Lily just turned six months a few days ago. She is adorable, chubby, and fun to hang out with. She is fluent to body rolling at this stage. She can not sit or crawl by herself yet. Though my life has slowed down somewhat due to her caring, I am a happy mama.
Today I have some time to play with my culinary muse. So I made my first ever Bangkok clam chowder from scratch, using local clams with a recipe from the Internet. Yes, the south of Bangkok is border with the gulf of Thailand and has plenty of seafood. We just don't have a sandy beach... it is more of a muddy sea mangrove shore.
I cooked up a big pot of clam chowder and decide to sketch it in my brown bag sketchbook with gouache. It was quite muddy earlier in clam shells area but I went in later with some pastel pencils to recover it. The pink bits you see were bacons.
Well all I can say is that I am a bit of a slow juggler at the moment: career, art, music, and motherhood. Luckily career-wise, I havent yet gone back to full steam teaching. For now I am more toward consulting with student projects and pushing out research publications. I also try to practice piano 20-30 min. a day. There were days that I could not do that like when just finishing with baby stuff took me beyond 10 pm. and I was so out of steam. Art has also slowed down, not much big format painting at all, more of sketches. Luckily, I have managed to go out with my sketch group once a month. Motherly-wise, Lily has just turned 5 months; Iris just turned 5 years. They both keep us busy and joyful and occasionally frustrated. However, they are our big gifts from God that enrich our lives. I just wish I have more energy and more than 24 hours in a day though.
Well we took Iris to the kid play zone at the neighborhood mall. So I got an ink sketch of the coin-operated horse. Later I scanned the drawing in and add some colors digitally using TwistedBrush freeware software. It was fun, and I will definitely try this again. So Iris got to play and I got to sketch...
We have a wonderful 4-day long holiday weekend. The Thai mother day is on August 12 of every year. This year, I was extremely tired from both going back to work and caring for a 4.5 month baby, Lily. So my mother and my sister bought us great lunch box food and visited us at our house. Everyone was so happy. The photo shows my mother, and our family. The other photo is of Iris on her school Mother day event, in which Iris brought me a small paper jasmine basket while we were on the school stage with her classmates mothers.
This morning Iris and I sketched together. I was trying to sketch her. and here are the works of mine on left and Iris's on the right (She got some the block style going). Iris came back to create some marks framing my sketch of her. We use water soluable crayon and do it on a giant kido sketchbook.
I later added some blue shadow with Coran D'che watercolor pencil.
This year we celebrated 4th of July plus two family birthdays: Grandma, and Iris. I cooked up a big lunch meal at my home and let Iris, Grandma and Tone blew the candles together. Tone represented Uncle Sam did all cake cutting, especially the part that he had to cut into the American flag. We all have a good laugh. Grandpa got to see baby Lily too.
Well, Thailand is full of surprises... and lately they have come in many great stories. The past three months I have taken maternity leave from university teaching. One day Tone told me that while I was gone, the Univ. main library has done extensive renovation to one of their wings and add more R&R space for Univ. people. One of the addition is adding a grand piano in the main hallway. I was so thrilled and also did not fully believe that story until this past Saturday, Tone and I stopped by the library. We both gave our unofficial recitals to passersby. This is my first time playing in public so I totally shaken. I did attempt to play two songs: Canon in D major and Ballade pour Adeline. I felt so good to play it I hope they keep that piano for as long as possible and I hope to practice more and come back to play it more often.
After Tone and I was about to leave, another young Thai mathematics major student sat down and played Beethoven Sonata No.8. He blew us away. It is like you will never imagine in a million years that a young man in a t-shirt and jeans will be able to give a concert hall quality classical music. I am sure that this piano will bring many great stories to the campus.
Here is what I did today for the WDE on Wetcanvas, a 10x14 inch acrylic inks on background and the watercolor on the swans. I have not used acrylic inks for almost two years, and the last time I used it on a tiny ATC card. So this time I find it difficult to handling the acrylic ink background as wet-on-wet since the ink dried up super fast. Anyway, I am happy with the result. Photo ref. is from http://morguefile.com/archive/display/92960
I have been very busy these days due to my 10 Wk old baby. I have not had a chance to do a big painting yet. I am glad to be able to do small sketching or drawing here and there. Here is my pen & wash experiment, which is a quick 30 min. pen & wash size 3x4 inch in my Thai 80 grams. sketchbook. I use Faber-Castell 0.1 Ecco pen and Holbein watercolors. The ref. photo is provided by ArtbyJune on WDE of Wetcanvas.
I found the book "How to Keep a Sketchbook Journal" by Claudia Nice very informative for me to get start in pen and wash.
These are life sketching done as a part of our Bangkok Sketchers group outing on May 30th. We had three artists from Penang, Malaysia to join our trip. Wat-Arun (shown in the first two sketches) is also known as Temple of the Dawn on the west side of ChaoPhraYa river and Wat-Pho is CheTuPon Temple on the opposite east side of the river. Wat-Arun is famous for its tall stupa, which makes its grand statement against the morning sky of Bangkok. On the other hand, Wat-Pho is famous for the reclining buddha, and the first place to teach Thai traditional medicine and Thai massage. We had fun that day and it had been quite a turn out with so many Thai sketchers.
This is about 10x10.5 inch watercolor done on 140lb Canson cold press. It is a part of this weekend drawing event on Wetcanvas. Monterey aquarium is an amazing place. I visited there once in 1994, while they had their renovation. Nowadays, it must be even more awesome. I hope to get to take my kids there down the road.
Well, I have been very busy lately for caring for my 2 month old baby. So I feel good that I got to do some sketching for the SketchCrawl. Even though our previous planned outing Crawl with Bangkok Sketchers group had to be canceled on that day due to Thai political protest in Bangkok, which later turned sadly chaos. I am glad I did these sketches from our local shopping mall near my home.
Well, a big bunch of joy has arrived to our family. On Monday March 22, I was on the regular check-up of my 37-week pregnancy, then the doctor told me that I had already started contraction and I had to be admitted immediately. Thanks goodness that Tone was with me and giving me support when they wheeled me to the delivery room. So the same night around 9:24 pm., baby Lily was born. She was 3.9 Kg. or around 8.5 pound and 53 cm. long. We are both feeling fine now and enjoying our first night together at home.
This is a tulip farm in British Columbia, Canada. The Ref. photo was from Sharrm on Wetcanvas. This is a 8x11 inch watercolor on 200 grams Thai local paper using W&N paints. Happy spring time everyone, wherever you are !!!
Yeah... I did it, weeks after weeks of saving reference photos from Wetcanvas, Weekend Drawing Event I have always ran out of steam to do a painting but today I did this.
Thanks AlainJ for wonderful ref. photo. This one was done in W&N watercolor on 11x14 inch Bockingford 140 lb block.
Well now I am into my 35th week pregnancy. We have to dig up baby stuffs from storage and prepare a few new things if they were loan to us last time. I feel like someone glue a big basketball to my tummy..... About 4 more weeks to go till the baby time.
I am slowing down on my blog, art exchange projects, weekend drawing/painting event but at work I have to grading exams and make sure I turn things in time before I take a maternity leave. I still enjoy my Scavenger Hunt sketching, and my piano lesson. I hope the new baby like the music I have been playing. Iris is in good spirit for the new baby.