Plein air ending 2009

Dec 31st, and Jan 1st are national holiday in Thailand. So today my plein air/sketching friends got together and we roamed another area along Chao Praya River to celebrating our end of year 2009 sketching. We had a great fun, this time there were seven people in our group in the morning with two new friends: an eye doctor & a furniture designer. One more member joined later in the afternoon. I was very lucky today as one of the young friend, Khun Nest, an architecture student had helped carried my painting bag. He kindly told me that he know I have already been carrying a six-month baby. So my outdoor painting trip, which involved quite some walking had went much more comfortable than I expected. I truly thankful for his kindness.

We gathered around 8:30 and had some breakfast at Taksin bridge along Chao Praya river, then we started our day at Bang-Rak Chinese Shrine I got one painting done before one of senior shrine care taker arrived with a negative message to our painting group.... May be only in Thailand.. that location care takers do not welcome painters. A similar thing had happened to our group before at the other Chinese shrine. Around 10:30 we walked along Charoenkrung road to the near by Yannawa Thai temple. This time things went smoothly and around 12:30 we had a group lunch at the near by chicken-rice food shop. It is simple but great, especially, I never have any painting friends who would go paint out with me in Thailand for years until this year that I got to know them. I love my Wetcanvas friends but the face-to-face interaction with other artist friends do enrich my painting experience tremendously. Later in the after noon, we got in the express boat for a short hop to Kalawar church to end the painting day at around 3:30 pm. I had a great fun and could not think of a better way to spend the last day of 2009.

Happy New Year 2010 -- May 2010 be a better painting year for you !!!.


Boat & Buoy#2 -- for Rose

This is a watercolor ATC size 2.5 x 3.5 inch done for Wetcanvas Fall/Winter project. The Ref. photo was from Flickr. I apologize for not remembering the photographer name.

Boat & Buoy#1 -- for Joan

This is a watercolor ATC size 2.5x3.5 inch done for Wetcanvas Fall/Winter exchange. The ref. image was from Flickr. I apologize for not remember the photographer name.

World-Wide Sketchcrawl#25

Well pardon me for the late blogging of this article. The event took place in late November but as a mother-of-the-2nd-child-to-be I was too overwhelmed to keep up with blogging. But finally, today I have some more energy to get around to do this so here goes:

This time, our Bangkok friends are mostly busy with their business, so I set out to do a solo crawl in the morning and later I met two other Bangkok sketchers in the evening. In addition, my babysitter could not make it, so my DH and my 4 year old daughter, Iris, joined along with me from 8:00 am - 4:30 pm. I was afraid that my daughter would feel boring and uncomfortable to have to tag along mommy sketching. Luckily, we got cool weather, and we minimized walking and only using Tuk-Tuk or Taxi to hop from one spot (cafe) to other spot (cafe). Things went well and we all have fun. It is too bad that Iris did some sketching of the sculptures at the sculpture garden but she later destroyed it unintentionally. She did it her way, the stick-figure style but she quickly scribbled many colors over it before I can take a photo of it.

Here are the summary shot of my locations:

#0 Warm up, my neighbor walking her dog.

#1 In the morning, I had to pick up my baby health check report from Siriraj hospital, the biggest state hospital in Thailand. Before I left the place, I stopped at the hospital plaza where Thai people went to pay respect to The King's father monument, who also the father of Thai medicine, and Thai people also gathered to write well-wish messages to our beloved King who resides at the hospital at the moment.

#2 We crossed Chao Phraya River to Tha-Chang pier, heading to the sculpture garden of Univ. of Fine Arts. Iris, did some sketches of the sculptures with me here. In the middle of sketching, one bug landed on my sketchbook, so I sketched him in my left corner of my sketchbook, that is why you see the big bug on the left top side of the building.... not that the bug is that huge.

#3 We walk 100 yards, down to a cafe opposite the entrance of the Grand Palace, we call this gate "Wiset-Chai-Sri-Gate".

