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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).
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.
late night prototyping
ear tuft/eyebrow, work-in-progress
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.
ear tufts folded for transit to tokyo
notebook [amsterdam] denotes the notebook that started its life in Amsterdam, and notebook [tokyo] denotes the notebook that started its life in Tokyo
Hello! Way back, through the mists of time, at the beginning of March 2016 I received an exciting package from my friend Yoko.
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…
… and into the cool, mossy half-light of an enchanted forest.
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.
I’ve been getting lost in the woods… and I love it!
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.
all artwork (c) yoko hayashi
ink & watercolour ‘floral mandalas’
This time last year I was a bit snowed under by the many ‘to dos’ associated with moving to a new city so I took a break from my annual handmade festive greeting card manufactory… and I thought I’d be doing the same again this year (it’s December already??! where did 2015 go!?!) but then I got caught up in the colourful fun of painting a series of small ‘floral mandalas’, first as doodles in my sketchbook and then in a somewhat more ‘considered’ way on watercolour paper off-cuts that I’d been hoping to find a good use for…
I soon realised that I seemed to be making cards, and almost as quickly realised that hand-painting cards for all the friends and family I’d like to send festive new year greetings to would be
completely insane quite unachievable in the time available. So I decided to try out the greeting card printing services of MOO (I’ve had business cards & stickers printed by them in the past and the quality is great… btw, this is not a sponsored post, just my personal opinion ;-). A unique (as far as I’m aware) and very appealing feature of MOO’s service is that you can have a different design printed on every card in a pack at no additional cost… so the possibilities are almost endless!
I scanned some of my ink & watercolour ‘floral mandalas’ and played around with them in Photoshop to arrive at five festive designs to have printed by MOO. These are they…
‘floral mandala’ cards
Unable to resist the ‘multiple designs’ feature of MOO’s service I also had some creature cards printed (with designs based on these limited edition ‘animal diorama’ silkscreen prints made a few years ago).
‘animal diorama’ cards – octopus & owl
Not traditionally ‘Christmassy’, for sure… but I say good riddance to the jolly, fat man in the red suit and all hail the red-eyed kraken! ;-)
In celebration of today’s vernal equinox – and the promise it brings of much more light to come – here are some of the sunlit critters currently keeping me company at home and in the studio…
paper puffer fish… finger lickin’ good
gently floating seahorses
an unexpected rainbow cast across a work-in-progress wolf drawing
precarious pile of CDs (my studiomate’s DJ-ing aspirations are foiled again by his lack of opposable thumbs)
credits (in order of appearance):
◈ the skull once belonged to one of these majestic creatures
◈ the polar bear was made by the clever glass-blowing ladies of blåst glasshytta in tromsø, norway (northernmost glass-blowing studio in the world, apparently!)
◈ the fish is a japanese paper balloon – i found him at roppongi in amsterdam
◈ the handsome owl was made by the amazingly talented felt artist swig (you can pop over to her website right now for a spring postcard giveaway!)
◈ the very soothing seahorse mobile was created by flensted
◈ the angry (or is he remorseful?) yeti silkscreen print was made by kronk
(not included in this list are my own wolf drawings and the pictures of my furry studiomate :)
winter trees at sunset | snowy owl
I recently popped across the road to visit my neighbours, in search of inspiration for some wolf drawings I’ve been working on. The wolves were very obliging…
… but seeing these majestic, naturally broad-ranging creatures in captivity rends my heart (as is always the case when I visit my neighbours), though they seem content enough?
Having gathered sufficient source material and inspiration for my drawings I proceeded to get entirely side-tracked admiring the feathered residents of Artis and the intricate calligraphy of the winter trees silhouetted against the late afternoon gloaming. Some of the birds pictured here are permanent (enclosed) residents, but others seem to come and go as they please… presumably returning for the free food and the general gezelligheid.
the greater rhea enjoys a fresh bed of straw!
grey heron | snowy owl detail
silver feathers (greater rhea)
golden goose (and duck) feathers
“you talkin’ to me?”