27 April 2013


My friend kindly took us around to some beautiful fairly tale villages, Clare, Long Melford, Lavenham and Kersey in Suffolk. Many houses are painted in yellow and pink and orange, quiet version of Burano island, and either have pargeting or Timber-framed.

The houses are all leaning this way and that way because the timbers have moved over the century but they are still standing firmly and people are actually living in there! This is what I really love about here. Old buildings are not just kept as historical attractions or museums. So many of them are still used as somebody's daily home and because of that they are lively.

Although they are all in different bright colour and sitting right next to each other, somehow they look so pretty. It maybe because the colour are actually in quite similar shade and tone with lots of white in it.

23 April 2013

Spring birdwatching


Nuthatch (ゴジュウカラ)
A nuthatch poked its head out of a nest box. I was quite surprised because it was using a nest box put up as low as about 1.5 meter in height. And then I realised that it maybe all right in the UK because there is none or very few dangerous snakes to invade their nest.

The sky was pure blue without a single cloud and it was reflected on the still surface of the mere.

A quick sketch of a bittern!(サンカノゴイ)

I am still not sure if it was a 1st winter female Stonechat or a female whinchat. But since it had a white throat rather than orange one, I am thinking it might be a Stonechat.

A sneaky sketch at the RSPB indoor meeting.

22 April 2013



Yakushima Macaque
Lino print with pencil on top. I fell in love with this method that Erin E. Stead does. I need more experiments!

13 April 2013



Poster for the Yakushima Macaque research.

◇◆◇ ヤクザル調査隊 ◇◆◇

11 April 2013


After Bologna, we headed down to Rome. I love the funny shaped pine trees!

"Where do you live?"


And of all the amazing things in Rome, the Cappella Sistina was something beyond comparison. When I think back I can still feel the great, powerful atmosphere under the paintings and still hear the low voice saying "silent please!"

Now the Italy trip, one of the last and the biggest events of my pretend student days, is over. I need to move on and step forward somehow!

9 April 2013

Bologna Book Fair

The Bologna Children's Book Fair was inspiring as it was two years ago! It was very much overwhelming. There were so many publishers from all over the world displaying thousands of wonderful picture books of all kinds. And there were so many illustrators with big portfolios and when they open them, I could peek their beautiful, strong, artworks.
But this time I found myself not just being overwhelmed but enjoying a lot more, knowing what to do!

The first thing we did after arriving the fair was to go to this year's Illustrator's Exhibition and find our amazing classmate, Zack Rock's artwork! Congratulations Zack for entering the exhibition!

This is our Cambridge School of Art stand, which was always nicely crowded thanks to all the visitors. Thank you so much Pam Smy, Marta Altés and other volunteer members for organising the stand!
It was so nice to see many people from our course especially from my year and to be able to catch up with them. We have Bologna Book Fair for the reason to get together even though we got separated in different part of the world after the course. We should really meet up in Bologna in every few years!

And the web gallery of our school's stand has just opened!

It was also great to know that Japanese illustrators were doing so well at the Bologna Book Fair. This year 16 people entered the Illustrator's Exhibition and Satoe Tone won the International Award for Illustration! Congratulations! The Japanese TALENTS exhibition was held in the city of Bologna during the book fair, which showed original artworks from picture books by 21 artists, including Taro Miura and Ayano Imai, who became famous after discovered at the Bologna Book Fair some years ago. And I can not remember how many Japanese illustrators I came across at the fair!

Now I am so motivated to work!!

4 April 2013


Before the Bologna Children's Book Fair, we visited Venezia again! I was so excited to go there because I had started to read an amazing book about the history of Venice, Storia della Repubblica di Venezia by Nanami Shiono.

Venezia from Lido. I learned from the Shiono's book that the Campanile at the piazza San Marco used to be lighted at night for the ships coming in from the Adriatic sea passing Lido inlet. This must be the first sight of Venezia that seamen saw, coming back from their voyage.


This time we also visited Murano and Burano, beautiful islands!

This time I somehow didn't manage to make any nice sketches. It was too cold and raining!
In Venice all the campo and campiello (squares) have a well or two called Pozzo. But these are not for pumping ground water but for collecting rainwater and purifying it. Venice has available water but Venetian could not use it because pumping ground water causes land sinking. Shiono also writes that until 12 century everyone in a parrocchia (parish), rich and poor, used the same water from the same pozzo.