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angelic gira, wise graf

… but definitely worth a try

autumn mists, haarlem

autumn mists
(early morning view from my studio window)

As October’s Autumn mists roll in I’ve been giving some thought on how best to ‘winter ready’ our little patch of potted paradise on the roof: four floors up and facing the North Sea it’s likely to be more than a tad exposed to the imminent icy elements. But before I burlap wrap and mulch and push pots into little huddles like so many Emperor penguins I’m taking a moment to fondly remember the verdancy, vivid colours, and bountiful harvest of our compact roof garden’s first summer…

roof terrace garden, summer 2015

vegetable patch at sunset, late august

roof terrace garden, summer 2015

spring onions & crazy carrots!
they certainly wouldn’t have passed the EU’s daft
‘general marketing standards’ regime…

roof terrace garden, summer 2015

… but they had plenty of character

roof terrace garden, summer 2015

and, along with the leeks, were delicious!

roof terrace garden, summer 2015

tomatoes, growing…

roof terrace garden, summer 2015

… growing

roof terrace garden, summer 2015

gone

roof terrace garden, summer 2015

broccoli, not everyone’s favourite vegetable…

roof terrace garden, summer 2015

… but beautiful when it bolts
(as mine did, practically overnight, during a mini heatwave in july)

roof terrace garden, summer 2015

deadheading the rhododendrons  |  baby’s breath (gypsophila)

roof terrace garden, summer 2015

japanese maple  |  lavender

roof terrace garden, summer 2015

catnip (nepeta cataria)

Nature is, without a doubt, the biggest source of inspiration for my work and it has therefore been a privilege and a great pleasure to have had the opportunity (for the first time) to plant veggies from seed, to watch them grow and flourish, to enjoy the fruits of our combined labours, and indeed to observe them go to seed or die back as summer segued into autumn.

In addition to the veggies I’ve also enjoyed getting to know other, non-edible plants. As a first time gardener the learning curve has at times been steep and my favoured (lazy?) approach seems to be one of trial and error. But the gardening bug has most certainly bitten and I’m very much hoping I can keep some of them alive through the winter. I’m looking forward to observing the seasonal metamorphoses to come…

roof terrace garden, summer 2015

roof garden skyscapes
(late summer/early autumn evening skies)

Haarlem, Summer 2015

[haarlem]
geveltuin, blue hydrangea  |  full moon, after magritte

Having friends or family to stay is always a great excuse to explore locally, to take time out to notice details of one’s everyday surroundings in a way one might not normally do. We had a lot of fun with our summer visitors exploring, amongst other Dutch cities, our new(ish) hometown (Haarlem) and our (very nearby!) old hometown (Amsterdam). Here’s a summery glimpse of these two fine cities…

Haarlem, Summer 2015

[haarlem]
headless lion  |  red door

Haarlem, Summer 2015

[haarlem]
friendly faces

Haarlem, Summer 2015

[haarlem]
huisjes and hollyhocks

(do the houses imitate the beer… or does the beer imitate the houses?)

Haarlem, Summer 2015

[haarlem]
a tasting  |  a truth

Haarlem, Summer 2015

[haarlem]
oak (wijngaardtuin)  |  lavender (hofje van oorschot)

Amsterdam, Summer 2015

[amsterdam]
the anatomy lesson

Amsterdam, Summer 2015

[amsterdam]
turtle, seahorse, yarn bomb

Amsterdam, Summer 2015

[amsterdam]
disembodied jib  |  petunia-tastic hanging basket

Amsterdam, Summer 2015

[amsterdam]
good grub @ foodhallen

Amsterdam, Summer 2015

[amsterdam]
local brew  |  eye lights

Amsterdam, Summer 2015

[amsterdam]
canis minor, or a plutoid?

Amsterdam, Summer 2015

[amsterdam]
easy riding hells hound

Amsterdam, Summer 2015

[amsterdam]
watery gevelstenen

Haarlem, Summer 2015

[haarlem]
a bit of boating (on the spaarne river & bakenessergracht)

Haarlem, Summer 2015

[haarlem]
clover gevelsteen  |  strawberry geveltuin

Haarlem, Summer 2015

[haarlem]
city gardens (hofje van oorschot & luthers hofje)

Haarlem, Summer 2015

[haarlem]
window shopping

Haarlem, Summer 2015

[haarlem]
decoy

Haarlem, Summer 2015

[haarlem]
… and finally: RIP
this beautiful tree, as seen from my studio window at the end of may, came crashing down (along with some 400 other trees in haarlem) on the 25th of july, during what has been described as “the worst summer storm since records began”… it was a magnificent tree and is a very sad loss indeed.

" "

approximate translations & explanations of dutch words used above:

gevelsteen – ‘gable stone’, a carved and often colourfully painted stone tablet set into the wall of a building, serving to embellish and memorably identify the building. Introduced in the second half of the 16th century they became less widely used with the advent of house numbering during the 18th century, but the tradition certainly lives on and ‘gevelsteen spotting’ can be a very visually rewarding pursuit!

geveltuinen – literally a ‘facade gardens’ (I don’t think there’s a succinct or elegant english translation?) are bright and beautiful mini-oases of green flanking the building facades and pavements on residential city streets, planted and cared for by the streets’ residents. And I discovered this summer, my first living in this city, that Haarlemmers sure know a thing or two about creating charming geveltuinen :-)

" "

On a recent day off we took advantage of the fine spring sunshine and made the brief 42 minute train journey to Delft. Despite its proximity, famous blue ceramics, and Vermeer connection I hadn’t visited the city before, and was hopeful to catch a glimpse of that particular quality of light and shadow so singular to Vermeer’s paintings.

