A dream come true for Fitzpatrick

Darrell
Darrell Cole
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Brookdale artist co-produces children’s book

Co-producing a children's book is the fulfillment of a lifetime dream for Brookdale artist Deanne Fitzpatrick.

Deanne Fitzpatrick looks over a copy of Singly Skipping Along that she illustrated for award-winning author Sheree Fitch. The two will officially launch the book on Friday at her downtown rug hooking business.

AMHERST – Deanne Fitzpatrick has always wanted to be part of a children’s book.

After writing and illustrating four successful books on rug hooking, the Brookdale artist has teamed up with award-winning children’s author Sheree Fitch to create Singily Skipping Along.

“Sheree and I did a rug hooking workshop on storytelling a couple of years ago and she said then that she wanted me to illustrate one of her books,” Fitzpatrick said. “She said I have this perfect poem for you to illustrate.”

Fitzpatrick and Fitch will officially launch the book on Friday at 4 p.m. at Fitzpatrick’s downtown rug hooking studio. Children are welcome at the event that coincides with the Nova Scotia Fibre Arts Festival and milk and cookies will be served.

A second launch is set for the Nova Scotia Art Gallery in Halifax on Oct. 27.

Fitzpatrick said Fitch’s poem inspired the work she created for the book. She took passages from the prose and made hooked rugs that serve as the illustrations for the book.

“She sent me the poem and I came up with the art. It was really fun because after 20 years as an artist I was searching for what I wanted to do next,” Fitzpatrick said. “It was nice to have someone supply you with the ideas.”

Fitzpatrick features children prominently in the book and while many of her hooked rugs don’t have faces, she gave the children in rugs more personality by adding faces. She also used different skin tones and hair colours.

“Sheree’s words were so descriptive that the words just jumped out,” Fitzpatrick said. “It really came naturally to me.”

Fitzpatrick hopes to do another book with Fitch, who she was easy to work with and shared a lot her values.

“It was fun to do, I’d love to do it again,” she said.

Those 14-inch by 14-inch rugs will support mental health by being auctioned off online through Nimbus Publishing with the proceeds going to support L’Arche that provides housing for the intellectually challenged in Halifax.

darrell.cole@tc.tc

Twitter: @ADNdarrell

Organizations: Nova Scotia Art Gallery

Geographic location: Halifax, Nova Scotia

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