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This is Part II of the most recent instalment from the long-distance sketchbook/notebook collaboration I’ve been working on with my friend Yoko. For Part I click here.

If you’ve been following the progress of this collaboration you may remember the mysterious, magical forest scene from Yoko’s previous entry (partly pictured below, or you can click here to see it in more detail).

muji notebook (amsterdam) - artwork by yoko hayashi

notebook (amsterdam) – detail (artwork by yoko hayashi)

I was so enchanted by this mystical forest I wanted to create a protector for it, a guardian spirit if you will. She appeared in the guise of a tenacious, green-eyed owl.

muji notebook (amsterdam) - work in progress

late night prototyping

muji notebook (amsterdam) - work in progress

ear tuft/eyebrow, work-in-progress

muji notebook (amsterdam) - completed double page spread

notebook (amsterdam) – completed double page spread

She looks rather flinty, but she’s really quite friendly. That’s just the outward manifestation of her resolute determination to protect all those that call the forest home from all those that would cut down, kill, consume & catalogue.

muji notebook (amsterdam) - glow-in-the-dark eyes!

Of course no guardian spirit would be complete without glow-in-the-dark eyes! (My penchant for GID paint, and in fact anything that glows in the dark, does not seem to be abating.)

muji notebook (amsterdam) - eye see you

ear tufts folded for transit to tokyo

mujinotebook collaboration - post packagaing

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notebook [amsterdam] denotes the notebook that started its life in Amsterdam, and notebook [tokyo] denotes the notebook that started its life in Tokyo

The preceding Amsterdam/Tokyo project posts can be found here:
(1) | (2) | (3) | (4) | (5) | (6 – part I) | (6 – part II) | (7 – part I)

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At last, I’m back with new instalments from the long-distance sketchbook/notebook collaboration I’ve been working on with my friend Yoko Hayashi.

It’s always a thrilling day here when a MUJI notebook sized package, postmarked Tokyo, lands in my letterbox!

mujinotebook collaboration - post packagaing

In my previous entry (which you can see here) I’d left Yoko with a rather awkward, untidy-back-of-embroidery page to work with…

muji notebook (tokyo) - back-of-embroidery

I was intrigued to see what she’d done with this page. I knew it would be beautiful and inventive, but I wasn’t prepared for just how beautiful – there was actual gasping when I turned the page to reveal Yoko’s most recent entry…

mujinotebook (tokyo) - artwork by yoko hayashi

notebook [tokyo] – detail (artwork by yoko hayashi)

This fine lace-like filigree evokes a constellation of delicate celestial bodies or magical snow crystals.

Although they are painted they have an enticing three-dimensional quality – like real openwork – that makes one want to reach out and touch them.

muji notebook (tokyo) - artwork by yoko hayashi

notebook [tokyo] – double page spread (artwork by yoko hayashi)

The village beneath this constellation (itself, it would seem, born of fallen stars/snow crystals) exudes a peaceful otherworldly calm, and that deep stillness that almost always accompanies abundant snowfall.

muji notebook (tokyo) - artwork by yoko hayashi

notebook [tokyo] – detail (artwork by yoko hayashi)

Soft, substantial snow came to Haarlem a few days after the notebook arrived. Coincidence or enchantment? I favour the latter…

muji notebook (tokyo) - artwork by yoko hayashi

notebook [tokyo] – all artwork by yoko hayashi

notebook [tokyo] denotes the notebook that started its life in Tokyo, and notebook [amsterdam] denotes the notebook that started its life in Amsterdam

The preceding Amsterdam/Tokyo project posts can be found here:
(1) | (2) | (3) | (4) | (5) | (6 – part I) | (6 – part II)

All artwork in this post is copyright yoko hayashi

line, shape, colour, texture and pattern... found in namibia, may 2016

golden crown & bark of a quivertree

… these are a few of my favourite things.

And there was much opportunity for the gathering of these favourite things on our recent roadtrip across Namibia.

line, shape, colour, texture and pattern... found in namibia, may 2016

folded, rippled, wrinkled (fish river canyon, african elephant)

line, shape, colour, texture and pattern... found in namibia, may 2016

elephant petroglyph  |  subtle mineral colours, dolerite columns

line, shape, colour, texture and pattern... found in namibia, may 2016

purples, russets

line, shape, colour, texture and pattern... found in namibia, may 2016

fine forms, more mineral hues

line, shape, colour, texture and pattern... found in namibia, may 2016

black & white, circles & stripes

line, shape, colour, texture and pattern... found in namibia, may 2016

bone dry, desaturated

line, shape, colour, texture and pattern... found in namibia, may 2016

earthy harmonies, rounded rhythms

line, shape, colour, texture and pattern... found in namibia, may 2016

bright brandberg hills… and a mystery paint spillage in the desert

line, shape, colour, texture and pattern... found in namibia, may 2016

perfectly patterned, eminently engravable  |  ancient petroglyphs

line, shape, colour, texture and pattern... found in namibia, may 2016

desert car wreck… adorned

line, shape, colour, texture and pattern... found in namibia, may 2016

a decaying structure’s textures & patterns (goageb ghost town)

