How exciting to hear this week that Warren Crossett, illustrator of my rhyming picture book, ‘This is the Mud!’ (Lothian Hachette 2009) won the 2015 Doug Moran National Portrait Prize – the world’s richest portraiture competition. That’s pretty awesome-impressive!
But I’m not surprised. When Warren was first suggested as an illustrator for ‘This is the Mud!’, I hunted out ‘The Sound of the Sea’, written by Jacqueline Harvey and illustrated by Warren. I opened to a random page in the book, and his illustration was so realistic, so heart-wrenching, (perfectly capturing the emotions that I would later read in the story) that it brought tears to my eyes. I can still see that image in my mind.
His style for ‘This is the Mud!‘ was very different, and a lot of fun – yet there was still so much of my landscape that he managed to glean from photos I sent, (of utes and cows and other farm things) and capture as the backdrop to this story. I wanted a rural Australian landscape, with a beefy cow… but I didn’t expect to feel so at home in the pages of the book.
And then there was my Amber, my bottle-reared baby, the cow who inspired Warren’s illustrations. Who knew, that of all the beef cow breeds and pics I sent, he would choose my pet! She’s as sleepy-calm in real life as she is in the book.
This is the cow
who was chewing her cud
as she went for a drink
and got stuck in the mud.
(Thankfully, my Amber has never been stuck in the mud!)
These photos aren’t new. Our book was first published in 2009 – though you can still catch it read on ABC PlaySchool. But I was just a little bit excited yesterday when I received word of Warren’s win. And I know Amber will be chuffed to hear the news. (She’ll be 19 soon. Which is an achievement in itself, might I add. Especially for a beef cow.) So we had to celebrate, and reflect a little.
I personally love this quote by Warren;
“I think my wife is going to lose the plot when she finds out.”
Yep. That would do it!
I’ve snuck in a little early, but you’ll soon be able to catch the full Poetry Friday round-up for the week at Check it out. Thanks, Jone!