New projects!

Every so often a project comes along that intrigues me, and recently I’ve had another one.
Ever since I first saw the Arnolfini picture by Van Eyck – Jean Arnolfini and Jeanne Cenani, his wife, by Jan Van Eyck (1434)  – which, from memory, was when I found as an illustration inside the Folio edition of the Goodman of Paris, I have been struck by that picture. The brilliance of the painting is one thing. What always struck me was the historical detail of the shoes, the clothing, the decorations, and of course the atmosphere. There is so much in the photo that it’s hard to take it all in, but for someone interested in that period, it’s brilliant.
Well, a couple of weeks ago I was asked to take part in a very interesting project by the photographic artist Anna Grayson. She is reimagining old paintings and setting them in a more modern context. One on which she has worked is the Arnolfini painting, which looks excellent. To my shock, but delight, she contacted me to see whether I would pose for her for a reworking of Holbein’s The Ambassadors. I am delighted to show it HERE. I was proud to be able to stand at the table of Ian Mortimer, the excellent author who has done so much to influence my writing, with him taking the left-hand post at the table. I am really grateful to Anna and Ian for letting me get involved in this wonderful project. It was enormous fun, and I think the photo itself works really well.

Authors (low res)
In terms of other news, I’m in the process of preparing to go to Evesham on Thursday 16th for a talk at the AsparaWriting Festival, and then, early next month, I have to go to Toronto for the Bloody Words Festival, where I am the International Guest of Honour. It’s humbling to be asked to go and attend in a form of official capacity, but I’m going to really enjoy it. Toronto is one of my favourite cities in the world, and there are so many good, kind people out there in Canada that will make it a break to remember, I’m sure.
In between, though, I’ll be stopping my work at Exeter University. For two years I’ve been working there with students, helping them with their writing, and it’s been huge fun. However, all good things have to end, and so next week I’ll be sharing a cup of Raspberry and Chilli tea with Dr Sian Harris for the last time, and closing my laptop in the little office that has been my home two days a week since 2012. It’ll be odd to leave, and I’ll miss the place – but I cannot deny that I’m champing at the bit to get back to full-time writing!
So, that’s all for now, folks.
Don’t forget to check my YouTube videos if you want to learn more about how I write, what I write about, and why. Meanwhile, I’m going to start reusing my photo blog to put up more photos of Dartmoor as well as my own attempts at watercolouring and sketching. I was reminded last week that I last looked at this over two years ago – I think that since my poor old Bernese died, I’ve not been in the mood to put up photos of her favourite walks. But that’s silly. I’m back into pictures again. Take a look and see what you think.
For now, thanks again. Do please comment and keep in touch. I need all the feedback I can get!

The latest daub, taken from an ancient path on the north of Dartmoor.

The latest daub, taken from an ancient path on the north of Dartmoor.

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