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houseplants enjoying the winter sunshine | yellow lichen, green moss in the zuid-kennermerland dunes | hanging globe lights @ tolhuistuin, amsterdam noord | art deco fabric lampshade @ tuschinski theatre, amsterdam | drawing work-in-progress | warm 'n cosy @ home | handpainted owl kite (detail), made by leendert masselink | two sunrise views from my studio windows | king midas sound performing @ paradiso noord, tolhuistuin | murex pecten (venus comb shell) | blue nail polish (a gift from yoko :) | blue cat | january sky | nitnit and inky, by chares burns | a favourite folded paper lampshade (designed by studio snowpuppe) | brittle, bone-white deadwood in the zuid-kennermerland dunes | drawing work-in-progress (bull headed shrike - stern?) | drawing work-in-progress (sloane's viper fish - aghast?) | gira doing a laudable viper fish impression

houseplants enjoying the winter sunshine  |  yellow lichen, green moss in the zuid-kennemerland dunes  |  hanging globe lights @ tolhuistuin, amsterdam noord  |  art deco fabric lampshade @ tuschinski theatre, amsterdam  |  drawing work-in-progress  |  warm ‘n cosy @ home  |  handpainted owl kite (detail), made by leendert masselink  |  two sunrise views from my studio windows  |  king midas sound performing @ paradiso noord, tolhuistuin  |  murex pecten (venus comb shell)  |  blue nail polish (a gift from yoko :)  |  blue cat  |  january sky  |  nitnit and inky, by the great charles burns  |  a favourite folded-paper lampshade (designed by studio snowpuppe|  brittle, bone-white twigs in the zuid-kennemerland dunes  |  drawing work-in-progress (bull headed shrike – he’s a stern little fella)  |  drawing work-in-progress (sloane’s viper fish – apparently aghast?)  |  gira doing a laudable viper fish impression (‘though he needs to work on the ‘wide-eyed expression of astonishment’)

It was a colourful month…

january colours abridged

'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

jellyfish drawing, work-in-progress

jellyfish drawing, work-in-progress

Here are some more jellyfish work-in-progress pics. I’m gradually working towards making a new silkscreen print in this ongoing ‘animal diorama’ series and, with this future print in mind, have been experimenting with tentacle layering, stippled shading and possible patterning for my jellies…

jellyfish drawing, work-in-progress

tentacles… some of my favourite things to draw!

jellyfish drawing, work-in-progress

stippling… also a favourite pastime (it’s very relaxing)

jellyfish drawing, work-in-progress

don’t touch the wet ink!
oops… too late

jellyfish drawing, work-in-progress

… more stippling (very relaxed now :-)

jellyfish drawing, work-in-progress

jellyfish drawing, work-in-progress

I’ve been drawing jellyfish lately… and I realised pretty early on in my attempts that, despite the plethora of photographic reference material to be found in books and online, without access to a real live model I had no idea how to articulate the twisting, undulating, entwining, knurly oral arms of these compelling creatures.

What’s the next best thing to observing a live model (without leaving your desk)? A highly scientifically-inaccurate dummy hastily constructed from scrap paper, pipe cleaners, tape and bits of yarn, of course!

jellyfish drawing, work-in-progress

jellyfish stand-in

Fun to make… and it really did help me to figure out how I might draw those tricky, twisty oral arms!

jellyfish drawing, work-in-progress

Taped to a window, the overlapping paper ‘arms’ coupled with the play of light and shadow create some interesting abstract shapes too…

jellyfish drawing, work-in-progress

My trusty assistant has been on hand to offer advice on the best brush for inking…

jellyfish drawing, work-in-progress

… and to engage in a bit of virtual interspecies arm-wrestling.

jellyfish drawing, work-in-progress

More jellyfish WIP to come…

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mujinotebook (amsterdam)

They say time flies when you’re having fun… but can it really be four months since I last posted here?! Apparently it can…

My summer has flown by, too fast, in a bright blur of visitors, first forays into roof-terrace ‘farming’, city explorations, art gallery visits, plenty of enjoyable reading, some interesting client work, and lots of drawing for projects of my own. My camera has been working overtime so I have many pics to share and I’ll be trying to catch up on some of the summer’s wanderings and meanderings in my next few posts. Kicking off the catch-up, here are some more pages from the sketchbook/notebook collaboration I’ve been working on with my friend Yoko…*

