Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Kokeshi dolls

Recently I've been working on some commissions, of which this kokeshi-style family portrait was definitely a favourite. The Italian family asked specifically for a portrait in a similar style to a painting I had shown on Instagram, this one:

'Kokeshi knights'
They were both so much fun to do. The knights are now up in my Etsy shop and I am happy to take more commissions like the family portrait above.

Friday, June 27, 2014


I enjoy seeing the quirky side of people, to imagine how their personal drive would make them behave in a different environment, in a different story.

The past months I have been making a series of paintings that I call the 'Importantus' series. The series is about exploring what makes someone important, or about what makes someone feel important, in case those are not the same thing.

It is an old custom to make a name more important by Latinising it, hence the name 'Importantus'.

Here are a few of the characters.

'The Workshop Attendant'

'The Safety Officer'

'The Office Couple'

All of these are available as prints at the moment - I am hanging on to the originals for a while longer, sorry folks! - but I have had cards printed as well, see my shop.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

party invitation

Custom party invitation for my middle son who turned 7! It reads 'Waddenfeest' which means Wadden Sea party. The Wadden Sea is a shallow sea and we will go onto the mud flats at low tide to catch shrimp and crabs.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

love-y moments

This is the sketch that I made for the series I showed yesterday. It turned out pretty neat I think, so I thought I'd show it here, too. I may make it into a card later on, for Valentines Day, or general love-y moments.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

types of love

A new series of illustrations, a categorical treatment of love.
They can be found here.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

art camp / people reel

People at art camp (www.buitenkunst.nl) last weekend. There were hundreds of people so endless opportunities to spot interesting characters.

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Tuesday, May 27, 2014


A portrait a week from a live model was something I did for years, in several artist groups. So the faces in Lilla Rogers' course-part-III were not new for me. What I do still find a challenge is to effectively stylise faces and maintain their precise expression. Or better still, overemphasise the expressions, or make them ambiguous - something I totally admire, for example, in the work of Megaly Ohika.

The assignment was to make an editorial illustration to go with an article about meditation for people who have trouble sitting down that long. Meditation made me think a zen stones and zen stones made me think of the stone men that I had been drawing on holiday just recently. I also wanted to include my own handwriting in some way. And the advice was to keep it simple, so this was the final result:

I was pretty happy with it overall: I liked combining textures with flat surfaces: I think the palette is good as it is calm which fits the subject; I did wonder whether I should have covered the whole background in bamboo instead of just the one stick of it; I also believe handwriting is different in the US and maybe Britain so mine may be unintelligible there.

Here is a collage of some of the pages and pages of faces and figures that I drew in the first weeks of the assignment. I tried lots of media and styles and have generally gone a bit haywire on the whole face drawing thing, I am still drawing faces everywhere :) The ones in the bottom left are Indonesian dolls, those in the bottom right are wooden Japanese dolls called 'kokeshi'.

Monday, May 19, 2014

llama journey

This lady is on a journey with her llama. Aren't llama's the most extraordinary creatures? We should all have a little bit of their character in our own character.

The deer and its cow gang behind our house have been on a journey, too. As you may guess from this image, they ended up on a tiny island. They must have crossed the water!

'Llama Journey' is available as a limited edition print here, and the original is here.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

mother daughter walk

'Enchanted Wood', a new painting just finished. I may not have a daughter but I am one! My mother used to take me on long walks all the time. Now I take my sons for long walks and we see all kinds of enchanted things in the woods, whether it is a singing nightingale or a huge slug doesn't matter, it is all fascinating for a kid.

Earlier this week I caught the escapee deer on camera - actually that is not so hard anymore because it seems to feel it is one of the cows and just grazes out in the middle of the day. It is a non-native species that escaped from the petting zoo nearby last year and they haven't been able to catch it yet: