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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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It has been a while, but here is the next instalment in the collaborative sketchbook project I’m working on (at a slow but steady pace, across continents) with my friend Yoko [the preceding three instalments can be found here (3), here (2) and here (1)]

mujinotebook (amsterdam)

yoko followed on from my previous entry (above) with a line of
ghostly trees leading us deeper into the woods…

mujinotebook (amsterdam)

… with a turn of the page the moon has risen,

mujinotebook (amsterdam)

and in this magical forest wolf takes on the visage of a deer

mujinotebook (amsterdam)

from little red riding hood’s basket spring bursts forth,
to conquer the frozen landscape

mujinotebook (amsterdam)

but she keeps an apprehensive eye on this other woodland wanderer…

mujinotebook (amsterdam)

… wary of his bloodied paws.

(this is notebook [amsterdam] * – artwork by yoko hayashi)

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mujinotebook (tokyo)

my intervention with yoko’s previous entry in the second of the two notebooks (above) introduced a plump, purple caterpillar…
a juicy snack for the watchful crow perhaps?

mujinotebook (tokyo)

or can he crawl to safety, over the page,
and fulfil his destiny…

mujinotebook (tokyo)

… as one in a whisper of moths?

mujinotebook (tokyo)

I drew these moths with Indian ink and a dip pen, and was once again reminded of how tremendously satisfying the scritchy-scritch-scratch sound of a metal pen nib on brown kraft paper can be! I’m also rather partial to the unintended, random patterns that emerged on my ink blotting sheets (as seen in a couple of the frames in the ‘work in progress’ animated GIF below)…

mujinotebook (tokyo)
(this is notebook [tokyo] *)

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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.

Since Yoko and I began this collaboration I have moved from Amsterdam to Haarlem. But as the two cities are extremely nearby neighbours we’ve agreed to stick with the ‘Amsterdam/Tokyo’ label for the project to avoid confusing ourselves (and Yoko informed me that ‘Haarlem’ (NL) and ‘Harlem’ (NYC) are spelt the same in Japanese… which could indeed be confusing!)

Previous Amsterdam/Tokyo project posts: (1) (2) (3)

 

mujinotebook (amsterdam)

notebook [amsterdam] – work in progress

Here’s the next instalment in the sketchbook/notebook project I’m working on with my friend Yoko (if you’d like to read the introduction to this project you can find it here, and the previous instalment here)

mujinotebook (amsterdam)

notebook [amsterdam] – work in progress

I made these pages a few weeks before heading to the frozen north, but clearly my imagination was already immersed in snow-laden landscapes. As always I had a lot of fun filling my pages and (once again) couldn’t resist putting some GID paint to good use…

mujinotebook (amsterdam)

notebook [amsterdam] – glow-in-the-dark (GID) moon

My studio assistant, always ready to ‘help’ when there’s work to be done, provided a very effective brush for removing eraser rubbings from the page…

mujinotebook (amsterdam)

notebook [amsterdam] – gira lends a hand tail

mujinotebook (amsterdam)

Shortly after I’d posted this off to Yoko I received the other notebook from her (thanks for the efficient service PostNL and JP Post!). It sounds trite to say, but my breath was quite literally taken away when I turned to her latest entry…

mujinotebook (tokyo)

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

This little 500 pixel wide image doesn’t do this wonderful double-page spread justice! The textures, colours and details are so very beautiful, and utterly absorbing…

mujinotebook (tokyo)

mujinotebook (tokyo)

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

Yoko has also recently posted some words and pictures about the project on her blog (check it out here). I particularly love seeing her work-in-progress photos – I can imagine peeking over her shoulder as she works in the notebook 9,283 kilometres (as the crow flies!) away.

mujinotebook (amsterdam-tokyo... face off!)

tokyo-amsterdam face off :)

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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

Previous posts about this project: (1) (2)

At last (it has taken me a while!), some of the results from my screen printing session a week and a half ago. First up, an owl perched amongst the acorns on a high oak branch…

…with a fresh ‘n tasty snack to look forward to

Also a curvaceous (aren’t they all!) octopus…

… enjoying some quality time amongst the (hand) spotted sea anemones

Naturally neither wild woodland dweller nor denizen of the deep would be complete without glow-in-the-dark eyes:

[a close relative of this little guy?]

