Hiroshige Woodblock Inspiration

Ando Hiroshige was a remarkable Japanese artist (1797-1858) who created beautiful woodblock prints. One of his most iconic series of prints was “One Hundred Famous Views of Edo”. Here is “View from Massaki of Suijin Shrine, Uchigawa Inlet, and Sekiya”, 1857. Hiroshige Woodblock Print View from Massaki of Suijin Shrine Jean has always appreciated Hiroshige’s…

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Arts & Crafts: Christmas Decorations

We have been experimenting and creating Christmas decorations using all the wrapping paper and cards that we saved from last year. You will need: any type of emulsion glue; something to glue the paper onto (we chose plastic baubles that had chocolate in them); scissors; and a brush to attach the glue and all the…

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Jean’s Painted Wooden Animals

During a trip to Myanmar (Burma) back in the 70s, Jean bought a set of artisanally crafted, wooden, hand-painted farm animals at a market in Yangon (Rangoon). Burmese dog, cow and horse wooden animals 2021 Back in Seoul, South Korea, where we lived at the time, Jean had the Burmese wooden horse, cow and dog copied…

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The Year of the Horse

The Horse is the seventh animal in the twelve-year Asian Zodiac cycle (see dates below). Those born in the Year of the Horse are always in motion on an endless search. The Horse may reach the ‘ends of the universe’, but will, nonetheless, keep moving on. Matilda the Horse and Blueberries by Jean Tori Always…

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The Art of the Chair

The chair is a familiar and artistically inspiring every-day-object, found all over the world. Here is one of Jean’s chairs covered in fabric that she hand-painted.     Jean has always been inspired to paint chairs as they remind her of past homes and journeys.   Here’s an old photograph of a corner of our…

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Korean Folk Art and Laughing Tigers

Living in Seoul, South Korea, during the early 70s, Jean was introduced to Korean folk art. This style of naïve artwork was very graphic in design. Compositions could be simple or intricately decorated with bright colours and patterns, often portraying humour and satire. Korean folk art was based on Shamanism, a religion that believes that…

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Teapot Designs

Jean’s many teapot designs are often inspired by her teapot collection, each one different, depending on the type of tea brewing – from Chinese jasmine to English Breakfast to Japanese green tea. Blue teapot III by Jean Tori 2019 There is an art to teapot design and, much like combining the right amount of tea…

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Evolution of ‘Castle and Olive Trees’ Painting

Jean was commissioned to paint an Umbrian landscape with Antognolla Castle. Using a series of photographs of the castle Jean drew various sketches, which finally resulted in the following drawing. Jean then began to paint the paper canvas creating complex olive tree patterns. Above the olive trees, woods and castle, Jean continued to paint her…

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The Year of the Snake

The Snake is the sixth animal in the twelve-year Asian Zodiac cycle (see dates below). Those born in the Year of the Snake amalgamate intelligence with charm. Although sociable and charismatic, they are also mysterious and one of the most enigmatic of the zodiac signs. The interesting thing is that the cerebral and philosophical Snake enjoys…

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Leo’s Birthday Adventure Cover Design

Designing the cover of our children’s book “Leo’s Birthday Adventure” was a design adventure of its own. We first chose Jean’s illustration of lighthouses and sailing ship and then added a painted cut-out of Leo the Falcon to best represent the story. We added a Prussian blue background and worked on the title design. Jean drew…

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