A little while ago a woman approached me and asked if I'd like to collaborate with her by illustrating a children's book she had written. It was an absolutely beautiful story, about "Grandad" and a family of dolphins, that was based on true events.
I gave her a resounding YES, with the caveat that I would probably be very slow, since I had so much on my plate (not the least of which was a backlog of about 40 mail-art letters I'd promised to send).
True to my word, I was (am) very slow. But towards the end of December, when the days started to warm up and my Facebook feed was full of photos of watermelon and children in swimming pools and families talking about summer holidays, I thought I'd get into the spirit of a seaside holiday myself.
I had 10 letters written and ready to send, so I painted each one with something friendly that might be found somewhere along the Western Australian coast (where the story was set). The theme fit the season, and it was good practice for the actual illustrations I needed to create.
Painting them en masse like that made me feel a little bit nostalgic for the lazy seaside holidays we used to take as kids (ahoy there, Tuggerah Lake). It felt like summer when summer was about nothing more than holidays and the slip 'n slide and icy poles and tan-lines and sleepovers in a tent on the front lawn.
I hope my lovely bloggy pen-pals enjoyed their own little slice of seaside holidays, too!