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Ever since I was 6 years old I wanted to be an artist, and though at times during growing up my ambition wavered and I favoured being a cowboy, a nun or a vet I mostly stuck to the idea of being an artist. Secretly I wanted to write also.
At school favourite subjects were all wrapped around stories, like history, or drawing, like geography.
I used to get told off for drawing and dreaming. Now I get paid for it, so looking back all that drawing and dreaming was career development.
Now I live in a storybook cottage by the sea. I have two children who wear me out but are wonderful companions as well as being sources of inspiration, two dogs and five cats, including one called Maurice, who, had we lived 200 years ago would have got me burnt as a witch.
I spend my days reading, writing, drawing and colouring in and listening to music and the radio, walking on the cliffs by the sea and finding stories in the landscape, in the warm breath of the wind, in the odd snippet of over heard conversation, it the slant of light as it falls from the sky and in the whisper of the waves as they pull and pebbles on the beach.
I love poetry, the flight of hawks and owls, the colour of the feathers on a rooks back, bluebells, harebells, birds eggs in moss lined nest cups and much much more.
There are days when I love to paint, watching the colour spread from brush to paper, making an image grow out of the careful manipulation of coloured water. And there are days when I get fed up with it all and run away to watch the birds fly, or sulk somewhere and read a book.
As well as illustrating books I also paint for exhibitions.
One of our Books of the Year 2016. Gosh, this is absolutely and completely enchanting. The moment I laid eyes on ‘The Quiet Music of Gently Falling Snow’ I knew I had fallen in love, I hugged the book before even opening the pages. I felt like a child again, it’s beautifully sized, it’s big, the cover stunning, it just invites you to pick it up. The story began when Jackie Morris created Christmas cards, one a year for Help Musicians UK, the words, while there all along, arrived later, in the creating of this book. The illustrations speak so eloquently and beautifully they brought a tear to my eye and goose bumps magically appeared on my arms. This is a book where you just sink into the pages, drift away on the words, and it feels like a half remembered dream. I whole heartedly recommend ‘The Quiet Music of Gently Falling Snow’, it would make a perfect gift (even for yourself), and is a fairy tale delight of a read. ~ Liz Robinson A message from the author, Jackie Morris: Between the covers of this book there is a gathering, of images* and stories. The words tell only a small part of what can be found in the images. These stories ask more questions than they answer. Look at the paintings and find within them more answers. The book is a harbour in which to rest, a catalyst for the imagination, and the stories are a series of lullabies for grown-ups. My hope is that the threads of stories will wrap around the dreams of others and spin fine gold threads to catch the imagination. * - The illustrations were originally commissioned Christmas card designs for the charity Help Musicians. The brief was always the same: anything, so long as there were musical instruments or musicians in it. A message from Jon Boden, singer, composer and musician: A tantalising glimpse into an enigmatic, free-flowing world with music at its heart... Music, painting and words have long been close acquaintances, but in The Quiet Music of Gently Falling Snow Morris has discovered a way of bringing the three art forms together in a truly organic, intuitive amalgam. Click here to read more about Jackie's inspiration for this title and also a word from Jon Boden.
Whether you’re 5 or 105 this is a real dream of a book; a collection of poems that reflect every facet of life with a thoughtful blend of humour and playfullness, poignancy and nostalgia. It’s a collection to be treasured and dipped into at any time and the dream-like illustrations complement the words quite beautfully. In a word – the ‘rolls-royce’ of poetry books. Bel Mooney, the well-known author and columnist is equally enthused: ‘This is a wonderful collection. The hypnotic rhythms of the poems combine with the glorious colours of the illustrations to transport you beyond any passing fashion to a world where everything is possible. That’s what ‘classic’ means. That’s why we will always need books like this.’
The Secret of the Tattered Shoes is a fresh interpretation of the beloved Brothers Grimm fairy tale about twelve princesses who are locked in at night, yet whose dancing shoes are still worn down by morning. A young soldier is tasked to discover their night-time adventures. But unlike the story told by the Brothers Grimm, this soldier seeks a different ending. Jackie's dark and poetic text updates this well-known tale and shows how stories evolve and adapt over time. Beautifully illustrated by Ehsan Abdollahi, who has created stunning puppet-like illustrations in rich and delicate detail, this unique illustrative style brings the story to life and perfectly encapsulate the beauty and melancholy of the story.