A recent project for a client required lots of mushroom research and drawing, so I used the notebook as a place to experiment and play with ‘shrooms of all shapes, sizes and colours.

mujinotebook (amsterdam)

notebook [amsterdam] – work-in-progress (animated GIF)

mujinotebook (amsterdam)

notebook [amsterdam]
dreaming of mushrooms | work-in-progress detail

mujinotebook (amsterdam)

notebook [amsterdam] – left side of double-page spread

mujinotebook (amsterdam)

notebook [amsterdam] – right side of double-page spread

During my research** I encountered many weird and wonderful mushrooms – the world of fungi is mind-bogglingly diverse and fantastical! Although the patterning and colouring of my mushrooms is mostly imagined, it would be no surprise if these curious specimens do exist in nature. However real or imagined though, I’m pretty sure those purple ones above are poisonous enough to drop a human at thirty paces… even if they’re apparently quite harmless to snails and ‘mourillos’***

Yoko’s most recent pages, as with all her previous entries, are filled with magic and mystery. Finely-detailed etchings of a unicorn and a nesting bird atop a kingdom within an apple are incorporated into a collage of beautiful old stamps, mulberry-paper leaves and delicate drawn elements.

mujinotebook (tokyo)

notebook [tokyo] – double page spread, and a right side page detail
(all artwork by yoko hayashi)

mujinotebook (tokyo)

notebook [tokyo] – left side page details
(all artwork by yoko hayashi)

Yoko also included a treat for me on the next blank page of the notebook: a glassine envelope containing more beautiful old stamps – inspirational triggers for my next entry…

mujinotebook (tokyo)

notebook [tokyo] – details (all artwork by yoko hayashi)

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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 four Amsterdam/Tokyo project posts can be found here:
(1) (2) (3) (4)

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* Yoko and her husband visited in July and it was the first time since we embarked on this project that the two notebooks were in the same place at the same time :)

** I highly recommend checking out the photographs of Steve Axford for lots of fantastic fungi! Many of my mushrooms were inspired by his photographs

*** mourillos: as christened by a friend, when they first appeared here, for their resemblance to a cross between a mouse and a tiny armadillo

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copyright

All images and words on this site are © suzanne norris / sakurasnow unless otherwise specified.

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"This is Ground Control to Major Tom… … it’s time to leave the capsule if you dare" - #spaceoddity #ThinGreyDuke #spacecadet #grayson #grey #cat #greeneyes #onelungedwonder #GraysonTheGreat #catsofinstagram #catsofholland - Disclaimer: dear internet… before you freak out 🙀 about the dangers washer/dryer machines pose for cats, rest assured that Major Tom was supervised at all times 😸 -
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Peace ✌ - #peace #streetart #urbanart #graffiti #meta #purposeful #gnome #kabouter #kbtr #buttocks #billen #spraycan #symbol #red #hat #rotterdam (artwork by @dekbtr) -
Darkroom shenanigans! (My ‘darkroom’ is simply an area in my studio that can be enclosed by light-proof curtains when needed. Grayson had not yet discovered this fluid ‘space within a space’ and was mightily intrigued when I recently used it while exposing some screens for a new print) - #darkroom #lightproof #blackoutcurtains #black #grey #cat #greeneyes #grayson #explorer #onelungedwonder #MegaLung #ThinGreyDuke #catsofinstagram #screenprinting #zeefdruk #lowkey #lowkey_photography -
This was a relatively good inking session, but the intense & unprecedented heatwave we’ve been experiencing in NL has had some ‘interesting’ effects on my drawing ink – turning it (and me!) into a rapidly congealing, sticky mess. The second pic illustrates a particularly bad inking session when, on lifting the freshly dipped pen to continue drawing, the entire inkpot came with it and crash-landed across the drawing. Ugh… a sticky mess indeed! This is, of course, a very trivial effect of the #climatebreakdown we now find ourselves in the midst of, but no less vexing for its insignificance in the great scheme of things… #no_use_crying_over_spilt_ink - #drawing #inking #indianink #encredechine #dippen #spillage #blunder #stickymess #sunlight #shadow #organic #pattern #mycelium #tangled #chaos #climatecollapse - Thankfully today is a cooler, rainy day… perfect inking conditions! -
A jaw-dropping summer sunset in Haarlemtown this evening… - #sunset #summer #evening #sun #light #golden_orb #dusk #clouds #roofgardenviews #haarlem #dutch_sky #painterly #colour #awe_inspiring #nature -

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