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Here’s another instalment in the long-distance notebook collaboration I’ve been working on with my friend Yoko for the past few years. I sent my most recent notebook entry off to Japan in late February, and as it has (long since) safely arrived at its destination it is (long overdue) time to document it here!

In her previous entry Yoko had ingeniously flipped the notebook (a simple 21 x 21 cm square, ringbound, kraft paper notebook from Muji) 90° to create an expansive portrait, rather than landscape, orientation image.

notebook [tokyo] – yoko’s previous entry, double-page spread
(artwork © yoko hayashi)

(You can check out more pictures of Yoko’s previous entry here)

I was really taken with this orientation and somewhat abashed not to have considered it before. I was also very enamoured with the magical universe Yoko had created and wanted to ‘dig deeper’, so to speak… What better way to do this than to travel straight down into the earth below Yoko’s enchanted, snow-laden village.

notebook [tokyo] – seedlings

One of the (many) great joys of this collaboration is the unfettered ‘playground’ the notebook provides: when we began the collab we had two simple tenets: “No Pressure. No Rules.” – so anything goes, and working in it is a welcome opportunity to step away from other projects, to explore ideas for possible future projects, to experiment in a new or different medium etc. I hadn’t done any papercutting for a very long time and was hankering after a bit of scalpel action…

papercutting work-in-progress

multi-layered papercuts in fiery-coloured mulberry/kozo paper
[sunrise and a (grubby!) window make a good lightbox in a pinch]

I also used it as an opportunity to pay homage to our beloved (and very deeply missed) Gira, who we lost to cancer – at the very young age of five-and-a-half – in November last year. Figuring out how to draw a curled-up feline skeleton was both tribute (Gira knew a thing or two about the contented curl-up!) and catharsis…

And applying hundreds of copper and bronze gouache dots to the loamy earth was comfortingly cathartic too…

notebook [tokyo] – gouache stippling as moving meditation

Here are Yoko’s pages and mine combined into a single image, so you too can journey down through this world’s cool, crystalline firmament to its fiery, molten core…

notebook [tokyo] – four page, vertical spread
(artwork top © 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) |
(7 – part I) | (7 – part II)

gira_aurevoir2016

I have been largely absent from this space in 2016… perhaps I’ll try and be a more regular blogger in 2017… only time will tell. I have been slightly more active on Instagram these past few months and I’d love it if you’d come and say hi over there.

In the meantime here’s a pic of my furry best buddy Gira doing his regal, festive thang! Wishing you all a peaceful conclusion to this (ofttimes frightening) year & all good things in 2017.

As September slides into October, heralding the rapid advance of autumn, here’s a quick round-up of the colours of my Dutch summer…

colours of a dutch summer 2016

being away at peak seedling planting time meant no vegetable growing adventures for me this year, but my mini rock garden, and the allium bulbs I planted in the autumn last year, put on a very good show!

colours of a dutch summer 2016

august mid-morning moon  |  laser 3.14‘s perceptive brand of street poetry

colours of a dutch summer 2016

gira loves this beautiful blue shweshwe duvet cover (made by my super-talented mum)… i suspect it might be because he knows how good he looks on it :)

colours of a dutch summer 2016

soft pink early morning views from the studio

colours of a dutch summer 2016

leiden is rocking the pink too!

coloursofadutchsummer06

lotus @ hortus botanicus, leiden

colours of a dutch summer 2016

gingko  |  venation

~ and you don’t get greens like those above, without a bit of the below ~

colours of a dutch summer 2016

lush

colours of a dutch summer 2016

flying things
street art in leiden  |  stained glass window designed by willem bogtman, haarlem, 1920’s (as seen at the ‘living in the amsterdam school: designs for the interior 1910-1930‘ exhibition at amsterdam’s stedelijk museum)

colours of a dutch summer 2016

everyone loves the sun(flower)

colours of a dutch summer 2016

rainbow cherry toms, ready for slow-roasting

colours of a dutch summer 2016

blue-eyed visitor at my studio window  |  radiant brickwork, amsterdam

colours of a dutch summer 2016

brick gables, haarlem  |  beautiful berries (buds? anyone know what this fascinating plant is?)

