Sorry if I am boring you ... But I am so addicted to painting these rocks and watching the waves and breathing in the fresh salt air. It is doing me a world of good and I am overwhelmingly thankful for the chance to be here.
Sorry about the blurriness but there was a stiff breeze. Btw I finished up my day with a long walk along the beach, beach wall,river and then fish and chips - grilled barramundi. Ah! Australian summer cant be beaten. Had coffee with a local architect today - to think that he and his family lives here all year!!!!
It is very surreal the way the foam on the beach floats up and down with the waves and then also is moved by the wind!
Sketches from the last 48hours...
This morning - A different beach for my morning walk (sea still way too rough for a swim)
And yesterday morning....
From the safety on a bench above the beach- Oh !!! I love the ocean in all its moods. Of course I would have loved to have been able to go for a swim ... But no way in these seas. So sketching is a great alternative.
We have had 2 days of rain and high winds last night... So this afternoon with the rain stopped I thought I would check out the state of the beaches....
This is the beach that I visited yesterday – sketched in the car again today. I haven’t had a chance to swim there...not sure that it will clean up by the end of the week
This is where I have been doing my morning and afternoon swim and sketching...
This is also the beach that I had the most beautiful swimming conditions- no waves clean turquoise water....not the case anymore!
These are the same rocks that are now covered in SEA FOAM!!! Pity I didn’t come down this morning and see it when the foam was at a higher level. Wow!
There wasn’t anywhere clean for me to sketch here...so just a few photos!
Earlier in the morning I had another tea room visit...
about time that I started sketching the interiors...after all this is my 5th visit there in a row(ie. one their opening hours!)
But I just had to go out and try to sketch it. Was a little scary just sitting in the car but of course it is a lot milder than conditions recently in Queensland. I might add more to this sketch later - I have discovered a tube of white gouache in my box of paints that I brought...time for more experiments?
The summary of my week at the beach has been morning and afternoon swims, tearoom visits, catching up with friends, reading books, watching cricket and tennis AND evening painting experiments. Here is a sample of 4 such adventures. I am painting on an old block of arches cold press which I am not crazy about. As you might notice I bought my usual cup and pot with me! Also I decided to re-do my sketch for earlier in the week of morning tea with a friend (ie. I am not having scones in the evening as well)
One of my goals for this vacation was not to journal and sketch everything and that whatever I did decide to sketch I had to finish at the time so that I had no nightly homework. It has been a great change .... I am trying to learn how to relax... Of course I am still sketching a bit!!!!
Ending the day the way I started it. Having a ball with paint after a swim in the ocean. After 4 days of calm seas the water was rough (waiting for rough weather from north to hit). Can you tell that I am loving this. Trying to be more abstract with the water. Hope this brightens the weekend of those in cold weather.
Starting with a visit to the beach and plan to end with watching some cricket on the tv ... That will be me australianess for the day.
The rain and rough seas from Queenslamd are coming but happy to have got my swim in this morning (and 3 sketches!!!) not sure when I will be able to swim in the ocean again - few days break won't do me any harm.
After my afternoon swim... I tried to sketch a panoramic landscape of the beach but somewhat disappointed with it and then I was determined to have another go... Just focus on the rocks. I had so much fun doing this one.
After this mornings swim. Amazing how much colour I could see in the rocks that just looked almost black on previous days in the full sun and with sunnies on
Btw the strength of the Australian sun continues to amaze me. I got sunburnt after my visit yesterday morning - I was there btwn 800-930. I know I am fair but was surprised. Sunscreen at all times is my motto- but sometimes I forget.
Sketching at the beach in the morning... Ah! Best time to go to the beach (well late afternoon is pretty special too)
BTW I am having an extended break this summer - here having a vacation at the beach for a little while with the imperative to RELAX - something I never do.
It would be unnatural for me not to sketch and paint but I am going to force myself to slow down.
Hope the blue skies sunshine and water brightens up the day for those in snowy and cold conditions. If you can't bear it come back in a week or so!!!
I must say that I was very excited by what the watercolour seemed to do of its own accord on the page this morning.
And then after my morning exercise - I did .... Guess what? Morning tea ...
I love china collections and my nearby tearoom (from the beach) has a HUGE one. Very excited to be able to have a number of repeat visits here ... Today just relaxing. Beach and tearooms - what more could a girl want?
The tall glass flower is over 200 years old made in Scotland.
I love the way that the owners bring stuff out for me to look at and draw.
...oops I meant sketchcrawl!!! But honestly when over 50 sketchers turn up most of whom you are meeting for the first time...it is hard not to chat more that sketch.
We had over 50 sketchers turn up at the Botanic Gardens (thanks to Sydney Sketch Club!) and a great day meeting new people. What a crowd – very very exciting. We had 46C yesterday (hottest day on record) but today was lovely and cool and the isolated showers forecasted did not bother us all morning.