The first owl print (at the top of this post) is a three-colour screenprint, but in honour of this owl’s crepuscular nature I also made a small edition of prints in one colour – my approximation of that indescribably beautiful violet-blue sometimes visible on the horizon at dusk or dawn (sans the seemingly impossible-to-replicate otherworldly luminescence!)

I had a lot of fun making these prints ‘though there were a few challenges along the way (e.g. my screen’s mesh is too fine for the phosphorescent ink’s particles so I had to hurriedly arrange for a screen with a lower mesh count – there was absolutely no way I was giving up on the GID eyes! – hurrah for the AGA who happily came to my rescue with just the screen for the job. My nemesis – The Snap-Off Problem – reared its ugly head a couple of times as well. One day, when there’s time to spare, I shall have to ask all you seasoned screen printers out there how you perfect the snap-off…)

All three of these limited edition prints are now available in my Etsy shop, where you can also read more about their making and see some work-in-progress pics if you’re interested (some of which you may already have seen in previous posts here). I had hoped and intended to do a more detailed process post (because I love to see pictures of, and read about, other makers’ processes… and I’m pretty sure you do too :), but freelance work deadlines are now looming and time is short.

I’ll be back in a little while though with some more things I made during my week long printing sesh…

I have a soft spot for things that glow in the dark, and the members of this motley crew are no exception…

The players, from left to right: The Seeker by Jeff Soto, Ice-Bat by David Horvath & Sun-Min Kim, Chipp S3 by ProjectSquadt, Magman by Touma

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

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Sketchbook doodling… in search of my lost mojo #creative_block #ugh #sketchbook #doodling #drawing #acrylic_ink #white #anthracite #monochrome #leaves #birch #botanical #pattern #negative_space #design Bold, beautiful brassica #cruciferous #cabbage #leaf #phyllotaxy #purple #green #verdant #fibonacci #pattern #raindrops #roofgarden Gira sez "Eat yer greens!" #good_advice #yum #catgrass #cyperus_zumula #teeth #canines #green #grey #cat #gira #catsofinstagram September is upon us (!) and this is an illustration I made towards the end of last year for @essie_letterpress ‘s 2017 Artist’s Almanac. The almanac is produced in South Africa and the only stipulation for the illustration (apart from colour and sizing guidelines) was that it should fit a Southern hemisphere timeline… September is early springtime in South Africa, when the remarkable fynbos wildflowers begin to bloom and southern right whales migrate through SA’s coastal waters where they can be seen frolicking close to shore.
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The almanac’s cover illustration (partially pictured here) is by the talented @ikronk
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#south_africa #spring #cetacea #eubalaena_australis #baleen #whale #southern_right_whale #tail_sailing through a #garland of #fynbos #flowers #gazania #quaqua #stapelia #pelargonium_incarnatum #ornithogalum #lachenalia #spiloxene #romulea #oncosiphon #euphorbia #lapeirousia #protea #flora #pattern #artistsalmanac #calendar2017 #two_colour #illustration #letterpress Our brave, beautiful boy… happy to be back home after his first cancer treatment @mcvoordieren earlier this week.
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If you’ve got any healing good vibes to spare (I know that’s a big ask in this perennially tough world) please send them Gira’s way ☄💙🐈
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#gira #cat #greeneyes #steady_gaze #inscrutable #manga_eyes #studiomate #best_fur_buddy #positive_energy #healing #lymphoma #enzyme_injections #fuckcancer #catsofinstagram A profoundly pleasing polar bear…
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'Orso’ by Simona Vergani (1998, white Carrara marble, h 350cm) can be found in Amsterdam’s Erasmuspark, and is definitely one of the coolest ❄🐧❄ public sculptures I’ve encountered!
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#polar_bear #ijsbeer #ursus_maritimus #vulnerable #habitat_loss #climate_change #paws #orso #sculpture #carved #white #carrara #marble #blue #summer_sky #amsterdam #erasmuspark

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