New Drawings

I’ve been working on some new stuff, using ink washes for shadow. Hoping to apply to more stuff soon… Here are some of the results:

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There will be more soon, as I work on a few different ideas, so keep the occasional eye out here.

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If you aren’t already, you should be reading FreakAngels, every Friday. Written by Warren Ellis and beautifully illustrated by Paul Duffield, and it’s free. 6 pages of full colour goodness every week. Go now and read from the start.

Notes and news

So, it’s been a while since the crazy weekend of bus and general madness. This week’s been pretty quiet and I’ve been getting a lot done. Some of it work, some of it plans and arrangements for when I leave, some of it just drawing and playing with ink.

The previous week was just me and the office boy hanging out, while the rest of the office was in Jogja having an annual meeting with the producers of their products. We didn’t do a whole lot, but it was good and relaxing. I got a surprising amount of useful work done, especially clarifying a few things for the project in my mind. Basically, I’m feeling a lot more on top of things, which is good, given that I only have a couple of months left.

Sometimes, I wish I could take photos on the bus. You see some of the weirdest things, but they go flashing by. One example, which I must have gone past 50 times without noticing, is a strange little area at a huge intersection. There’s solid concrete walled compound on one corner (not sure what’s in there). Right in the corner, next to the road, you can see a small area where people live within this compound. Right there is a person sized hole busted through the concrete at ground level. Above the hole, graffitied on the wall, with an arrow pointing to the hole, is the word “Warung”, which is basically a small eating place*. So, you can crawl through a hole busted into a concrete wall for a quick meal if you feel like it. You’d hope it’s cheap for the mode of entrance, though given Melbourne’s definition of an exclusive/cool bar, the more hidden and difficult to get to the better, so who knows. I’ll try to get a photo…

The other one today was Radio SBY. This is another I’ve gone past countless times and did think a little odd at first. SBY is shorthand for the president of Indonesia, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono. So, the president has a radio station, or a station named in his honor. Fair enough. He has an album of love songs, why not? Strange thing is, the station’s frequency is 666, which I suppose may not have any significance for Muslims (or me for that matter). Still weird though.

*Warung is an incredibly flexible word. Wartel is a little place where you can make phone calls, warnet is a small net cafe, etc.

Right. Do I have any decent drawing I haven’t posted here yet? Of the ones that I’ve scanned…

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And, a small portion of Jakarta from the top of a  mall.

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The Groping and the Rooster

When I turned up to work on Friday morning, I was told that I have to be at work at 7am on Saturday, to go to Bogor for a tree planting ceremony for Fair Trade Day. Friday night happened to be one of the rare occasions I was actually going out for a drink with people, which I was looking forward to a great deal. Getting up around 6am after Fri night drinks wasn’t ideal, but I was keen to check out Bogor and it sounded like it would be fun (which it was).

On the way to the drinks, I had some trouble on the bus. Basically, I needed to get to an obscure little stop on a line that I use frequently. The strangeness started when (as usual) I had to change buses and there was a huge, packed crowd, waiting to get on the next bus. This is all standard fare, but what was not so standard was the hand on my arse while waiting. At first, I wasn’t sure if I was imagining it, or if it was something else on my butt, then I leaned a little forward to get away from it. Lo and behold, it moved with me! I was still a bit miffed, but when I felt some distinct finger movement, my suspicions were confirmed.

Now, to see if I can find the perpetrator… No. It was so crowded I could hardly move to see, but I think it may have been the small middle-aged woman with the shopping bags.

So, after the groping and finally getting on the bus, it skips the stop I need to get off at, which is right at the start of the line. The bus is so crowded I can’t get off and I’m not sure if it’s just taking a slightly different route, so I stay on. Till the end of the line. Then all the way back, making what should’ve been an easy 45min trip 2 hours long, stressful and tiring.

When I did finally get there, it was a lot of fun. The drinks were unusually reasonably cheap, so I got my first scotch in about 4 months. The company was great and a band started half way through, who were doing old cover songs pretty well. The animated guy with the fancy mullet type haircut was a highlight.

