One Misty, Moisty Morning - Art inspired by children's book

Juliet Lockhart, Artist in Residence for The Writers Company, writes about her latest piece of art inspired by The Little Broomstick by Mary Stewart.

This story box project came from a conversation with Petra McQueen from @companythewriters about children’s books. I have re-read a book from my childhood collection, created a paper puppet and made a box frame to remind me of why I loved those stories.

This story The Little Broomstick by Mary Stewart has to be one of my all time favourites. So many of the ideas in this book seem to have found their way into other more recent stories and so I am lying about the constantly reminded of Mary, Zebedee and Dr Dee and transported back to a garden full of scarlet chrysanthemums, Michaelmas daisies and robins on misty, moisty autumnal mornings.

When I read those words, ‘One misty, moisty morning,’ I am immediately transported back to my childhood. To waking up early one autumn morning when the mist hung low over the river that ran at the back of our garden and seeing through the grey haze a small person sitting hunched over the river bank. As I peered through my bedroom window, rubbing away at the condensation that ran down the glass, trying to make sense of the figure, it unfurled, spread its wings and a heron flew slowly into the gloom.

‘If Mary had not been searching for Zebedee, the gardener, it is probable that she would never have seen him, for, like all good gardeners, he seemed to be not a person, but merely a part of the landscape. In his faded jacket and battered old hat, with string knotted round the knees of his trousers, he looked like something that had been left lying about in the potting-shed; under the shadow of the awful old hat his cheekbones were plant-pot-red, and the backs of his gnarled old hands, where the veins and bones were all a-tangle, could have been twisted out of the same yellow raffia he used to tie up the chrysanthemums.’

The Little Broomstick, Mary Stewart, Knight, 1973 (1971)

More work by Juliet can be found on her website here.

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