Saturday, 31 December 2011

Tales of Red Capes et a Bientot 2011

Samedi 31st Decembre, 2011; 17:58
Location: Ubud, Bali Indonesia
Why: What would happen if Superman and Little Red Riding Hood hooked up? Hmmmm, creepy.

Hmmm this is my last post for the year.

Today, in Flying Yoga class, the instructor asked each of us to talk about one thing we are proud of in 2011. This is how it went for me:
"Hello, my name is Davie. I am working with a wrist injury from RSI. I am proud that I just spent the past five hours finishing up the two drawings needed for today's post and to stay on top of this 30 Day Drawing Challenge" Some quizzical looks but I was beaming with pride. Achieving small goals daily will do that for me.

Day 13: Draw a Comic:
I thought long and hard on this one. I have always been a comic book fan and loved admiring the greatness of Stan Lee. As a tomboy, I wasn't into barbies or such similar foolishness. Instead, I wanted to be a super hero. I wanted to wear the tights. I wanted the lasso dangling off my hips. I wanted the cleavage that came with wearing a skimpy unitard. Most of all, I wanted the red cape. You know the one. I even wanted the curl in my hair but no such luck; I am Chinese after all.

I'm no Stan Lee or Alex Ross for that matter. But here's the effort. Work in progress:

Getting the foreshortening to look decent was killer:

My all-time comic book hero, hands down:

Close up. Because I spent hours drawing this babe:

Day 14: Draw a Fairytale:
After drawing the red caped crusader, I was onto another red cape. But of a totally different kind. The reason I picked this fairytale is because I love the darkness of this tale. I mean a wolf dressed as a granny, waiting in bed for the granddaughter? Freaky shit yo!

Visualizing how this style of drawing will play out:

Adding some shades for texture and dimension:

Finishing off with a touch of red:

My last post for 2011. Short and sweet. And red.

Michael Franti and guests are playing in the soccer field on my street. Say that again? And where am I ? Oh yeah, still in P.A.R.A.D.I.S.E. This shtuff never gets old.

Thursday, 29 December 2011

Just a West Coast Hippie

Jeudi 29th Decembre, 2011; 13:19
Location: Ubud, Bali Indonesia
Why: Hippie chick loves Stanley avec un touche francaise.

J'aime apprendre le Francais! Moin les accents. Il fait tres chaud aujourd'hui. Et juste fini manger du pain frais. Magnifique!

Kay, that's enough French for now. More on this latest endeavour in another post. Or when I get a little better. How did I do Dylan?? Un petit peu mieux?

Yesterday I finished that tye dye dress so, no, I did not do my draw-ring. But I did today!!

8:34pm - Two ninety minute yoga classes and a hearty dinner later....

Day 11: Draw a Turning Point in My Life:
Back in 2005, I went to BC to run the Vancouver Scotiabank Half Marathon. Little did I know it would change my life. I remember hanging out at Kits Beach on Canada Day and having an epiphany. This was where I needed to be. To live. I needed the ocean. I needed the mountains. The fresh air. The beach.

It hit me like a ton of bricks. But just to make sure I wasn't a total nut-job, I came back that October - Vancouver's rainy season. I walked the entire perimeter of Stanley Park in the pouring rain and LOVED every minute of it. Three hours and 10k later, I was literally soaked to my knickers. And thinking how much a one way ticket will cost me. Since then, I have ran around Stanley Park truckloads and know every curve, turn and bump. I yearn for it sometimes when I am homesick.

Work in progress. Visualizing my beloved Stanley:

Easily one of my favourite places on earth. That's West Van in the background:

If I squeeze my eyes really tight, I am bombing past Siwash Rock on my bicycle, half baked with Monte and a bag of gummie bears:

I could cry sometimes at how much I miss British Columbia and my greatest love, Vancity. After 5+ years, I'm still pinching myself she is my home.

Day 12: Draw My Most Recent Accomplishment:
While I didn't draw the previous challenge on that actual day, I was strategically planning for today's challenge. You see, I had to finish that tie dye dress.

Did I mention, it was all hand sewn? With french seams and in the loosest rayon fabric ever woven? For you fashion savvy readers, you know what I'm talking about. By the time I sewed my last stitch, I had full blown sewer's rigamortis in my fingers. But it was worth it. The tie dye reflects what I really am most of the time - just a west coast hippie.