I am also very happy at how suitable my 'new style' is for these kind of occasions when I spend most of the time chatting. Using a watersoluble pencil(Derwent Sketching 4B) and splashing on paint very loose and wet and then more pencil or watercolour pencil really is perfect for me in this hyperactive very social state where sitting down and focusing on a sketch was just too hard today.
My full 2.3 sketchbooks in one... 2 weeks in singapore. It is really great for me to see all these sketches in one book rather than spread over 3. The original size is an A4 watercolour moleskine
(I hope the file size is not too big.)
My last day and it turned out to be a solo sketching day - which in fact was exactly what I needed as it gave me time to do a lot of stuff still on my to do list.
But I was somewhat exhausted so started the day slowly and with low expectations of what I would achieve....
I spent the morning doing a little shopping and once again walking a LOT! I made my final visit to the two art stores and somehow managed to walk out of Straits with another Hero pen (a broad nib than the one I was given on Xmas day) I also bought some tubes of paints- the prices of art supplies was a LOT cheaper than they are in Australia...as are Copic markers and inks... but how much weight did I have in my suitcase? I don't think I have ever bought/been given so much stuff on a trip!
Next I headed towards the chinese temple that I wanted to sketch ...however was in desperate need of a sit down and food/drink. Stopped at a place that we looked at on the teacrawl. I was feeling like I couldn't be bothered to sketch - running out of steam. My painting was over dense and people walked in and disturbed my cafe view sketch... oh well, the food was nice and I should at least go and look at the temple.
Of course when I got there I was caught up in the moment...and wow! had a lot of fun. Some of you know that I am not a fan of pencil - love my lamy big time, but somehow this Derwent Sketching Pencil 4B is hitting the spot and suiting my looseness.So happy with this one. Those roofs are fun to draw!
SO much for running out of steam... I was on fire again! Ok... lets pop back up the hill to Ann SIang Hill and re-do the sketch I was so disappointed with last week... so that is what I did and was a lot happier with this one... of course having the 'first attempt' under my belt helped me a lot. Worked fast, and wet and had a ball!
There was one BIG thing that I hadn't visited in Singapore that was one my MUST list. It would be close to 4 by the time I got there but I would walk (a big day of walking is good before a long haul flight- hold on, it was a only short 7.5 hour flight - still a good thing to do) Wanted to do another sketch of the marina bay sands crazy building - one that showed the pack of cards design. "Look at that big black cloud" "no worries, I am not going to panic, the sky is often dark"... I was wrong, I couldn't believe how quickly it moved and dumped on me! thankfully there was a little nearby roof that I could shelter under.
So I got to the Gardens by the bay around 4pm. Was really interesting but I walked to a spot to sketch and then didn't explore further (leaving it to explore on another trip when the plants are more established.
While this is not the last sketch I did in Singapore it was a great way to end my sketching adventure on the last afternoon. It includes many of the things that I had picked up during my visit and I like the fact that the subject is a garden of the future... looking to the future. It sums up a little of how I feel... where am I going next with my sketching... I can't wait to find out and hope it will be fun and joyous and spontaneous and alive like this!
Hmm, time to start the long walk back to the MRT and then back to hotel and off to airport... but wait, I haven't sketched the Fullerton (the building I really really wanted to sketch) so one quick more sketch - make that two... one more of THAT building with only brush work(initially) Ok, that is it!
Got to airport early, 7 hours early, my flight was not till 2am) - Paul works nearby so came to have dinner with me, which was very nice. Great food and conversation (didn't sketch at the time, but wanted to record the event so completed later from a photo) and then I tried to sketch to keep myself awake till boarding time....including some earl grey tea sniffing (and then subsequent purchase) and finding a friend for BB
Very average flight home... but still... as I am used to 24hour flights MINIMUM this was a treat- regardless of the budget-ness of the airplane.
Ok... to keep up with tradition here is my back home, back at T2 sketch...
My second sketch for the year to start this post.
for me this is THE image of Singapore. The old horizontal, colourful, lively shophouses of Boat Quay and the new vertical cold over scaled new highrise of the modern city... and the river once a busy and important lifeline to the city...now quiet
This was the first sketch of the year... somewhat out of control but I am using more water which is a good sign.
It was very surreal to be out early and see how deserted this area was- the morning after the big countdown... very calm sketching in peace and quiet!
I had put a general post on FB for anyone to join me, so while waiting for Favian and Chris to turn up did this crazy sketch - well I started it and almost immediately they turned up... but still I sketched - why do I do this?
What did I want to sketch? The fire station was on my list, but when I got there was thinking that it was a little too complicated for my mood. Had just said "I am going to enjoy my lunch when I have finished this sketch" and then Alvin turned up with very special cakes - just what I needed.
I sat and thought about the best way to tackle this subject and then though of the chinograph pencil... ah! good idea! Really really enjoyed this sketch. Only the building is extremely complicated to draw, this one can out very easily.
