I didn’t get the chance to do any sketching this week, which is disappointing but it means I can use today’s Sketchblog entry to look through some past work.
I went to Indonesia for three weeks last April, to visit family, and was desperately excited at the thought of doing lots of drawing en plein air while I was there. However, what I didn’t bank on was the weather (which was just too hot and humid for sitting around for long periods), and being surrounded by family almost everywhere we went.
Shall we have a look at the few sketches I did manage to do? First up we have this mish-mash of bits and pieces
The top three bits were taken in Taman Mini Indonesia, and not only was it HOT that day, it was our first day there so I’d not had a chance to even slightly acclimatise to the temperature. The last drawing (bottom right) is a random bit of food, otak, which is minced fish in banana leaves which are cooked over a bbq. Very tasty.
Aaaah, this is a bit more like it. I haven’t a clue what this tree is called, but it was enormous and I thought the roots were so beautiful. We spent an afternoon at Kebun Raya Bogor (the botanical gardens in Bogor), and by dint of sheer rudeness my fella and I managed to shake off the entourage of family and spent a very happy few hours wandering around on our own at our own pace (I do love my family, but I simply cannot tour a botanical garden with half a dozen or so people trailing behind me talking at the tops of their voices).
I managed to get a couple of plant-related sketches done, and then this last one while we were waiting at the gate to be picked up at the end of the day.
See what I mean about my sketches being a little rough in places, but full of immediacy? I’ve got the man’s body all wrong on that last drawing, but it was done in about five minutes and isn’t half bad really!
The day after we went to Bogor we made the trip up to Garut, which is in the mountains and a much cooler region of the country. It was far better suited to sitting around sketching… apart from the mosquitoes. Woe. Above is a sketch of my oma’s garden (she’s not really my grandmother, I think she’s my mum’s grandmother, or great aunt… if you’re familiar with asian families you’ll know that pretty much everyone is an aunty, or if they’re older they’re a grandma – it’s a respect thing). Those hanging pots are full of orchids, and although I know full well the climate there is very different to here it still amazes me to see them grown outside!
Cangkuang temple (pronounced chang-kwang). This was a really beautiful, if petite, temple on an island in a lake. It’s a lovely little place, and the island only has the temple and a small village. The village itself has a fascinating history and some idiosyncratic rules. There are only six houses and one mosque (the houses symbolise the six daughters of Mohammed Arif, and the mosque symbolises his son), and only 21 people are permitted to live on the island. No four-legged animals are allowed (so no sheep, cows or pigs), only two-legged (chickens and ducks). Men who marry women from the mainland have to leave the island, but women who take a husband from the mainland may stay: the houses pass along the matrilineal path. There are other traditions which must be followed such as no parties, and no glass in the windows of the houses (strange but true).
That was the last proper sketch I managed to do while we were there (and that was only the fourth day of our three week holiday), I did make an attempt at a sketch while taking a tour of Pasar Ikan in Jakarta.
This is Syahbandar Tower, and we met up with our local guide there so I tried to get in a quick sketch while we were waiting for him, but ended up chatting with another local instead and I got a bit distracted.
So, my grand plans for doing lots of drawing while on holiday didn’t come to much. I’m not too disappointed though, it was a fabulous trip and I took loads of photographs. One of the things I’d like to do this year is do some sketches using the photographs to refer back to – we saw so many beautiful places, but the weather really wasn’t amenable to sitting around drawing. It would be nice to have some more sketches as I find them a lot better for memories than photographs (I think because of the time taken to do them, you have to concentrate so much more than you do simply pushing the button on a camera), so that’s another little project to work on.
In the meantime I have one more sketch in this book, to do with a different holiday, but I’ll save that for another day
Read Full Post »