Close up of my sewing job. Hand sewing straight stitches on this fabric was brutal:

My hippie dress:

Rendered using Faber Castell coloured pencils and pen:

Apologies for the dark photos here. It's night time and my house only has mood lighting. It's all very romantic; just missing a certain young lad *wink*

Let's see what tomorrow's challenge is...Draw a Comic? That could be interpreted in many ways. Tomorrow is also 6pm free yoga at the Yoga Barn. Did I also mention I love the word Free? Check out the 'Joe Cool and the F Word' post if you haven't already.

Tres bon et bonne nuit! A bientot!

Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Gummies Dancing to Departures

Tuesday December 27th, 2011; 21:31
Location: Ubud, Bali Indonesia
Why: Getting the munchies while watching Departures.

I have a confession.

Yesterday, I didn't draw my favourite TV show. Instead, I was busy sewing a tie dye dress. By hand. With french seams. It took me hours literally. By the time I'd stopped for the evening my fingers were spent.

So I gave them their beauty sleep and today, they blessed me with a wonderful 1st sketch and a 'meh' 2nd one.

Day 9: Draw My Favourite TV Show:
This was a toss up between the only two shows that ever mattered. After much deliberation, I decided since I am not a serial killer working for Miami Metro as a Blood Splatter Analyst, I couldn't exactly identify with this show as I do the other one. My awesome lil brother introduced me to this show that nailed what I've been contemplating for years. After one episode, I was hooked and inspired to achieve my goal: Travel for one whole year.

If you've been humming and hawwing the very same thing, please, please, please buy, borrow or download (kay maybe don't DL) this show. But at least borrow it.

Once you have watched it, do yourself a favour and buy a one-way ticket to somewhere far!

And if you're still contemplating, take a closer look within yourself. You know you want to do it. So, do it meow:

I am also so bloody proud departures is a Canadian show! Justin, Scott and Andre are amazingly humble which give an authenticity that is often lacking on other travel shows. Seriously, watch this show. And I will shamelessly plug their new series Descending. Going live sometime in January.

Hey Skinner and Bray (Brinner?!), if you guys are reading this, do I get any kick backs for plugging these two shows?

Moving on.....

Day 10: Draw My Favourite Candy:
This one was actually really tough. 1) I am a stoner. Yeah, that's right mum and all my past bosses who may be reading this. 2) I live in BC, where the world's best weed is grown. 3) I lived around the corner from the 7-11 in the West End. Do you know how many times I've walked in baked at midnight with the munchies? I'd always make a beeline for the 5cent candy section. Oh yeah, take me to the candy shop Fiddy.

Along with big foots, coca cola bottles, hot lips and ju jubes, this is also what I get:

Oh and Gummie Worms always make it into the party bag mix with my Dancing Gummie Bears:

Tomorrow's challenge is on a more serious note for me: Draw a Turning Point In My Life. But before I think about how I'm going to draw this, I must get back to my online french lessons.

I didn't tell you? J'apprends le Francais en ligne! Now if I can only figure out how to use the accent keys on this Thai keyboard.....

Sunday, 25 December 2011

Joe Cool and the F Word

Sunday December 25th, 2011; 18:48
Location: Ubud, Bali Indonesia
Why: A dog and a word. Word.

It's Christmas?! I almost forgot. It's actually quite refreshing. Bali is the only Hindu State in Indonesia so today is just a regular day. And I wouldn't want it any other way. Besides, everyday has been Christmas since I left Vancouver to traverse this side of the world.

So as just another day, I went about my daily routine of doing my draw-rings, cracking coconuts and scooting around on my Scoopy. Today, I went to Sayan with my Japanese neighbour Osamu to hear him play the piano at the posh Bali Wood Resort. This tucked away hideout was quirky and stunning.

The lounge area was a gigantic open space of opulence. Osamu is behind the piano on the left side:

After a rainy drive back to my village, I cracked open another coconut, threw in a mango and papaya. Et voila! Another Drink of the Gods.

Day 7: Draw My Favourite Word:
This one was kinda tough. I have so many favourites. While running them through my head, I was amused at the realization that I love four lettered words. Love. Dude. Yoga. Mont (my best mate's nickname). Sexy. Food. Ubud.

My friend Blair recently wrote on my FB wall: I love your life. It made think I love my life too. Why? 

Then, I finally settled on one that best described how I feel about my current life:

I love this word so much I went crazy!

