I always enjoy returning to Utrecht especially on such a sunny day. I arrived very early and it was nice watching the city wake up. I sat by the canal, plugged myself in and sketched the pretty scene ahead. Later walked to the park and sat under a tree and sketched the passing cyclists with the Dom tower in the background.
I always enjoy visiting the Towner gallery when I’m in Eastbourne. I dropped off my cards (including my new Eastbourne card). Currently there’s a great exhibition: Designing the Everyday. Wonderful examples of Eric Ravillious designs for Wedgewood, Shell Posters and more recently the work of St Judes designers.
The Eastbourne tennis championships are on at Devonshire Park (next door). I enjoyed relaxing in the sunshine and watching the tennis players. I thought it would be a challenge trying to capture their movements.
I’ve just proofed a new linocut. I’ve referenced two drawings I made at a cafe in Hanoi. I wanted to bring together the best bits of each drawing. I really liked the patterns in the armchairs (looked quite Matissey to me) and the woman sitting by the window waiting for her friend to arrive. There was a musical theme evident with the many jazz records on the walls and an eye catching gramophone.
New Eastbourne card has arrived! Available to buy in my online shop.
Really enjoyed sketching from the hotel balcony in Saigon. The balcony didn’t seem safe and I was high up so I sat indoors with the door open and light streaming in. Earlier the next morning at about 5am there were people doing tai chi in the square. A little early to do another sketch though! Last day and we sat in a cafe and I sketched the traffic and passers by for an hour or so. Could have stayed here all day drinking coffee and sketching. An amazing trip. I’d love to return! I’ll be exhibiting many of these drawings and more at the St Annes Gallery, Lewes in September. Will be updating blog with more info soon.
Whilst in Saigon we took a trip to the Mekong Delta. Fascinating seeing life along the river. Great to weave around the floating markets and watch the local traders and sample the amazing fruit. Passed rice paddies and fish farms and stopped off to watch the production of sugar cane sweets. I enjoyed sketching the traders and people preparing food.
We flew from Danang to Saigon for the last stage of our trip. Immediately struck by the energy of the city. After settling in at the hotel we happily get lost walking through the alleys, passing street stalls and locals going about their daily routine. The old city still in evidence when we pass museums, government buildings and temples. Western influence is more noticeable here in the form of cafes, expensive designer shops, skyscrapers, malls and hotels.
On our second day in the city, we took a long and hot bus trip to the Cu Chi tunnels. As we were on the bus for a few hours (each way) I thought I’d take the opportunity to sketch people on the move. Many on their mopeds. It got a bit bumpy at times but fun to draw.
In the morning we stopped off at the beautiful Tam Giang lagoon and ate prawns freshly caught and cooked in garlic. Then we headed to the historical Hoi An. Once settled at our hotel, we walk to the old town. Very pretty with it’s many old Japanese merchant houses which are now tailor shops and bars/restaurants. More temples, pagodas and the lovely little Japanese bridge (built in the 1590’s) which I sketched whilst sipping coconut milk. It’s a modern day icon of Hoi An and even features on the 20000Dong note.
It’s much more laid back here compared with the hustle and bustle of Hanoi and Hue and so we hire a moped. Was great heading to the beach and rice fields. Also drove by the riverside which was once a port. I sketched the pretty buildings and boats lining the river. Also enjoyed sitting at the bars having a cold beer and occasional cocktail.