Like munching on a big bok choy, seeing the world from a different point of view is something I savor. So in addition to the amazing use of back-painted glass and other decorative glazing examples, I thought I’d share a few of my sketches from China that shows the unique experience I had during my recent trip in the Shanghai area.
MOONCAKES: It is mooncake time! As is the tradition of the Mid-Autumn Festival in China, many places were selling beautifully boxed mooncake gift sets. While most of the Chinese I traveled with claimed not to be fans of mooncakes because they were “too sweet”, I didn’t feel the same. Most have different fillings, and I became a fan of the red bean filling – which was very sweet and creamy. But the boxes were great…with cakes tucked within tins hidden inside compartments nestled in elaborately decorated boxes. Alas, I knew it would irritate me to try to bring one of the gift boxes on a plane; so I just drew one.
AWESOME MOVIES: I have a weakness for kung-fu movies, and I got to see a 2010 classic by the name of “True Legend“. It was directed by Yuen Woo-ping, who was the fight choreographer for “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” and all the Kill Bill films. It’s a crazy story about a Wu-Shu martial arts boy named Su, who may also be the world’s worst dad to a child named Little Feng, that defeats his brother-in-law who embodies the evil Five Venom Fists. You know how sometimes you watch a movie and you already know how it’s going to end or where it’s going far in advance? That was never a problem with this film. It was truly fantastic with a high camp value. As a bonus, the late David Carradine and the always beautiful Michelle Yeoh made brief cameos.
STARING POLICY: China doesn’t have one. As a tourist in their country, I get stared at a lot. I’m very, very pale and know very little of the language, so I agree; I warrant some staring. I also get stares in the more rural areas for having painted toenails (not all that common), or for sketching in public. It is worth noting that in China it’s not considered rude to stare at something about which you’re curious. It’s not hostile or offensive,…it is simply observant. This guy happened to stare at me over breakfast one morning,….so naturally, I took the opportunity to stare back a bit and drew him and his beautiful blue shirt.
Do you keep a sketchbook or diary when you travel? While I do feel a little exposed baring some of my private sketchbook with you here, I hope it might inspire you to keep a more personal account of your unique experience the next time you go abroad. It is well worth the time to be able to look back later and savor the more intimate or unique moments of your journey.
Meanwhile, I’m traveling in Chicago,…probably sketching some more!