See this review of Ski A to Z, reviewed for Travelmag by Donna Richardson.
Thanks to Donna for this review. Donna’s review includes…
“This is a book you almost need to read twice, first for the beautiful pictures and then the information. What sets it apart from other ski manuals is the visual feast that lifts the words off the page as your eye darts from the words to the image – as a visual learner, I was engaged by this approach a lot more than any other book and I couldn’t put it down.”
“Over the past few weeks, I have found myself returning to thumb over the illustrations as well as the text, each time ensuring that I learn something new. As a result, I am sure next time I am back in the mountains, I will be a more confident, knowledgeable skier, and I am spending much more time down the dry ski slope too.”
Post event update: It was great to meet everyone at Swadlincote Snowsports Centre yesterday. Thank you for such a warm welcome and a lovely sunny day.
Wonderful to see families and youngsters enjoying skiing, tubing, sliding and tobogganing.
I’ll be signing Ski A to Z books at Swadlincote Snowsports Centre on Thursday 23rd February for the school holiday Kids Camp. Come along for signed books, ski art and greeting cards from 12 noon to 1.30pm.
I’ve always enjoyed time at Swadlincote Snowspnorts Centre as a ski race venue as a teenager, and later skiing as a family there. Swadlincote, along with Sheffield Ski Village, was where my stepchildren learned the foundations of their skiing. The snowsports centre includes a toboggan run which we have had fun times on.
Swadlincote is our nearest artificial ski slope, since Sheffield Ski Village sadly closed down. Artificial or dry ski slopes are a great affordable way for people to try, and enjoy skiing.
I’m keen to hear your stories about the people that have made all the difference to your skiing and snowsports. Those gems who took, or take, the time to help you, and have really contributed to your enjoyment of the sport.
I’m hoping to collect stories to inspire a body of work for exhibition later in the year.
Whether it be an instructor, coach, teacher of relative if you are happy to share your story please either comment, or alternatively email your story to firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks for each story, watch this space for how the stories will be illustrated and/ or inform my work.
How The Work Was Made
I’ve been sketching a lot recently so I chose which from the pencil sketches. I picked the star character, which I originally created as a Christmas sketch, whilst trying to get ahead for Christmas 2023.
Once happy with the pencil sketches, characters and proportions I got set up for a painting session.
The paints and gel pens are the key materials that I used to create the illustrations for Ski A to Z. I’m exploring some of the colours not used for the book art, and am enjoying the different hues whilst still hoping to communicate the joy and emotion of skiing.
Many thanks for your support. Please follow or subscribe to see my work as it is created. If you like Ski A to Z please share a review where you bought it, or review it on Google Books as this helps more people to know about, and be helped by the book.
Thanks in advance for any stories that you are happy to share.
I’m delighted that Ski A to Z is now on sale in the beautiful Ski Paradise Shop in Les 3 Vallees, in the Savoie region of the French Alps.
The shop in Meribel Mottaret has a limited number of signed first editions of Ski A to Z, so those in the area can get them in time for Christmas. Just five minutes walk from the piste its possible to pop in whilst navigating through the ski area.
Les 3 Vallees is where the first painting of Ski A to Z were created. So its fitting that the book is now for sale where it first began.
These were paintings of ski equipment which were used for the ‘K is or Kit’, and ‘S for Skis’ pages of the book. I did not have the intention or plan for the book at that stage, I just decided to paint something that I know a lot about.
I decided to use a warm colour palette to contrast with the icy blue colours of the mountain environment. A colour range that was used throughout the book project.
Photo Caption: Painting whilst icing my knee after skiing in January 2020.
After following Ski Paradise on Instagram and loving their product range, I went to the store in March to show Ski A to Z, so I’m delighted that they are stocking the book. I was skiing between Courchevel and Val Thorens with my Dad that day.
The shop has the best range of ski themed gifts and ski art that I have seen anywhere, so it feels like a lovely fit with my work and its a dream come true to have my book stocked there. The shop also has a great range of clothing and offers ski equipment hire.
