Thursday, March 29, 2012

A visit to Tel Aviv

distant view from the sea wall

Went to Tel Aviv today. My husband got wrapped up in the idea of visiting Old Jaffa, an ancient port city that was eventually incorporated into Tel Aviv proper in 1950. We didn't get around to going the first time we were in Israel and seeing as we had a day off, now was as good a time as ever. 

After coaxing ourselves out of bed this morning, we rode an hour on the train into the city, navigated our way through the bus terminal shortly after arriving and eventually ended up in the old city. It felt very much like 'Akka except on a slightly larger scale. We explored for a bit, ran into some people we knew, had lunch and then prepared to head back to Haifa. Although not quite intending to we ended up at the Azerali mall after catching a different bus back to what we thought would be the bus station. It was nice detour though, did some window shopping and rested a bit at CafeCafe. Something else to cross off my list of things to do.
enjoyed a lemon/passion fruit granita

Monday, March 26, 2012

A view from Ben Gurion Ave

a view from Ben Gurion Ave by moody_e
a view from Ben Gurion Ave, a photo by moody_e on Flickr.
I spent a small part of my afternoon off sitting on one of the ledges on Ben Gurion Ave, one of streets that always seem to be busy with activity from hotels and restaurants and the like, and sketched a bit. Felt I should have done more in the time I spent but when I'm working with pen and I don't have much going on, what's the point in going quickly?

I did get a couple of looks and comments from people passing by, mainly from high schoolers who had just gotten off of class and were waiting for the bus. This time at least, I thought it nice to be noticed.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Adebanji Alade

Adebanji Alade is an artist from the UK who does a lot of portraiture but has been known to paint landscapes and frequently sketches others on the tube. I first became familiar with some of his sketches via the Urban Sketchers website, as I have with many other artists that have inspired me to think more about sketching on location. He recently created a post about tips on sketching people on public transport and about sketching in general.

One is acknowledging your uniqueness. Not everyone will draw the same, so do it often until you become yourself. It's fine to get inspiration from others but sometimes comparison can get in the way.

Feel good about what you've done and accomplished but don't be complacent, continue to strive. On the same token, if you look at what you've done and feel bad, don't let that stop you. Acknowledge where you are and keep going. There's no point in berating yourself.

There are also other things like trying to get an overall feel of a scene and to not necessarily get so caught in the details.

Even when you're really passionate about something there are moments when you wonder: what am I doing?  Dear readers, are there any rules or other things you try to keep in mind when trying to stay motivated?

Tuesday, March 20, 2012


Went out walking during my lunch hour. I've since moved from the Midwest to the Middle East, temporarily at least. Back in Haifa, Israel to serve at the Baha'i World Centre. Interestingly enough it's warmer back home than it is here at the moment. Still, I'm glad to be back close to one of my favourite seasons--Spring. I passed by a stretch of various succulents and decided to spend some time sketching a few of them. If you're not familiar with them, they're basically fleshy plants that retain water, like the aloe. There's so many different kinds of these plants and other wildlife in the area, it might be interesting to make note of as many as I can during the few months I am here.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Of Day and Night

Downtown Milwaukee

"It often seems to me that night is still more richly colored than the day." Van Gogh
When Van Gogh spoke he was referring to the starry sky and the presence of more colors in the heavens than a simple blue sky with white dots as stars. There does seem to be a special spirit endowed in the evening hours, be they in the city or in places where you can see stars as Van Gogh describes. I took a quick look through the Milwaukee Art Museum this past week during one of their monthly free first Thursday events. I took the above photo on my way out. The museum has been a bit of an architectural marvel since it's renovation in 2001, the addition of the Pavilion designed by the Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava.

While the evening is something I've already embraced readily, I'm becoming more attuned to the early mornings. This is the second day of the Baha'i Fast, which happens every year from 2 March to 20 March. It's meant to be a spiritually uplifting time. Even though not eating or drinking during the daylight hours may be difficult from time to time, the opportunity for growth outweighs all else.