Feather, Leaf, Bark & Stone

By Jackie Morris

A pillow book of poems, dreams & stories typed on sheets of gold leaf.

Saturday, 27 February 2021

A difficult week where much work was done.....

There is much 'noise' around at the moment that steals the time that could be spent in making work, real work, but is also work. This week I have somehow managed to complete the writing ( I think) and compiling of, Feather, Leaf Bark & Stone. This, because of the curious analogue way I chose to make this work, involved much scanning. 

The book is now scanned, with each page in the order I feel they should go, and has gone back to John to re-edit and Jessica, my agent, so that she can look it over. And now, I wait, to hear what they, who along with Cathy Fisher, are it's first readers.

The next stages will be design. 

Around this so much is also happening. The Unwinding and the Silent Unwinding are still for sale, though the trade edition is still reprinting, the gift edition is available through bookshops and direct from Unbound. Soon it will be joined by a large 'colouring in' or 'Unwinding Sheet' as I like to call it.

We are still working through options for size, paperweight, surface etc for this, but hope to have news soon. The idea is that the sheet is available for you to buy and colour yourself, however you choose, with paint, pencil, ink, and then sign and frame. I have been using the Deep Deep Light paints on this one, to see how it feels. My hope is that it will allow escape, calm, time to just be, focus, relax into colour. And indeed, in the time I spent with it  I felt very much that I was getting a taste of my own medicine, in a good way. I've a couple more I want to play with. You don't have to stay within the lines. The idea is to make each piece your own and if it is succesful there will be more. It's kind of like a big version of the Silent Unwinding.


I've also been learning the shape of a fox, using both Deep Deep Light paint and some of my old paints from an old watercolour box. More on these sleepers later, but if you can't wait there is a blog post here. And there is a new pledge, which it is possible to upgrade to, with fox 'bookmarks' or small paintings made from these 200 year old sleepers. 

The foxes are for a performance at the Natural History Museum at the end of April. For this Deep Deep light are making me some paints. I sent them the recipe for a fox. Chris from Seven Fable has made the most beautiful film of this all coming together. Have a look at this blog post for more, and for links to the show, which will be broadcast live and so can be seen from anywhere in the world.

It is the most beautiful day today. I have a book proposal to gather together with Cathy Fisher, and then I hope to rest my head in colouring for a while. Also, walking a little, to the sea. The light at the beach yesterday was astonishing, and to mark the closing of one book I sent a stone back to the sea. The gold ghost of it rests in the pages of FLB&S.

I am reading Crow Court by Andy Charman, another of Unbound's books. I do love how Unbound connect authors to readers. This wasn't a book I pledged to, but it's really rather a fine creature. There are echoes of The Essex Serpent, but only in the time in which it is set. It's a spell, woven well.

I'm doing two events for Lancaster Literature Festival. Both are on 13th March. One is with Shaun Tan, the other with Nicola Davies. There will be much talk of books. The first is really a celebration of the Kate Greenaway Award, and the Shortlist will be announnced not long after. Sadly although I had books nominated, none were longlisted, but there are some amazing titles on there, and the lists are always a fantastic resource if you wish to know what books to buy for a child and are unsure. That said, I read Tales From the Inner City by Shaun and it's not a 'children's' book. It is just a book. Amazing. Stunningly illustrated, beautifully written, haunting. For the next few days I will immerse myself more in the world of Shaun Tan. 

And then there is this:

More on that later x

Meanwhile, funding for this is close to 150%. I have asked people on twitter to share, rt etc. If you feel able to share, post, talk about the book, word of mouth is always the best way to spread the word. And if once you've done that you leave a comment here I will in about a week choose one person to send a small parcel from my studio to ( I did say on twitter that this might be postcards, a book, something, or might just be cat hair!- but I am sure in amongst the chaos I can find a few things that would like a new home) Maybe as a comment just tell me how you are keeping. I vere between calm, focussed and panic at how much there is to be done. I find it hard to settle, then when I do it seems another day has fallen through my fingers. Time palys tricks.

There will be more updates. Finishing a book is only a beginning. I have co-ordinates to type and luckily have among my typewriters a rare thing, one that types degrees. Perhaps a posting about that would be good. Part of what FLB&S is, is about wayfinding, about knowing your place, in the real sense of the word, about navigating your way through life with words. Time, and place. Time, and place. Yes. 



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Etho Burrow
 Etho Burrow says:

I shared FLB&S with my partner, who's a huge fan of poetry and words in general. I'm doing alright; I just got done with school assessments and that was fairly difficult, but it's done now, and I'm back to the monotony of "normal" school (aka online school).

posted 1st March 2021

Lucy Coats
 Lucy Coats says:

My dear friend Susan (also an artist) adores your work, Jackie, so I’ve sent her the link and hope she will invest. And it is an investment—in beauty and art, and so much more. I am doing well, diving deep into shamanic, archaeological and anthropological research for a book of the most ancient of goddess stories. One day I should like to talk to you about that. Lucy xx

posted 1st March 2021

Paula Symonds
 Paula Symonds says:

The blue rocks (just sooooo blue) and clear water brought clarity to thinking whilst attempting writing a new early years policy... yuk! Would much rather draw lines on stones! With their permission of course.... you are such an Inspiration Jackie x

posted 1st March 2021

 Jo TC says:

I'm so enjoying watching Feather, Leaf, Bark and Stone take shape. Thank you for sharing the updates and insights into the process, challenges and all.

