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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!

The shadow of November/December 2011’s calendar animal looks on in bewilderment as the end of March rolls around (note to self: leaving four month old calendars out on your desk does not make time pass any slower)

So… the end of March already! How did that happen!? It has been a month of lots of work and deadlines for me and I haven’t had much opportunity to stray too far from my desk. I’m hoping for the chance to go a’wandering soon (with camera and sketchbook in hand), but in the meantime I’m very much enjoying the changing qualities of light indoors. It’s the same every year – and I’ve written about it before – but the springtime play of light and shadow never fails to surprise and delight me!

artwork credits (from top to bottom):
Charles Burns ‘Burroughs’ and ‘Hard-Boiled Defective Stories’ screenprints
Jose Pulido ‘The Sky is Falling’ Gocco serigraph
Jesse Breytenbach (untitled?) drawing
Yoko Hayashi ‘Midnight’ etching

Goliath beetles found in a lovely, chaotic junk store in Groningen
Porcelain Amsterdam ‘huisjes’ by &K
Papercut wings and origami cranes by me :)

After a very busy work week, filled with several freelance design projects and sometimes maddening client requests (of the “we like purple, we must have purple, lots of it!… but can you make it all a little less purple, without removing any of the purple bits?” variety) I’m feeling a bit like these ghostly swallow images look: a little blurry, a little indistinct & nebulous, but also hopeful… for a quiet weekend with time and space to focus in on one of my own creative projects (starting the papercutting part – yay! – of the experimental* project previously mentioned here).

Whatever you’re wishing for this weekend I hope it comes your way… in spades.

*experimental in the sense that I have no fixed end-plan for this project. I simply intend to play with combining the screenprints I made last week (on a variety of differently coloured and interestingly textured papers) with papercutting, and perhaps a bit of overlaid ink or watercolour exploration…
I’m looking forward to the play :)

‘work-in-progress’ papercut, taped to my studio window

I’ve been having lots of papercutting fun recently, particularly as the sun streams across my desk illuminating the paper fibres and textures, enhancing the paper’s innate translucency, and casting beautiful and intriguing shadows through the partial cuts.

The cuts pictured here are work-in-progress shots of part of something I’ve been working on, and with a little bit of help from the sun took on new and unexpected forms.
The below cut brought to mind the discarded skin of some sort of slithering or aquatic creature…

And this one, a journey through space or an interdimensional portal…

When I start to work on something I usually have a clear(ish) idea in mind of what I intend the finished piece to be/look like. But so often I find the work-in-progress states are much more interesting than the finished thing itself… hm, there must be something to be learnt from this! :)

light play

I seem to be a little obsessed with the play of light and shadow around home at the moment. Perhaps it’s the time of year, when the sun is at just the right angles (particularly mid-afternoon and dusk) to cast light and shadows in interesting and beautiful ways. Or perhaps it’s that as I go about the task of packing-up to move I’m feeling a little nostalgic about leaving these spaces behind.

light play

Either way, I’m loving it.

light play

And despite a touch of nostalgia, I’m very excited about discovering how the sunlight and shadows play in a new space…

(The mirror ball isn’t ours – it came with the apartment – but I am sorely tempted to pack it along with everything else! Perhaps if I ask nicely our soon-to-be-ex landlord will let me have it as a souvenir :)

draw the line

a new home

On an entirely unrelated note I just wanted to mention how very happy I was to receive a comment last weekend from Lisa, who found creature No. 2 in the Vondelpark and very kindly gave him a new home (he’s been hanging with the good folk at Greenpeace :). Thanks Lisa, for taking care of him, for finding me here to let me know… and for the great photo >>

draw the line

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

copyright

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

instagram

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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