While downing glass after glass of that nectar juice, I set to work on my next drawing. **Notices some ants in the drink. Drinks it anyway**   Hmmm, you can clean the backpacker but she's still a dirtbag....Ants have protein don't they?

Day 8: Draw My Favourite Animated Character:
Oh this one was fun! I have been enamoured by this dog for as long as I can remember. When I first got my Scoopy, I immediately thought of replacing the 'c' with 'n'. But the rental dude would not be amused so I settled for thinking 'Hey it's like if Snoopy and Scooby were gay for each other, they'd be Scoopy!' Ah-hahaha

Sketching the outline:

Putting some coloured pencils into action. Faber Castell, I heart thee:

Seriously, this beagle is thee Joe Cool:

Tomorrow's challenge is an easy one! But the day after is a bit harder. Wow, I'm on track! Funny how I thought I needed this mind mapping thingy to sort out my thoughts. My pencils and fingers have been sorting themselves out for me. I hope I haven't spoke too soon.

Thursday, 22 December 2011

Straight to the Drawing Board!

Friday December 23rd, 2011; 14:32
Location: Ubud, Bali Indonesia
Why: Best mates and princesses. All in a day's drawing.

I love how my hand and pencil is treating me today. Kay, so you know how yesterday I was going on about digressing and getting easily distracted?

Not today my friends. This gal is a drawing fiend right now. That's right, I am caught up on this 30 Day Drawing Challenge. I woke up this morning, had a lovely breakfast and conversation with Jasmine and went straight to the drawing board. Pun, definitely intended.

After a few hours, here is what I've churned out. **pats herself on the back for being focused**

Day 5: Draw My Best Mate:
This is my best mate, Monte. We have known each other for 13 years. Words cannot describe how much I love him. I've never known anyone who has understood me better than him. I've also never known anyone to get under my skin too!

Work in Progress. Please excuse the bad lighting, it is pouring rain today:

A bit of shading here, darkening some lines there. Et voila! Un dessin complet:

Boyaa!! Day 5 is done! I just realized I wrote Day 4 in the sketchbook...bah!

Day 6: Draw My Favourite Book Character; cannot be a movie:
This was so fun to draw! My favourite character is Elizabeth from the Paper Bag Princess. Written by my favourite children's book author, Robert Munsch. 

Love her so much I was Her for Halloween last year:

And here is the spunky Elizabeth:

Close up. Oops, Day 6, not 5:

So there you have it. Sometimes, I just don't understand the workings of my brain. But when it's working, it makes me happy.

The challenge tomorrow: Draw my favourite word. Gonna go for a walk for this one. In the rain.

More Draw-rings. And Distractions

Thursday December 22nd, 2011; 19:52
Location: Ubud, Bali Indonesia
Why: I may need to use mind mapping to stay on course...

So here's the thing, I'm living on Bali time. Ubud time to be exact. This 30 Day Drawing Challenge is already behind schedule. But wait!! I have an excuse. I'm still drawing everyday since I started this challenge, I just haven't kept to the schedule.

For anyone who knows me or if you've been following my blogs, you know I digress easily. My thoughts are always running wild. Usually about boys. And yep, still that same bloody boy! Gawd. I even emailed M.Feldman to help me with finding a mind mapping program so I can get my thoughts sorted out. I have a million and one ideas. You know those types of thoughts: "...and then, I'll do this. And then, I'll do that. And then. And then...."

Back to the Drawing Challenge!

Day 3: Draw My Favourite Fruit:
This one was also easy. I decided to have fun with it. I've been doing a lot of yoga lately and it's always on the brain - yoga and mangoes that is. Among a million and one other things...

Yoga and mangoes. Yangoes? Mang-om? Ah-hahaha. **slaps hands on knees and laughs out loud**

Day 4: Draw My Favourite Place:
This was a tough one. I have so many favourite places I couldn't decide. So I cheated a bit here. I actually drew this a few weeks ago. December 1st to be exact. Before this challenge; does it count?? On Day 4, I was actually drawing something else....

...but here is one of my favourite places in Ubud - up in the rice terraces if you keep going north on Jalan Andong:

So the other something I was drawing on Day 4 was happening at my favourite eatery, Warung Sopa. Does it count to be in one of my favourite places while drawing something completely off topic?

Madly sketching and thinking I should be drawing my favourite place:

Work In Progress:

Finished both left and right wing in one day! Yes, each side is slightly different:

Today is supposed to be Day 5: Draw My Best Friend.

