NY Post

I recently did an illustration for the back page of the fashion section of the New York Post. I was given lots of photos of jewellery pieces and asked to create a fun illustration that would show all these nature-inspired pieces to their best advantage...

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sketches

We received some amazing gifts recently and I did sketches of them to say thank you...

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I put everything together into one image. Not sure if the subject matter really matches, but I think it sort of works...

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golden week

This week has been a long public holiday here in Japan, and we've been exploring Tokyo every single day. We started with a trip to Ginza and the new Hibiya Midtown mall. It's been such lovely weather, the sun and the shadows were glorious.

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We went to Shimokitazawa, stopping in an adorable cafe along the way, so I could try this Totoro shaped cream puff!

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We explored several downtown areas, loving the shitamachi atmosphere, shopping for baking equipment and trying interesting snacks.

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We went to the Todoroki Gorge, amazed that such a green and wild space could exist in urban Tokyo.

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I did a watercolour sketch of a sort of mossy waterfall with dragon heads, and some little statues there.

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We also tried an orange peel kakigori and then had a wonderful afternoon tea at the Imperial Hotel to celebrate our wedding anniversary...

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I did a sketch of our tea and the incredible view out over the city, and then coloured it at home...

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Can't wait for the rest of this weekend, before it's back to work on monday...

River Cottage veg everyday

The new edition of River Cottage veg, now titled River Cottage veg every day!, has just been published. 

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The new versions of the whole series of RC books have cloth bindings and shiny foil blocking on the covers. I drew new illustrations for each of the new covers and a frame for the back cover.

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I love the new texture and of course the metallics...

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The inside is all the same, except without the original endpapers, and just as full of tasty vegetable dishes. Enjoy!

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Tokyo sketches

I've been enjoying watching life around me in Tokyo, and sketching as I watch. Everything moves at a Tokyo pace, but there are always quiet moments to draw...

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I've eaten at so many wonderful restaurants but this one is particular has stood out for deliciousness...kappou wada in Omotesando. Lunch was a super deal! 

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interview

I did an e-mail interview a while ago with the lovely Shirley from the website handprinted.co.uk, that sells printmaking supplies in the UK and it's now online. I bumped into her in Tokyo last year as we both shopped for mokuhanga paper, and we kept in touch...

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I talk about my relationship with printmaking and show some examples of my work. Here are some pictures from the interview, hope you have time to read the full thing! 

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sakura season

This week has been the hanami (cherry blossom viewing) season in Tokyo, and I went to see a different sakura area every day.

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The beauty of the sakura trees in full bloom, all at once, is incredible!

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This sketch was done in Yoyogi Park today, with the cherry trees mixed in with all sorts of others...

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I loved the walk around chidorigafuchi, the moat of the emperor's palace.

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And I especially loved the sakura at night, along the Naka Meguro canal, lit with lanterns.

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Scholastic Books article

Last summer I illustrated an article for Scholastic that recommended all sorts of new books for kids to read.

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I drew shelves and a library/play room style environment, and photographs were then added into them.

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I drew all sorts of shelves for the different categories, like adventure and mystery, science and art, adding in little details where I could...

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And of course my favourite, fantasy + science fiction...

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concert

This week I did some sketches at a local concert, and I realised that I really do focus on the music better if I'm drawing...

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I love the combination of fancy dresses and musical instruments!

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Bessho Onsen

A few weekends ago we took a trip to Bessho Onsen, a little town near Nagano, in a pretty little snowy valley. It's the last stop on the local train and has several ryokans and shrines. We stayed in a magnificent place called Ryokan Hanaya Nagano.

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It used to be a Samurai residence, and has been a ryokan Since the Meiji era. Our room was sublime and we spent most of our time there tucked up cosily in the kotatsu!

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I loved the rotemburo, the baths and the dining rooms and drew some of the beautiful dishes we were served.

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We walked around the town in the freezing but beautiful sunny weather and admired Anrakuji where the wooden octagonal pagoda is a national treasure of Japan.

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I wish there were more weekends I could spend in this luxury...

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bento

I'm still working on getting my new website up and running, so while waiting for that, here's a photo of my favourite ever bento...

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children's murals

I'm sorting through images for my new website (hopefully launching soon!) and found these photos of several children's room murals I've done over the years. These two were for my neices...This jungle themed room is in a new baby's room in California.This subtle white line painted floral was in Hong Kong, for two lovely girls who shared a room.And this London-themed corridor and bedroom is in a suite of rooms in Mayfair...I love painting these murals, and always happy to take comissions!

snowy tokyo

It is the coldest winter in Tokyo so far in the Heisei period (the last 29 years) and last week it snowed; suddenly and violently and beautifully.I walked outside in the early evening to take a look...and found a little local shrine, glowing in the snowfall.So magical, just for a night.

sobachoko

This week I went to the Boroichi fleamarket in Tokyo. It has been held twice a year in the same place for over 430 years, and is an intangible folk cultural asset of Japan. I wandered, browsed and sketched, and bought a beautiful little sobachoko. When I got home, I did some watercolour sketches of it...I enjoyed it so much, I did a few more, looking at old sobachoko online for reference.And then made a little design of my own...

mokuhanga exhibition

Monday to Friday this week I have some prints on show in the CfSHE gallery in Tokyo. It's an exhibition of prints from all the artists who attended the mokuhanga residency in Kawaguchiko this summer.Let me know know if you'd like to meet up there! Date: From 15 to 19 January 2018 Venue: CfSHE Gallery B109, 6-11-14, Soto-Kanda, Chiyoda-ku, 1010021 Tokyo Hour: 13.00/17.00 Admission Free

2017年 MI-LAB アドバンス・プログラム参加アーティスト Artists who participated in 2017 MI-LAB Advanced Program

Kathleen(Kaite) Baldwin ケイティ・ボールドウィン (USA) Kate MacDonagh ケイト・マクドナー (Ireland) Mariko Jesse マリコ・ジェシー (UK) Melissa Schulenberg メリッサ・シューレンバーグ (USA) Natasha Norman ナターシャ・ノーマン (South Africa) Patty Hudak パティ・フダック (USA) An Gee Chan アン・ジー・チャン (Hong Kong) Brenda Petays ブレンダ・ぺテイス (Canada) Fuko Ito フウコ・イトウ (Japan) Jon Lee ジョン・リー (USA) Sarah Hulsey サラ・ハルシー (USA)

You can see more information here.

Japan!

So, my first day in Tokyo as a resident has just happened. We arrived last night, exhausted and jetlagged......but unbelievably excited about what the next year will be. More news soon!