Pupils at a Morpeth school had an inspirational visit from a local children’s author and artist, which included learning how to draw their own version of her popular dog character.
Kate Simpson, who is also based in the town, specialises in fine art drawings of animals and her corgi Ralph gave her the idea for two of her children’s books.
She visited every class at St Robert’s RC First School, a member of the Bishop Bewick Catholic Education Trust, to coincide with the school's art week at the end of September, which had the theme of ‘illustrators and how pictures tell stories’.
The children listened as she read from her Ralph books, which chart the dog’s adventures on a farm, and heard her talk about her work and inspiration.
She then taught pupils how to draw their own Ralph with a step-by-step guide.
Some of the children’s artwork from every class is now on display in the school hall, alongside Kate’s own drawing of Ralph.
Kate said: “I loved working with the students and getting them involved, drawing and being creative. Hopefully I have inspired the next artist at St Robert’s.
“It’s always nerve wracking standing up in front of 30 students in a classroom and hoping they’ll enjoy the class, but when you see what they produced on paper you know they’ve listened to every word you said and inspired them.”
Alice Butler, art subject leader at St Robert’s, said: “We are so grateful that Kate gave us a day to inspire the children with her incredible art.
“The children were so excited to meet the author of the Ralph books and the work that they produced was amazing. Her visit was the highlight of our art week.”
Kate studied Motion Graphics and Animation at Northumbria University before launching her career as an artist. She captures animal portraits in watercolour and mixed media paintings.
In 2014, she was shortlisted for the David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation’s Wildlife Artist of the Year competition, which led to her work being on show at London’s prestigious Mall Galleries.
She has published two books featuring Ralph the corgi - RALPH Investigates and RALPH to the Rescue.
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