Yesterday I shared some of my paintings with Colin Meloy and Carson Ellis of Wildwood fame. My painting were inspired by their first book, Wildwood. We met at a University of Washington Bookstore author event. Carson and Colin have created what I think is a highly regarded classic children's book series. I love the illustrations. I love the story.
As a child I spent hours playing in the forest. Flora, fauna and imagination brought hours of fun. The Wildwood books tap into how imagination can weave a fascinating adventure for children of all ages. Walks through the forest change after finishing a Wildwood story. There is almost a creative expectation that the coyote militia will step forward from a huckleberry bush to check your clearance ID. A bird resting on the next branch may want to have a chat. Our neighborhood forests sparkle with fun possibilities.
Carson and Colin were inspired by Portland's 5,000-acre Forest Park. Their own personal walks became the inspiration for many of the magically written events within the Wildwood books.
Talent oozes from this dynamic couple. It is not only talent that has propelled this couple to the children's literature limelight. They shared with me how diligently they work. Balancing the parenting of their small child, they alternate times within each of their studios. Carson spends hours refining her original pencil sketches into nib pen and ink wash delights. Then she takes her turn parenting while Colin retreats to his studio for hours of writing and revision. He especially enjoyed writing the mole dialog in Under Wildwood.
I am looking forward to reading the fun dialog in their latest book. Of course, my eyes will shine with delight as I pour over the fine detail of the underground mole mega-settlement.