Feb 19, 2012

Trust


Years ago my wife took me to Korea for the first time. She took me right to the Namdaemun market, probably because she wanted to shop. I was instantly drawn to the food stalls. My wife yelled at me and said to NEVER eat street food there. She usually tells me this in every country but of course, I don't listen. The first chance I got I made a beeline back to eat the street food. There are a lot of Blade Runner type outdoor stalls. They are all wrapped in big sheets of clear plastic. There are little space heaters and cookers that sort of keep the inside warm. I found one I wanted to draw, then sat down and ordered food. As the drawing took shape, people started to take notice. My back was to the clear plastic and the tiny street behind is only wide enough for a single person to pass. Suddenly I could feel lots of people directly behind behind me pushing in on the plastic to get a look. It started to get a little hairy. People inside the tent started to take my other drawings off the table and pass them around to everyone. At some point, A guy came into the tent and picked up one of my paintings. He didn't speak any English at all, so he just gestured that he was taking my painting. Off he went without a word. He strolled out of the tent and disappeared into the crowds. Ordinarily one might panic but not in Korea. The people are so trustworthy, that I didn't even blink. Sure enough, 5 minutes later he showed up. He placed the painting on my table, smiled and left. Then I went back to my painting and enjoying my street food, doing exactly what my wife told me not to do.

Feb 14, 2012

Namdaemun Market



It can get really cold in Korea. I was drawing on the streets in Namdaemun, which is an enormous outdoor market. There is a tiny alleyway with lots of little restaurants on eiher side. Ladies stand out in front and try to coax people in. A contest of sorts. The ladies can spot tourists and instantly tell if they are Chinese or Japanese. Then the ladies break in to those languages, begging people to come in and eat their food. They were very amused by me. The poor woman I drew was getting her balls broken by everyone else because of the drawing I did of her. We were all laughing. It was cold and I couldn't finish the painting in one shot. So I came back the following weekend to finish it. Lots of laughter when I showed up again. You can see in my 2 paintings how I left off and then how it looks done. All the old ladies on the street know me well in Seoul. Crazy.

Feb 5, 2012

Canson Paper


Recently Canson Papers send me a free sampling of their gorgeous drawing books. I have always been a huge fan of their papers and drawing books. Most of the watercolors I do are done on Canson cold press watercolors blocks. I was very surprised when Kimberly Bolduc, a manager at Canson sent me tons of free drawing books to try out. I felt I must be good at drawing if companies are sending me their stuff for no charge out of the blue. A celebrity endorsement of sorts. So I finally got to give them a trial run. Inside the War Museum in Seoul is a room that holds 3 ships. One is quite large. That is the one I drew and painted. The place was full of little kids. Many looked like they were on school trips. I became a big attraction. Everyone wanted to take photos with me. Doing my drawing started to become secondary. It's a real struggle but I don't mind. Some people lingered for a long time watching me. I was able to make the painting come out pretty good under the pressure of the circumstances. Notice how nice it looks on paper I didn't have to pay for.