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!

happy new year!

Welcome to 2018. I'm looking forward to a year of discoveries: wonderful museums, inspiring cuisine, new friends, and a new home to explore. I'm moving to Tokyo this week, it's going to be fun! Here's a picture of the afternoon tea we prepared yesterday for our leaving party. Next blog, Japan!

happy christmas!

I always have trouble thinking of what to draw for my winter card, so I was happy to come up with a snowdome illustration this year. Here are some of my initial sketches. I was originally thinking of having a page of a differently shaped and sized snowglobes, but then chose to keep it simple and focus on just one. I wanted a cosy house in a forest, and did several little watercolours to experiment.

For the final artwork I painted a little house on a snowy hill with smoke coming out of the chimney, and then had it printed with an extra layer of silver foil to show the glitter inside the dome. I love that it sparkles as you move the card!

Hope you all have a wonderful, cosy, warm, and sparkly Christmas holiday!

London exhibitions

I've been having a wonderful week in London, visiting museums and seeing friends and family. I'd been waiting all year to see the Tove Jansson show at the Dulwich Picture Gallery, and it didn't disappoint...Her work has always inspired me (especially the black and white drawings in the Moomin books), and I feel invigorated to work harder now. I also loved the Modigilani show at the Tate Modern. I'd never seen so much of his work all at once, and it was extremely moving.And of course the Winnie-the-Pooh exhibition at the V&A. So adorable, and a wonderful example of author and illustrator producing perfection together...

Christmas cards

I've got these supercute robin and ivy blank holiday cards in my shop right now. There are 2 designs, and they each come in packs of 5.They're blank inside for your own holiday message, and come with matching white envelopes. I can ship them from either the US (now) or the UK (in 2 weeks time). Happy card-writing!

dog portraits

While I was in Hong Kong last month, I helped out my friend Alex, who runs Dogalicious, a healthy dog food company, at his stand at the pink dot festival. I offered pet portraits of people's dogs, in exchange for a donation to lap, the animal charity.I'd never tried this before, but most of the owners seemed to be quite happy with the results! Dogs don't stay still, so I had to capture their personalities whilst they wriggled...I did the portraits in watercolour and brushpen, each one in under 10 minutes!There is even a video of the event that you can watch here. Woof!

Hawaii conference

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.

Here's a little sketch I did from the window of our manoa airbnb, of the misty rainy mountains. I loved the area where we stayed; there were more rainbows there than I'd seen in a very long time.

Hawaii

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.

We watched bright green lizards playing,and every morning watched the sun rise over the palms...I can't wait to go back again. Aloha!