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the sleeping city, limited edition screenprint

‘The Sleeping City’ is the silkscreen print I completed recently (and for which the drawings in an earlier post were made). It was inspired by a slightly disquieting, though strangely invigorating, dream I had in which a ghostly, glowing thylacine-headed dragon-creature twisted and turned its sinuous body across the dark night sky above a silent, sleeping Amsterdam. I have long wanted to make drawings of Amsterdam’s iconic canal houses and this perplexing dream gave me the nudge I needed. Of course I couldn’t draw the beautiful step, neck and bell gables as they actually are – I wanted them to appear slightly ‘other’, to give them a dreamlike quality… gables for an alternative-reality Amsterdam. The octopus gable and the dragon were particularly fun to draw – I love making drawings that allow me to lose myself in their intricate twists and turns… so much so that I’m sometimes reluctant to resurface!

the sleeping city, limited edition screenprint, detail

In the dream the city’s slumbering inhabitants were oblivious to the creature’s presence (which, although not malignant, was also not entirely benign). But not everyone slept through this anomaly… Amsterdam’s cats – shape-shifters and dimension-skippers one-and-all – were awake to commune with the strange apparition in the sky.

the sleeping city, limited edition screenprint, details

I have no idea what this dream meant, if indeed it meant anything at all, but it did provide me with some fun material to work with!

the sleeping city, pots of ink

As I generally favour working in black & white, colour-mixing the inks for this print was quite a challenge – I really wanted to capture the harmonious, almost monochromatic midnight-blues, purples and ghostly-glow qualities of the dream, but also wanted enough contrast for the individual elements to have the graphic impact I was after. So I worked with tints and shades of a single colour (that ‘midnight-blue’ I’ve mentioned) – and for the colour layers that called for a more translucent quality, I added lashings of transparent base to the ink.

the sleeping city, limited edition screenprint, details

I chose to print on a coloured paper (Fabriano Tiziano 160gsm pastel paper in ‘Danubio’) as I wanted the elements to emerge from a darker ground, to appear out of ‘the night’ as it were. Printing such a relatively complex (seven-screen, five-colour) print on coloured paper was a first for me and doubtless increased the colour mixing challenges, but generated some very interesting effects. The image disappears almost completely in very dim light, but in brighter light elements positively *pop* off the page – it therefore seems to shift & change in the fluctuating light and as a result replicates a certain surreal quality of the dream that inspired it. I’m fascinated by these temporal effects of colour, light and darkness and will definitely be experimenting further, in future projects, with printing on different coloured papers.

Here’s a little animated GIF showing random snippets of the process, including some of the film transparencies created (from the drawings featured in my earlier post) for the seven separate print layers, exposure (of these transparencies) onto screens, ink/colour mixing, test prints, the print at various stages of completion and finally cleaning/reclaiming the screens at the end of the process.

the sleeping city, limited edition screenprint, process pics

And here is the print, temporarily framed and hanging on my studio wall, to give a sense of scale (those are standard sized postcards on the pinboard to the right). It’s available now, in a limited edition of 45 pieces, in my Etsy shop.

the sleeping city, limited edition screenprint

Now to put Kronk‘s yeti back where he belongs, before his temporary displacement angers him…

yeti screenprint by kronk

… oops, too late!

After several weeks of posts about my travels in a far off land I think it’s time for me to face reality and return to the streets of Amsterdam! And what better way to do that than with a fifth instalment in my ongoing (if infrequent!) ‘Amsterdam Cats in Windows’ series…

hello, sailor!

the welcoming party

20th century art lover
favourite collar?

yves klein blue!

maitre d’

dutch delight

honorary felid

technology overload

the effigy

the decoy


ivan the (not so) terrible
[mouser & all-round tough guy at the neighbourhood russian supermarket]

[Looking for Part I, Part II, Part III and Part IV?]


A long overdue 4th installment in my ongoing ‘cats in windows’ series. Oh, there’ve been some classic feline encounters in recent months… in particular “two cats and a disembodied hand wrestling”, where a single image just wouldn’t do.

And although in general this ‘series’ is supposed to be about cats and windows in Amsterdam this installment features some very special guests from farther afield: the wrestling cats and the disembodied hand reside in Leiden (it’s where disembodied hands go to retire), and there are two very handsome Brooklyn beasties as well!

assuming the maximum-ray-absorption position

koninginnedag flashback

the pub landlord

houseboat… and the living is easy

the jewel thief

for all your floor-covering needs
[Greenwood, Brooklyn]

pink is blue

two cats and a disembodied hand wrestling

el jefe

billyburg batcat
[Williamsburg, Brooklyn]

a baker’s dozen

[Looking for Part I, Part II and Part III?]

