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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Korean Folk Art – Crane Inspiration

Jean began painting cranes in South Korea. She was inspired by these birds featured in Korean folk art, which were colourful, full of character and often humorous. Here’s a detail of a painting by Jean from 1978, “The Emperor’s Nightingale”.       The humorous depiction of cranes in Korean folk art added to its…

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Teapots and Bamboo

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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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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Korean Folk Art – Chaekkori

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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Rabbit On The Moon

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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Cranes and Ex Libris Designs

I paint cranes often. Right now I have a few on a beach with surfboards in the background – more on the children’s book when I finish the painting! Cranes are an important symbol in  Korean Folk Art, as they are part of the ten symbols of long life. Here below is a painting from…

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Korean Folk Art – The Tiger

While living in Seoul in the 70s, I was greatly influenced by Korean Folk Art. It was a traditional style of painting that included brilliant colours and simple subjects portrayed with humour and satire. The paintings illustrated folk legends, mythology and Shamanist spiritual symbols. The Tiger was considered a divine being and messenger of the…

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