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Pink Patsy

From Art & Start to Book Illustrator

Over the last year a member of our Art & Start group has started writing and illustrating her own children’s story books.  Margaret, aged 81, has just published her 4th story about “Pink Patsy” inspired and helped by her grandchildren and the animals around her. We hope you will also be inspired by her achievement.

Hello, my name is Margaret.

I am one of the ladies that go to the Guideposts “Art and Start” group with Lin & Jane. I loved my once a week art group, but because of the Covid-19 virus we had to close our in-person meetings. We have however kept the group meeting by using Zoom.

How it started…

For the first few weeks of lockdown I didn’t do much painting at home. Then I saw a photo of a hare gazing at the moon and decided to paint it. I put the painting up on Facebook and I got kind responses.  

Then my brother gave me an idea to make the hare unique by making it a colour that no one else had done before. I chose pink and gave the hare the name: Pink Patsy. Then I had an idea to make a children’s book about a pink hare looking for the moon. 

I got busy painting and made my story about a pink hare, a cat, a bird and a mouse. These four characters are based on pets that my family’s pets. They are looking for the moon because when my grandchildren were very young the moon was one of the things they loved to point to.

The bird in the story is a parrot that was lost. That idea came from a true event: my granddaughter was given a bird but the day it was to be picked up it got out of its cage and flew away. My daughter and grandchild Jessie found the bird a few gardens away and brought it back.

The friendship made between Pink Patsy and the lost Bird teaches us that a little kindness goes a long, long way.

At first it was a story book with pictures, then my daughter got involved and turned it into a picture book. We had the book printed and sold copies on Amazon, bookshops and directly. 

One book grew into many…

Because I enjoy painting so much and have so much time on my hands, I got into making more books. My second book was “Pink Patsy and the Rainbow”, inspired by all the rainbows in people’s windows during the first lockdown in 2020. Then I made one about “Pink Patsy and the Snowman” which is more from my imagination.  I have now completed my fourth book “Pink Patsy and the Duckling” which returned to my granddaughter Jessie for inspiration. She goes a stables where the owner rescues animals including foxes and ducklings. Jessie and the horses also can be seen in the pictures.

I’m not altogether new to publishing, as I wrote a book in 2019 about my life, the war years and some history of life before and after world war II (under my pseudonym, Kate Townsend). The book is called “The Price of Wisdom” and is also about how I recovered from living with alcoholism.

Lockdown has given me the opportunity to discover what I enjoy doing with my time at home.

The best thing about my new vocation is that my daughter and my granddaughters are helping with the editing. They are having fun designing the layout and the story telling.

If you’re interested in seeing Margaret’s books, please visit www.magmaybooks.co.uk and www.thepriceofwisdom.co.uk

Update – July 2021

Margaret has earned great success with her Pink Patsy illustrations. On suggestion of Art & Start coordinator Lin, she entered a picture into the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition, and has been shortlisted! What a great achievement.

“I chose the picture because there’s something about it that brings out a special feeling.” Margaret told us. It obviously did for the judges too. The power of art!

We look forward to hearing whether Margaret’s painting will be selected for exhibition in this prestigious event.

How to join?

You are welcome to join our weekly art sessions, even if you’re not a budding illustrator. Art & Start currently takes place on Wednesday mornings on Zoom – more details are on our Online Zoom Groups page.

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