Practice on Watercolour

First time trying watercolour. I find it very satisfying with the ease to control over the texture.

watercolour-sunset

Sunset watercolour

Advertisements

Painting with Poetry: Distant Sail

IMG_0555

Home in a distance.

Flee in a moment.

Set sail into the endless ocean,

As the engulfed cities perish in blaze.

What sets us ablaze?

What divides us afar?

A drip of ink?

Or a smear of white paint?

Perhaps it is the same waned cinder of ashes,

Whom we shackle at the bottom of the ships.

And so all the lives dissolved,

Into the image of a distant past,

Through the inheritance of generations.

©Paulus of Sinae July 2016

After the trip to Italy

Well I was sick in Italy and carried the flu back home. I am just able to recover.

Yet Italy is so great for Art lovers like me. Not only they have good food, splendid nature, romantic cities, but also too many too many museums and art galleries.

There are at least 10 museums in Venice,  more than 7 museums for Florence while I just lost count for Rome.

Italy had produced so many splendid artists:

From top to bottom:

  1. Caravaggio – Young Sick Bacchus
  2. Bernini – Aeneas, Anchises, and Ascanius (The fled Trojan prince whose offsprings formed the Roman Empire.)
  3. Titian – Sacred and Profane Love (Naked one is Venice)
  4. Raphael – The famous School of Athens  in the Vatican
  5. Leonardo da Vinci – Annunciation (The Angel announcing the pregnancy of Mary)
  6. Michelangelo – The Holy Family

Italy is truly inspiring and I can understand why the master Rubens learnt by practicing on great Italian , Roman and Hellenic sculptures.

I am following his footsteps:

IMG_0546.JPG

Though the scale is a bit off from Bernini’s sculpture…

Practice and Practice. Continue to write and paint to deliver.

I will also share my story with you about my 3 weeks in Italy, from Milan to Venice, to the whole province of Tuscany and finally to Rome. 🙂

 

Slightly unhelpful travelling tips for Vienna (3) : Schönbrunn Palace

A former imperial summer palace for the Habsburg monarchs. The name Schönbrunn means beautiful spring which refers to the artesian underground water beneath the palace.

 

Despite having a rather 19th century art nouveau look from the inside, the complex started way before in the 14th century.

 

  • Visit in the early morning and you will find many people jogging in the garden. The garden is free for entry, so the private garden of the royal family is now back to the people’s.
  • Visit the palace in the early morning (7~8am) to avoid the queue.

 

  • Get the Classic pass ticket unless you just want to spend 2 hours here. Get the Sissi Ticket if you want to visit the main Hofburg palace and a big fan of either Sissi or the actress Romy Schneider.
  • There are 1441 rooms in the palace building, while there is also a big maze at the middle of the garden. You can pretty much imagine what the royalties do everyday in their residence.
  • No photographs in all display rooms of the palace gallery. The staff there will actually scold at you.
  • No air conditioning in most rooms. Congratulations when you visit in August during the heat wave. Due to global warming, last time when I visited it was 40 Celsius.
  • The interior can be very golden but also dusty, especially on those crystals from the Chandeliers. Don’t open your mouth when you look up.
  • At the souvenir shop, get something Sissi or Mozart.
  • There are quite a number of fountains in the grand garden. The most notable must be the Neptune Fountain at the back. There staring at the murky water, you will puzzle at how the hell this place earned the name beautiful spring.

 

  • The maze is not so easy. You may find forced path in the maze (broken branches or bald spots at the brushes). Exploit them. No one is looking. I will definitely take pictures of you stuck in the brushes. The entry to the Maze is included in the pass.

 

  • In the maze there is a telephone thing which you can yell at one end of the air tube and people at the other end will hear your echo. My experience with a boy:

“Hello,” he said.

“Hello. How are you doing?” I asked.

“Fuck you,” he whispered.

  • There is a playground for children near the maze. Godsend for family travellers?
  • Walking towards the Gloriette, and there is an observation deck up there. The entry to the deck is included in the classic pass.

IMG_2258

  • Do not eat at the cafe of Gloriette unless you are so hungry. It’s usually too packed with all the waiters so busy even to take your bill. I had to force my credit card into their machine after waiting for almost 35 minutes just for the bill. And the waiter very abruptly dismissed me with a goodbye (don’t think it was his fault though).
  • There is also a zoo in the Palace. Let’s go and see Pandas in Wien? 
  • There is also a very fancy greenhouse. Need to pay to get in though.

 

  • The classic pass also takes you into the Crown Prince Garden. Take a stroll at the shades. Very relaxing unless it is packed with tourists again.

IMG_2227

 

Hope you find the tips slightly unhelpful.

Cheers to traveller!

