In September, after a short holiday on the Big Island, I went to Oahu with my friends Katie Baldwin and Yoonmi Nam, to attend the 3rd International Mokuhanga Conference at Honolulu University. We installed Into the Fold, an exhibition of our newest collaborative mokuhanga project. It was an extension of our current project (un)fold: we invited three printmakers, Sarah Hulsey, Fuko Ito and Mia O, to collaborate with us, exploring the ideas and acts of folding and unfolding, and the lineage of learning the mokuhanga technique. We also gave a presentation about the project during the conference.Here's a close-up of my piece Into the Garden. It represents an abstract garden, is printed so that it can be viewed from either side of the paper, and has a printed enclosure. It's lovely when it sways slightly in the breeze, and the plants seem to be alive.My Meyer Lemon Curd Recipe was also shown in the juried international group exhibition: Beauty of Mokuhanga: Discipline & Sensibility 木版画の美：修練と感性 I did quite a few sketches in the presentations I attended, and also at the conference opening and closings, of the speakers and committee members...I had never participated in the open portfolio at the previous conferences so I thought I would give it a go this time. I showed a selection of my mokuhanga prints and artists books, and spoke to anyone who was interested...Here you can see my blue Into the Garden piece in an alternative configuration.Katie, Yoonmi and I also showed our previous wood+paper+box print collaborations on a separate table, and everyone was encouraged to open and handle each of our individual prints in the boxes.It was a thoroughly enjoyable conference, where it was great to meet up with old and new friends and colleagues. It encouraged me to spend more time on my printmaking practice and I can't wait to start more prints.
Recently I went to the Big Island of Hawaii for a little holiday. We travelled most of the way round the island, visiting all sorts of different landscapes...and sketching...I loved seeing the sea, in pretty coves and the wide, wide open...We stayed in wonderful retro hotels that felt like Wes Anderson movies, and saw secret and mysterious bays,and lush, tropical rainforests with towering trees and ferns...
and then visited the dry, ashy caldera of the most active volcano in the world, in Volcanoes National Park.
It's that time again! I'm showing lots of prints, both old and brand new, in my San Francisco Dogpatch workshop. Please come and visit us and buy art direct from the artists.Here's a sneak peak of some of my framed prints up on the wall...
When we visited Yellowstone, we also went to the Grand Teton National Park, and I found it more beautiful than I could have imagined.We stood at the same point that Ansel Adams took his famous photograph, overlooking the winding Snake River, and I did a pencil and watercolour sketch.The wildfires in nearby Montana were making the skies a strange smoky texture, and many of the views we had were softened and mysterious. We went on an early morning river rafting trip and I managed to paint a few quick sketches of the passing scenery and sunrise. We saw elk, moose, bald eagles and even two baby bears.
A few weeks ago I spent a wonderful few days in Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming. I had thought it would be mainly geysers and fumeroles, like the famous Old Faithful...and the wildly colourful prismatic hot spring,but there were also wild and barren landscapes... and gentle green lakes with ducks and canoeists.But it was the wild open landscapes of places like the Lamar Valley, with wide skies and meandering rivers,where the buffalo really do roam, that filled my heart.
We finally managed to visit the French Laundry recently, in Napa, and I enjoyed every single bite.I did a little sketch of each course and item as it was served...The food was beautiful, as well as delicious, and it was a pleasure to draw. I can still taste the flavours now...
I watched the solar eclipse on monday, using eclipse glasses, and painted the various stages as the moon's shadow moved across the sun.From northern California we only got about a 70-80% eclipse I think, but it was still a wonderful sight.Maybe next time I'll manage to see a full one...
I recently illustrated a small map of Vermont for Middlebury Magazine. It's a lovely little article about the author's annual journey to Bread Loaf. I think it's always interesting to see how an illustration starts, so these are the initial sketches I made when I was thinking about how to approach the project. The first sketch, which I ended up working with, shows the map from an aerial bird-eye view, and the entire route. The second sketch shows the road to Bread Loaf in a more 3 dimensional way, although some of the road is hidden behind hills...I take the page layout into consideration when I work, so it makes me happy to see everything come together nicely on the printed page.
This weekend we went to Napa Valley, north of San Francisco, to go up in a hot air balloon. We waited in the pre-dawn for the balloons to be lit and the baskets prepared, and nervously readied for the ride. We watched the sun come up and it was magical... I managed to bring one brush, a little sketchbook and travel paints in my pockets and did several watercolour paintings. It was a surreal sketching experience unlike anything I've had before: painting while over 1000ft up in the air, feeling the sun and breeze ruffling the pages.Napa Valley in all its glory glided past slowly, with San Francisco in the far distance.Here's a little sketch I did of the vineyards below us as we floated gently past...If you ever get the chance to go up in a balloon, I recommend it! Thank you Napa Valley Balloons
HOBBS of London, a boutique fashion brand I've done a bit of work for recently, famously known for being a favourite of Duchess Kate, has just opened their first US store in Greenwich Connecticut. I did several pieces of new artwork for both the store itself and its launch.Some of the artwork I did for the London stores, plus a few new pieces, have been printed and framed inside the elegant new location.I love the way the artwork has been mixed and matched and hung together in different combinations to create a 'collection'. Some has even been framed up for the changing rooms...I also did a detailed map of the area around the new store, full of interesting buildings, a park, and some historic houses......which is now framed up and on display.It looks like a wonderful store, I hope I'll get to visit one day. Thank you to Hobbs for providing these photos.
