Finally I can share with you this drawing I’ve recently been working on. I’m almost embarrassed to say that this seemingly ordinary drawing took me over a month to finish (just few hours a week, after work, so don’t freak out yet)! Since I’ve boarded my new job, I’m ALWAYS late for my drawing lesson and it really frustrates me. On the other hand, this hexagonal vase is not easy to get the shape right. For me, it’s important to get the details accurately because it’s where the beauty lies. I feel even more so after my last trip to the Netherlands, seeing many amazing still lifes by masters like Pieter Clasez and Willem Heda. I’m very impressed by how they see beauty in daily objects and bring out their charm through meticulous care in composition, lighting, strokes, etc.
There’s no denying that it is the warmest winter I’ve ever experienced ( I don’t know how it is in other countries, it definitely is the case in Hong Kong.), so naturally even this year’s Chinese New Year has lost its charm being a jolly and festive occasion.
To me, the only way to boost the CNY mood a little is seasonal food and flowers. I bought this beautiful orchid at the Flower Market a few weeks ago, and it is now in full bloom under the unusually warm weather. As a ‘mini’ species, the flowers are so small that each is around the size of a fingertip, perfect for my equally mini home! I never miss a chance to sketch the flowers in my home, and I made sketches for this beauty with watercolor and color pencils to create two different styles of drawings. I love both the light and blurring watercolor and the details of color pencils. For me the challenge is to express the stripes on the petals naturally, so in the end I chose not to go too detailed.
I have also crocheted a sharp red motif and put my old flower painting on display, making this CNY holiday a quiet yet blooming one.
Is it too late to post a review of my 2016? I was just too busy in the last few days. I had a great year of exploration in art, not only being able to see some great works, I got to explore some new art forms myself.
One of my new loves is crocheting. I always wanted to try crocheting as my mom was really good at it (though she has put it aside for years). In August, I wanted a coaster for my dinning table and I thought why didn’t I just make one myself; I googled about it and made my first crocheted coaster, then I couldn’t get myself off the idea of learning more about crocheting. Later I found that there was a place where I can learn the Japanese style systematically, so here I am, taking a crochet course for beginners and happily doing ‘homework’ every week. The course is going to last for at least one year, and here I want to share with you a few of my recent works:
In the new year, I have already got a new target – embroidery! I don’t dream to create some complicated works, just hope to learn some basic skills to make some nice decorations sometimes! Wish me luck! I wish you a crafty and creative 2017 too!
最近忙得數個月沒有更新這裏，突然驚覺這一年快要完了，所以我要急起直追啊，免得到明年我還在寫2016的事! 其中一件 ‘忙碌’的事，是我在十月到了比利時和荷蘭旅行! 我最喜歡秋天的了，在這裏看著黃葉飄飄，滿地栗子和橡果，真正感到春華秋實的美好。
Things have been a little crazy (crazy but great) for me in the past months, so I can’t really find the time to share there here even though I want to so much! Since it’s almost the end of the year, I’d better catch up before 2017 comes!
One of the things I’d like to share is my trip to Belgium and the Netherlands in October, my favourite time of the year! It was the season where there were beautiful colors on leaves, and chestnuts and acorns everywhere.
難得到了荷蘭和比利時，我自然欣賞了很多我心愛的畫家的傑作。身處如斯美景當中，我有點體會到他們為何會靈感不絶! 我在Ghent的時候也想寫生一下，可是連草稿也沒有畫完，只留下一道畫到一半的橋。但藝術是有很多方式的吧，回來後我看著在旅程中拾到的栗子和橡果，就想到雕些印章! 我很喜歡這成品呢，看到它就回想這次秋天的旅程 (雖然手工還有待改進啦) !
I would say it was a very art-inspiring trip, because I could enjoyed the masterpieces of Van Gogh, Rambrandt, Rubens, and many many artists whom I truly admire. Now I think I understand a little more why they were so good, in such beautiful surroundings, they must be so inspired to capture these with their brushes. I too tried to do some sketches while I was in Ghent, but I did not finish it on the spot, now it’s just a half-done draft on my sketchbook.