Instead, I went to White Sand Beach with my friends. Does it count that my best mate's last name is White? I mean, I am thinking about him. It's just that the waves were distracting me.

Like, look at this! I didn't even try to pick up my pencil. Confession: I didn't even bring my pencil:

Gonna have to do double duty tomorrow: Draw the best mate. And Day 6: Draw My Favourite Book Character; cannot be a movie. No boy dreams for me tonight ):

Sunday, 18 December 2011

...And I Like to Do Draw-rings...

Monday December 19th, 2011; 10:31
Location: Ubud, Bali Indonesia
Why: Well you know my name is Simon...

My friend, sweet Sarah S is currently planning her epic World Beach Tour with her boyfriend. A.k.a., THE trip, she has been blogging about the preparations for THE trip.

In one of her entries, she wrote about a 30 Day Drawing Challenge. My ears and pencil perked up. Like her, over the years, I had become creatively uninspired as well. Granted, I did have bouts of immense creativity but they were sporadic. My day-to-day job of the past three years did not help - one of the main reasons I quit to go travel. And while I've had spontaneous drawing moments on my travels, this challenge could actually provide me with some, dare I say it, structure in my life. **gulp**

But I am always up for a 30 Day Challenge and doing new things! And I'm kind of an over achiever.

Day 1: Draw Myself. **another gulp**  I haven't done a self portrait since highschool.

But here is my first attempt:

I decided to ease into this portrait by looking out my window and then into a mirror. I didn't want to draw a straight forward portrait. I had spent five years in highschool doing that and had enough.

Day 2: Draw My Favourite Animal:
This one was easy. And great to draw. And quite appropriate as I look forward to 2012, the Year of the Dragon. My year!!

First draft. Drawing intently and enjoying every moment of it:

Second draft. Adding shade details:

Where do you think my dragon will go? Stay tuned:

Day Three's challenge: Draw my favourite fruit. Day Four: My Favourite Place.

Check back here in a few days and hopefully I'll have something for ya!

Maybe I'm plugging my friend, maybe not. But check out Sarah's blog:

Thursday, 15 December 2011

My Loved and My Loathed

Thursday December 15th, 2011; 14:57
Location: Ubud, Bali Indonesia
Why: More complicated beatings of my heart.

It is December 2011. I met you 13 years ago this month. An unaffected free spirit who left a burning desire in the depths of my being. You, always on the brink of being attainable if only for brief moments in our seemingly separate worlds. I knew you were dangerous for me. Like a drug I should stay away from. For if I had even a taste, I would want more.

And throughout the years, I took little bites. You always gave me just enough. A flower picked from your travels. Random late night calls which left that same burning desire. I always wanted more.

Then I found myself next to you half way across the country. The Universe had offered me the forbidden fruit. Suddenly it was abundantly available. And I knew it was dangerous. I didn't care. I needed my fix.

You were my muse and my admired. A molotov cocktail of all things good and bad. And I too, was your drug of choice. I felt it through your eyes.

All I pursued was inspired by your presence. You were my lover and my loathed. I loved you so much it was blissful. I loathed you so much it hurt.

You were my best friend and my arch nemesis. I revealed everything and nothing to you.

And while I am half way around the world, I find myself free from you but still addicted. You were that forbidden fruit and I knew better. I bit anyway.

Thursday, 8 December 2011

A Scoopy and A Davie

Friday December 9th, 2011; 09:22
Location: Ubud, Bali Indonesia
Why: My sweet Pink ride.

My first two weeks back in Ubud meant that I would need some form of transportation vehicle. It had been months since I drove a motorbike, Pai time to be exact. That was back in July. Since then, I'd been pedaling two wheelers with great joy in the countries I wandered into. And always with a front basket. A basket!

After I found my wonderful home in the tiny village of Nyuh Kuning, I also found a red bicycle to carry me around my explorations. A few days in, I quickly realized that the seat was hurting my nether regions. I thought, hmmm time to graduate to bigger and better things.

But I had paid for the two weeks already so I bit the bullet and endured moments of crushing discomfort in that nether region. Cycling to the Ubud Fitness Center was already a workout in itself, never mind the 5km run on the treadmill afterwards. I'd run outside but there are two things stopping me. First, I can't get up early enough for the cooler air. Second, if and when I did run outside during the day, the humidity just killed me. But I'm just making excuses.

