Hong Kong visit

I’m in HK at the moment, for various projects, and just took part in the Symposium for Disaster Risk Reduction at the Hong Kong PolyU.Author Martha Keswick and I gave a presentation as part of the campaign for Disaster Risk preparedness, to launch our new childrens picture book series: ‘COPE – How to be Ready for Natural Disasters’.It’s a series of books featuring a team of kids who travel the world teaching other kids how to handle various natural disasters. The first book is about Earthquakes. We hope to eventually have books that include what to do in hurricanes, wildfires, floods, tsunamis, blizzards and volcanoes.Because of increasing climate change, natural disasters are becoming more prevalent, and it’s so important that children know how to deal with them.

We are actively looking for partners to help us publish and fund the series. If you know any NGOs who might be interested, please contact us! We have a temporary website here for more info:

www.COPE-natural-disasters.com

If these books can saves lives, I will feel like I’ve done something worthwhile. Please help if you can!

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Grand Teton National Park

When we visited Yellowstone, we also went to the Grand Teton National Park, and I found it more beautiful than I could have imagined.We stood at the same point that Ansel Adams took his famous photograph, overlooking the winding Snake River, and I did a pencil and watercolour sketch.The wildfires in nearby Montana were making the skies a strange smoky texture, and many of the views we had were softened and mysterious.

We went on an early morning river rafting trip and I managed to paint a few quick sketches of the passing scenery and sunrise. We saw elk, moose, bald eagles and even two baby bears.

It was a truly inspiring place; a smaller but perfect National Park. I loved it.

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animals asia Christmas cards

I’ve designed some Christmas cards for my favourite animal charity again this year, Animals Asia. I worked on lots of different ideas, and three were chosen for the cards. I tried to make them cute, but not too cute…If you’re considering buying some charity cards, please help us help the moonbears! You can buy the cards here. Thank you!!

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Yellowstone National Park

A few weeks ago I spent a wonderful few days in Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming. I had thought it would be mainly geysers and fumeroles, like the famous Old Faithful…and the wildly colourful prismatic hot spring,but there were also wild and barren landscapes…

and gentle green lakes with ducks and canoeists.But it was the wild open landscapes of places like the Lamar Valley, with wide skies and meandering rivers,where the buffalo really do roam, that filled my heart.

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River Cottage much more veg

Hugh-Fearnley-Whittingstall’s new River Cottage cookbook has just been published, illustrated by yours truly. I debuted a brand new illustration style, to keep the flavour of the illustrations I’ve done before for River Cottage, but adding a new dimension.I created a painted collage style, a bit reminiscent of The Very Hungry Caterpillar, but with thicker paper, so there’s a very definate shadow on the pages, to give the impression of depth.I worked with the art directer Lawrence Morton to come up with the theme for this book’s illustrations, which is ‘the preparation’ for cooking. So I focused on the tools and equipment in the kitchen…and also the preparation of the ingredients themselves. For example, how to cut them…and how to select them…This wonderful book is available from Amazon US here and Amazon UK here. It would make an excellent Christmas gift!

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friends that never met

Michael McConnell, at Fayes Bench Gallery in San Francisco, created an art project ‘Friends That Never Met’ where instagram friends would pair up and create a piece of collaborative art embracing their online friendship; a chance to work on something tangible in the real world together.

So I had a good think and asked Melodie Stacey, an artist I follow on instagram and whose work I love, but who I’ve never met in person, if she’d like to work with me on some artwork. She said yes!

We each started a piece with a character, and posted them to the other to finish. Here is ‘How do you do?’ featuring my Mr Lizard. I noticed that Melodie often paints in blue, so I decided to do blue too. It’s a mokuhanga print with watercolour, while Melodie painted in gouache.
The artworks are all small-ish, and look wonderful on the wall in the gallery.

Melodie sent me several blue ladies to work with, so I chose one and decided to add an elaborate hat and avian friend. Here is ‘Feather Lady’.I studied Edwardian headwear to get inspiration and added my hat as a collage in blues onto Melodie’s painting.Social media is a great platform for artists to interact and inspire each other from all over the globe, and I really enjoyed taking this concept and adding a physical element to it. Melodie is in the UK, I was working in Japan, and the show is in California. I love it!

The show is up for the whole month, with an artists reception this thursday evening, on September 21st. Please do pop in if you’re around! All the artwork is for sale.

 

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the French Laundry

We finally managed to visit the French Laundry recently, in Napa, and I enjoyed every single bite.I did a little sketch of each course and item as it was served…The food was beautiful, as well as delicious, and it was a pleasure to draw.

I can still taste the flavours now…

 

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Labour Day sale

Here in the US it’s labo(u)r day on monday, so I’ve put all my prints on sale for 4 days, from today. Hurrah! Please visit my shop here to take a look…

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solar eclipse

I watched the solar eclipse on monday, using eclipse glasses, and painted the various stages as the moon’s shadow moved across the sun.From northern California we only got about a 70-80% eclipse I think, but it was still a wonderful sight.Maybe next time I’ll manage to see a full one…

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mokuhanga prints in my shop

I’ve just put some of my new mokuhanga prints in my online shop. I printed these while I was in Japan and have just completed signing and preparing them. There are two versions of this little imaginary trumpet flower, one in blues and one in red and green…And there are blue and pink peonies too.Hope you’ll pop by my shop and consider a purchase for yourself or as a gift!

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