Getting down to work has been difficult this morning with the call of sunshine and blue skies from the window (and technological challenges preventing meaningful progress). Completely relate to your description of time playing tricks, taking time to settle and then it's evening again. Very much looking forward to the sun setting later... giving the illusion of longer days!

posted 1st March 2021

Shona Fraser
 Shona Fraser says:

I've shared you project on Facebook to tempt more folks with your fabulous foxes...

I'm in the post up down of having finished my latest college module - bracing myself for the next one which is about conceptual art. Time does seem to have slowed now I'm not so busy. Just enough of it between to start a new painting at home for when the concept art becomes too much for me.

posted 1st March 2021

Jane Kuesel
 Jane Kuesel says:

Good morning, I so enjoy reading your updates and seeing your photos. I am looking forward to holding my copy in my hands and reading it. I continue to be amazed that British bookshops can send books to me here in the US. The last few of your books, signed, came via Royal Mail, wrapped in tissue and sealed with floral washi tape. I opened one each week to make the gift last longer, and to have time to treasure and read each one.

Starting today with bird theatre. My armchair lets me spy on the bird feeders through a tall window. Just add a cup of tea, a bowl of oatmeal, and the birds. Much better than watching the morning news. (Mostly black-capped chickadees this morning.)

Hoping everyone is safe and healthy, and as happy as can be.

posted 1st March 2021

Anna Bear
 Anna Bear says:

Jackie, such an inspiring post - the beauty of the photos, your words and so much to look forward to. The green with polar bears - paper, fabric or a very challenging jigsaw I wonder?? I loved both 'Suburbia' books, I dip in and out of them as each story is it's only tiny world I feel.
I'm surviving, I'm alive. Things are tough and I struggle to cope. Somehow animals, beauty, art and stories keep me tied to the Earth.
Thank you for bringing much needed peace, calm and beauty into the/ my world.

posted 1st March 2021

Barbara Challender
 Barbara Challender says:

I'm so looking forward to seeing this! The foxes are beautiful.
Shared on facebook.

posted 1st March 2021

Paula Beasley
 Paula Beasley says:

I've shared with a few friends who love books, and can't wait to receive my copy. I love the water photo on this post, with its serene colors. The idea of you painting foxes with 200 year old paint fascinates me - I wish I could pledge the amount that would bring one across the water to my home, but alas, too much for me. I'll be content with the beautiful book and the live broadcast in April. I enjoy your work so very much.

posted 1st March 2021

Amber B
 Amber B says:

I’ve shared among my like minded friends that there is another book to enchant and inspire. For me today and yesterday feel like .hope days. Hope that things will change and we will live the spring and summer with the ability to hug and smile and sing. Thank yiu

posted 1st March 2021

Katherine Alker
 Katherine Alker says:

Speaking with a few close friends, we often talk at length about books we're reading, and how they make us feel and think, and what our worlds are like now. I am so pleased literature festivals are continuing and I feel a closer connection through a screen to authors and artists than I ever I imagined I could or would. I've 'met' more this past year than ever before too I think and that makes me feel connected even though there may be miles between us and I haven't really met many other people for months now.
Your foxes are gorgeous. I can't wait to see the bespoke colours created for you by Deep Deep Light!

posted 1st March 2021

Kathrine Haddrell
 Kathrine Haddrell says:

I feel happy and peaceful. I am on the mend from acute sciatica which floored me in January and am pain free. The nights are getting lighter and the bird song louder. The wild garlic, celandine, primroses and daffodils are out or reappearing and I’ve found my self confidence that took a bashing last year is returning. Other people believe in me... I have to do the same.

posted 1st March 2021

Cornelia Rémi
 Cornelia Rémi says:

I don't even know that, whether or how I am keeping. Sad, scared, lonely, longing, missing, often crying, sometimes hoping, wishing that I knew where I belong and where to be at home so I can use all my talent and gifts and energy to do something meaningful instead of merely scrambling and scampering around, full of fear and anxiety. Looking at trees or at a brook helps a little. Touching bark, touching stones, writing, grounding myself. But often, like right now, it feels as if I cannot even breathe properly.

posted 3rd March 2021

Jackie Morris
 Jackie Morris says:

Cornelia, I know that feeling. But at the same time I am lucky to have a sense of belonging. Hard times, difficult days. I find I have less fear at the moment, but anxiety plagues, though diminishes to a whisper or not even that when I am moving paint around. Birds bring me down to earth in the best way. Just watching them be, and striving to be like the wild things, at peace in the moment. From moment to moment x

posted 3rd March 2021

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