We have bought ourselves an incubator. Hopefully in three weeks there will be chickens! But at this point a lot of things seem uncertain. Are the collected eggs fertilized? Have they been stored under the best of conditions while waiting for going in to the incubator? Will the thermostat work? Will the automatic egg rotator manage to imitate the care of a tender mother hen?
We have learned that the first step is to collect newly laid eggs, keep them in a cool place with the tip down for at least a day, maximum a week, put them all together inside the incubator... and wait. On Sunday we will turn on the machine. And then the waiting-part will start! (The last two photos from last year, when the children in school took care of extremely newborn chickens.)
A year since we came back from India, suddenly remembered the seeds I bought there. Don´t know how old they are or if they will ever grow, but at least I have to give them a try. Inside the colorfully illustrated bags small parcels made of sheets of Indian newspapers were waiting, and in the parcels I found the seedlings. An Indian seed report in a couple of weeks, then..
Indian bookcovers, more here (50 watts)
Illustrations for Respons, a new-born Swedish magazine. This is a kind of commission that I favor; reading an interesting article, trying to find its kernel, making an illustration out of thoughts. This article, about how the scientists today have to struggle against technocratic monitoring, was a well needed reminder of that I, nowadays, almost never feed my brain with texts longer than the absolutely shortest newspaper notices.
A quick trip to Stockholm. Spoke about my new book (Vad har du bakom ryggen?) at a gathering at the publishing house Rabén & Sjögren and had two suddenly unexpected and unscheduled free hours before going back home. Hurried to see some exhibitions, passed the entrance to the art school I went to during a school term in the late 90s, saw Evert Taube, the yet sleeping funfair, the slumbering plantations in Kungsträdgården and then raced to the train. And when I came back to work it was Friday again.
Maja Qvarnström & Erik Lagerwall, Tjugo i fyra. Mer här.
1. A ranunculus 2. Footprints under the ice 3. The new light through my windows at work 4. An ex-semla 5. Ingela Peterson Arrhenius (From an upcoming issue of Uppercase Magazine, article written by me. In the Blog Beautiful column in issue no 12, I was nicely profiled by Elisabeth Dunker, Fine Little Day.)
The hens love spring! You can watch them take long and extremely enjoyable baths in sun warmed sand close to our house. They take small (I mean big) bites from the newly planted pansies. They give us one egg a day. And, now and then, they come visit us indoors. It is nice to have them around. If you feel stressed out or unfocused, the best you can do is to stand watching them for a while. That cure always helps.
Wanted to tell about the process behind my latest book. I know I should try to find a smarter way of making these kinds of illustrations (see some spreads here), but as always I´m to impatient to learn new things on the computer. I want to start working immediately!
When making this book "Vad har du bakom ryggen?" (and also my latest fact book "Kalla fakta om is") I have been working with ink on transparent paper. First I do a very simple sketch. Then I start painting all the different parts of the picture (head, facial features, cape, scratch-wound) one by one, on see-through paper, before I put the teared off sheets in the scanner. In the computer I choose a color for each one of the parts and put them together in a clutter of layers. Finally the book contains thousands of small parts and a hundreds of layers, and I sense the feeling of juggling with soufflés. And when I send the very heavy digital book original to the publisher their server break down.
But as always... when the book comes from the printer (two whole years since the first sketch), the soufflé juggling is already far away, and all you remember is the feeling of pure and total joy!
Working with books is happiness.
My new book is here! Vad har du bakom ryggen? (What's behind your back?) It has been really, really fun making it. And very nice to have the possibility to choose a generous format and to let the characters stretch out on 40 oblong pages. Vad har du bakom ryggen? is published by Rabén & Sjögren.
Bokunge skriver fint om boken här.