Thank you to Dorothee at Ski Paradise for the enthusiasm for my work. Dorothee is a talented artist who also has her artwork in the shop. Thank you to Andrea for getting the books on their way.
It’s that time of year when gingerbread tastes its best and spending time on a baked creation doesn’t feel indulgent, and there are plenty of visitors to eat it afterwards. Here is the story of my gingerbread work, as seen in Ski A to Z.
My final creation of 2020 was a two-storey chalet with balcony constructed in gingerbread. This was continuing the ski theme which was key for my work in 2020, and with the publishing of my Ski A to Z has continued to be.
The chalet had an overhanging roof, shutters, chimney, a log pile, and sugar windows in warm hues – including a window in the roof. I cut skis, bindings and poles from patterned papers and placed these at the front of the chalet.
I experimented with green screen technology to put the baked chalet into a mountain setting.
The chalet was lit from within its fairy lights added before the roof went on, with access to the switch through a space in the side wall.
I didn’t have chance to paint the chalet as still life before it was eaten, so I painted it from a photograph, with some additional details to the balcony. I added a depth of snow and removed some of the snow icing for the painted version.
The Art Applied
The gingerbread chalet features in Ski A to Z as a painting, and also in photo form.
The chalet features in Ski A to Z as a watercolour painting for ‘A is for Alpine’, the first entry in the book. Image Copyright Kim
A photograph of the chalet is in the map design for ‘M is for Map’, representing a cosy mountain restaurant.
I then placed and warped the map design to demonstrate folds in the piste map, for the spread in Ski A to Z. Pictured here on our mid-century teak table, which is a kind of gingerbread colour itself.
The chalet is also in my ‘Ski Goggle Reflections’ fabric and wallpaper design, in the yellow edge to edge lens. This design is available for print on demand fabrics and wallpapers in my Spoonflower shop. Here is the design mocked up as wallpaper for a ski house or chalet setting along with my favourite G-Plan Astro table. More about the designs here.
The Design and Construction Process
Here’s how I created the gingerbread chalet…
1. I drew the chalet design and then determined the pieces required before cutting card templates for each piece.
2. There were lots of parts to the design as it had a balcony, shutters, chimney and to look like a chalet it needed a considerable overhang on the roof. I find ceramics hand building techniques useful when constructing in gingerbread.
3. Once all the panels and components were baked, and beautifully golden brown, with boiled sweet windows, the construction could begin, with edible glue and royal icing, and some cocktail sticks and kebab skewers to hold in place.
For the following artwork I added a painted mountainscape background with falling snow in Procreate app. I used a might scene to accentuate the interior lighting and inviting atmosphere, a warm shelter after a chilly, but fun, day on the mountain.
Gingerbread construction is a lovely thing to do, Although my family can’t wait to smash my creations and eat the gingerbread. It’s delicious but always a little painful for the work to be undone so quickly, although that’s why it’s nice that this gingerbread chalet is now all around the world in my Ski A to Z book.
I completed the house on New Year’s Eve, and so the year closed. A challenging but creative 2020 ended.
I used the Mary Berry recipe for the dough, I’ve used this before to make two gingerbread houses, and a gingerbread car, each time using my own templates.
Earlier Gingerbread Creations
Gingerbread House 1 – 2013
My first gingerbread house was a three storey townhouse using Mary Berry’s recipe when she did a Christmas cooking programme with Paul Hollywood, during her Great British Bake Off years. Quite ambitious as a first attempt and my own templates, alway taking the easy options, not!
Gingerbread House 2 – 2018
My largest gingerbread creation was this huge house. It stood 13 inches tall. I Intended into have turrets on the corners but I struggled with the bend in the bake. Features I particularly liked were the scalloped roof and large windows.
See the real estate type ‘virtual viewing tour’ video, which was fun to make.
I painted a picture of the house in a simplified way in acrylic paints. painting from something you’ve crated can be a good day to get a fresh looking subject.