This week I visited the Jack London State Historic Park near Sonoma. It was a beautiful day spent wandering along green paths and poking around in the museum and cottage. I went to the museum first, admiring all the artifacts the Londons brought back from their world travels......and then wandered into their farm. I loved the wide sweep of the green.I saw Jack's studio where he wrote in their cottage, and their pretty garden. I bought a copy of one of his plays, and painted and sketched in it during my visit.I went to see the pig palace (!) and painted the delightful view of the vineyards.A lovely day, the only scary part being these signs everywhere. Luckily I didn't see any snakes!
The collaborative printmaking and book arts project I've been working on with my friends Katie Baldwin and Yoonmi Nam has finally got its own website!It chronicles our two complete projects, the titular 'wood paper box', our most recent endeavour 'alabama california kansas', and our brand new project '(un)fold'.There are links to process blogs for each project,where you can read in depth about each artwork, and see photographs of shows we've put together and the meetings we've held. The chapter illustrations are my very own pen drawings, of our work and our portraits. Hope you'll take the time to visit and let us know what you think!
I'm very proud to be a part of the women who draw website, an open directory of female professional freelance illustrators, artists and cartoonists. It was created by a group of women artists in an effort to increase the visibility of female illustrators. You can read all about it here and in this VOGUE article and in this one in the Huffington Post. This is my little lady illustration (recognise her from the Miss joker playing card?) that represents me on the site.She was even featured on the BBC news website this week, in an interview with the women who set up the site. I hope it will be a huge success. Thank you Wendy and Julia!
We took a few days off during the holidays to have a little road trip down the coast to Capitola by the sea......and then on to Pinnacles National Park. I spent time sketching, walking and thinking about my goals for 2017.I tried to paint pinnacles in the red of the rocks, but then realised that I more interested in the shapes than the colour, and did a wider panorama in just blue and green.We also visited the Lick Observatory outside San Jose, which was fascinating.Hope this year will be full of wonderful views, and incredible possibilities!
Yes, it's that time again! I'll be showing prints at my workshop in Dogpatch, San Francisco, as part of the City's ArtSpan openstudio weekends. I'll be showing a selection of framed works, ready to hang:...and a variety of new unframed prints, such as these:I'll have some new mokuhanga prints,...and new playing cards:I'll be showing with 7 of my studio-mates over the weekend of 22/23 October. 11-6pm both days. I hope to see you there!
I recently painted a fun mural for a friend's nursery. I was asked for simple scenes with friendly animals, in muted colours, that would work for a girl or a boy. I started with sketches of various combinations of animals and foliage, and put them into photos of the room to decide the best scale to paint them.I did one of the sketches in colour, to show how they would all look on the pale yellow walls... ... and then put together a colour pallette. I used the same colours in all three scenes, to hold the room together. Eventually I did add one additional colour as I was painting: a pale orange for the lion.This is a photo of the elephant scene half-way painted. It shows the building up of the layers of flat smooth colour.And here's a photo of all three finished painted scenes, after they were given a final protective coat of varnish. I love how they came out.Can't wait for the baby to arrive now and see if they like their room!
I went to watch Phasers on Stun a Star Trek improv group in San Francisco and I absolutely loved it! The actors was so versatile, playing starship crewmembers, aliens, animals, and sometimes even playing two characters on stage at once.This is the crew of the USS Golden Gate, exploring new worlds.I sketched throughout the show, trying to capture the strange situations, wonderful conversations and fantastical characters. My very favourite drawings are these little simplified characters I made of all the actors...Try and go and see them if you can, they have more shows this month. Live long and prosper!
My printmaking workshop GAW has done a print exchange with a small gallery in Yokohama, Japan. It's very exciting! The exhibition of both our work and their work will be on show at the GAW gallery from next week 9 September to 1 October on fridays and saturdays, 12-5pm. I'm showing two of my San Francisco snowdome prints. The lighter one will be on show in Yokohama, the darker one in SF. There will be a reception at GAW on saturday 10 September 3-5pm. Hope to see you there!
There will be a reception at Launchpad Gallery, Yokohama, on saturday 17 September 7-10pm, with the show running from 16 - 26 September. Hope you can make it one or the other of the shows.