Illustration Collaboration 14

In a series of posts, we are delighted to share the artworks that third year Edinburgh College of Art illustration students created in response to texts by our Citizen Writing Group.

Miranda Li

I Can Sing A Rainbow by Patricia Clifford

It was four o’clock when Alexa sounded her alarm and Pat walked over to the living room window. Hoping the rain had gone off and the wind had died down a bit, she was disappointed. Still, the dog had to be walked.

Harvey got slowly off the couch and ambled, tail down, into the hall. His fate was sealed. Torn away from the TV and his favourite spot, snuggling into his Dad for his afternoon nap, he held out each paw for his dog coat to be put on.

The weather, as both dog and Pat had expected, was still horrible but what else can you expect in February. The rain was cold and hard and the wind blew sharply against this intrepid pair. Heads down, they traipsed along the road towards the old railway path.

Pat let Harvey off the lead and he romped off into the grassy clumps, tail up and wagging as he explored each and every scent. While slowly and cautiously, Pat walked along the muddy path, side stepping the bigger puddles and hopping over the smaller ones. Harvey ran over to her to check in and collect a treat and then scampered back to doggy heaven up in the rough grassland.

The railway embankment protected them from the rawness of the wind and gradually the rain faded and the sky lightened.

“A rainbow” whispered Pat to herself as she looked up. “I love rainbows.”

The arch stretched from Corstorphine Hill on her left way into the distance over towards the Blackford Hills. Its colours were clear and bright.

Lucy Parker

Red and Orange blended hazily into yellowish green and blue and then into a smooth glow of indigo and violet. Pat narrowed her eyes and tried to separate the colours, checking them off with the rhyme she had learned at school: Richard of Orange…

A chorus of children singing softly began to drift into Pat’s mind and she saw herself back in the Infant class sitting cross legged on the floor with her classmates as Miss McKay strummed on her guitar and sang smiling in front of them.

Red and yellow and pink and green
Purple and orange and blue sang the children.

Pat felt warm inside and she closed her eyes. She was five, sitting next to her best pal Margaret. Inhaling the purity of genuine childhood happiness, tears formed in Pat’s eyes.

Listen with your eyes
Listen with your ears
And sing everything you see sang the children.

Pat relaxed as a warm radiance came over her. She was standing at the back of the class now watching herself and the other children sing happily about the Rainbow. And she began to soak in the sights and sounds of her classroom; the alphabet on the wall; paintings hanging from a washing line across the room; her reading book lying open on her desk: The Red Shoes.

Red and yellow and pink and green
Purple and orange and blue
I can sing a rainbow
Sing a rainbow
Sing a rainbow too sang the children.

The muddy path led Pat and Harvey to the main road and the end of their walk.

The intrepid pair walked down the hill towards home flanked by a gaggle of busses and cars and lorries. Pat glanced back over her shoulder.

The coloured arch was still there glowing.

I can sing a rainbow
Sing a rainbow
Sing a rainbow too she sang.

Erin Cuthbert


We are extremely grateful to the Third Year Illustration students at Edinburgh College of Art, and Harvey Dingwall for making this collaboration possible. The Citizen Writing Group is part of Citizen, our flagship communities project which is supported by players of People’s Postcode Lottery and through the PLACE Programme (funded by the Scottish Government, City of Edinburgh Council, and the Edinburgh Festivals, and supported and administered by Creative Scotland).

Share this Post