#4 After our lunch, our family moved on to sketch in a cozy cafe, "Passport Cafe", in the vintage district of Bangkok. This is the spot where I later met with two SketchCrawler, P'Asnee, and K.Nate. We had some talks and sketched some scenes in side the cafe. I ended my SketchCrawl there, but P'Asnee and K.Nate were meeting up with two more Thai sketchers to cover more of Bangkok vintage landmarks.

2009 Scavenger Hunt Sketches -- Part1

Well, this year I have been more active in sketching things around me with the help and encouragement of my art friends on Wetcanvas Scavenger Hunt forum. Every nine days or so, we will get a new list of things around us to do a life-sketch. Some weren't that good but all of them really allowed me to enjoy my little art moment, one item at a time. So here are a few highlights. Among items below, I think I like the "non-art-brush (the toilet brush)" the most. It seemed to stir up quite some nice words from my art friends.


Merry Christmas

Dear friends, I hope you have a great Christmas and a great year. We are very happy and humble to have a great simple life that we have. Our second baby is about 3 months to due date. I have not painted big format as often as usual but more of sketching and small format works. Even then, I am fortunate to know several new plein air painting friends and some of the works that we went out to paint old architectures along Chaopraya River together in July got in architecture group shows at Siam Center mall and recent venue at Bangkok Art and Cultural Center. I am very proud that someone see the value in our preservation effort. Besides, I also get reconnect to music: taking piano lesson again since April 24th. Life is sure more hectic with adding music practice on top of art, career, and family but I would not drop any of this. I get to take a lesson with a wonderful piano teacher. That sure makes my year a very blessing year. Iris is also doing great with a new school, a more relaxed kindergarten very close to our home so we have a much simple and relaxed day comparing to the previous school. Tone also has a great year: visiting his family in the US. and back to see the US. Thunderbird air show at Don Muang Airport, the first Thunderbird he ever saw in his life.

For many of you who I have not yet meet face to face, I hope one day I get to do that, in the mean while I am sending you my holiday spirit vibe your way via this message. Merry Christmas 2009.

"Holiday spirit", 8x10 inch watercolor&ink, from a public photo on Flickr by DigitalImageFan. It is done as a part of Wetcanvas Xmas card 2009 pen & ink forum exchange.



Today I did an acrylics still-life on 10x12 inch canvas as a part of Wetcanvas.com Scavenger Hunt#154. I am not quite familiar with this medium but it was fun. This took about 1 hour.


Art show -- Siam Center Mall

I had been busy taking my five plein air paintings to frame since last week and dropped them to the event organizer on Saturday. Tone and I went to the Siam Center, the downtown mall in Bangkok to see them in the show yesterday. They were a part of architecture show meant to record and preserve old beautiful buildings along Chao Praya river. My 'sketchcrawl' friends and I had previously done plein air of old temples, mosque, houses in the same area as well. So the organizer put our art works as a part of preservation effort by free-style plein air artists like us. I am very happy. They did a big poster of the preservation area with our Bangkok Sketchcrawl art group details on it and had our blog addresses printed on the wall of the exhibition too. The proceed of paintings and postcards will go toward activities to raise public awareness of old building preservation. I feel so happy to see them hung in real space. The show will be on display during Nov 9-13 at Atrium#2, first floor Siam Center and then during Nov 14-22 at ASA Center, the fifth floor, Siam Discovery.

Two years ago I was supposed to hang two of my works with the Thai watercolor society but somehow with the management problem, the society canceled the show in the last minutes. So from then on, I will not believe that my works will be included in the art show until I'll see them hang in real space. I'd like to thank Tone, my No#1 art patron, my friends in Bangkok Sketchcrawl group, and Wetcanvas friends for art encouragement and inspiration.

The first top three photos are taken from the real event and the bottom photo was taken at home with Miss Iris.