      Johannes Vermeer, View of Delft, c. 1660 - 1661

view of delft, johannes vermeer, c.1660-1661

view of delft, april 2015

views of delft, april 2015

However, the uncharacteristically clear blue sky and intense spring sunshine had other ideas… and made for far less subtle, but equally rewarding, colours and contrasts.

view of delft, april 2015

delft blue

view of delft, april 2015

play of light & shadow

view of delft, april 2015

building bling!

view of delft, april 2015

for the cows
(as a vegetarian i find the consumption of veal [kalfsvlees] one of humanity’s more dismaying culinary practices… but i’m not averse to a nice bit of art deco stained glass typography!)

view of delft, april 2015

blue segues into green

view of delft, april 2015

city garden

view of delft, april 2015

magnolia, grape hyacinth

view of delft, april 2015

gateway to oz?

view of delft, april 2015

beneath our feet – spring growth, and a handpainted
reminder about what’s important embedded into the pavement

view of delft, april 2015

paparazzi-ing the locals!

summer outtakes, amsterdam 2013

happy right here…

It has been a super-busy summer – filled with lots of work and welcome visits from distant friends and family – and the (imminent) arrival of the autumnal equinox has taken me somewhat by surprise! Here are some outtakes from this summer past in Amsterdam*…

summer outtakes, amsterdam 2013

green man

summer outtakes, amsterdam 2013

lazy days, watchful gaze

summer outtakes, amsterdam 2013

all aglow!
[‘frank by the river’ silkscreen print, by the brilliant jim woodring]

summer outtakes, amsterdam 201316

a seasonal neighbour attends to some housekeeping  |  eye-popping poppies

summer outtakes, amsterdam 2013

soft pink

summer outtakes, amsterdam 2013

supersoft!

summer outtakes, amsterdam 2013

patterns emerging

summer outtakes, amsterdam 2013

beasts of the urban jungle

summer outtakes, amsterdam 2013

london police, hands up!

summer outtakes, amsterdam 2013

watching the boats go by

summer outtakes, amsterdam 2013

double vision

summer outtakes, amsterdam 2013

the magical light of long summer evenings

summer outtakes, amsterdam 2013

august sun, august moon

" "

* all pictures were taken in amsterdam, except the totem pole detail (“watchful gaze”) – that stands outside the rijksmuseum volkenkunde in leiden

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

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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)
Last-minute screen printed posters for today's (27 Sep) #ClimateStrike in Den Haag (With thanks – and apologies – to Hokusai for his great ‘Great Wave’) - Grayson (and I) implores you to STAND NOW – “If not us, who? If not now, when?” – and seriously, who could say ‘no’ to that face?! - #klimaatstaking #denhaag #thehague #screenpriniting #serigraph #zeefdruk #printmaking #protestposter #signsofchange #extinctionrebellion #EverybodyNow #ChangeNow #ItsNowOrNever - #grayson #grey #cat #greeneyes #onelungedwonder #MegaLung #ThinGreyDuke #GraysonTheGreat -
As an autumnal chill starts to take hold here in Haarlem, Chibi Totoro reflects fondly on his summer vacation… - #chibi_totoro #summer #holiday #snapshots #jersey #channelislands #coast #golden #beach #blue #ocean #coastalfort #martellotower #porteletbay #bouleybay #trees #arboretum #france #pontdenormandie #suspensionbridge #roadtrip #travel #totoro #japanese #forestspirit #myneighbourtotoro #studioghibli #hayaomiyazaki -
Rouen grafica… (1) Joan of Arc, (2) Medieval timber-framed house, (3) Fossils, (4) Lucky black cat, (5) Rose window, Rouen cathedral, (6&7) Next-level filigree stonework details on Rouen Cathedral’s façade, (8) Orangutan, (9) BRAINSSSSS!, (10) Joan of Arc - #streetart #graffiti #urbanart #joanofarc #burntatthestake #creatures #animals #cat #orangutan #architecture #middleages #medieval #timberframedhouse #rouencathedral #monet #gothic #catherdral #stonework #tracery #fossils #brains #stone #embellished #pattern #rouen #normandy #france #roadtrip #travel -
I recently printed the fourth series in my ongoing 'Wonders from a Cabinet of Curiosities' project. This time the theme is vegetable rather than animal (fabulous fungi in fact 🍄), and what better day to post this series than #MycologyMonday (which, I believe, is a thing on IG!) Swipe --> to see all six 'shrooms in the series. Limited edition silkscreen prints are now available at the always awesome @otherist in Amsterdam (or from my online shop - link in bio) - #screenprinting #zeefdruk #serigraph #mushrooms #fungi #mycology #terrarium #glassjar #belljar #cloche #curiositycabinet #blackandwhite #graphic #drawing #pattern #art #printmaking #get_imprinted - #morel #oyster #nameko #crepidotus #amanitamuscaria #shiitake -

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