Previous:

Belvedere

 

 

Slightly unhelpful travelling tips for Vienna (2) Belvedere

Belvedere palace, built by a rejected French prince (because he was too ugly. Sigh, the French lol.), Eugene of Savoy, who proved his excellent talent in the battlefield and made a fortune in the Austrian Empire.

Belvedere is divided into the upper palace, the garden and the lower palace.

The upper palace museum is famous for Klimpt’s celebrated masterpiece, the Kiss, and  the woman in gold.

You can also find work of other Austrian artists like Hans Makart and Egon Schiele. If you are a fan of the Art nouveau trend, you will have a blast here.

I am a big fan of the academicism, so it was the best time I had in Wien.

You can even find work dated back in the medieval time.

 

  • Do not book the tickets in advance. There is literally no queue in front of the admission. I went to the palace in the high season August and still there was no queue. (Maybe people don’t like art anymore. A moment of silence for humanity.)
  •  The ticket does not expire for at least 2 weeks, so take your time and no need to rush through both palaces. Drink in the atmosphere. I met a couple in Wien, who bragged to me about finishing a tour involving Hungary, Austria, south Germany, Czech and Solvenia in 5 days. Do rush through if you want to beat their record. However remember each ticket only allows one entry per palace.
  • Sit down at the cafe and enjoy an Ice Kaffee (Coffee with ice cream) or a glass of lemonade. You can also sit the garden. There are plenty of benches and shades and there should be no worries for blood-sucking bugs. I remember I had a schnitzel lunch in the Garden.
  • You cannot take pictures of the Kiss , but there is one cheap miniature cardboard version of it at the entrance. So do your tourist thing there.
  • Make sure to stop by the Soviet War Memorial by the Palace, not just because it was an Allied commission work to celebrate the defeat of the Fascist Axis powers, but also there are many food carts and there is a big fountain with rainbows! I got some free citrus softdrink there because there was a big promotion.

 

  • There is a Botanical Garden of the University of Vienna by the palace. Make sure you drop by their tended farm. My friend and I picked some peppers and tomatoes there. Well as long as you don’t get caught…
  • Visit the Contemporary Art section, you will find some artistic activities designed for elementary school students. Have some fun.
  • The chandelier at the cafe was dripping dusts down. Bring an umbrella to protect your food.

 

 

Hope the tips are slightly unhelpful.

Cheers to travellers!

Previous:

General tips for Vienna

Next:

Schönbrunn Palace

 

 

 

 

Slightly unhelpful travelling tips for Vienna (1) : General

 

Wien, the city of Music, the birthplace of waltz, the legend of Sissi the Kaiserin, the City of Klimt, the Third Man, Freud …

Although infested with prejudice and racism back in the Hilter era, Vienna is now a liberal and very lovely modern city with a cultural side of the vintage past. She is ranked the best city to live in Europe after all.

Here are just a few tips and jokes when you visit Vienna.

  • You can totally get by with English, but I have been told to speak more slowly and down tune the snobbish British accent.
  • If you get the train ticket at the airport, you won’t need to stamp it. But remember to stamp if you get it from the vendor machine, else you will have to face fine.
  • Get a ride in those horse carriages if you can stand the stench and like to witness the genius invention of the horse poop catcher at the back of the horse butts.
  • Most of the train stations in Vienna are built with a very strong art nouveau reference. The most popular one should be at Karlsplatz by Otto Wagner.
  • Most “Wieners” (?!) are in very good fit shape. So many eye-candies just walking around in Wien. The diet of wiener (or schnitzel) helps?
  • Get a local sim card at A1. It has the best coverage and there are usually many tourist promotions. I got 10 GB data for just 15 euros. That was the cheapest data plan you can ever get on this earth!
  • Do not expect the waiters/resses in Wien smiling at you like that in the US or UK. Yet they are not as rude as those in Hong Kong or Singapore local restaurants, who can splash you with hot soup and act as if nothing happened.
  • Eat cheap by going to the supermarket. There is often a cheap choice of the day at the bakery of the supermarket SPAR.
  • Drink from the tap. You will be blessed with the most natural elixir from the sacred Alps. Met a couple kept asking me where to get distilled water because, they said in a snobbishly ignorant way, they would never drink “uncleaned” water like mineral water. Witnessing such”pride”, my common sense took a big hit that day.
  • There are souvenirs of Sissi and Mozart everywhere, even in supermarkets. Drink some Mozart chocolate liqueur and go to the toilet using wipe your face with the Kaiserin Sissi tissue paper.
  • There are many events going on in the city, like the Friday bicycle ride around the whole city. Mingle with the locals and don’t just do tourist attractions:
  • Pay attention to the traffic lights at crossroads and you will discover the cute side of the city.

Hope these tips are slightly unhelpful.

Cheers to travellers!

Next: Belvedere Palace