San Francisco

This week I’ve been out and about in San Francisco, relishing the ever-wonderful California weather. The days are warm and the evenings balmy…

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I went to the post office in San Mateo to see their wonderful mural, travelled on the Muni along the Bay front, and looked at my favourite neon sign…

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When I visited Oakland, I took this photo, and later realised it looked like one of Robert Bechtle’s photorealistic paintings of the Bay Area.


As always, California sunshine makes me feel happy!

summer holiday - part 2

After the cool breezes of Koya san, we travelled north to Higashi Yoshino, a small community along a river valley in rural Nara prefecture. It was perfect: quiet and beautiful. Our airbnb was perched next to a clear babbling river, where we could swim every day…


It was the ideal hot Japan summer. We visited waterfalls and ate kakigori and napped on the tatami.

It was so restful for my mind, and I was inspired to draw the ceramics in our house. I thought of many ideas for upcoming projects too…

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The water in the river was clear and cold, and perfect for paddling and floating all afternoon. I haven’t seen water like that for a very long time. It was like a deream…

summer holiday - part 1

To escape the Tokyo heat, we went to Wakayama, to visit the sacred site of Koya san, on top of a mountain. It was wonderfully cool there, with fresh mountain air, and cool breezes.


For over 1200 years there have been temples here, and it’s now a World Heritage site. The train and cable car ride to get there was wonderful, through lush mountain valleys…

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We stayed in a temple lodging, and wandered through the woods and around the various temple complexes.


My favourite was Kongobu-ji, with an incredible rock garden that represented two dragons rising from the clouds, Banryutei.

I sketched the temples, the forest with its glorious cedar trees, and the garden of the temple where we stayed.


It was a fascinating place to visit, and a lovely start to the summer holidays…

COPE - Floods

I’m back in Tokyo, dealing with the extreme heat and humidity, working on finishing the the latest COPE book FLOODS! I’ve almost completed it, and here’s a sneak peak at the COPE kids in their wet-weather gear…

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As soon as the book’s finished I’ll let you know!

Kansas + Colorado

I’ve just driven all the way across Kansas and into Colorado with some friends. The wide prairies of the Heartland of America with its huge skies were so incredible!

We broke our trip in the tiny town of Hays, and had a tasty lunch and a wander. These views made me feel like I was in a movie…


The clouds darkened when we approached Denver, and then there was a rainbow waiting for us. I could only spend a day there, and then it was on again, back to San Francisco and now Tokyo…

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wood + paper + box Kansas

This week I’ve been in Kansas, visiting my friends Yoonmi Nam and Katie Baldwin, my collaborative partners in wood + paper + box. We’ve been commissioned to create the gift print for the Marianna Kistler Beach Museum of Art in Manhattan, Kansas, and as part of that, we will have an exhibition there in early 2021. We went to visit to check out the gallery where we will be showing our work, and discuss the progress of the new project.

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I love the wide open spaces in Kansas, there’s something magical about them, and we passed many fields of corn and meadows full of wildflowers…

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San Francisco

I was in San Francisco for a week, enjoying the sunshine, working, and visiting friends. It was hectic but productive, and I finally got a new laptop so everything is going better!


I loved the big skies that are definately different than in Japan.

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The waves and sea air by the coast were a wonderful restorative from weeks of intense work. My little sketch wasn’t great, but it felt good to paint again.


This burger is the result of 4am jetlag, and oh it was tasty!


I was so happy to join my friends Courtney and Mike for an evening of pizza and sketching. We painted lanterns and had a lovely relaxing time. These free-time sketches really help me to loosen up and experiment.

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I love the trees on El Camino Real on the peninsula, especially at this time of the day. There’s something magical about it, and I can’t wait to be back to see it again soon…

mokuhanga exhibition

My mokuhanga residency has finally come to an end, and I’m back in Tokyo. We put up a show this weekend, at the CfSHE Gallery at 3331 Arts Chiyoda, of the works we all made during the residency. It’ll be up for a week, and I do hope you’ll pop by if you can. Here are my blue and pink vases.


Thanks to everyone who came to our opening reception on saturday. It was a great night!


Below is all the info for visiting.


CfSHE Gallery is pleased to announce the exhibition by the Mokuhanga Artists with works from MI-LAB Residency "Upper Advanced program".

Whether Black and White or hues of Indigo, Magenta or Lemon Yellow, Mokuhanga is an ideal process to explore Light and Shade in Positive and Negative Compositions.

The work in this exhibition reflects this concept through the unique approaches of seven artists, Katie Baldwin, Patty Hudak, Mariko Jesse, Kate MacDonagh, Yoonmi Nam, Lucy May Schofield, and Melissa Schulenberg.

 ■ Exhibition Date: From July 6 to 13, 2019  *Closed on Tuesday the 9th
 ■ Opening hours:   From July 7 to 13 except Tuesday; 12 - 5 p.m.
■ Venue: CfSHE Gallery - B109, 3331 Arts Chiyoda, Soto-Kanda 6-11-14, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo

For more info and the press release, please visit our website. 

本展覧会は当ギャラリーが取り組む Contemporary Mokuhanga という伝統木版・創作版画の枠を超えた国際的な標題の下で開催します。

CfSHE(シー•エフ•シー) ギャラリー
アーツ千代田3331 B109
Tel. 050-3304-9001  Fax. 03-3234-6789

mokuhanga residency week 4

I’m working hard every day on my residency, making prints and learning new techniques. At the moment, we’re making byoubu - Japanese folding screens. Hopefully it works out well and I can show a picture of it next week! In the meanwhile, here are some of my finished prints:

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I made this new flower, to go with my peony print, and am thinking of starting a floral collection. I also reprinted the peony, this time in a bright, rich red, using pigment for the first time…

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I even had a little time to print a few postcards for friends!