But because it was so 'fuzzy' the architect in me need to do a more descriptive version.
In fact, the architect in me, needed a third go! Then time ofr lunch...something healthy please was my request and Chris went off to buy me something.
After lunch we met up with Paul - a sketch of Raffles was also on my list, but it was too taxing to sketch the front - but a nice seating area with a view into one of the courtyards would do nicely!
I think it is time for afternoon tea, so Paul and I checked out the cheapest option in Raffles. Paul is very good at choosing good cakes (ie. good to draw AND tasty and local as well - but the first criteria is the most important) Ah! these cafe sketching sessions were so much fun.
A long walk around the bay during the golden hour, but too crowded to sketch and then time for food- dinner at the Satay Club. Ah! the food in Singapore is great! I was WAY too tired to sketch...but still I do it! I can't help it!
New Years Eve - very special to be taken to an amazing historic house in the morning. Did two sketches and then the rain hit.
Afternoon of food (chicken rice) and shopping and then another cafe sketching session with Paul.
Very quiet evening in my hotel room drinking local tea (Paul's suggestion) sketching my room and almost asleep before the clock turned 12. I always have big days and quiet nights when I travel. The fact that it was 31 Dec didn't have a big impact on me, I NEEDED an early night for sketching the next morning!… yes, I have some strange habits.
I feel so privileged that my visit was timed for one of the official sketchwalks in Singapore. Hard to believe that I had only been 1 week in Singapore at this point (how much sketching and adventures had I had in one week!!!!)
The officlal sketchwalks happen on the last Saturday in the month and was hosted by Andrew this month. They are preparing sketches for a new book and were trying to sketch all the important areas in the residetial neighbourhood of Bedok. (an aside, in my remaining week in SG I was surprised how many people looking through my sketchbook had a connection with Bedok)
So this sketchwalk was a divide and conquer day. Three groups of sketchers had different assignment and we were also to collect quotes from any locals that we talked to. I went with some guys to the sporting precinct…. But had the intention of trying to do a sketch with each of the three groups (of course!)
Met this lovely mum and two boys while I was sketching the pool.
Another quick sketch and then I was off to find Group 2 – I didn't find them but did a quick sketch of the town centre.
I wanted to get back to the hawker centre (meeting point) and sketch there sinceHawker Centres are such a big part of singapore.
Of course I got distracted talking to people back there- Marvin and Alvin….but did manage to sketch a stall of local speciality. Sadly (???!?!)I didn't quite have the courage or stomach to test their food (Pig Intestine soup) but I enjoyed sketching their stall! Quick sketch of the yummy 'dumplings' (everything seems to be called a dumpling)- shared with Don Low and this is the stall to the right on that sketch.
And gifts… oh thank you Alvin and Zhu! Looking at Don's 'nude not nuke' sketchbook. It is hard not to develop a compulsive "I want one of those like yours" when you see other peoples art supplies. I must say that Don's sketchbook is one of the most inspiring books I have looks through in ages! Great stuff!!!! Despite writing down where to get one, and a very kind by Francis to pick up one for me on Monday…I was worried about the weight of my suitcase and resisted.
The afternoon we had a smaller group – 'adhoc sketching' at another hawker centre. These sketches didn't turn out like I had hoped but I was very much inspired by all around me. We were surrounded by locals looking over our shoulder (and giving us free drinks!!!) and I found that they were encroaching my personal space more than would happen in Australia… made me feel a little uncomfortable! But what a great afternoon!!!
After the big day at the Bedok sketchwalk -Went back to my hotel and I had to go out again on my own didn't I?? I had been in Singapore just over a week and haven't been down to Marina Bay at all – let alone do a sketch! so....
I went for a nice long walk and then sat down, composed myself, thought to myself "I want to do this sketch using some of the stuff from yesterday with Paul "(hadn't really done that during the sketchwalk- too many people around me)
- loose wet washes
- splash splash splash
And well, I was VERY happy with this… very excited …but can I do things like this all the time. It is all about re-training my reflex actions… and what do I want my work to be like? I am not sure about the splashing part. It is fun but I don't think I want to do that everytime. The looseness (but control) and the textures and letting watercolour do its own exciting unpredictable thing IS what I want to be doing…
BTW I really don't like these new buildings – architecturally and/or the fact it is an obscene casino and extravagantly over the top … however it is fun to sketch. Agree with my friends that it is a sad 'image' of Singapore.
I tried a few more sketches but the tourists were getting to me (of course I do not consider myself a tourist!?) I did have fun playing around with very wet watercolour in the sky- dropping in colour and seeing what happened.
I will just finish off this post with my Sunday page. A wonderful day with my friends(from my shophouse day) I is nice to meet sketchers from around the world and have lots in common but it really can't compare to the strong deep bond I feel when I meet people who love the Lord in the same way that I do (who I love way more than sketching)