Monday, 26 December 2016

Another kind of Winter: Christmas in Taiwan

 Ended up dropping by a friend's place in Tamsui for Christmas before heading home for New Year. In between our busy schedule of eating and shopping, I found a few hours to sneak out and paint. Since I didn't have time to go too far, I painted around the Tamsui old street / port area (Man was it crowded on Christmas day!) 

Mount Guanyin across from the Tamsui port. There was no mistake to the shimmering light; it was well over 25 degrees celsius that day. It took me days to see the Buddha's head in the mountain, despite driving/riding metro in front of it every day. There was a cross facing the sea...not sure what its origins are...

The store fronts of the old street. Please imagine crowds of people moving in the shadows below 

When I was trying to find the way back (while avoiding backtracking my steps through the crowd) I came across this interesting stairs and mural behind Fuyou Temple. (I kinda glossed over it here, but the mural on the left is of a harbour scene during sunset) The old brick houses on the left and the looming high rise on the right really creates a unique scene, probably why there were also university graduates taking group photos and tourists alike

Sunday, 18 December 2016

Top of Nob Hill, Grace Cathedral

Another trip joining the SF Sketchers on a sunny, but windy winter day. The sliver of light against the dark facade of the church was striking, so I refused the warmth inside the church and stood out on the sidewalk. (I put my water jars and other supplies on the stone side walls of the lawns, thinking it was convenient, but ended up annoying scores of children as they liked to walk on the higher curb, and had to jump down and start again when they met the obstacles I laid out...

 The afternoon sun was casting nice shadows across the building across from the cathedral (Pacific-Union Club) so I decided to stay for another piece. It also happens that the Transamerica Pyramid peeks through from between the buildings on the left. More than the scenery in front of me, the labyrinth behind me was constantly on my mind because of the non-stop feed steps. It sounds like that many of them are impatient children waiting for their guardians to get out of the cathedral, and walking the labyrinth was a pretty good time-killer...

The sun looks warm from the painting, but I was so cold I probably gulped down the cup of hot tea afterwards in matter of minutes

Monday, 12 December 2016

Biking with a mission: Los Gatos Creek Park

Biking and drawing require fine balance. Draw too long, body heat dissipates and my body gets too cold, bike too long, I run out of energy to concentrate on the paining. A nice way to keep the painting session concise though!

Sunday, 11 December 2016

Rainy Day Conquered, All Thanks to Apple Store

To be honest I was skeptical when the meetup group suggested drawing from the Apple Store (at Union Square) if the rain doesn't stop. Surely they won't allow a stranger who has no intention of buying their products spending hours in their store taking up space, let along a group of them! Which was why I was surprised when I showed up a few minutes late, finding everyone comfortably seated on the store's second floor and the staff more than welcoming us to stay and draw...even when I refused to try drawing on the new iPads... such mystery. Several staff even came up and hi, which made me flattered and even more confused lol

 Looking down at a corner of union square, with some orange cones lined up on the bottom.

Goddess of Victory standing above the Christmas tree and the white tents for SantaCon. (When trying to describe the statue to my parents, I discovered that the monument commemorates American victory over the Spanish in the Philippines....history sure is complicated)