I stumbled upon Elizabeth McKenzie’s art through Instagram. Her unique, old-school, watercolour style caught my eye and conjured up a sense of nostalgia reminiscent of Charles Schulz’s Charlie Brown and the Peanuts Gang and Jim Watterson’s Calvin and Hobbes.
The details like untied shoelaces, little critters and nature, and the big eyed images of her central characters hark back to times of innocence and freedom. Combine that with a wonderful flair for colour and gradients, and there are plenty of things to look over when you examine one of her pieces of art.
I fell in love with her creations and was always eager to see what new image of magic she would capture on canvas and post on Instagram. Her body of work demonstrated the joy and passion of an artist with a glorious imagination, and I found myself inspired to dream up stories.
When we started commenting on each other’s work, and developing a rapport that focused on our creativity, it became easy to find inspiration. Looking back, it now feels it was inevitable that we would work together if the opportunity arose.
When it did, there was no hesitation, and I’m happy to say that the fruits of our labour is the release of our first junior fiction novel – “Freyja and the Brisingamen Necklace”. The origins of our collaboration was posted on my blog.
The artistic gene runs deep in Liz’s family as both her son, Mac Blackout, and daughter-in-law, Alison McKenzie, are also in the industry. Together they had an art exhibition in Chicago on Oct 2018 to display their family work. It was a remarkable and wonderful achievement.
I feel privileged to have met Liz, and her ability to tap into her ‘inner child’ is something we should never lose and always allow to shine. Our friendship is one that I will treasure forever. Liz demonstrates that age is no barrier to creativity, and I can hold on to that for every step I take on my own journey in creative writing and story telling.