Saturday, March 29, 2014

Shanghai Sketches

A big load of laundry in front of the Hanting Hotel. 

On a recent trip to China, I had daily adventures, wandering and cycling the streets of Shanghai. The streets were frenetic and full of life. Before I arrived, I had every intention of urban sketching on location but, in truth, I lost my nerve on those streets filled with people and vehicles of ever description. So I took lots of pictures on my iPad and then painted from those. Eventually, I found a few quiet gardens and parks where I gathered enough gumption to pull out my pens and paints. As seen from the painting above, people put all manner of loads on their bikes and motorbikes. I saw a three wheeled bike  with a full load of aquaria sloshing with goldfish and turtles along a busy main street. And then there was the guy with the load of styrofoam literally 10 feet tall and 8 feet wide. That bike looked like the size of a truck! Have bike, will haul!

Many stores and restaurants had red lanterns hanging outside. 

I discovered the lovely modern Square Park across the street from the rather thread bare People's Park. I ordered  lunch noodles for a little more than CAD $2, found a quiet bench in the part of the park where young couple go to smooch, and painted plein air. Park cleaners, a photographer and some labourers stopped to have a look. We communicated through charades but it was frustrating not to be able to have even a basic conversation. I must study more Mandarin!

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