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.
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!
I've been trying to do more mokuhanga, and recently completed this print of Japanese kokeshi dolls for my new collaborative project with Yoomni Nam and Katie Baldwin. This time we're calling our project alabama + california + kansas. You can find out more on our blog. We'll again be travelling to visit each other in our studios in these locations, and sending work to each other. Here's a pic of the wood block for this print, as I was carving it.
So far I've done 2 new images for this project, making use of several other artists' bits of artwork. In the first, I directly used Aude's fox mask and Kahori's flower to complement my bird branch theme:In the next round, I didn't use the others' actual artwork, but was inspired to draw my own stag (thanks Hiromi!) and fox. I made a little scenario with its own Latin motto "a true friend is a rare bird".Keep voting, and some of these t-shirts could become real!
So, my Outer Edit collaboration project starts today. Please go the website, register, and vote for my artwork! The collaboration continues until October 16th, and then the T-shirts with the most votes get produced, yay! The theme is 'Flora & Fauna', and this is my starting artwork...
I've been invited to join an exciting online design project organised by the Singapore based OuterEdit. Their website hasn't launched yet, but have a look at their facebook page. It's a chance for 5 designers/illustrators to work together to create various designs which will then be produced on clothes. There'll be several different sessions during the year, and I can't wait to take part. My 'collab' will be in September. I'll keep everyone updated so you can watch the designs online as they happen, and even influence the outcomes...
The OuterEdit film team came to London to interview all the UK-based designers for a short promotional piece, and I think mine went ok. We'll see, when it goes out online closer to the time. I was asked to draw a little logo during the filming, and this is what I came up with...