The following year I used this for my Christmas card and gift tag design (below). Each of the houses in the picture are the same hous but photographed from different angles. Christmas often feels to me like it comes round again really quickly.
Santa’s Car 2019
My Christmas card design for 2019 (above) then became the theme of my gingerbread bake that Christmas.
gingerbread Gift Box (2021) and Top Tips
This was a cake in a gingerbread box that I made for my husband’s birthday. Ceramic hand building techniques were applied to create this. Making the box was easier for me than decorating the cake.
Here are my top gingerbread tips.
Draw out your design and think about what parts make up the structure or design.
Bake more than you think you need, it will all get eaten.
Note that gingerbread expands during cooking, so trim with your templates part way through the bake.
As you make your templates for each piece of the bake decide whether your panels will overlap or meet at the corners, as this will affect the dimensions.
If a panel will be load bearing, such as for a wall to hold a roof, adjust the thickness of the gingerbread. Adjust your bake time accordingly.
Crushed boiled sweets work great for windows – Mary Berry is right! But if the windows are too large they will weaken your structure and may not fill the space. The boiled sweets are added mid way through the oven baking time.
It is important to text/ taste the bake 😉
Enjoy, it’s meant to be fun.
This video shows the stages of the the gingerbread house creation.
Now to make this year’s gingerbread Christmas bake. Watch the space. Please subscribe to follow and see updates as they go live.
To Own The Art
To own a piece of my work and support my art practice please visit my shop. Your purchases are greatly appreciated.
For more information and links to buy Ski A to Z head here, The book has info, tips and advice for skiers, with over 100 illustrations. Ski A to Z is published by Meyer & Meyer Sport (UK).
I hope you have sweet time this Christmas. If this inspires you I’d love to see what you make.
It’s been wonderful going out and meeting so many people at my book signing and stall holding events, seeing the reactions to my work in UK and US has been a magic that I wish I could bottle. Watching people’s faces as they turn the pages of my book, making them laugh, or as they stand taking in my art prints is life enriching.
Thank you to Tim and my parents for their support and assistance, thank you my publisher @meyer_meyer_sport, to Dan Egan for support and encouragement Stateside. And thank you to everyone who this year has taken the time to stop, look, comment, share ideas of what they might make with the fabrics, review, and ‘like’. ♥️
Post Updated with pictures from the Book Signing event.
Post Updated With Pictures From the Books Signing.
Wonderful to share ski joy and sign Ski A to Z books at Snozone Yorkshire.
Lovely to chat about skiing and to hear people’s ski stories, ski holiday plans and always extra special when it is people’s first time ever skiing. I’m so pleased they can have the information and advice from Ski A to Z right from day one, and nice that people will be unwrapping Ski A to Z books on Christmas Day.
Thank you to everyone, it was so great to meet you. Enjoy the books, prints and cards; and have a wonderful season.
Thank you to Snozone Yorkshire, it’s magic that so many people can ski, slide and sled on real snow in Yorkshire.
See my Shop for gifts and books in time for Christmas.
Kim has packed over 40 years of ski tips and advice in to Ski A to Z – to help make it easier to get into and to get on in the sport. Ski A to Z is a fun guide to skiing, for all ages.
Kim created over 100 ski and snowsport illustrations for the Ski A to Z book. The favourite illustrations from the book are now available as stunning wall art prints. You can also send the joy of skiing to ski buddies with Kim’s ski and snowsport themed greeting cards.
“Located at the Xscape centre Snozone Yorkshire is the UK’s leading snow centre for indoor skiing and snowboarding on real snow. Whether it’s your first time on skis or you’re an experienced snowboarder, Snozone has a range of indoor activities to suit all ages and abilities and you’re guaranteed an unforgettable experience.”
Come along to meet Kim from 9:15 this Saturday (3rd December) at SnozoneYorkshire, Colorado Way, Castleford, WF10 4TA.