Friday, 31 August 2012

James Mayhew at The National Gallery of Scotland

James as "Van Gogh"

post by The Mole

In parallel to the Edinburgh Fringe and the Edinburgh International Book Festival there are other events running and each year in Edinburgh and the National Gallery generally put on an event. This year, once again, they invited James Mayhew to come along and tell stories while painting a picture from the story.

This year he was sat beside a painting that included Cupid and this was the theme for his first story - a story that was totally new to me. The story was of Venus' (Cupid's mother) jealousy of Psyche who was judged to be more beautiful than her. The gallery was busy and despite the relatively quiet voice that James has the gallery became almost silent as people listened, totally captured by his telling of and and fascinated as the blank page came to life.

He then told the story of the Firebird... one that I was more familiar with but not with this rendition. Once again the room was captivated and silent except for James' storytelling. Afterwards James explained to us the origins of the story and how the number of variations came about. Not only is James an extremely accomplished artist and story teller but extremely well versed on myths and legends too.

His latest book in the 'Katie' series is Katie and the Starry Night. I cannot sum the Katie books up better than in the synopsis for his latest book "James Mayhew created Katie as a way to make art accessible to all children. He has been bringing art to life for over twenty years and is a much-loved author/illustrator".

If James is in an event near you at anytime then take the opportunity to go along and be dazzled. Even if you have no children - but if there are children you can take then they will be sure to enjoy it.

Read more on James Mayhew, his books and events over at his blog

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