Contrary to what most people think, I am trying very hard to slow down. I have a natural spontaneousness and I am trying to find the optimum conditions so my work flows at the best pace. This is generally faster than most other artists I know – so when I say that I had a slower day on Day 2 I still generated a fair number of pages! I was also more or less intending to sketch all day.
The one thing that struck me as I roamed the streets of Georgetown on Day 1 was texture – so that was my focus for the morning. I was also in search of street scenes rather than simply focusing on the iconic architectural pieces like I normally do.
So I started the morning sitting by the side of the road (correction: on the side of the road!) at one intersection that really caught my eye on the first morning – the corner of Muntri St and Love Lane. It was quiet this time of the day – but still many motorbikes past me (most slowing down to check out what I was doing) “so what are you going to sketch today?” I was asked – obviously someone I had seen the day before…. and I found out later that a local USKer walked past as well.
Street Art is a big deal in Penang – after visitng ‘highlight temples’ most tourists roam the streets tracking down and posing next to as many installations as they can. See more here
That first sketch was a rambling warmup sketch – so next I really wanted to experiment with texture. This sketch on the left side of the spread contains many different techniques that I tested in order to find the effect I wanted. So much fun!
After that slow paint based work, I wanted to change my pace and use some ink – so I reached for my sailor calligraphy pen (55 degree turned up nib) and did a quick sketch of the biggest mosque in Penang – Kapitan Keling Mosque. This pen isn’t flowing that well but I suddenly realised that I like its hit and miss nature.
Was struggling with the heat – it was a sunny day and much hotter than the day before – so went back to my hotel to rest. I was staying at the Cititel hotel – my room was on the 16 floor and I just loved seeing the changing light during the day.
Time to track down a tea room? – the only one I could find online was Ten Yee Trading. So headed off and I think the staff and locals found it a bit strange that an Australian girl would come to drink tea by herself… even stranger to start painting it! I had a ball and was feeling suitably chilled after numerous infusion of a beautiful aromatic oolong tea. (Bought some tea as well!)
Wandered the streets a little more trying to find a sketchable subject with somewhere suitable to sit and then ended up at a coffee having coffee and cake – and sketching the view from a comfortable inside location! Finally I found myself out of the streets sketching a western style building that was part of the Yap Temple. While sketching this my friends from Scotland (the visiting speaker for the conference I was attending on my 2nd week) who had arrived in Penang on the weekend, walked past! So much fun!
I ended the day meeting up with Penang Urban Sketcher and total legend Ch’ng Kiah Kiean (KK) for dessert! Amazing cakes at a very nice cafe called Chinahouse. So great to see his small everyday sketchbook and to catch up! I had met KK in BCN but didn’t really speak to him. More about KK and the local sketchers later.
Another amazing day!