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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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 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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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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When Jean first arrived in Umbria back in the late 90s she discovered many regional artisans and craft traditions. Deruta is a town south of Perugia that specialises in ceramic wares. Jean often visited a well-known potter, Ubaldo Grazia at Grazia Maioliche (http://www.ubaldograzia.com), who suggested that they paint one of her paintings onto a plate.…

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Tulips in Amsterdam by Jean Tori

Inspiration comes in many shapes, experiences and mediums and stories. Jean’s tulip-inspired painting, Tulips in Amsterdam, is an interesting combination of these elements. Jean got ideas from tales of Amsterdam travels and photographs of heron-filled canals. Although tulips are everywhere in Amsterdam, they also grow in abundance in our garden in Umbria in the spring. So, bunches…

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Purple Teapot and Red Sun by artist Jean Tori

“How we spend our days is how we spend our lives.” wrote the insightful author, Annie Dillard. We think that goes well with how we use colour in our every day lives. How we choose colour represents how we surround ourselves with artwork and objects and designs. Colour Theory helps us combine the right colours,…

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Blue Bamboo pattern design by Jean Tori

The colour of green bamboo is beautiful. The shape of the stems and leaves also provide a harmonious design. We love that this pattern was invented by nature. At dusk the bamboo turns a deep hue so that green is not the first colour that you see. It transforms into a deeper shade of aqua…

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Flag Collection by Jean Tori

We came up with the idea of printing flags with Jean’s artwork when we moved to Umbria. We have a big garden and always have flags fluttering in the breeze against a green backdrop of bamboo and walnut trees. Having flapping flags flying in the garden is a very joyful idea! They are full of…

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Rabbit on the Moon pendant designed by Jean Tori

There is a folktale in South Korea that a rabbit lives on the moon. Legend has it that the rabbit pounds the ingredients for rice cakes with a mortar and pestle. It’s a special story and Jean loves rabbits! But this pendant story goes back even further. While we were living in Seoul in the…

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