A book for parents of
special needs children aged 5 to 12
my research I saw parents and carers totally
dedicated to the children. Soon I became emotionally
caught up in the lives of these children. In
the swimming pool with a class of special needs
children a carer called out to me “Haven’t
we got a fabulous bunch of kids?” “Yeh
– I’m in paradise” I called
back. They are fabulous adults too!
The 84 illustrations do important things for the book. First they show emotional scenes that parents can identify with. They show the children as beautiful and lovable. They act as easily remembered marks so it is easier to find your way around the book, and finally they lift the book and enhance it so that it shines out. I really loved illustrating this book. I was moved by the body language and the eye contact that I saw, and I empathised with both the children and the adults. Some of the pictures, like the big picture at the top of the page, seem to me to be a breakthrough in my art. I’m hoping for more illustration work showing similar strong emotion and social interaction. I love to work in colour though I liked the discipline of painting these illustrations in black and white.
These pictures are drawn at a high definition and look great enlarged up to the size of a door! They would make a lovely exhibition!
Click here for Jessica Kingsley (the publisher) where you can buy online. Or go to Amazon or other online book store.
All artwork © Jeanie Mellersh 2003
Granny reads a favourite book to her grandson. They are both close family friends of mine. Here I wanted to show mutual love.
Several carers gather the children into a circle and play games, encouraging them to duck in the water. Notice the girl on the right looking out of the circle? Her concentration has wandered already.
All children love to be included in activities, games, and dancing. Here two wheelchair children join in a dance.
Showering an older special needs child; you are likely to get a soaking. So this carer is well prepared wearing a swimming costume and with a chair and hand-held shower.
Pictures in the left hand column
The author’s middle son posed for me.
Sarah had asked me to illustrate bad behaviour
and he was delighted to assist and suggested
this as one picture – a brilliant spontaneous
Technical notes: I collected the work using sketches notes and digital photographs which I then downloaded onto my computer. Using Corel Painter 7 (software) and a Wacom tablet and stylus (hardware), I then painted directly onto the computer, using very few “tools”:mostly scratchboard pen and airbrush. I placed it all, when finished, onto a CD to hand to the publisher.
computer as an art tool is capable of extreme
sensitivity and the advantages far outweigh
the disadvantages. This project would have taken
me many times as long without a computer. I
do love modern technology! It makes things happen.