I was awoken briefly just before 4am on Sat morning by a weird sound. It sounded like someone outside my room whispering hoarsely, like something out of a horror movie, someone trying to freak me out. I lay and listened a little more, wondering when the scratching or the axe through the door would come. The cadence was familiar. I realised that it was actually the rooster across the street, trying to do his morning crow, but he had no voice. It’s impossible to adequately describe; sad and creepy are a start. It just kept going. Eventually, it stopped and I drifted back to sleep til my 6:15 alarm.

::Bogor::

The work trip was quite fun. The place we were heading to was actually a property that my work owns, about an hour out of Bogor, or 2/3 from Jakarta. It’s a nice little plot in the hills where they’re planting various useful fruit trees and others that used in making some of the products.

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The people from my work are very nice and we just hung out there for a while, did some planting and took some photos.
On the way back, we stopped off at the palace gardens in Bogor and took some photos, which you can see here.

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Saturday night and Sunday have stories too, but it’s too much to get into for now.

Happenings

This week has been a surprisingly productive one, with today being the exception. I fixed a few things that had been bugging me and started work on some new stuff. Next week may be a different matter, when all the staff are out of the office for the week.

Tonight is a rare one for me in Jakarta; heading out for a drink. This morning I was told that I need to be at the office by 7am tomorrow to go to a tree planting thing out at Bogor for Fair Trade Day, a couple of hours away. Should be fun, though getting up before 7 will not be.

I’ve been getting more time for art and drawing recently and am getting back into it, trying to work towards a couple of things. Here’s a few of the newer ones, with more on the way soon.

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My brother has a new site, with some of his newer works up there. He has mad skills, you’d be advised to check it out http://www.fred-fowler.com/. I’ll pimp his new exhibition soon too.

The Best

I just got back from what was an amazing little holiday with Sunaree in Bali. We spent most of our time at a beautiful little spot in North Eastern Bali called Amed, chilling out, snorkeling and eating great food. We also hung out in Sanur a few nights with my friends Yvette and John, and one night in Ubud, catching up with Nina and Ollie.

Working backwards, because I’m exhausted and can’t think properly, yesterday was huge and bitter-sweet. After 2 perfect days, I had to rush off to the immigration office to sort out my visa.

It’s been a crazy time since getting back to Jakarta. We had one day together, relaxing and had a great night going to the movies and eating sushi. Monday, I unfortunately had to run off to the immigration office to try to sort out my visa, leaving Sunaree alone for most of the day, before coming back and taking her to the airport. There’s a long story behind the visa thing which I won’t bore you with.

Our last day in Bali was even nicer, though somehow I managed to forget to charge the camera, so no shots of the beautiful sunset dining on the beach, the seafood extravaganza (©Fred Fowler), the boats, the lights, the planes or the horde of strangely dressed, excited Chinese tourists doing funny poses.

Now for things I did get photos of: monkeys in Ubud. Yes, though we wanted to ride bikes down from a crater-lake nearby, time was not on our side, so we went to the Sacred Monkey Forest instead. The name was not just symbolic, but very representative. Monkeys everywhere chasing each other over sacred temples in a forest. So great.

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Ubud is a really nice town and I’d like to go back, since we only really had a day and a half there. Galleries and art on sale everywhere, lots of things happening and I kept hearing about things that I’d like to do, but didn’t have time for. The only annoying thing is not being able to walk anywhere without 2 guys asking you if you want a taxi. It’s not that big a town and there’s lots of stuff to look at while you walk. Nobody takes them, why do they try so much? It boggles the mind.

Prior to Ubud we had a lovely few days in Amed in a beautiful little resort type place built in traditional style with local materials. It was also right on the beach, where there was good snorkeling, so we spent a lot of time doing that and just relaxing. Tip; black sand beaches are scorching hot in the sun. Feet will burn.

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So, there’s the very brief rundown of the trip I wrote earlier in the week, but only just finished. Since then, I’ve been back at work, had a day off for Christ’s ascension and  am about to head back to the immigration office, to pick up my passport, hopefully with a shiny new stamp in it.