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Toronto 2013, Part 4

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On Friday after having lunch with one of Olwen’s friends, Cheryl, we dropped by Paintlounge in Markham which was owned by another friend of Olwen’s, Norris.  Olwen thought it would be good for me to try out some traditional painting before we met up with another friend that evening.  When I started out, I had no idea what I was supposed to paint.  I started with a recollection of Olwen playing with Caitlyn in her mini-jungle gym in Jeremy and Olga’s newly turfed yard amongst a backdrop of trees.  Eventually, those details proved to be precise given the the brushes I had so the painting ended up having a life of its own.  In the end, I think I was happy with the result.  There’s just something about the experience of using traditional media that you can’t quite duplicate with digital; the lack of an undo button, the mess, and the smell of the paint seem to enrich the experience since the final product is a lot more tangible than a bunch of pixels.  Alright, enough of the romantics, moving on…

Saturday was wedding number THREE starring our friends Apple and Darrin who live in Hong Kong but celebrating their wedding in Toronto with friends and family.  For their reception, they had a costume party along with photographers.  I thought I was the only one who had a full-sized bear costume for his own wedding…

Sadly, our trip was just about over.  We did get a nice surprise in the morning when we were awoken by a squealing mini-batgirl.  I’m gonna miss that terrible two-year old…

Toronto 2013, Part 1

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Lots to update on, so I’m going to split this up into separate posts.  Just got back from a week in Toronto visiting friends and family.

This is my fifth time visiting, but this was the first time that I was bringing a sketchbook.  There was a moment when my mother-in-law, I call her “Ah-Ma”, asked me why I sketched all the time.  At the time, I told her that I was doing it for practice, and trying to get better at my craft, but for some reason, that answer didn’t feel quite accurate to me.  When I later reflected on that conversation, I realized that the real reason was because it helped me to have a new outlook at what was before me.  I never thought about how sketching forces me to be more observant about the things in front of me, how it causes me to sift through the vast amount of visual information in front of me to get to what Walt Stanchfield calls the “first impression”.  And it helps me to see the story that’s behind every seemingly insignificant gesture or moment whether it be someone stirring their coffee, a couple having a conversation, or a weathered shipping yard; there’s always an individual backstory to everything and everyone.

So here were some of the moments that I managed to capture, some accurately, some not so great.  Regardless, what I would’ve expected to be a routine family visit turned out to be rich with enjoyable moments and little surprises.


Sketch dump

A little late, but congrats to Sung Hon and Cola for tying the knot!

I got back from spending this last weekend with the in-laws in Vancouver for a wedding of their family friends.  Usually when I am with them, it usually ends up becoming a Chinese lesson with me providing the laughs as I struggle with my broken Cantonese.  Here are some of the notes.

A weekend in Maui

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Just got back today from a 5-day trip from Maui for Albert and Min’s wedding.  A few sketches from the trip…