25 April 2014

My Utopia

On the rare occasions when my mother is out, I pretend that I am still on the ship, the Spectrum. I talk to my shipmates and make lunch in the titanium vessel and eat it out in the garden. Play some musics aloud and work on my own project with a cup of coffee and raisins or nuts. Think about life and purpose and love and solitude and freedom and responsibility.

Utopia this is my utopia

And it is only during that time when a magic happens and I can see the little Spring Snowflakes dancing.

Is it a bad thing that I am still drawn into the dream life in the bubble?

24 April 2014


There are so many things to discover around us!  I was fascinated to see the back of a silverberry's leaf with a microscope. It's got beautiful snowflake-like pattern!  A whole new world seems to exist in the microscope!

ずっと前にしまとら猫さんからいただいた顕微鏡を引っぱり出して、グミの葉の裏をのぞいてみた。まさかこんなものが見えるとは! 鱗状毛というのだそうだ。


21 April 2014

YBIRD通信 2014年春号

The Spring issue of the YBIRD travel agency's brochure came out!  For this one, I made a print of the blue and white flycatcher, one of the best singing birds in Japan.  I am planning to make a series of seasonal Japanese birds with this linoleum + monoprint combined technique!



We had the second field sketching event at the Tokyo Port Wild Bird Park.  This time, I struggled a bit because the birds were rather far away and we had to use bins or scope to sketch.  I normally use a pocket sized sketchbook when I go birdwatching and seldom paint directly on a big piece of paper using telescope.  But I have decided that on this kind of occasion, when I come to draw but not to watch birds,  I would try bigger piece. I wanted another pair of arms!

東京港野鳥公園での第2回フィールドスケッチ会。晴れ男か晴れ女がいらっしゃるに違いない。天気予報は怪しかったのだが、当日はしっかり晴れてくれた! そしてリピーターが多かったのがとても励みになった。

Little Grebe
I love how most of his feathers look very wet yet the bottom so fluffy. The reflection of the green reeds was beautiful.


ヒヨ吉さんからお借りしたパステルペンシル"Conté à Paris"で落書き。今度、画材屋で探してみたい! 

Cormorants in pastel.

We saw an extraordinary scene... a Jungle crow attacked a female teal and killed it! When I saw it, the duck was still alive and flipping its wings but the crow bit hard on its neck and it stopped moving. I didn't know that a crow could act like a bird of prey! The crow didn't eat it himself but stored some in his throat and carried it away, probably to his nest site.

Here, you can find some photos of the day as well as other participants' works!  

16 April 2014

Spring Sketches


Every time I go out, I find the season is changing.  Now the cherry blossom is almost over and their red calyx are remained.  Fresh green and red new leaves are coming out.  The woodland is totally in pastel colour!

I still don't know how to capture those colour!  

Spring is a busy time!  The Japanese pygmy woodpecker was working hard on making her nest hole.

Another special evening with the Diamond Fuji view, this time from Kamakura area.  These days there are only certain points where we can see the Mt. Fuji properly because of too many buildings disturbing our view.  So on the occasion like this, those special points are all crowded with people.  I can not help thinking back all the sunset views I had in the UK.  I could see the red big sun until it goes down to the horizon from almost any countryside locations and I could see no one around, or just one walking with his or her dog in far distance.   
But it was nice in a way to see lots of people, elderly, parents with her kids, group of girls and middle aged gentlemen, all coming out to see the sun, set on top of Mt. Fuji.   

◆ 4月19日(土) 10:00-15:00 東京港野鳥公園 

14 April 2014


I finally got my head around to announce my secret news!  During February and March, I was working very hard on a project with Walker Books to illustrate one of the stories in the Mumsnet Book of Animal Stories!  It is an anthology of 10 prize-winning stories and the one I illustrated is called "The Hedgehog Who Wouldn't Sleep."  And here is a sneak preview of him!


This anthology is in fact a series, following the Mumsnet Book of Bedtime stories, which includes a variety of lovely stories with beautiful illustrations,some by my classmates Joanne Young, Gemma O'Callaghan and Tamsin Gilbert.  So I know that this one is going to be another interesting, beautiful book full of great artworks!  It will be published in October and I am very much excited about it.

この春、ちょっと自慢できるお仕事をいただいた。イギリスのMumsnetが主催する童話コンクールで入賞した10作品をまとめた本で、10月にWalker Booksから出版される、"the Mumsnet Book of Animal Stories" の一作品にイラストを描かせてもらったのだ!  Walker Booksの自然科学の本などがとても好きだったので、卒業展のあとポートフォリオを送ったりとコンタクトはとっていた。それにしても、日本にいる会ったこともないイラストレーターに、10ページ分ものイラストを描いてくれ、と仕事依頼を出してしまう、イギリス人のコスモポリタンぶりに驚いた。

8 April 2014




I made some of illustrations in this little leaflet about how to enjoy birdwatching published by Wild Bird Society of Japan.  
The main part of the leaflet, which is about birds and the environment, is illustrated by my friend artist, Utaka Godo(photo above)!

And here are mine.  For some reason, I am becoming not a bird illustrator but a birdwatcher illustrator! 
Good practice on drawing people though! 

6 April 2014


Since the provider of my former blog is going to stop its service at the end of June, I am forced to move my entire blog! 
So please change your bookmark address as my previous site will be deleted in a few months.

I am very proud of myself on managing to import the entire archive from the previous blog in here. I thought it would be very complicated process but thanks to several people who wrote about how to convert the file formats on the Internet, I could move it rather easily. Although I still have to up-load all the pictures and change links, which is extremely annoying.

1 April 2014


Sakura, the cherry trees are in full blossom now!
This pink scenery is certainly one thing I missed for the last few springs.

I think sakura is one of the most difficult flowers to paint. It's white and petals are so thin that they look somewhat transparent. Yet, when you look at them from far away, they look pinkish.

I picked up this branch with several blossom buds on the ground and took it back home. Shortly after I put it in a vase, they started to open their blossoms!

Brown-eared bulbuls are the most popular visitors to the flowers. They are enjoying their special sweet drinks, making their bill all yellow with pollen. But I found it very difficult to sketch them because they gulp down the juice one after another, moving from here to there...