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About Mary - Ruth Chesney
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Mary Weatherup lives with her husband and family on a farm in the Antrim hills, Northern Ireland. Growing up, her two favourite pastimes were reading and art, and she won several prizes at school for her drawing. At the age of fifteen, the course of her life was forever changed when she trusted the Lord Jesus and was saved. From then on, she wondered if this gift could be used in some way for God.

 

On leaving school, Mary trained as a nurse and married Norman, who is a part-time farmer. She worked for five happy years in Whiteabbey Hospital before becoming a full-time mum to her four children. They are all avid readers and, when they were small, enjoyed nothing more than having their mum read a big stack of picture books from the library. Little did they realise Mum was more interested in studying the illustrations!

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Slemish Mountain - Co. Antrim

When the children all started school, Mary was looking for guidance about what she should do. The children had gone to some art classes after school, and their teacher also ran a small watercolour painting class. Mary soon rediscovered her love of drawing and gained some confidence. Just at that time, an opportunity opened for illustration work when Ruth contacted her about the ‘Harry’ series. Mary considers it a privilege to be able to use her gift to help further the word of God.

 

Mary draws inspiration for the pictures in the ‘Harry’ series from the lovely County Antrim countryside and traditional farms and farm animals. Norman is always on hand to consult about various farming technicalities, and also to model on occasion! Harry himself is modelled on a little boy called Finlay, who really does live near the foot of Slemish Mountain which is featured on the back cover of Harry and the Lost Sheep.