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!
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...
Michael McConnell, at Fayes Bench Gallery in San Francisco, created an art project 'Friends That Never Met' where instagram friends would pair up and create a piece of collaborative art embracing their online friendship; a chance to work on something tangible in the real world together. So I had a good think and asked Melodie Stacey, an artist I follow on instagram and whose work I love, but who I've never met in person, if she'd like to work with me on some artwork. She said yes!
We each started a piece with a character, and posted them to the other to finish. Here is 'How do you do?' featuring my Mr Lizard. I noticed that Melodie often paints in blue, so I decided to do blue too. It's a mokuhanga print with watercolour, while Melodie painted in gouache. The artworks are all small-ish, and look wonderful on the wall in the gallery.
Melodie sent me several blue ladies to work with, so I chose one and decided to add an elaborate hat and avian friend. Here is 'Feather Lady'.I studied Edwardian headwear to get inspiration and added my hat as a collage in blues onto Melodie's painting.Social media is a great platform for artists to interact and inspire each other from all over the globe, and I really enjoyed taking this concept and adding a physical element to it. Melodie is in the UK, I was working in Japan, and the show is in California. I love it!
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...
As usual, I like to make my birthday last longer than a day, so I had three! On my actual birthday I went out for dinner to the Cliff House in San Francisco, and enjoyed a relaxed dinner with sunset views over the Pacific.I was given a little cooking course as a gift, and spent the next morning with chef Jean Yves in his kitchen learning how to make pate a choux and eclairs. So delicieux!Then my birthday picnic in the park. I love spending time with friends, eating sandwiches and cake, in the sunshine on a lovely day...Summer birthdays are the best!
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
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!
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!
I made two pieces for this show of paper cup art in San Francisco. The brief was to turn this ordinary object into a work of art, and artists from all over the US were invited to participate.I tried to create the effect of blue and white china, and used my collection of Chinese ceramics as reference for the design. I made a cup with separate decorated panels first, and then did another based on the famous willow pattern design. It was interesting to work in the round, after working flat for such a long time. https://vimeo.com/192408212
The show was on simultaneously at Long Weekend store in Oakland... and Fayes in the Mission...Today was the last day to see the show at Long Weekend, but Fayes will still be open to visit this week. Hope you can make it!
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 recently packaged my mokuhanga lemon print for my collaborative project with Yoomni Nam and Katie Baldwin. I made an etching of a seed packet, and folded up the lemon print to fit inside: a print inside a print.The seed packet design is based on vintage references I found while researching my part of the project, which is about California.More news about this project, called Alabama + California + Kansas soon!
Something I've been thinking about for a long while is opening a little online shop to sell some exclusive Mariko products. I'm often designing for other brands and companies (which I love doing!) but I'd also like to start my own little personal brand. I'm going to start slowly, with paper products like greeting cards, and then try to develop in an organic way. I'm working on my shop, which I hope to launch later this year, but in the meanwhile, here are some pics of my very first specially designed Christmas cards for sale.Please contact me directly if you're interested in ordering them, either for yourself, or wholesale! They are sold in packs of 5 cards with envelopes.
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!