South Tyneside artist Sheila Graber creates free illustration sheets to colour in during lockdown

South Tyneside artist and teacher Sheila Graber has created colouring sheets inspired by well-known artists to download for free from South Shields Museum’s website.

Sheila Graber has illustrated book, Luna The Moon Pig, among others
Sheila Graber has illustrated book, Luna The Moon Pig, among others

Suitable for all generations, Sheila created them knowing that many people would be looking for peaceful stay-at-home activities in light of the current COVID-19 pandemic.

The exhibition Sheila from Shields (and her cat) is planned for later this year, with dates still to be confirmed in line with Government guidelines. Originally due to start in May, the exhibition created by Sheila about her life and work has now been postponed.

In keeping with Sheila’s passion for cats, the images are all cat themed apart from one dog image which was a special request from a Laing Art Gallery Facebook follower.

One of the colouring sheets is based on Ralph Hedley’s famous paintings in Newcastle’s Laing Art Gallery, 'Blinking in the Sun'

Sheila, who’s illustrated characters in Paddington Bear amongst others, said: “I believe, like my Aunty Mabel that ‘everyone needs something to pass the time’. She lived to be 102 so it must work!

“Today, in these difficult times when we are largely left to our own devices, I think we can all really appreciate how right she was. Making is a key part of living, giving a sense of self-worth and accomplishment – and, it’s fun.

“I made these to share through the museum for people to access for free and just enjoy. They’ve been shared on the museum and the Laing Art Gallery’s Facebook page where they have been very popular.”

Two of the images are inspired by popular North East artist Ralph Hedley’s famous paintings in Newcastle’s Laing Art Gallery, Blinking in the Sun, the famous cat in the window, and Last in Market of a dog.

The others take inspiration from Byzantine mosaics, Vincent Van Gogh’s Sunflowers, Manet and the popular Pears soap advert, Bubbles, all with a feline twist, and in some cases adapted from the popular cat re-imaginings of Susan Herbert.

Sheila said she would be delighted if people shared their efforts to the South Shields Museum & Art Gallery’s Facebook page, where she and her friend QuiziCat will be happy to offer a fun critique.

The free colouring sheets can be downloaded at https://southshieldsmuseum.org.uk/

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