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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)

Hello! Way back, through the mists of time, at the beginning of March 2016 I received an exciting package from my friend Yoko.

mujinotebook (amsterdam)

i’ve got mail – yay!

It was the next instalment in our MUJI notebook exchange. Opening a newly received notebook is always like opening a mystery door, or dimension hopping. Turning the pages of this notebook with excitement, I discovered a snowy white owl passing over the psychedelic mushroom territories of the mourillos

mujinotebook (amsterdam)

… and into the cool, mossy half-light of an enchanted forest.

mujinotebook (amsterdam) - artwork by yoko hayashi

mujinotebook (amsterdam) - artwork by yoko hayashi

notebook [amsterdam] – double page spread

As always Yoko has woven a tale, cast a spell. The forest is an enigma, full of signs… and portals to other worlds.

mujinotebook (amsterdam) - artwork by yoko hayashi

mujinotebook (amsterdam) - artwork by yoko hayashi

mujinotebook (amsterdam) - artwork by yoko hayashi

I’ve been getting lost in the woods… and I love it!

mujinotebook (amsterdam) - artwork by yoko hayashi

notebook [amsterdam] – artwork by yoko hayashi

" "

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 five Amsterdam/Tokyo project posts can be found here:
(1) (2) (3) (4) (5)

all artwork (c) yoko hayashi

" "

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)

" "

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)

" "

* 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

" "

… or ginormous lotus flowers?

Happy New Year!

(Is 7 January too late to be saying that? I’ve been a little preoccupied and am a bit slow off the mark!).

This funny-looking (but wise!) little elephant in his ‘grove’ of giant lotus flowers was made towards the end of last year as a studio-warming gift for my yoga teacher on the opening of her new yoga studio… but I thought he’d also be willing to make an appearance here to trumpet in the new year. Wishing you all a very happy, peaceful & creative 2011!

P.S. If you’re looking for somewhere in Amsterdam to kick-start your 2011 yoga practice I can highly recommend the Yoga Community :)

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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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