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Back from Bali

drawing figures sketchbook travel sketching urban sketching Sep 27, 2019

September 27, 2019

This was my first trip to Indonesia.  My journey to Bali was not a sketching trip, nor was it a teaching trip.  I did not travel solo as is my custom.  This was a spiritual journey, a journey to the land of a million temples.  As a young girl of six or seven, my daydreams were of walking quietly among multi-tiered, thatched roof temples to the sound of chanting and the scent of incense.  These daydreams began after seeing photographs of a temple ceremony in a giant book in my family library. As the years passed, my daydreams changed and I lost touch with that part of me.

For two weeks I vanished from my daily routines as an artist and allowed the people of Bali, the land and the temples to work their magic on me.  Over the next few months I will attempt to share bits and pieces of my experiences. 

I am grateful for my guide, Niurka, with whom I've been studying for the past two years.  I'm also grateful for the group of Americans and Canadians that shared this adventure. We were fortunate and honored to be invited into the inner temples to join in the prayers, regardless of our personal beliefs or religions.  We experienced a part of Bali not available to tourists. 

Toward the end of my journey I met a young Balinese man, also an artist, who invited me to his home to meet his family and to view his paintings.  I'll be bringing a small group of artists back to Bali, to his family compound, in September of 2021.  We'll be learning how to cook traditional Balinese food, have the opportunity to learn wood carving from a local artist, as well as many other unique experiences.  I'll be teaching daily drawing and painting classes. 

There was little time to stop and sketch. In many cases, it wouldn't have been appropriate to step out of the experience to capture it with pen and brush.  I now have a very valid reason to learn how to sketch and paint from photographs!  Hah!  We'll see how that goes.  I rarely, very rarely, work from photographs.  We'll see how it goes ...

Angel Statue in Ubud, Bali


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