Sunday, 9 October 2016

New Friends and Chinese Parks


Before I left for China, I put a post on Facebook, looking for sketchers based in Beijing. The Chinese people can't access Facebook, but non-Chinese visitors sometimes can. That was how Julia and I came to meet up with Aimee and Melissa in a Beijing café, the day after we flew in. We had a lovely chat about sketching and I painted them to record the moment:


Melissa had brought a copy of my Sketching People book for me to sign: the slightly elusive Far East edition, published by Page One. Page One has a bookshop in Beijing, which was where Melissa found it, so we all went to see if they had more copies. They didn't, though Julia found a mandarin edition of her Lovely Old Lion. Aimee tried to order Sketching People. This seemed to be very difficult for some reason, even though she spoke Mandarin. So she bought Lovely Old Lion instead.


After that, Julia and I ventured into a local park. I LOVE Chinese parks. There are always so many different things going on. One thing you are almost always going to see is men playing cards. Just next to them, a woman was feeding the fish. These were not the diddy, wimpy little English-style goldfish, but enormous coy in red, black, yellow and white. They were jumping over each other, fighting for the food. I got out my watercolours and did my best:


Julia took photos of the people who gathered behind me to watch as I sketched. One old lady edged nearer and nearer until she was almost sitting on my shoulder!



We had a bit of a wander and discovered a group of gardeners. It was hard to work out what on earth they were doing: 5 men crouched down on the grass together. When we got closer, we could see that they were weeding: pulling individual sprouts of bamboo from the grass. I started to sketch, but by then they were ready to move on. I caught the essence though.



We could hear someone singing somewhere, so followed the music until we came upon this lady. She was singing along to recorded Chinese music. We sat down next to a couple of other people to listen to a few songs, as I sketched. All of a sudden, Julia and I both recognised a tune. It was a peculiar, Chinese variation, but it was definitely Auld Lang Syne! To people's general bemusement, we started to sing along in English. Then we linked crossed hands with the other two people there, to show them how we to sing it at New Year.


After all that sketching, we decided we deserved a cup of tea. We were also in search of a sit-down loo. Which was why I didn't stop to sketch the deportment lesson we passed - about 20 ladies all dressed in their best, practising very erect walking, in a circle around a teacher who was occasionally shouting out corrections.

Just outside the park gates was a big restaurant. It was a bit of an in-between time so, apart from the staff and several tanks of large, rather miserable looking fish, waiting to be dinner, it was entirely empty. No matter - they had a comfy toilet. It took a bit of doing, but we managed to order tea and cake: an entirely random choice, since everything was new and different.



The tea came with glasses and looked like whiskey. The cakes were delicious: slightly chewy with soft, coconut centres. It took all my willpower to hold off gobbling the last of them, until I'd made a sketch. 

14 comments:

Candy Gourlay said...

How on earth did you manage the Chinese characters?

Candy Gourlay said...
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Julia Jarman said...

You're not the first to be impressed by Lynne's Chinese writing, which doesn't just look good, despite or because of being done swiftly like her sketches She was told it was accurate and people could read it! What a woman!

Lynne the Pencil said...

Shucks Julia!

I just copied them Candy, the way I would copy a picture. I was amazed that people could read some of the ones I did in a very 'general' way! When you don't know what you are looking at, you don't know which elements are important, so I guess I got lucky.

Jerry E Beuterbaugh said...

May we display your header here on our new site directory. As it is now, the site title (linked back to your home page) is listed, and we think displaying the header will attract more attention. In any event, we hope you will come by and see what is going on at SiteHoundSniffs.com.

Julia Jarman said...

I thought these cakes were like doughnuts fresh from the deep fat fryer. Delish! I ate more than Lynne because she was busy drawing them and I am now paying the price in extra kilos. Yes kilos.

Lynne the Pencil said...

Definitely Jerry. The more publicity the better. :-)

Lynne the Pencil said...
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Lynne the Pencil said...
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Lynne the Pencil said...

Ha ha ha - that'll teach you, piggy Jarman :-D
Mind you, I am also a tad porkier than when we began.

Candy Gourlay said...

And do you know what they say?

Candy Gourlay said...
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Lynne the Pencil said...

Nope! Dangerous business :-D

Jerry E Beuterbaugh said...

Thank you so very much for giving permission. Aside from the All category and the slideshow on the Home page, you can see your header under Fine Arts, Literary and the United Kingdom.