Archives for the month of: June, 2020

art gallery copy

My daughter Anna is an artist. Her early work showed a lot of flair, and her medium of choice was a fine black pen with added splashes of bright colour. She adopted a cartoon style from the start, so it’s not entirely surprising that she ended up studying animation.

Jester cat

She loves to come up with wild, expressive characters drawn from careful observation. Sketching faces from every angle and with all sorts of emotions, she brings them to life in a way that is quirky and surprising:

cool faces

expressions 2 copy

Sometimes you can get a hint of her current preoccupations and deep desires:

Anna dachshunds

Other times you get a weird window into the things her clients are looking for, like this commissioned piece entitled Timberlake Noodle Bar (your guess is as good as mine):

noodle hair

Anna is about to graduate with an MA in Animation from Central Saint Martin’s in London. Sadly, due to the pandemic, there will be no graduation ceremony or Gala Screening of the final films in a plush cinema. Her final project is now on Vimeo. Here are some background images and character sketches to give a flavour of the piece, which is entitled Unusually Gifted:

Anna antique shop copy

Gifted characters

Living_Room_

Blackboards

The film features an endearing science geek called Herb who is inspired to help others. He takes a methodical approach in order to isolate a problem and work out the perfect solution. Unfortunately, he sometimes gets the wrong end of the stick.

Watch Unusually Gifted on Vimeo HERE.

Lately, Anna has been approached to create unique family portraits for a special occasion (like a landmark birthday). So far they have been very well received, so she’s happy to do more!

family portrait

Williams fam portrait

Anna’s future career as a freelance artist and animator is about to begin in a very uncertain time. I hope there will be even more need for animators now, as we work increasingly online and use educational graphics and short films to explain public health issues. Perhaps art will come into its own in the brave new world that emerges.

Contact Anna Rickards

Anna on Twitter (follow to DM)

Anna on LinkedIn

Anna on Instagram

Comely Park Primary School in Falkirk, Scotland, where I am a proud Patron of Reading, has a special mascot bear called Parker. As you can imagine, Parker has been very lonely in school since the lockdown, and he is looking forward to the day when the children will return. In the meantime, he has painted a rainbow for his window, and he’s been thinking about how to help everyone feel more positive about the future.

Parker is quite a creative bear, and he has been writing some poetry. It made him feel better to think about the colours of the rainbow and all the things he is looking forward to doing with the children when they come back to school. You can read his poem here:

Parker was so pleased with his poem that he thought he would challenge all his Comely Park friends to write one too! And that’s where I come in. As Comely Park Patron of Reading, it’s my job to launch this exciting new writing challenge: Parker’s Positive Poetry.

So what can you write about, I hear you ask. Well, Parker has provided a few ideas to get you started. You can write about all the things you like about being at home instead of at school. You can talk about all the things you are looking forward to once school starts again. You can describe how the world has changed, like the cleaner air and all the animals and birds coming out of hiding. You can imagine what the future will be like – will we all just go back to the way we were, or will things change for the better?

Your poem can be in any form and any length, from a short haiku to a kenning or acrostic poem. It can rhyme or not rhyme – it’s entirely up to you!

Every poem submitted to your teacher will be posted on this page. I’m hoping there will be lots of brilliant work added here over the next few weeks! Good luck and happy writing!

And here are the first entries – some crackers already!

Lucian P7

Macy P6

Katie P1

Gregor P6

Emma P7

Ekua P7 1

Ekua P7 2

Ekua P7 3

Lilly P6

Joshua P4

Malak P4

Finlay P6

Eve P6

Wiktoria P6

Amy P3M

          Alistair P3M

Orrin P3

Amelia P6

Hannah P5

Luke P5

Aleena P7

Holly P7

Leia P7

Alexander P6

Beau P6

Lily P1

Amelia P1

Stella P5

Magnus P4

Andrew P2

Eylulnaz P6

Leo P2

Emmy P3

Mishal P3

Emma P3

Hayden P3

Madeline P7

Evie P7

Cairn P7

Coco P2

Lewis P5

Ryan P6

Daniel P7

Katie P7

Lewis P7

Louise P7

Emily P4

Alexandra P4

Finlay P4

Hamish P4

Holly P4

Imogen P4

Nina P4

Fawn P1

Eleanor P1

Tugrul P1

Luke P4

Roddy P5

Turgut P5

Ryan P6

Emme P6

Lauren P6

Charlotte P6

Logan P1

Isla P1

Eva P6

Molly P6

Fayaaz P7

Joe P6

Cara P7

Orla P7

Sophie P4

Zander P4

Penny P4

Leila P3

Raife P1

Poppy P6

Melek P3

Emma2 P3

Christopher P5

Rory P2

Ava P3

Ava P7

Josie P7

Christian P6

Lucia P5

Ryan3 P6

Bailey P5

Vinnie P5

Christopher P5

James P5

Rory P5

Amelie P5

Marcus P5

Robbie P5

Hannah P7

Olivia P7

Hollie P2

Lily P2

Ewan P2

Emma P2

Jamie P5

Rosie P1

Amy P3

Issy P2

Angus P7

Ellis P7

Ben P1

Aanya P1

April P1

Andrew P1

Alistair P4

Harris P4

Isla P4

Jack P4

Keeva P4

Lewis P4

Millie P4

Freya P4

Eva P1

Emily P6

Matthew P4

Alexander P3

Isabella P3

Eva P3

Aashif P3

Ghulam P4

Mikey P3

Jacob P3

Noah P3

Abigail P4

Georgia P2

Lucy P7

Rosa P2