Dogs and Artwork

Like a painting in a painting, Jean’s artwork with our dogs creates the illusion of an image with furry characters surrounded by colour. Imo and Leo and Bali by Jean Tori The photographs we take of these unusual pairings often transform into collages filled with patterns, textures and colours. Cats and Lupins by Jean Tori…

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The Year of the Dragon

The Dragon is the fifth animal in the twelve-year Asian zodiac cycle (see dates below). Dragons are the only sign in the zodiac based on a mythical creature. Although, if you were born in the Year of the Dragon, you would say that this animal was once probably very real, roaming the Great Wall of…

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The Year of the Rabbit

The Rabbit (aka Hare) is the fourth animal in the twelve-year Asian zodiac cycle (see dates below). Those born in the Year of the Rabbit see the world with keen eyes, a calm soul and a kind heart. No matter how serene, the Rabbit is still strong-willed, pursuing personal goals in a precise and orderly…

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The Year of the Tiger

The third animal in the twelve-year Asian zodiac cycle is the Tiger (see dates below). The life of one born in the Year of the Tiger is filled with the love of adventure and an addiction to excitement, definitely not moderation. Always ready to jump into action, this zodiac sign would not mind in the least…

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Crane and Wizard Story Design

This is the design story of one of Jean’s paintings for our “The Wizards and the Whale” children’s book. Jean has always been inspired by the Asian designed cranes, especially those found in Japanese woodblock prints and paintings, in Korean folk art, and the cranes in many Chinese screens. Here is a decorative Japanese crane…

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The Year of the Rat

The twelve-year Asian Zodiac Cycle begins with the Year of the Rat. For those of you born in this year (see dates below), the Rat is considered a quick-witted perfectionist, at the forefront leading the way, while overcoming problematic challenges. The Rat is highly organized and has a very active mind and a very busy life.…

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Bookshelves in Paintings

The bookshelf has always held an important role in artwork. In medieval paintings books symbolized knowledge and an openness towards the pursuit of learning. A library filled with bookshelves represented wisdom. (Here’s ‘St Jerome in his Study’ by Antonello da Messina, 1475, National Gallery of London.) St. Jerome in his Study by Antonello da Messina…

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The Year of the Ox

The second animal in the twelve-year Chinese zodiac cycle is the Ox. Those born in the Year of the Ox (see dates at the end), are known for being the hard workers of the animal horoscope. They are believed to get things done as they are reliable, trustworthy and responsible. They are tenacious and persistent and…

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Inspiration and Gretchen the Sheep

Jean is inspired by many things from travels, nature, childhood, art and even friendships. Occasionally, people’s personalities and big-hearted spirit work their way into our stories and influence the animals’ characters. In “Elliot and the Perfect Wave”, we had a special friend woven into the narrative.   Meet Gretchen the Sheep, mentor, helper and optimistic…

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Birdcage Painting Inspiration

Painting inspiration – “Bird Market in Hangzhou” by the Chinese painter, Zeng Mi. His birdcages portray a great sense of joy and remind us of the beautiful bird markets in Hong Kong, where we used to live. Here is Jean’s version of hanging birdcages. Yes, that’s a giraffe – Jean can’t exactly explain what inspired her to paint…

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