colours of a dutch summer 2016

to the beach!
kite-flying  |  fallow deer grazing on the verdant dune grasses at zandvoort

colours of a dutch summer 2016

grey is a colour too

colours of a dutch summer 2016

au revoir summer!

gira voguing

 

The Giant's Playground, Namibia, May 2016

the giant’s playground

While exploring the Giant’s Playground, a vast and rugged expanse of balancing basalt and dolerite rocks in Namibia, we were fortunate to encounter one of the region’s rarest creatures.

Chibi Totoro explores The Giant's Playground, Namibia, May 2016

chibi totoro, master tracker

Thanks to the keen sense of smell and sharp eyesight of Chibi Totoro, who tracked the animal for us, we were able to approach this extraordinary beast entirely undetected…

Cat Rocks, The Giant's Playground, Namibia, May 2016

… until we were in a suitable position to get a good view. Behold, the elusive and enigmatic felis silvestris igneous!

The Giant's Playground, Namibia, May 2016

felis silvestris igneous soaking up the sun in its natural habitat

Gira in the studio

Back home in my studio resident felis catus and amateur zoologist Gira is intrigued by the pictures we snapped of felis silvestris igneous, and feels a strong kinship with his distant relative…

Gira & Cat Rock!

… something in the eyes, perhaps?

some of my work, available on etsy
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copyright

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

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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 -
A parade of pampered pups at London’s National Gallery (@national_gallery) - Details from the following paintings: - Gerard David, ‘Christ Nailed to the Cross’, c.1481 - Thomas Gainsborough, ‘The Morning Walk’, 1785 - Gerard David, ‘The Virgin and Child with Saints and Donor’, c.1510 - Luca Giordano, ‘Homage to Velazquez’, 1692-1700 - Francois-Hubery Drouais, ‘Madame de Pompadour at her Tambour Frame’, 1763-4 - #dogs #canidae #canis_lupus_familiaris #pomeraniansheepdog #lapdog #hairlessdog #skull #mementomori #art #arthistory #painting #oiloncanvas #oilonoak #colour #pattern #gallery #museum #nationalgallery #trafalgarsquare #london -
I will always make a beeline to this painting when visiting London’s National Gallery (@national_gallery). It captures the lashing winds and torrential rains of a tropical jungle storm beautifully, and I love the surprised expression on the tiger’s face captured at the moment lightning strikes. - Two details from Henri Rousseau’s ‘Surprised!’, 1891, oil on canvas - #art #arthistory #rousseau #henrirousseau #surprised #tiger #jungle #foliage #verdant #lush #tropical #storm #rain #lightning #painting #oiloncanvas #colour #gallery #museum #nationalgallery #trafalgarsquare #london #catsofinstagram
Vegan heaven in 16th Century Antwerp! (at London’s @national_gallery) - Two details from the painting ‘The Four Elements: Earth’ by Joachim Beuckelaer, 1569, oil on canvas. Swipe left for a mouth-wateringly vivid abundance of juicy fruits… and left again for this painting’s violent counterpoint: ‘The Four Elements: Fire’ (detail), Joachim Beuckelaer, 1570, oil on canvas - #vegan #fruit #vegetables #plants #plenty #crueltyfree #abundance #earth #compassion - #art #arthistory #beuckelaer #joachimbeuckelaer #flemish #painting #oiloncanvas #colour #gallery #museum #nationalgallery #trafalgarsquare #london -
Summer daze... 🌴☀️ - (almost too) #hot (to handle) #cat #grayson #greeneyes #summer #colour #flamingoes #palmfronds #philodendron #deliciousmonster #tropical #catsofinstagram - @kitschkitchen #tafelzeil #oilcloth
These long, light, summer evenings feel like being inside a Magritte painting… - #summer #evening #light #dusk #twilight #moon #waxing_gibbous (26 june 2018) #haarlem #dutch_sky #painterly #magritte #empire_of_light -

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