|Traditional and Modern in Singapore's Chinatown|
By contrast, most people I talked to Singapore have heard of Portland and were even familiar with its tagline "weird."
|Trendy bar with $14 beers|
Singaporeans I met tended to be very self aware as well. When asking visitors what those thought of their country they often rushed to reply themselves: "It is hot, right?" "It is expensive, correct?" "We have two seasons–hot and hotter here" or "We have two national sports–eating and shopping here". I would also add the selfie stick photography to the list of national sports. There is even a coffee shop that offers its customers beverages with their selfies plastered to the top.
Singapore's NeighborhoodsLots of historic neighborhood streets in Singapore look like this. Two story buildings with clean colorful facades with red tile roofs and window shutters always flanked by the blue glassy backdrop of modern skyscrapers.
|Historic Raffles Hotel|
My hotel was centrally located on Purvis street surrounded by various landmarks like the historic Raffles Hotel (above) and colorful neighborhoods such as Little India, Chinatown, Arab neighborhood.
|Drawing 180 degree angle panoramas with Lapin in front of my hotel|
Hindu Temples in Singapore
The highlight of my time in Singapore was visiting and sketching Sri Krishnan Hindu temple. I ended up going back there for three days in a row, sketching the elaborate entry and its hilarious attendant, its facade and finally detailing the elaborate ceremony dedicated to the Hindu god–Garuda. The ceremony was one of the most moving religious experiences for me up to date–the feast for senses with its bright colors, incense burning, live music, hours of chanting. Buckets and buckets of milk, honey and spices were poured on a statue of Garuda as part of the celebration. Some sketchers and I were even invited to share the meal with the devotees at the end.
As I was sketching the entry into Sri Krishnan locals would stop by to watch, offer me food or drink. One young woman even gave me a clip to hold the pages of my sketchbook down.
|The entry into the Sri Krishnan Temple is flanked by two giant statues–Hanuman and Garuda as well as its vigilant attendant|
|Sri Mariamman Temple located in China Town|
Exotic FoodsTraveling in South East Asia one is constantly exposed to a variety of unusual foods and food smell amplified by heat and humidity. Yet, at no time is your stomach more alarmed by something unusual as during breakfast. Watching people slurp their noodles at 6am in the airport was turning my stomach but only a few minutes later I found myself ordering and eating the spicy brothy laksa–traditional breakfast soup in this part of Asia.
|First Sketchcrawl on Purvis Street|
This time almost 400 sketchers from 36 countries gathered in Singapore. Three days was not enough time to meet everyone, look at their sketchbooks, and really revel in the fact that there are so many amazing talented people in the world who share my passion . I met or reconnected with some amazing artists from Honk Kong, Tanzania, Israel, Korea, Indonesia, Malasia, and Australia. I also got to hang out with some of my favorites from the Spanish speaking world–Miguel Herranz from Barcelona, Norberto Dorantes from Buenos Aires, Inma Serrano from Sevilla.
|Miguel Herranz and Norberto Dorantes|
|Simonetta Capecchi and Mark Toro Holmes|
|Miguel Herranz at te Park View Plaza Hotel|
|One more of Inma Serrano|
As always, sketchers' support teams–husbands and wifes who travel with their significant others and entertain themselves by sight seeing for a few days are a lot of fun to meet as well. Here are two sketchers' husbands I met in Singapore.