line, shape, colour, texture and pattern... found in namibia, may 2016

lines (looking up: hot air balloon cables,
looking down: wildlife highways & byways)

line, shape, colour, texture and pattern... found in namibia, may 2016

namib desert sands: infinitely intriguing colours, forms…

line, shape, colour, texture and pattern... found in namibia, may 2016

textures…

line, shape, colour, texture and pattern... found in namibia, may 2016

… and patterns

line, shape, colour, texture and pattern... found in namibia, may 2016

pleasing points (rondavel thatch, starling silhouette)

line, shape, colour, texture and pattern... found in namibia, may 2016

all these elements coalesce in the simplicity of a dead tree at dusk

'floral mandalas'

ink & watercolour ‘floral mandalas’

This time last year I was a bit snowed under by the many ‘to dos’ associated with moving to a new city so I took a break from my annual handmade festive greeting card manufactory… and I thought I’d be doing the same again this year (it’s December already??! where did 2015 go!?!) but then I got caught up in the colourful fun of painting a series of small ‘floral mandalas’, first as doodles in my sketchbook and then in a somewhat more ‘considered’ way on watercolour paper off-cuts that I’d been hoping to find a good use for…

'floral mandalas' details

'floral mandala' cards - work in progress

work-in-progress

I soon realised that I seemed to be making cards, and almost as quickly realised that hand-painting cards for all the friends and family I’d like to send festive new year greetings to would be completely insane quite unachievable in the time available. So I decided to try out the greeting card printing services of MOO (I’ve had business cards & stickers printed by them in the past and the quality is great… btw, this is not a sponsored post, just my personal opinion ;-). A unique (as far as I’m aware) and very appealing feature of MOO’s service is that you can have a different design printed on every card in a pack at no additional cost… so the possibilities are almost endless!

I scanned some of my ink & watercolour ‘floral mandalas’ and played around with them in Photoshop to arrive at five festive designs to have printed by MOO. These are they…

'floral mandala' greeting cards

‘floral mandala’ cards

Unable to resist the ‘multiple designs’ feature of MOO’s service I also had some creature cards printed (with designs based on these limited edition ‘animal diorama’ silkscreen prints made a few years ago).

owl & octopus 'animal diorama' greeting cards

‘animal diorama’ cards – octopus & owl

Not traditionally ‘Christmassy’, for sure… but I say good riddance to the jolly, fat man in the red suit and all hail the red-eyed kraken! ;-)

owl & octopus 'animal diorama' greeting cards

Some of these cards are now available in my Etsy storethey can be found here >
Or you might like to give MOO’s greeting card printing service a whirl yourself, here >

'floral mandala' greeting cards

rotterdam geometries

soaring  |  ponderous

rotterdam geometries

propped  |  aslant

rotterdam geometries

highly strung

rotterdam geometries

perched

rotterdam geometries

mellowed

rotterdam geometries

guided

rotterdam geometries

ingenious  |  hypnotic

rotterdam geometries

sheathed  |  rationalised

rotterdam geometries

dwarfed

rotterdam geometries

dappled  |  faceted

Pieter Bruegel (I), The Tower of Babel, c.1565

… and that first ever ‘wolkenkrabber’*
pieter bruegel (I)’s “the tower of babel” c.1565
as seen at rotterdam’s magnificent boijmans van beuningen museum

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the buildings and structures pictured
(in order of first appearance, and if known) are as follows:

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* wolkenkrabber – excellent dutch word for skyscraper, literally ‘cloud(s) scraper’ – beautifully visualised in bruegel’s 16th century tower of babel painting

 

some of my work, available on etsy
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This magic has just started to unfold in the ‘garden’ on our little roof terrace. Methinks spring has most definitely sprung! #spring #lente #blossoms #plum (?) #pink #petals #stamens #delicate #growth #seasons #cycle_of_life #roof_garden #haarlem Dawn colours #dawn #silhouette #dome #cathedral #kathedralebasilieksintbavo #studio_view #rooftops #haarlem Dressing W-A-Y out of my comfort zone for the “glitter and glamour” themed wedding party of friends tonight. Gulp… they say it’s good to step outside one’s comfort zone now and then, right?! #shimmery #sequins #glitter #festive #ottodame #not_black #colour #pattern #texture This is Henk... just one of the many good reasons to go and get your hair cut @jill_and_sisi (Admiraal de Ruijterweg 221, Amsterdam) #henk #puppy #dog #super_soft #super_cute #jill_and_sisi #pattern #sunshine Full moon rises over the silver hills… (or, much more prosaically, simply a sleeping cat and the negative shapes left behind on a spray painting ‘drop cloth’ :) #magic_in_the_mundane #cat #fur #silver #grey #black #monochromatic #pattern #shape #spraypaint The bike lane… #symbol #icon #infographic #design #bicycle #emblematic #netherlands #bicycle_culture #cycling_infrastructure #ride_on

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