Flood Fire Cyclone
Flood, Fire and Cyclone have been a departure from my usual style and a very different collaboration with Jackie French. Scholastic didn't blink when I said I wanted to the first of these, Flood with my left hand.
This is a very emotional story based on the Brisbane floods. I needed to find an illustration style to do it justice. I produce images that have elements of self-expression and 'art' more readily when I use my left hand. So all the illustrations are painted in acrylics on a verticle easel with my left hand.
Fire was the second in the series and I intended to illustrate it exactly as I had done with Flood. But I found I didn't have the dexterity with my left hand to paint the flames. Fire is probably the hardest thing I have tried to paint as its shape constantly changes. So Fire is illustrated with my right hand imitating my left.
Cyclone was by far the most problematic of these three to illustrate. I rely on photographic reference to create a realistic representation of events. Where Flood and Fire were based on recent events Cyclone Tracy occurred in 1974 way before mobile phones and everybody having a camera in their pocket therefor the reference was limited.