This is where I share a mix of my illustration and a touch of pretty things and places I've discovered in my day.

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Friday, November 25, 2011

Introducing unrouxly kids!

It's so rewarding drawing with kids. Their drawings makes me laugh and inspires me. A lot of time the kids don't get what makes their drawing special and I quess that's part of the charm.
Teaching Taiwanese kids English has very definite ups and downs and drawing together is defintely an up! Apart from the normal English as a second language classes I teach illustration at my house as well as a little growing class I have at a school.
These drawings were all done by kids around 6 years old and I loved their expression and interpretation. It's amazing how their drawing ability just comes naturally and how everyone seems to lose it when they get older. I don't believe it for one second - everybody can draw - it's just comparing with the Jones's that gets in the way!
Keep an eye on my unrouxly kids page on facebook for more from these unruly kids.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Backpacking sketchbook 3: Luang Prabang.

Luang Prabang is just one of those places that you'll love. Thanks to the mix of French and Lao culture the town is filled with beautiful architecture, Art deco and colonial buildings built with immense amounts of wood. Good food - wonderful baquettes, noodle soups, good coffee, wine, a bit of that air that just the French can add to a town and then there's the Lao people. So sincere - you can see people's genuine good wishes when greeting strangers. Friendly open faces filled with happiness.

The first morning we awoke to beautiful sounds drifting into our room. There was a local omie playing a khim - a traditional instrument - on his stoep across the road. The khim has 42 strings and is played with two flexible bamboo sticks with soft leather at the tips to produce a soft tone. Lovely soothing, exotic and a good introduction to Luang Prabang.

We ate breakfast in the mornings next to the Mekong, strolled around avoiding tuk-tuk drivers saying "tuk-tuk-tuk-tuk-tuk-tuk" every time you passed them by. We went swimming in the waterfalls and looked forward to dinner daily in one of the many awesome restaurants around. I loved drawing with some of the local kids - without talking a word to each other we understood exactly what we were doing. Such a great universal language!

We learned that there was a big festival coming up and decided to lay low, rest and stay to join in the festivities.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Backpacking sketchbook 2: Vientiene. Breathe out.

It was such a relief arriving in Vientiene. First of all meeting up with our friends and travelling companions who we haven't seen for ages, secondly the pace of Lao. Things move slooowly and I was desperate to chill out after a hectic year of adapting to Chinese culture, teaching and the pace of life in Tapei compared to Cape Town. Thirdly the food. Sigh. Wonderful spicy beef salad, green papaya salad, french baquettes, hot lipton tea with sweetmilk, lao coffee, beer lao and so much more.

We spend a day or so catching up, eating, drinking and hanging around. The guesthouse had a lovely balcony with a view over the temple across from the road. It was run by a student as well as a dog. The dog looked cool. I first slowly stretched over that he can smell my hand - he looked ok, and then I patted him. I mean there are obviously people coming in and out all the time - it's a guesthouse. Then the dog bit me! "OUCH!" I said. "Did he bite you?" The student said. I said yes. "It's a very bad dog" he said. So that makes things ok? Right. Nice to be in a place where things are accepted for what they are I quess.

Okay off we go then, on to the next stop.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Backpacking sketchbook 1: First stop Kuala Lumpur

After a hectic busy time our holiday finally arrived. Armed with my new camera, drawing pens, sketchbook and alot of relief we flew to Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia. We liked it. The diversity of the country is something that is very appealing as a South African living in Taiwan. Taiwan is very much one culture. One food style, one language, one big force (there are a few subcultures and languages but they are still more similar and still function as one nation) So the mix of Malay, Chinese and Indian was a breath of fresh air. I loved encouterering some Afrikaans words originating from the Malay language - I spotted a few: piesang, inspirasi, pos, bagasi - I'm sure there are plenty more floating around. We didn't do much exploring - but relaxed with great company, a bit of drama and a good meal - ready to fly to our next destination the next day.