Sketchbook Snippets

  In the the tiniest of bits and pieces of personal time, I have ever so slowly been creating sketches of our time in Asia. As I look through the photographs of our visit with cultures that are so magnificent,  ancient in their beginning;  people of so many complexions, traditional clothing and head coverings; the exotic blend of spices, flowers, trees, palms, heat, humidity; experiences I would never thought possible in my American life, they beg for documentation outside of photographs. 

Ancient shrines, holy temples, sculptures of deities and animals; sunset skies framed by darkening palm trees; wavering reflections in the ponds, lakes and rivers  bring a sense of calm....but it wasn't always so. These countries have long histories of territorial, turf wars, clashes and genocide.

 Woman to woman confidants; gossip, musings of daily life, sharing of sorrows, worries, grief; giggles, teasing and jokes are filled with the patience of sitting, sifting, sorting, selling.

Men carry umbrellas. Women carry umbrellas. We carry umbrellas, usually to ward off the rain; they to protect themselves from the relentless sun and heat. Clothing that is airy and light, let the breeze pass through to cool the skin.

Umbrellas large, massive, shadow producing, protecting, a place to sit and visit. 
In general the Asian populations have more time, or make more time to JUST BE.

 Singapore at Chinese New Year. The color of choice, RED. Red, crimson and garnet colored paper, plastic, silk lanterns with flying golden tassels, dance their way across the humid sky. At night they light up like a thousand fire flies. 

 In our home we hang these festive lanterns from our chandelier, doorways and along the windows of my painting studio. They makes us all smile serving as a reminder to "lighten up."

Asian cultures LOVE their puppets. Simple wood pulley toys for children to sophisticated cut out leather, hand painted paper and fabric, trims and embroidery. Some are found in museums a testament to their place in their cultural history.

Puppets tell stories. These three puppets were constructed from hand painted paper. They told a story that I could not read. But my imagination came forth with its own interpretation. 

So a little peak into my journal. It is a small journal, manageable, sketches to take the place of long narratives, just notes jotted down here and there. Pencil, pen, watercolor, colored pencils, charcoal...bits and pieces of collage fodder from Asia.

It will be fun to share more sketches with you, my friends.


  1. What an incredible visual journal and 'memoir' of your travels. The reds are stunning!! Love that you're sketching your memories!

  2. Sharon, I have not had many free moments this week so I haven't had a chance to respond to your kind emails but I am treating myself to your blog. These are stunning. Wow! The red lanterns are incredible, the puppets are adorable (love those colors), the women gossiping is so sweet, and the elephant and umbrellas are so fun. I love it all!! Someday I hope I will be able to treat myself to viewing your sketchbook in person.


Thank you for visiting my blog today. I appreciate the time you take to say hello. Warmly, Sharon