Saturday, January 31, 2009

Winter blahs?

I have not been feeling very well lately. Not sure what is wrong with me, but I am not my energetic self even with my new haircut. Still managing to drag myself to the gym, but that's about it. Right now, I think I will walk my dog and crawl into bed.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Morning walk

Sophie and I walk three times a day. She runs ahead barking and showing her mighty stuff. When something really gets her attention she stops, stands on her hinds legs and pumps her front paws up and down. It is quite comical and sometimes a little embarrassing. We vary our route slightly, but she has her favorite places and will hold out until we get there. When it is -5° we head straight for her spot. There is no dawdling.


A quick contour sketch looking out my studio window waiting for the computer guy. Not a very interesting subject, but I kept staring and drawing while thinking what a confusing tangled system exists on the telephone pole. It's hard to know what to do in the  last page in a sketch, so this is it. As I am writing, it is all disappearing in another blinding 14" snowstorm.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Sketching in my new neighborhood

We have gone from hot, humid, tropical Bali to frigid Portland, Maine. 85°-100° difference in temperature as it 
went to -15° the other night. Too cold to be outside, except for walking Sophie, so I draw from the inside looking out or from photos. 

The oldest hammer on the planet

Too cold to go outside so it is a good time to hang some art. It is not easy at our age to combine households, especially when it comes to the very subjective and personal choices in art...

Friday, January 23, 2009

Maruman X "A Taste of Home"

This is the view from our home in Portland, Maine. Over the rooftops we can see the comings and goings in Portland Harbor. This is peak of the 10 pages I did in Anita Davies' Maruman titled "A taste of Home".  At this point Anita, Margaret and Nina had all filled their pages and I was left with wrestling this very long folded sketch book onto my desk to tackle my pages. I must admit it tumbled to the ground several times. You can see the progression of these sketch books at the Maruman X blog HERE.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

A very long day...

4 PM Saturday afternoon on our way to Hong Kong. Settled in with champagne, Perrier and my small take everywhere sketch journal. It was 85° when we left Bali.

4 hour layover in Hong Kong. We did not take off until way after midnight. I had no idea what the temperature was there, but people are wearing parkas and I was still in my flip-flops. 

This was the 10 hour leg of our trip home—Hong Kong to Vancouver. It was very late and most people were asleep. By this time, I had lost all control of the time of day and meals, which gets brushing my teeth all mixed up, so I brushed a lot. It was quite dark in the cabin so it was hard for me to see the paint colors. That's why my hands and knees are orange...

After a two hour lay over in Vancouver it was another 4 1/2 hours to JFK...

We arrive d at JFK at 6 AM to find snow, cancelations and long lines at the airline counters. After a few calls, we eventually got on a plane to Maine. 32 hours later we were back in Portland where it was 15° and the temperature was falling.

The last day in Bali

A last minute quick scribble while the last of our things are boxed up for storage and packed in our luggage. It was raining, so slugs and toads were in the garden with my cat as he ate his last meal of Friskies next to this giant mushroom. He's back on the Bali gecko mouse diet and what ever they will toss him from the kitchen at the restaurant across the street.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

"They say it's your birthday"

"Happy birthday to you."

This watercolor mess is suppose to be a delicious looking happy birthday cupcake for my good friend and dog-sitter extraordinaire, Patti. I lost control early on working directly with paint and no pencil lines. I then tried to save the sweet treat with added pen lines. In the end the only thing left to do was to walk outside and fling wet paint at it. Ugh— what a mess! Have a wonderful birthday, Patti. See you in a few days.

Selamat tinggal Bali

We are packing up and saying goodbye (selamat tinggal) to Bali. It is quite bittersweet. I am sad to leave this amazing place, but I am anxious to get home to friends, family and my dog. We will return to Bali in March when I will pick up my Bali journal where I left off. In the meantime, I will be a very cold Portland Maine city sketcher.

Yesterday was Pagerwesi day which is a Hindu celebration of an ancient battle between good and evil. The usual daily prayer offerings paled compared to what I saw to honor this holiday. Hundreds of these beautiful offerings were stacked up at temples and shrines and many lined the streets in front of businesses, homes and along the beach. Even some of the motorcycles had offerings tucked behind the license plates. I often wonder if anyone notices how many plates are expired...

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Mobile snacking unit

There are all sorts of food sellers in Bali and many use these three-wheel carts as mobile food stalls. They can be seen on the busiest streets and highways, in the crowded cities, along a village road and at the beach. I have seen them pushing these carts in the most amazing traffic conditions going with or against the flow. I'm not sure which is better for business. This cart was parked along the beach selling Bakso which is an Indonesian boiled meatball soup.

Animals in the hood

I have become quite fascinated with drawing chickens and roosters, along with dogs, cats and toads, of course. Chicken is a staple in Indonesian cooking and today, at lunch, we had delicious ayam goreng which is nothing like KFC. While having lunch with some Indonesian friends from Java and we were discussing the concept of cleaning your plate. I was telling them how as kids in the US we were told to clean our plates because "just think of all the starving kids in China". In Indonesia, kids were told to clean their plates because if they didn't their chickens would die. We decided that neither of them made any sense.

Studying my feral cat

We have become sort of buddies because I have the Friskies. I sat on the steps sketching him while he wandered around checking things out, cleaning his foot and then settling in the crouch position waiting for a snack. He got leftover ayam goreng (fried chicken). I even washed all the spicy sambal off of it for him. Then again, being an Indonesian cat maybe he likes spicy food?

Anjing pandai

I laughed when I saw this clever dog (anjing pandai) who got out of the sun and comfortable without having to pay 25,000 rupiah for the use of the beach chair. No one seemed to care so I had time to do this quick sloppy sketch.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

After the rain

At this time of year it rains almost every day (hujan sehari-hari). It never lasts too long, like in Maine where it can rain for days or even an entire month, but when it rains it pours. The pond and the pool overflow and the garden fills with water. After the rain the garden comes alive. We have quite a village of toads living here with us.
"Geez, hurry up and let me in" seemed to be the look on this toads face as I was unlocking the front door. He waited rather impatiently dancing on his little feet. When I finally pushed open the door he went in first and disappeared into the garden.

There is a whole lot of this "Toad love" thing going on in and around the pool. Needless to say we also have lots of little toads hopping around after the rain.