Monday, May 30, 2016

Studio search

The search for an awesome studio space to paint here in Singapore continues. Yes, you may have heard that this little red dot is one of the most expensive cities to live in. I know deep down, I'm going to be able find one. And anyway, if I can't, there's always other locations to work in. 

I've used a lot of my time so far doing plein air or outdoor painting. This allows me to revisit the country like a tourist, and this may be a good thing.  I'm seeing Singapore with a new pair of glasses. Everything seems so refreshing. For example, 4 weeks back, I ventured to the Keong Siak Road for the very first time! And boy was I amazed to see all the old shop houses being conserved really well! Some are converted to boutique hotels, some into cafes. A lot of Chinese clans still occupy some of these buildings and peeking through the windows, you can tell how how some of these 1930s units have still maintained their beauty and charm. 

Here are some of the heritage buildings I've painted in the last month.

This building Ya Tong (on Keong Siak Road) used to house the famous Ya Tong coffee shop. This used to be a red light district in Singapore. 

Ya Tong coffee shop is moved to another unit down the street (No. 35, Keong Siak Road) and still serves fantastic local coffee. 

Rochor Centre - these residential units are slated to be pulled down in Sept 2016. 

St Joseph's Church on Queen Street - last I heard, they are going to try to make a basilica out of this.

On the side, I'm also trying to figure out how to get some still life pieces done. Here's my set-up of it during a session at a local foodcourt. 

Using a simple see through folder that fits my 9" x 12" panel, I clip my paper palette on one side of the folder (when opened) and voilà! 

Here's sharing the demo video for this piece:

Till the next art update, ciao for now! 

Saturday, May 14, 2016

G'day, mate!!

I was grateful to be able to visit Sydney and Melbourne because of the really low fares they have on Scoot Airlines. I took a week long break in south western Australia! (It is not long when one is on a painting expedition.) I did learn a lot of things pertaining to plein air out in a city in a foreign land which I will share in their blog.

Here are some of the highlights if you have missed them on Facebook and my Instagram page. Looking froward to take short breaks like these every now and then to see the world. 

The flight had some delays due to administrative paper work, so I chanced on the 30 min wait for a quick sketch. From the top central part of the drawing, you can see the plane doors still open. Did you know that staff from Scoot are known as Scootees. :)

Sydney Fish Market
It gets really windy down by the harbour. I spent most of my time making sure my easel wouldn't topple off. It becomes crowded nearing 12pm. So head on down way earlier if you are planning on doing some sketching. And don't forget to stay there for some lunch! The seafood is really something!

Opera House
It's also windy here, but a lot more bearable than the area around the Fish Market.
It's winter and I had forgotten how early the sun can set here. Only had about an hour to sketch here after locating the right position for this sketch. It's important to know time of sunset. What a beautifully designed building by the way!

Argyle Street
From this street filled cafes and museums, I found an interesting spot to capture the Harbour Bridge. While painting this, I see tiny people scaling up the arc. I notice how how I spend just to look for the right angle to paint, and it does eat into my painting time, but this is something no guidebook or other living person can tell me. 

Old Clare Hotel
This is a newly redone up area. Used to be the dodgy side of town, but clever developers are creating new waves with this locale. Make sure to check Spice Alley if you are into South East Asia street food dining.

Queen Victoria Market
What a popular market with the tourists and residents of Melbourne city. I stop by here at a pretty coffee stand, Market Lane Coffee, at the start of my day for a cuppa. Most times like this sketch, I am standing to draw a scene because of angle. It gets a little tiring on the arms and legs, but that reminds me that I don't have all day to sketch. :)

National Gallery of Victoria
What a neat collection of 18th - 19th century paintings! And Whistler's mom is in town too!! I'm going to be missing Degar's works coming soon in the next 2 weeks! I'm always on the lookout for travelling exhibits when I'm visiting cities. 

Capturing the late noon/ evening sky on Swanston Street in Melbourne city.