This particular day was VERY busy socially…rushing from one event to another. Just as well I had had a quiet day the day before.
The first social engagement was morning tea with the lovely Chanel in Tiong Bahru… I hung out with her last year during the afternoon session of the Bedok sketchwalk.
Singapore might have many new and exciting cafes however I was constantly frustrated in my attempts to find one that was open at 10am in the morning…and even more frustrated by websites that were not accurate (they indicated they would be open and they were not!) Obviously, the morning cafe culture has not quite caught on yet. So Chanel and I ended up at our 3rd option!
But hey – the 3rd option, Tiong Bahru Bakery was great! We ordered some sketching props and had a lovely time sketching, occasionally chatting and sharing one of the cakes. The best pastry I have had in a long long time! This page was one of those delightfully relaxing rambling affairs… just started drawing one thing…then the next…then the next. The page evolving as I go along.
The morning went way too quickly and I had to rush off (‘needing-to-catch-a-taxi’ type of rush off!) – but not before we had posed for the show and tell photo holding our sketchbooks… it seriously is a little cheesy that we do this all the time but still it is fun!
Oh! BTW, although I knew that Chanel would have some top cafe suggestions I couldn’t help asking the expert while I was having my breakfast… the list (or part of the list) is written in blue.
2nd stop was pretty special! (that is an example of an Australian understatement!)
It was AMAZING!
Last year I came across Melanie Lee’s tea blog and through a comment on her listing on top 10 tea places in Singapore we became facebook friends (of course she knows some of the USKers as well!) She interviewed me last year on her blog see here. So of course we had to become ‘real friends’ and drink some tea together this time. You can read her account of the meeting here
Melanie organised a very special tea tasting visit to Tea Bone Zen Mind. You all know that I drink a lot of tea and pretend to know a lot about tea – but really I don’t… so this was a serious tea experience. We had a number of exquisite teas which were paired with different food. Perhaps the part that I related most to was the Tie Kuan Yin tea that we had – first with tomato, then with thick bacon then with dried fruit. Each food option gave the tea a different flavour and as this is a tea I do drink regularly it was quite an eye-opener!
The owner, Carrie, not only came to say hello, but she gave us a tour (and I got to see and hold lots of amazing and rare teaware), we had some fascinating chat about tea and the economy and THEN…we were taken upstairs to the attic tearoom for a special 40-year-old aged Japanese tea with a sticky rice dumpling in red bean – WOW!
Sometimes it is not appropriate to sketch as the occasion is too special… and sometimes right towards the end of a special occasion, it is important for me to have some kind of record – I crave to put some kind of line, any kind of line down on my page so that the experience is encoded in a tangible way. This was such an occasion and I am thankful that I managed a very quick sketch right at the end. I was then given gifts … tea, a book and some brush pens (beautifully wrapped – I will be sketching the contents of this box soon!)
Numerous times during this trip I was overwhelmed by the experiences I was having… this visit to Tea Bone Zen Mind was one of those moments and I even have a wee tear in my eye while I am writing about it. Thank you, thank you, thank you Melanie and Carrie for a really special time (I know I have used special too many times in the last few paragraphs… but… hey it was special!)
Just a note on the other side of the page … wasn’t really bothering to draw maps every day this time, but sometimes a diagram is the best way to record the events.
I was on the hunt for a white palette (like Paul has) He got it in Daiso… but the 2 Daiso’s we went into didn’t have the one he is using at the moment.. but we did find 3 other sizes of pill boxes (note: I got home and discover that there are now some Daiso stores in Australia!)
Next another taxi to go to Temasek Poly where Tia works to see the latest USK SG exhibition. We also met Fernanda Lamelas and her husband from Lisbon who just so happened to arrive in Singapore the day before. Small world hey? So lovely to meet her and look through her sketchbook (ah! someone that likes sketches food too – we are going to get on). I am holding a crazy local drink – Air Badung – rose syrup and evaporated milk. I will try anything once!
A short time back at my hotel before meeting up with the Portuguese for dinner. The time was made even shorter by a compulsive sketch stop “I have to sketch something other than food today”. The Blue mosque just up the road from my hotel…a very sketchable building- interesting forms, textures and colour.
Lovely dinner in terms of company… not the best food of the trip but it was a great evening and nice that I can now say I have been to Clarke Quay (somewhere I missed going last year) Sorry about the poor quality iPhone photos. It really is amazing to meet up with someone from Lisbon in SG – talking about BCN symposium and all the people in Lisbon that I know and am in touch with. Urban Sketchers does make the world smaller!
As you can see I was using that sailor pen more and more and particularly for my quick food sketches. I was also testing out my line-paint-line-paint approach from yesterday in different situations…
Big day… but an even bigger one coming up. Another organised Adhoc Sketchwalk was to be on the agenda…. the USK SG group certainly knows how to look after visiting sketchers!