to Granny’s Place – the same characters appear again except we are all a little older this time! Check out the beautiful Border collie on the front page of both books. She doesn’t have a name in the books but we affectionately call her Annie, that’s the name of my own Border collie.
When Shane drew up the dog character and sent it though to me I was amazed that he had drawn a likeness of my dog Annie, he didn’t even know I had a dog … she had passed away just a few weeks before. In Shearing Time, Annie has left Granny’s place and is now living on our farm. Look for her pup on the front cover, he is learning to be a good working dog!
For your chance to win a copy of Shearing Time just comment on one of my daily posts and tell me about your fondest childhood memory. My favourite comment will be a winner! Another chance to win on Karen Tyrell’s blog tomorrow!
InShearing Time, Shane thought about each of the characters in the story (including the animals) and imagined what their back-story might be. This could be about the clothes they wear, the car they drive, even the drink bottles of the shearers. Shane remembered the country houses and the old sheds he used to visit when he was a boy and added these details into the illustrations. For example, in the kitchen you will see that the sink has THREE taps, one for hot, one for cold and the third for tank water, it looks just like the kitchen on the farm!
Shane likes to draw the old-fashioned way with pencil and paper first, and then scans them into Photoshop. Using a drawing tablet he then gives the pictures colour, adding shadows and textures and trying all types of things.
WIN! Comment on one of my daily posts, tell me about your fondest childhood memory for a chance to win a copy of Shearing Time. Some terrific comments coming in! For another chance to win pop over to Karen Tyrell’s blog on Tuesday. You can buy Shearing Time from the wonderful team at Big Sky Publishing.
Here’s the original homestead known as Fairfields that my ancestors, the Shipp Family, built at Pyramid Hill circa 1880. That’s my great-grandad, a shearer, at the gate in the 1950’s. The shearing team camped in the house with the family. Shane McGrath’s depiction in Shearing Time is stunning.
Shane grew up in Melbourne and had lots of cousins that he loved to visit in places like Ballarat and St Arnaud in country Victoria. He would explore the old buildings, climb over old machinery and chase geckos through the bush. The sounds and colours of the countryside are what he remembers most. I think he perfectly captures the Australian landscape and rural life! Leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of Shearing Time and for another chance to win drop over to the wonderful Karen Tyrell’s blog on Tuesday, Feb 28.
I love it! Shane McGrath is an awesome artist and his illustrations are amazing! I created an early version of Shearing Time with dreadful stick figures, then translated that into thoughts for Shane, I didn’t let him see my stick figures! It was magical to see Shane’s interpretation come to life. He created concept drawings, we discussed these and then he waved his magic paintbrush. Shane’s blending of simplicity and meticulous detail in his illustrations is outstanding, he adds humour, character and links to his own life – check out the tally boards in the shearing shed! Don’t forget to comment on one of my daily posts and share a childhood memory for a chance to win a copy of Shearing Time. Some terrific comments coming in! You can buy Shearing Time from the wonderful team at Big Sky Publishing
It’s as exciting as when I was kid – I couldn’t wait for the shearing to begin! Shearing Time is a companion tale to my picture book Granny’s Place, again based on childhood memories with the same characters, including Granny … except it’s the 1970’s now and we are all a little older … including the dog (more on the dogs in a later post). Check the 1980’s photos – you will see the inspiration for Shearing Time – its where the action all happened, the real shed on the farm west of the great little town and wonderful community of Pyramid Hill in northern Victoria. That’s my Dad checking the ear tag on the Dorset Horn ram, the other sheep are a bit worried that their turn is next … I grew up with my two sisters surrounded by animals – sheep, dogs, cats, chooks, cattle and the odd snake! The vast expanses of land gave us the freedom to explore and discover. Sounds idyllic, doesn’t it? But there were tough times as well – droughts, fires and floods. Australian farmers are a resilient bunch and I admire them greatly! More tomorrow on the creation of Shearing Time and a peek inside. For your chance to win a copy of Shearing Time just comment on one of my daily posts and tell me about your fondest childhood memory. My favourite comment will be a winner! You can buy Shearing Time from the wonderful team at Big Sky Publishing.
Shearing Time is nearly here! Tomorrow marks one week until launch day – 1 March. Each day in the upcoming week I will be sharing the inside story on Shearing Time, the inspiration, the illustrations and some great resources. For your chance to win a copy of Shearing Time just comment on one of my daily posts and tell me about your fondest childhood memory. My favourite comment will be a winner! You can buy Shearing Time from the wonderful team at Big Sky Publishing.
It’s Shearing Time! The release is just 4 weeks away but here is my sneak peek. Annie the dog and her friends are as excited as me! Thanks Big Sky Publishing and the amazing Shane McGrath who brings words to life.