Shoes I rarely wear

This is about 11x12 inch charcoal life-sketching on newsprint paper. Can you believe?... I shipped this pair of shoes back with my other 40 boxes of stuffs from the USA in 2001. I totally forgot where they were until a couple days ago that I opened one of my last box and found them.


Masai Woman#2

This is a watercolor 7.5x11 inch done on Bockingford 140 lb block using Holbein paint. The ref image is from Creative Commons on Flickr by Marc_from_Borft.


Life Drawing Class#4

These drawings are from my recent life-drawing class on newsprint size paper using Chinese ink. The earlier short poses are meant to be gesture drawing, with one stroke of brush to represent a leg, another stroke to represent an arm, another stroke for the torso, etc.... I did not do that well with this earlier part of the class. But later, we had a couple of longer poses (20 minutes) and a few of 30 minutes that I get to play more with multiple brush strokes and negative painting. I think I feel more comfortable at this stage. It was a good learning experience.


Bangmod canal

This is a life sketch. Ink was done at the scene, the back row of my village overlooking the rustic corner of Bangmod canal, the area once famous for a special kind of tangerine and coconut orchards. I later added watercolor at my home. We are very lucky to get to live in the area that is so green. More home/land development is coming in the area so the green quiet orchard will soon be forever gone. I am glad I get to sketch part of this charming community.

Life Drawing Class#3

These are from my 3rd life drawing class. All done with charcoal & the last two with Conte crayon. I really had fun in the class. Today the instructor, Brian Curtin, want us to establish the scale of the model with the reference chair. I found that a bit tough at the beginning to pair both of them together nicely. During the short warm up, I did not do as good as I want but once the class progressed to the longer poses I felt more comfortable with it. The model today was David. He was very good at posing in interesting angles. He said that he used to pose during his time at U. of Toronto for eight years.


Wahkor Aquarium

Our semester has ended. So we left Bangkok yesterday morning, drove thru HuaHin, our usual spot further down two more hours to BanKrut beach. It is very very quiet but also very nature. We like it. We found out that there is an aquarium 40 Km. away. So we planned to take Iris there. And Walla... !!!

This is about 7x9 inch watercolor sketch, done life in front of the giant tank at Wahkor Aquarium, Prachuab Kirikhan. It took me about 35 minutes at the tank and I did the blue background at the resort. The remaining pics are us on the beach at the resort in the calm morning. We love you all and miss you and sending you our peaceful positive vibe.



This is about 11x14 inch watercolor from recent Wetcanvas WDE event. I normally don't do WC this way but it is fun to try to play more with brush stroke sometimes.


Baby in bloom...

Well... to embrace my new coming baby, this is a 5x7 inch Derwent pastel pencils on my brown sketchbook. The photo ref. is from Wetcanvas WDE in mid September.


Life Drawing Class#2

Three minute poses...

Five minute poses...

Ten minute poses...

Twenty minute poses...

Thirty minute poses...

Yesterday, we learn about shading. The instructor asked us to used no lines. I was having fun with the class again. I started the first few with pencils then switched to Conte crayons later. All done in newsprint size paper.


Life Drawing Class#1

I just went to my first life drawing class a few days ago. It was fun and exciting. The model, Rex, is very good at posing nice angles and the instructor, Brian Curtin, let us feel our way and explore with pencil line only, no shading, no measuring yet. The early poses are series of 2-3 minutes. Then some of 5 minutes. And later a few of 15 minutes. Some of later images were a bit too light to scan well because he asked me to draw with a very light-pressure lines. I can see my progress from can fit only part of the body to the paper at the beginning toward the end of the session in which I was able to put the whole body in the same size paper. Brian, also assigned me to do more advanced drawing. He asked me to draw the model for a few minutes.. then, went to the back of the studio to draw some more but this time from my memory... what a challenge this drill was to me. The session was so fun. I did a tons of sketch but some samples are shown below:

Beginning ... with pencil

End .. with some Conte crayons