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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).
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.
late night prototyping
ear tuft/eyebrow, work-in-progress
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.
ear tufts folded for transit to tokyo
notebook [amsterdam] denotes the notebook that started its life in Amsterdam, and notebook [tokyo] denotes the notebook that started its life in Tokyo
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!
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…
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…
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.
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.
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…
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
All artwork in this post is copyright yoko hayashi
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.
folded, rippled, wrinkled (fish river canyon, african elephant)
elephant petroglyph | subtle mineral colours, dolerite columns
fine forms, more mineral hues
black & white, circles & stripes
bone dry, desaturated
earthy harmonies, rounded rhythms
bright brandberg hills… and a mystery paint spillage in the desert
perfectly patterned, eminently engravable | ancient petroglyphs
desert car wreck… adorned
a decaying structure’s textures & patterns (goageb ghost town)
lines (looking up: hot air balloon cables,
looking down: wildlife highways & byways)
namib desert sands: infinitely intriguing colours, forms…
… and patterns
pleasing points (rondavel thatch, starling silhouette)
all these elements coalesce in the simplicity of a dead tree at dusk
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…
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’ 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).
‘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! ;-)
soaring | ponderous
propped | aslant
ingenious | hypnotic
sheathed | rationalised
dappled | faceted
the buildings and structures pictured
(in order of first appearance, and if known) are as follows:
- erasmus bridge [ben van berkel, un studio]
- de rotterdam [rem koolhaas, oma]
- kpn tower / toren op zuid [renzo piano, rpbw]
- calypso [alsop architects]
- museum boijmans van beuningen [ad van der steur]
- the museum’s INGENIOUS ‘merry-go-round coat rack‘ [studio wieki somers] & a detail of olaf nicolai & studio thonik’s courtyard collaboration
- rotterdam centraal station [benthem crouwel, meijer & van schooten, west8]
- de delftse poort [abe bonnema]
* wolkenkrabber – excellent dutch word for skyscraper, literally ‘cloud(s) scraper’ – beautifully visualised in bruegel’s 16th century tower of babel painting