London week two

This week I spent some time with friends in lovely places, and managed to do a little sketching too: here's a watercolour of a quiet garden inside Regent's Park.I also did a little drawing while I was having a tasty afternoon tea with scones at the Mock Turtle cafe in Brighton,and here's an atmospheric shot of my sketchbook in the window of Kew Palace, the summer home of King George III, inside Kew Gardens, one of my very favourite places in London. I'm loving being here, seeing all the familiar places with new eyes and sketching every day...

Vienna trip

I spent a few days in Vienna recently, and finally managed to eat at the famous Cafe Central with its glorious arched centraleI mixed it up a bit, and then went for cake at Simoni's, a very modern cafe, and just as delicious.simonisThe big revelation for me was the visit to the Kunsthistoriches Museum. I couldn't believe how many truly amazingly beautiful works of art there were.museumMy favourites were this portrait of a lady by Rubens...rubensand this absolute gem by Vermeer. It gave me such a lovely warm feeling.vermeerVienna is such a beautiful city, even the hotdog stands are like works of art. This photograph is my tribute to Hopper, and features Durer's Hare on the roof.hopper

weekend in Paris

A quick trip across the channel, and a weekend in Paris in August. Lovely. This is the view from our hotel, right in the centre of Saint Germain des Pres, on the left bank. Not many shops were open, it being the weekend, and also August, so we spent the time strolling in the parks, sipping chocolat in cafes, and generally just having a relaxing time...

LOKL cafe map

I was commissioned to create a decorative sight-seeing map of Kuala Lumpur, for LOKL, a boutique coffee shop there. The brief was for it to be colourful, fun, a bit modern-retro, and to show all the great things to do in KL...Here are some photos of the framed map on the wall. The cafe is attached to a fantastic little modern back-packer place called BackHome.

trip to Budapest

I've just come back from a visit to Budapest, where it was chilly but clear, and very relaxing. We visited the castle and walked around the old cobbly streets. I loved the houses all in pretty colours with different architectural details...I particularly enjoyed the cake shops and cafes, especially this one, with its lovingly restored ceilings and mirrors. Heavenly!We went to different spa baths every day, and my favourite were the Rudas Baths, a spa dating back to the Ottoman era. No photo of that one unfortunately, but here's one of the Szechenyi outdoor baths.

iriya plus cafe mural

While I was in Tokyo two weeks ago, I went to visit my friend Naomi who runs iriya plus cafe, in Iriya, near Ueno. It's in an old warehouse building that she renovated, keeping the gorgeous original wooden beams and shelves, and overall traditional Japanese style, but adding a modern feel.She commissioned me to paint a mural on the main cafe wall, as a backdrop for the upcoming 'pancake party' event, with live music by the local band JOYZ (you can see them in the above photo).I drew this initial rough design, but found out that they don't make pancakes in a frying pan! So I took the pancake out and added more text. I also changed the font I used for 'POP' into my more comfortable calligraphic stye. Here's how it looked when it was done.A photographer called Takumi Yamamoto, a friend of JOYZ, documented the day: me doing the mural, and also JOYZ playing live while I was doing the painting. There was a typhoon that day, but we were all snug inside. This is everyone, including the cafe staff... If you're in Tokyo on October 29, try to make it to the live event, I bet it'll be fantastic. For tickets and more details, go to the iriya cafe blog. Wish I could be there!