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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!

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)

 

springbok skull and glassblown polar bear

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…

puffer fish and finger lickin' cat

paper puffer fish… finger lickin’ good

felted owl by swig (swig-filz-felt-feutre.blogspot.com)

owl (elegant fowl!) waits patiently in his not-quite-pea-green boat… (but pussycat is apparently too busy licking his paws for nautical nuptials?)

seahorse mobile by flensted

gently floating seahorses

abstracted cat

abstracted cat

work-in-progress wolf drawing

an unexpected rainbow cast across a work-in-progress wolf drawing

what cd shall I play now?

precarious pile of CDs (my studiomate’s DJ-ing aspirations are foiled again by his lack of opposable thumbs)

gira waving
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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 :)

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)

on the streets of oslo (march 2014)

Patterns, textures, colours (and creatures) on the streets of Oslo, late March 2014…

on the streets of oslo (march 2014)

urban tigers

on the streets of oslo (march 2014)

street art stripes  |  seahorse

on the streets of oslo (march 2014)

damstredet reds

on the streets of oslo (march 2014)

sapphire blue, emerald green

on the streets of oslo (march 2014)

and pink

on the streets of oslo (march 2014)

birds on a wire (like drunks in a midnight choir)

on the streets of oslo (march 2014)

freedom  |  constraint

on the streets of oslo (march 2014)

bike rack  |  manhole cover

on the streets of oslo (march 2014)

cat lady  |  shadow play(er)

on the streets of oslo (march 2014)

verdigris elephant, akershus slott

on the streets of oslo (march 2014)

crisscross

on the streets of oslo (march 2014)

oslofjord

on the streets of oslo (march 2014)

sunset over the oslofjord

on the streets of oslo (march 2014)

disturb the beast o’ damstredet at your peril!
(dougal’s long lost viking cousin?)

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copyright

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

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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 -
An abundance of cool critters inhabit Belgrade’s urban jungle! - #streetart #graffiti #urbanart #creatures #animals #deer #stag #mandala #tiger #dog #hotdog #fox #uglypeoplewearfur #bird #swallow #cat #elephant #colour #pattern #belgrade #beograd #serbia - Credits: The beautiful deer mural is by Mexican artist Farid Rueda @farid_rueda | Wide-eyed cats (i.e. the Warholesque kitty quadtych and “sorting things out since… 4-ever!”) are by Lunar @slavenlunar (with a Flying Fortress @flyingfortress243 ‘teddy trooper’ making an appearance alongside Lunar’s quadtych). I think the pointy-nosed fox (with crown) is by RAGE. Other artist’s unknown (to me). -
🌡🔥 Heatwave survival advice from Grayson: Get as close to Antarctica as you can!❄☃️ (Also, when in a prone position raise your butt slightly for maximum air flow 😂) - #summer #heatwave #reliefmap #antarctica #grayson #grey #cat #greeneyes #ThinGreyDuke #onelungedwonder #MegaLung #GraysonTheGreat #russianblue #catsofinstagram #catsofholland -

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