I did try to express my love for the trip in another way though. I picked a few chestnuts and acorns on the street as my pieces of memories, and it inspired me to make some stamps. It’s not perfect, but I love it as it reminds me of the trip and the lovely autumn!
這小碟是在羊角村一間叫Lekkers & Zo Giethoorn的小店買的，我很喜歡呢!
P.S. I got the little blue dish in the photo in a shop called Lekkers & Zo Giethoorn at Giethoorn, isn’t it cute?
Last Wednesday I had a day all by myself, so I paid a visit to the Hong Kong Museum of Coastal Defense to see the recent exhibition “From Son of Heaven to Commoner – Puyi, The Last Emperor of China). Puyi has been king three times in his life, for most of the time he has been used and manipulated, a rather sad character in the Chinese history. The exhibition shows a little history and some goods Puyi used.
The museum itself is worth a visit too. Located up a hill and overseeing the harbour, the museum building was where the soldiers stationed and defensed. It played an important role especially in the Second World War, when the Japanese invaded Hong Kong. Visitors can see the forts, cannons, torpedo station in the old times.
堡壘大堂以前是士兵聚集的地方 The main lobby was an outdoor area for soldiers to have assemblies.
魔鬼山和鯉魚門 The Devil’s Hill and Lei Yue Mun
炮台面向鯉魚門，以前是戰略重地 A place of strategic importance because of its location
溥儀在獄中設計的字體 Some calligraphy styles Puyi created during his time in prison.
魚雷發射站 Torpedo Station
夕陽西下的筲箕灣漁市場 Shau Kei Wan fish market at sunset
我真是好喜歡蝸牛! 早前一輪下雨的日子，路邊、叢林都出現牠們的蹤影，看著牠們慢慢的前行、溫柔的吃樹葉，真是可愛! 所以我畫了牠們的樣子，一筆一筆畫那螺旋形的殼和花紋， 原來也很治癒。
Have I shared about my love for snails? In the consecutive rainy days earlier, there were always some snails moving or eating on the roadside or in the bush, and it really gave me so much fun to observe their slow and gentle movement. I made some drawings for them, and I cannot describe how relaxing it is in drawing their spiral shells.
As the autumn is coming, I will see you little buddies next year!
我還雕了一個蝸牛印章，那殼出來的效果還算滿意，只是周邊總是髒髒的。I’ve even made a rubber stamp of a snail, as I think its shell would look good. I’m quite happy with the result, though I really need to learn to keep the edge white and clean.
這個章是幾年前雕的，自覺進步了些少! The one below is made some years ago. I do think there is some improvement!
我沒有畫簿、畫具隨身，還好有一枝筆、一張紙! 有時候，原來要動筆畫後，才會發現重點。我畫對面兩幢大廈時，覺得它們很對稱，想畫出那種四四方方的感覺，看著看著，發覺那幾個街坊協進會的黑色書法粗體大字十分突出，配合粉藍粉綠的底色真是時尚! 這種直接在牆上寫的招牌在香港已買少見少了，之前在灣仔見過一些頗漂亮的，美觀又環保，比庸俗的LED招牌好得多了。
Yesterday I had a few hours’ window so I spent the time at a cafe in Yau Ma Tei. I was happy to be arranged with a table by the windows, which allowed me to have a nice view of Nathan Road, one of the busiest streets in the world. And of course I dug out the only pen and paper from my bag to make a quick sketch!
One may think what is to draw among this typical urban jungle, where all the buildings look packed and similar. Just look closer and you will see how people show creativity even in the smallest detail. Soon I decided to draw the two buildings right opposite to me, for their symmetrical style, then I was attracted to the Chinese calligraphy writings on the wall. The big black writings with beautiful lines stand out from the pastel walls, showing style in the most boring place.