Png:Sg Trip 07: Last solo sketching day in Georgetown Penang

January 20, 2014 | 2 Comments

My last day of roaming the streets of Georgetown and definitely the highlight of it was the visit to the Clan Jetties in the afternoon – these amazing villages on stilts are over a hundred years old… but more later.

I started early sketching the building just down the road from the hotel which had caught my eye on day one… this day was going to be my last chance to sketch it.

I had two very friendly young men (one from Beijing with a very serious camera and practically no English) and another local who were watching my every move! I got some lovely photos of the drawing stage from my new Chinese friend – sadly he couldn’t stay for the painting part and also it is sad that I have rather tatty strapping on my hand (just protection – nothing serious)

Next: the main tourist area – around Armenian St. There were a few things that I wanted to sketch and had told another sketcher I would be there… so hung around looking for a spot to sketch…but the crowds were getting to me!  Found a quiet spot but soon had crowds looking over my shoulder – I normally try to sit so they can’t look from behind as I find that can make me feel uncomfortable. A man on a trishaw, who obviously saw me sketching at the blue mansion the day before, stopped and asked me how long I would take today! (Penang is a small place!) Trying different things on one page.

Next stop: sketching the bicycle shop. sitting down in a quiet spot only to discover it was the home of a homeless man who was dumb. I was offered a broken red stool to put my paints on and meeting lots of new friends as people (many people) walked past. The grasshopper and girl’s name is out of order… part of a special time on the Chew Jetty (more soon).

There was one of the famous street art paintings that I had missed – needed some refreshment …Looking for a coffee or an ice kachang but ending up with an ice ball! – more small friends.

Leisurely lunch at Chinahouse (very nice cafe KK had taken me the other evening)… this spread was important … food, caffiene, sugar and slowing my pace. Chinahouse has a guy that regularly takes photos for the facebook page… so naturally I was a target for the day.

Afternoon on the Clan Jetties. I spent a while walking around, being inspired by the amazing juxtapositions and trying to decide where to sit that was comfortable,  cool (and not too smelly). The Chew Jetty is the largest and full of little shops for tourists – but parts of it, and the smaller Tan Jetty next door are very residential – you feel like a total intruder walking around…so I was reluctant to sit down too close to anyone’s home. So focused on looking for a sketch that I didn’t take any photos – check out these on flickr if you want to see more.

In the end I did an overall sketch first- surrounded by people. Then I made friends with two very sweet little girls who wanted me to draw the flowers and their grasshopper and then them… they loved their grasshopper so much but at the end offered it to me (I almost cried! so sweet … of course I couldn’t take it)

Then I headed to the next jetty – Tan Clan Jetty and sketched the view back to Chew.

Finally as a storm was about to hit I quickly sketched the temple at the end of the Tan Jetty. I really would have like to spend all day in this part of Penang… it is really very special. So many things to sketch!

Ended the day with Ch’ng Kiah Kiean (KK) – I met his lovely mum and the special tree that produces his most important art tool- his twigs. It is a wild water plum tree (Wrightia religiosa). A great post about his art tools is to be found here.

KK took me to a tea house – Qing Huan Tea House – that was on my list but I didn’t expect to get there as outside Georgetown area. What a treat. Lovely tea (can’t remember what it is – maybe some can translate the Chinese for me) and nice meal- that tofu dish was yum.
Great art chat as always.

I am not sure that I spend much time later that evening reading – but I include a photo two books that often were looked at during my evening cuppa. KK’s wonderfully inspiring book – Line Line Journey and the great book I took for reading “Hawthorn on painting”- these two books represent one of the fun tensions in my art at the moment. Line vs Colour. A good pair!


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