Sunday, September 22, 2013

Chapter 2 - Looking forward

So summer officially ends and the Fall Trimester begins tomorrow.  This week will begin with a BIG LOUD BANG!!!  New term, Schoolism workshop and group exhibition this coming weekend!  Yes, all in one week. :)

I am posting this unfinished holiday piece that I worked on as a gentle reminder to myself where I am today.  I started this piece in my first trimester and the project was to learn the copying process of the masters.  Looking forward to completing this soon.

Seated man, 48 x 33cm
Graphite on Canson paper

Schoolism is sending two guest speakers to Florence on Wednesday. What a deal!  Gesture Drawing with Pixar's Louis Gonzales and Realistic Creature and Character Design with Blizzard's Anthony Jones. I have signed up for the morning session with Gonzales. If you happen to be in the vicinity and are interested in the workshop, do sign up now.
:) Looking forward to meeting Bobby and Kei again! 

In conjunction with the week long World Bicycle Championship here in Tuscany right now is the Bicycle Film Festival from 26 -29 Sept 2013. I was invited to exhibit 3 of my latest urban sketches with a bicycle theme (but of course)! If you are a bicycle geek, love saving the earth and enjoy watching a good flick, head on down to Leopolda in Florence for some bike fun! Details are here: Those living in Firenze, please brace yourselves with the crazy traffic and detours!!! 

Here's a peek at one of my pieces. Every street has its character and because of this, the way bicycles are parked are so telling of the street its on.  This one was right outside my favourite Mesopotamian Kabab that sells my favorite dolmas on Via dell'Oriuolo. 

Looking forward!!!! (x3)

In fila, 20 x 50cm
Ink on watercolour paper (framed)

Monday, September 9, 2013

Heading South (part 2)

I met up with my schoolmate, Roberto, in his hometown, Latina. Together with a bunch of hiking fanatics we spent the weekend camping in the National Park Abruzzo - about 80km east of Rome. About 10 of us met at the camping point of Le Quiet, nearby a village called Villetta Barrea, to pitch our tents.  I really love those 2 second tents from Quechua btw. 

In the evening of the day one, there was the annual Folk Festival in another nearby village called Civitella Alfenda which was about a 25 min walk from our campsite. Sure, the performances were traditional, and nobody really practices them nowadays but it sure did draw in the crowds! I love exploring all these tiny villages amidst the mountainous terrain, because you never know what to expect! :) 

One of the performances of the Folk Festival that involves a walk around the entire village.

Villetta Barrea celebrating their feast day with a procession around the village.

The next day began at 7.30am with a warm-up walk leading to a 1,900m ascend to the top of Monte San Nicola. (Yes, Santa Claus! :D) I enjoyed the entire climb up and down.  It took nearly 6 hours and a timekeeper from the group clocked the total distance covered at 65km. It reminded me of the Camino. But my longest day was only 40km then. This trek was extremely relaxing as I was just following the crowd. In fact, I didn't even know I was going to do a climb with a long lunch break at the top, so I didn't bring my food. 

Breath-taking heights, panoramic views, good company!!! 

Lunch at one of the highest points of San Nicolo.
My team and I heading up to Monte San Nicolo.

And I tried to stop once in a while for a sketch.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Back to School

Summer is nearing its end. Everyone is returning back to the city from their holidays. The art shops, the cinemas, some restaurants have begun dusting their windows, and welcoming their patrons back.  At first chance, I made it to a local theatre screening Monsters University this past week, and even though the movie is in Italian! And boy did I miss out on some of the jokes and puns, but it was worth it! Most of us who are into it know the gist of the story. It's a prequel from the 2001 movie where Sulley and Mike are learning the ropes of scaring while they still in University. 

So why am I trying to be like a movie reviewer by blogging about this?  Well, it's just that the movie spoke to me at different levels and I have to find a place to document this. :) 

First thing is that I'm back at school - for the long haul. Not just a week or a couple of months, but a full academic programme. Exactly how long it will take will take depends on how fast or slow I learn.

I would love to think of myself as, Sulley, the champion scarer of Monsters Inc. But as the film unfolds, I realise how I'm so like Michael Wazowski. How he tries so hard to be in the scare programme, how works his butt off on his assignments, how serious he gets about school as he had been working his entire life to get into the programme in the hopes of joining Monsters Inc.  Even though he was expelled from school, he tried! Right before the last scene when Sulley catches up with him on the bus, he says to him, "Mike, you're not scary, not even a little. But you're fearless. And if Dean Abigail Hardscrabble can't see that then..." I almost felt that Mike was talking to me. That's how and why I love these Disney animated movies, and would like to be a part of them one day!

And the last scene in the changing room locker of Mike, we see the photos that traced all the job positions he had before getting that dream job of his. This reminds me that you've gotta keep trying and try different routes! And work from the bottom up if needed. In our time and age where we can retrieve information almost instantly, we lose sight of the need to take time to do things. I just I'm writing this to remind myself of believing in the 10,000-hour theory - that if you spend 8 hours a day for 10 years honing your craft, you'll eventually become very good at it. :) 

Looking forward building theme parks for Disney and creating endearing animated characters and of course watching more movies by Disney that inspire! (Yea, no one from Disney paid me to say this.) 

Michael Wazowski.
Gouache on watercolour paper.

Inspired by the short before Monsters Uni is The Blue Umbrella. 
Gouache on watercolour paper.