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 Korean chaekkori (chaekgeori) is a still-life genre of painting that focuses on books and other objects associated with the scholar, such as inkstone, calligraphy brush and paper. Below are examples of details of screens from the late 19thcentury.   During the Joseon (Chosun) Dynasty (1392-1910) silk screens were painted in this style for the royal court,…

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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 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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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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When Jean makes her own paper canvases she sometimes stores the finished screens to use at a later date. Jean doesn’t make the individual paper sheets from pulp, but instead combines the ready made mulberry and/or rice paper using a papier-mache’ process to make her screens. Here’s Jean in her studio with two panels that…

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Here’s a suggestion to keep all your Christmas cards, wrapping paper, ribbons and tags – because then you will have a great collection of supplies for next year’s Arts and Crafts designs. Here’s our list for next year’s festive ideas. Some are designs we’ve worked out and some will need to be invented. 1) Recycled…

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We first got inspired by the Country Living Christmas magazines over the years that always had wonderful homemade wreaths. This year, we thought we’d create our own (see image), which is a combination of dried wisteria twine and two types of ivy. We were thinking of ways to decorate the wreath using upcycled materials and…

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