Word and Music

Fresh discoveries, and reaffirmations. Now there’s balance for you. Actually, visiting the exhibition of Alex Scheffler’s work, at Mottifont Abbey, was a bit of both. Seeing a selection of his colourful creations, close up, was a new experience. His mastery of visual communication undeniable. Mr Scheffler has been a busy man, in the most positive sense.

The flipside being perfectly captured in a short radio clip I happened to hear earlier this morning, before I sat down to write this post. Oliver Burkeman on Fetishising Busyness soberly reaffirms the self-fastening knot of busyness that affects our daily lives. Unless, like me, you are useless at knots.

Maybe Rebecca Solnit has some of the answers. In one of those newspaper interviews where you find yourself nodding in agreement with the sentiments, even if you are a world away from the experience, the writer declares, “I’m an introvert who loves staying home alone, and it wasn’t as if I was yearning to be super-famous. I didn’t want to be the Stephen King of feminist prose style, or something.” This kind of dovetails with a statement made by another of my favourite writers, Cormac McCarthy. When asked about his low public profile, he answered that he’s not a recluse, but he is a “gregarious loner”. I liked that, and I’m always trailing it out when people suggest that I should socialise more.
Then came a musical discovery, only yesterday. I stumbled on a most beautiful album. Judee Sill’s ‘Heart Food’, released in 1973. How on earth did I miss it?

6 thoughts on “Word and Music

  1. So lovely to see an Axel Scheffler illustration here and to know you enjoyed the exhibition. I'm in the same field, a children's book illustrator, and when I was first starting out I went to a seminar in which he was one of the speakers – what a modest, humorous and very interesting man. It was very revealing as well to hear about some of his problems with illustration and compromises he had to make (as we tend to think we're the only ones to have them, I think, and that everyone else sails through!) I've since worked with an art director who'd previously worked with him at Macmillan and she said the same, so we're both fans! His work is just so fresh and so characterful, one of my favourites. I shall come back to read Rebecca Solnit too, thanks.


  2. C, the exhibition was a joy, and of particular interest to the eldest of my three granddaughters. Writing and illustrating her own stories has played an extraordinarily large part of her *almost* eleven years (if you'd care to, you can see some of her early work, on my old blog, at http://square-sunshine.blogspot.co.uk/search/label/SW%20Tales) Axel Scheffler is an inspiration, but other influences include Cressida Cowell and Lauren Child. Thanks for dropping by. Always nice to have you visit.


  3. A Feast Martin !gregarious loner's of the World Unite ! (tho,mind,not too closely…) .
    I must investigate your links : & ,yes, Judie Sill was rather special.
    Everybody's 'busy' being someone else .which a kind of shame.The reason,I imagine , is that the more folk 'do', the less time to reflect.


  4. Just popped over to see your granddaughter's stories and illustrations – such lovely work! So great to see her imagination, flair and talent. I was reminded of my own past – the same thing occupied a huge part of my childhood! – so I can imagine her enthusiasm and love for writing and drawing very well. I hope she continues…. it's wonderful to see, thank you.


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