Hurrah, the weekend is finally upon us! My mantra at the moment, while I dig my way out from underneath the big ol’ pile of work I’ve taken on, has been the “please send me evenings and weekends” lyric from Gang of Four’s classic ‘Return the Gift’. And so in celebration of the weekend having been delivered here’s a long overdue ‘Part III’ in my informal, ongoing series of ‘Amsterdam cats in windows (or doorways, or near windows, or out and about on the city streets)’ (Part I can be found here, and Part II here).

the blueblood

the kid

the peeping tom

the joyrider

the magnificent monochromatic moggie

the pugilist

the kitchen is closed

the gingham princess

true blue

the bad dream

the patriot & the dandy

the bug catchers

the carnivore

one flew over the cuckoo’s nest

extra lucky!

(thanks very much to the narcoagent for his contributions to the ‘cats in windows’ collection :)

the amber dreamer

the amber dreamer

Since posting these handsome beasties many months ago my collection of ‘cats in windows’ in and around Amsterdam has continued to grow. Here are some more of this vast, yet infinitely individual, army:

neighbourhood watch

neighbourhood watch


the bouncer

the bouncer


the bibliophile

the bibliophile


the hammer horror fan

the hammer horror fan


the violinist's sheet music keeper

the violinist’s sheet music keeper


the grande dame (of the unblinking emerald gaze!)

the grande dame


the familiar

the familiar


the cross stitch cat

the cross stitch cat


the skin jobs

the skin jobs


the loaf

the loaf


the cold shoulder

the cold shoulder 


the phantom

the phantom


the cactus friend

the cactus friend

(and the cute little teapot – which may or may not be feline – wearing a knitted hat is by Argentinean ceramicist Lola Goldstein and, I believe, can be acquired in Amsterdam at the ever wonderful Egg Mercantile)

some of my work, available on etsy
support worldwide wild cat conservation


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


A gift from a friend @jessebreytenbach a couple of years ago, this tiny, beautiful artwork has taken on a deeper poignancy and significance… [Artist: Stephanie Simpson @me_and_norman] - #stayhome #isolation #art #hope #collage #foundtext #goldleaf #gold #crescent #moon #spring #blue #sky #birds #seagulls #soar -
There’s a cat among the pigeons... A very good reason to #stayhome Be safe, be well. - #idiom #pigeons #cat #grayson #grey #greeneyes #ThinGreyDuke #onelungedwonder #MegaLung #GraysonTheGreat #socks #catsofinstagram #catsofholland -
Venetian grafica, part II - #venice #winter #urbanenvironment #streetart #graffiti #urbanart #vermeer #scubamask #architecturalsculpture #stonework #pinecone #water #reflections #canals #seaweed #shrine #jesus #lion #planetearth #strongman #flare #emergency #climatechange #pattern #texture #colour #art - Credits: The ‘woman in scuba mask’ street art is by Blub, based on Johannes Vermeer’s ‘Girl with a Pearl Earring’ c.1665. Other artist’s unknown (to me). - [Photos taken in November 2019, shortly before this vulnerable, fascinating city was once again flooded, and long before Italy went into the current lockdown state]
Venetian grafica, part I (part II to follow, because Venice is an incredibly visually rich place – what textures! what colours! what magnificent, ancient urban decay! – and I was incapable of culling my photos down to just the ten permitted by IG in a single post!) - #venice #urbanenvironment #streetart #graffiti #urbanart #architecturalsculpture #stonework #medieval #embellishment #grotesque #chimera #water #reflections #canals #damp #edvardmunch #scream #selfie #baroque #vivaldi #scubamask #violin #owl #tourist #raven #plaguemask #pattern #colour #art #climatechange - Credits: The ‘man with violin’ street art is by Blub, based on an anonymous portrait of (probably) Antonio Vivaldi c.1723. Other artists unknown (to me). - [Photos taken in November 2019, shortly before this vulnerable, fascinating city was once again flooded, and long before Italy went into the current lockdown state]
The only thing crazier than one one-lunged-wonder is two one-lunged-wonders! - #grayson #onelungedwonder #MegaLung #ThinGreyDuke #GraysonTheGreat #doppelgänger #doublevision #tightsqueeze #thecrazies #grey #cat #greeneyes #darkroom #blackoutcurtain #window #reflection #russianblue #catsofinstagram #catsofholland
Glasgow grafica… - #glasgow #scotland #winter #urbanenvironment #streetart #graffiti #urbanart #mural #mushrooms #amanitamuscaria #highrise #highway #creatures #animals #cat #entangled #yarn #birds #beak #steeple #sandstone #gardenshed #hedgehog #treeskeleton #silhouette #concretejungle #pattern #colour #art - (December 2019)

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