Sunday, June 30, 2013

46 Ananda Cottages at dusk

46 Ananda Cottages (dusk - 4 May 1997)
pencil in sketchbook
copyright Katherine Tyrrell

In 1997 I went on my second painting holiday to Bali. I first stayed in Bali in 1992 on a painting holiday organised by Spencer Scott for The Artist magazine

We were so impressed with the place that five years later, the artist and his wife arranged another painting holiday as part of the overseas painting holidays they offer (details at end).

We stayed again at Ananda Cottages on the northern outskirts of Ubud. It's located in the rice paddies and is far enough outside Ubud (about 25 minutes walk) to be very quiet and peaceful.

This is a pencil sketch of my room done just as dusk was starting to fall. There's no glass in the windows - just split cane blinds. Outside the rooms is the most amazing lush vegetation.

I remember being quite jealous of other painters who were on the ground floor with the open air bathrooms! It's a very memorable place to stay and still seems to be very popular with its guests

Bali Accommodation

Sunday, June 09, 2013

Ary's Warung in Ubud, Bali

I thought while I'm waiting for my new glasses, I could post some of my sketches from a long time ago.

 More to the point - I've never posted my sketches of Bali as a series!

The Japanese waiting for a plane
Ary's Warung, Ubud, Bali
5 May 1997
pencil in Daler Rowney hardback black sketchbook
copyright Katherine Tyrrell
I've still got my sketchbook notes of my stay in Bali in 1997 and this is in fact the last day and very nearly the last sketch.

This was morning and lunch on the last day.
5th May 1997 Taxi down to masseur (Metari). Bought shirt for J and T shirt for me. Changed money.  Thai calamari salad, lemon grass tea and white cocolate cheescake at Ary's Warung.  Sketched interior.  
Venice has Harry's Bar and Ubud in Bali has Ary's Warung.

Looking at what it's like today, I'm rather glad I visited it back in the 90s before it introduced chrome and the starched linen!  It looks as it's changed a lot.

Back then it was cane, cane and rattan on the verandah which contrasted with the lush greens of vegetation outside where I sat, watching the world go by.  There was a constant stream of customers - although some waited rather longer than others such as the Japanese couple in the centre of this sketch who were obviously killing time before the journey to the airport.

This is what I wrote when I first posted on Making A Mark about this place
I sat in Ary's Warung on the main street in Ubud in Bali and started to draw some people while I had a pot of their lemon grass and ginger tea. And it just turned into one of those sketches where you order another pot of tea and then lunch as your sketch keeps creeping across the page until every last bit is filled. People came and went - which was a bit of a challenge - and the Japanese couple with their suitcases that I had started sketching originally finally left for the airport to catch their flight.MAKING A MARK: Ary's Warung 27 April 2006

What I do remember - across the years - is the lemon grass tea.  I think it had a sliver of ginger in it as well.  When I think of Bali now I think of the lemon grass tea - and I've never been made able to make it the way I had it there.  Must be something to do with the freshness of the lemon grass....

I'll see if I can get my sketches about Bali posted before I get my new post-operative glasses at the beginning of next month - at which time sketching can return to normal.

Address: Ary's Warung, Jl. Raya Ubud Kedewatan, Ubud, Gianyar, Bali 80571, Indonesia
Contemporary Reviews of Ary's Warung on: Trip Adviser | Lonely Planet | Frommers.

You can see other sketches from this particular travel sketchbook on my website at:
You can also see other sketches from different places in the Travels with a Sketchbook galleries on my website "Pastels and Pencils".

Thursday, June 06, 2013

Cheese and biscuits at Fortnum & Mason

Yesterday I went to the Royal Academy of Arts for the press view of the Summer Exhibition - which opens to the Friends' Private Views tomorrow and to the Public on Saturday.

Cropwell Bishop Stilton with Chutney And Fortnum’s Cheese Crackers
pen and ink and coloured pencils, 8" x 10" in Moleskine Sketchbook
copyright Katherine Tyrrell
 I have an annual tradition of crossing the road to Fortnum & Mason for a bite to eat after the exhibition.  One of the things I love about the Gallery Restaurant is it never matters what time you turn up - they have a menu for it!  (see the end for information about opening times and links to menus).

I had their Table d'Hote Lunch which gave me a breather between the Summer Exhibition and the Wildlife Artist of the Year Exhibition run by the David Shepherd Foundation.  It turned into a bit of an investigation of eyesight and sketching.

Sketching as eyesight testing!

I think I overloaded my eyes with visual information in the morning because I found it very difficult to sketch over lunch.  I started four but couldn't make much progress.  However I did learn something which will be helpful when it comes to prescription glasses.

First I think my eyes were crying out for a rest from looking!  I'm thinking it must be quite a lot for the brain to adjust to when you change vision very quickly (see Day surgery sketching at Moorfields Eye Hospital and Postoperative checkup at Moorfields Eye Clinic). 

 When I sketched at the post-op clinic last week, it was in the morning and I'd not been "looking" beforehand and my eyes were more rested - and as a result there were few problems sketching.  This time I'd spent a long time looking at lots of art in a fairly intent way during the morning and my eyes would have been very tired in any case - even if they hadn't had a recent operation.  Constant switching of focal length is very tiring even if your eyesight is perfect. However my experience yesterday was worse than usual (see a comparable lunch post Summer Exhibition)

Second, I know I was having problems with switching between  viewing the art on the walls and reading my catalogue with the "make do" magnifiers  I'm using while I wait for proper prescription glasses.  That problem will be resolved by having the right prescription - round about the beginning of July.

The view from my table
Gallery Restaurant, Fortnum & Mason 5 June 2013

pen and ink and coloured pencils, 8" x 10" in Moleskine Sketchbook
copyright Katherine Tyrrell
I found it much easier to sketch the cheese and biscuits than I did the scene in the restaurant.  You can see that sketch on the right.  I think it's very "sketchy" but not in a good way!

The cheese and biscuits were probably much easier because the sketchbook was parked in front of the plate of cheese and biscuits and my eyes didn't have to adjust constantly for different distances

In the end I decided the problem with the sketching in Fortnum & Mason was probably down to:

  • having to constantly switch between distance vision for viewing and near vision for reading during the morning and 
  • not yet having the correct prescription glasses for the right distance.

It did also make me wonder whether reading glasses or computer glasses would be best option for sketching.

As a result I've decided I'm going to take my sketchbook with me when I go to get my eyes examined for my new prescription glasses!  Then we can measure out the length between eyes and sketchbook!

A cheeseboard
from a previous visit

Links to previous sketches at Fortnum and Mason:

NOTES re. Venues

Royal Academy 245th Summer Exhibition 10 June — 18 August 2013
In the Main Galleries, Burlington House, Piccadilly
Sponsored by Insight Investment

Fortnum and Mason: The Gallery Restaurant, Ground Floor (overlooks Food Hall)  - entrance via Food Hall
Morning: Monday to Saturday 10am to 12pm | Menu (also applies in the afternoon)
Lunch: Monday to Saturday 12pm to 5pm; Sunday 11:30am to 5pm | Menu
Afternoons: Monday to Sunday 3pm to 6pm | Afternoon Tea Menu