One day, Jasmine, my house mate had seen me walking up in Penestanan Village, quite a ways from our home. I don't know if she felt sorry for me or realized it was time for me to get on a motorbike but she suggested I get on one. I was happy to oblige albeit the split second fear of crashing again. Remember back in Koh Tao? If not, check out that post:

A couple of days later, the sweetest lil Scoopy arrived at our house. Oh my!

Am I a kid in a candy store again? Absoluement! It was everything I needed in ma' ride - light, stylish, in excellent condition. And Pink!! With a matching Scoopy helmet. All so bubbiliciously yummy.

After a quick overview with Jasmine, we checked the fuel gauge. It was conveniently at almost empty. So Balinese. That meant I had to fill 'er up. So we fired up our engines for my first solo ride in months. Of course as soon as we hit the road, Bali's torrential rain came a' knocking on our helmets. It's still rainy season here. But fear not for I am fearless!

Jasmine's praise on my first ride was enough validation for me. Since then, I have been bombing around the villages on my scrumptious Scoopy, beaming from ear to ear in my daily routine.

How delicious is this scene? Like two peas in a pod:

Wanderings on my motorbike leave me with a sense of freedom. I don't even mind that my helmet is one size too big, it just allows for cool breezes to sneak through my hair.

Picking up my bed linens when I don't feel like walking up the street to get them. No biggie. **silently squeals in delight**

I may just have to invest in one of these cuties when I get back to Canada...Pink of course. With matching helmet, oh yeah.

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Couch Surfers and a Sunrise

Thursday December 8th, 2011; 11:02
Location: Ubud, Bali Indonesia
Why: What do early bird CSers get? Check it out!

Nadi Shaki Class + Veggie Nasi Campur = Muscles For Another Post baby!

As I was taking in the beautiful sunset with my new couch surfer friends and Magda the other night, we concocted a plan for a day trip to see a sunrise.

The plan: Jatiluwih-Mumbul-Bedugul-Munduk. With seven of us, it was going to be a big party.

Then there was only five. No worries, we thought, just go with the flow. So at the ungodly hour of 3:30am (AM!), Magda, Carol, Debbi and I made our way to our driver's van and off we went to pick up a non couch surfer, Kasha. Since it was still dark, I stole some more ZZZZs before anything worth seeing happened.

Along we drove, through winding bends, up and down the hillsides of Bali. Gorgeous.

Our first stop in Jatiluwih was upon a clearing where the morning sun tickled our weary eyes. As I have mentioned in my previous post, my lil digi-cam, while mighty and cute, could only capture a fraction of the beauty before us. But here is her attempt:

As the Bali Sun made her ascent into the new day, she cast a lovely glow on the mountains around us. It was amazing to watch the subtle colours evolve by the minute:

Saluting the sun as her reflection on the mountains morphed into a deep gold. Already, I am in love with the day and it's offerings:

Here is Magda capturing the morning magic with a much better suited camera:

One of the main reasons for this day trip besides capturing a sunrise, was to see the ultimate rice fields Bali has to offer. She did not disappoint. With the volcanoes and mountains serving as the backdrop, you couldn't make up this kind of magic, even with Dumbledore's wand.

It is harvest season. Hence the fields are not the famous lush green colour but light amber shade instead:

Meeting a local who happily obliged to a photo op:

As we marveled at the rising day and scenery before us, conversations about broken ankles (Carol is a doctor), travel stories and laughs abounded over cups of Balinese coffee and goreng goreng. Then we piled back into the van for more exploration. 

We came upon a promising hot spring but were met with disappointment. Instead, we got this delicious view, my favourite of the day:

So much colour and life. Breathtaking vistas. Mists in the mountains as we climbed higher and higher into the sky. It really was a special journey into the depths of Bali made even more special with my fellow friends.

Finally, it was time to put some food into our bellies. They had been filled with goreng goreng throughout the day and needed some real sustenance. After following a Cafe Tahu sign for 6km, we came upon said restaurant for all dishes Tahu (tofu).

Kasha was kind enough to snap this photo of the four couch surfers. L-R: Debbi, Magda, Carol, Me:

If you wanna meet great people on your travels, get on couch surfing! Even if you're not globe wandering, you can still get on CS and meet up with like-minded people (read: adventurous types) and make new friends. The world is smaller than you think. Maybe this is a CS plug, maybe not. But either way, Go Travel The World!!