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mokuhanga residency week 3

For the last few weeks I’ve been learning all sorts of marvellous new things in the mokuhanga residency I’m attending. I’ve been working on several new prints, and here are some process shots of how I carved my bird vase print. I really enjoyed this process as I managed to capture the feeling of my original line drawing. I think my carving is improving!

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Here’s the reverse of the block, with the flat colour area being carved out, and a test print for the layer in a bokashi blue.

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And here’s the final print with all the elements in place…

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I’m working on various editions of this print in a variety of colours. Will show them soon!

still we rise auction

Two of my mokuhanga prints are available as a pair in the @_stillwerise auction. It’s raising money for several charities I support, and it would be wonderful if you’d like to bid on them (or any of the other wonderful things available)! Direct link to my pieces here.


Help us help women everywhere! More info about the auction and the charites here.

mokuhanga residency

This week I’ve been in Kawaguchiko at the MI-LAB mokuhanga residency. I’ll be here for 5 weeks, so look forward to many posts about what I’m learning! It’s wonderful to be here with such a lovely group of women artists, living and learning together in a traditional Japanese house.


I’ve started carving several blocks for new prints, using techniques learned from Master Carver Kitamura san, and I already feel like my carving has improved!

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Maybe by next weekend I’ll have some prints to show! Back to the studio now…

into the fold

For the final installation of the collaborative mokuhanga group show into the fold, we are showing all the artworks in the CfShe gallery at 3331 Arts Chiyoda in Tokyo. I’m showing my folded piece into the garden, along with its printed enclosure,


and also my two smaller peony prints.

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The show also features the work of Katie Baldwin, Yoonmi Nam, Mia O, Fuko Ito and Sarah Hulsey.


It will be up for almost a month, so I do hope you’ll be able to see it!


There is more information in my news section if you need it!

wedding illustrations

To keep to the wedding theme this week, here are some pretty watercolour olive branches that I painted for a friend’s wedding invitation. They are getting married in Corfu, and asked for something fresh and Greek and simple.

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I had originally tried several black and white line versions of the olive branch wreath, in a variety of media, but decided that watercolour created a softer impression, and added a nice pop of colour. These are some of the initial sketches.


I tried out some more flamboyant lettering for their initials, but eventually chose a pared back, more modern type for the A and J. Here’s to wonderful weddings!

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my friend's wedding

I went to the wedding of a childhood friend when I was in the UK a few weeks ago, and enjoyed the beautiful decorations (that she made herself!) and sunshine and catching up with friends and family.

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I sketched the groom, as he waited for the bride to arrive…


and both of them as they listened to the speeches…

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and the wonderful speakers too.


It was a lovely day, and I wish them all the happiness in the world!

mini HK visit

I stopped in HK on my way back to Tokyo, and spent two days having meetings, cups of tea, and catch-ups with friends. It’s amazing what you can fit in when you have to! I stopped in at faux, to check out the latest samples of my ceramics, and discuss new projects.


Dinner in TST meant I got to take the star ferry, and enjoyed the harbour views…

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I enjoyed hot chocolate, tea and chai during all my meetings. Will be back soon!


countryside visit

We just had a lovely mini-break to Devon and Cornwall, staying in the delightful Great Burrow Cottage. It was so wonderful to be surrounded by all the greenery and friendly animals…

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I did several sketches of the views, here’s a blurry photo of my sketchbook, but you can see Dartmoor clearly in the distance!


We went to Meldon Woods nearby and saw the most amount of bluebells I’ve ever seen.


We also went to Port Issac, by the sea, and I adored the picturesque village on the cliffs.

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We had our anniversary dinner at the absolutely incredible Restaurant Nathan Outlaw and even had a nice chat with the chef himself afterwards.

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Tintagel was mysterious under grey skies and intermittent sunshine…


…and I sketched happily around the cottage gardens until we had to leave. Can’t wait to go back there again one day!


HOBBS of London tote bag

I recently got my hands on some tote bags that fashion brand HOBBS of London made with my illustrated map of London on the side. I ran a competition on instagram for anyone who wanted one, just like and comment on my photo and tag a friend.


I’m going to choose a winner next week, so you still have time to hop on over and give it a go!



This week I’ve been in England, loving the glorious sunny weather. Spring can be like that I guess, sometimes dark and grey, sometimes warm and sunny. I’ve been helping my parents sort out their garage, finding some of my old treasures in the meanwhile…


We also went to the coast at Brighton, to look at the sea and fill our eyes with green. Here’s a sketch I did sitting at Devil’s Dyke on the South Downs,

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…and even one of me painting it (thanks dad!).

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Here are some eggs I painted with my nieces (hint - that’s Olaf!). A very Happy Easter to you all!


Hong Kong

I’ve had a wonderful week in HK. Unfortunately with a bit of a cold. But I’ve still managed to do quite a lot! Here’s a sketch I did today in Sai Ying Pun. I’ve always loved overhead flyovers…

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I’ve done lots of walks around smaller local streets on this visit, and I look for those hidden truly ‘HK’ views.

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I sat at one of the street restaurants and had a drink while I drew this scene in Jordan, at Temple Street Night Market. I liked something about the green awnings and red flags!

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As usual, I’ve eaten all sorts of delicious meals. Here are just a few…


I had a wonderful evening at the new nightspot Dai Bing, in Sheung Wan, and even managed a little sketch on a coaster.

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Many of the local shops have a guardian cat, and I love spotting them on the job.

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I’ve got a few more days left in HK, mostly spent in meetings, but on to London next!