Weekly Sketch: J is for Juniper

I dabbled in color this week.

I’ve always known juniper berries were used to flavor gin, but I never really thought of them as edible until my uncle came to visit us in Austin and we took him hiking around Mount Bonnell. It had been a rainy winter, and the juniper berries were exceptionally big and round and vibrant. My uncle got very excited and started eating them right off the trees. So I tried some. To my surprise they were sweet and tasty, although the pits were a bit piney. I am now a fan of the humble juniper!

Categories: Artwork, environment, Family, food, Health, Life, Nutrition, trees, Weekly Sketch | Tags: | Leave a comment

Weekly Sketch: Work in Progress

This is the drawing I’m working on. It’s taking forEVer to get the textures right, but I like how it’s coming along so far. I’ll post the complete image when I finish it.

Categories: Artwork, Family, kids, Life, Love, Weekly Sketch | 6 Comments

Adventures in Nepal, Part VII: Tal Barahi Temple

The next morning the sky was clear blue all the way to the horizon. And suddenly – HIMALAYAS.

The high triangular peak is Machhapuchchhre, a sacred mountain. The Nepali government doesn’t permit anyone to climb it.

Today’s photography lesson: mountainscapes.

After the class, Emma and Elizabeth took a boat ride out to Tal Barahi Temple on Phewa Tal’s little island.

Colorful Elizabeth is colorful.

The temple itself is small.

Elizabeth says that almost every temple she saw had fierce creatures like these guarding its entrance, always one male and one female.


And back to shore.

To be continued!

Categories: Family, Friends, Holidays, kids, Life, Nepal, Travel, Weather | Tags: | 1 Comment

Adventures in Nepal, Part VI: Paljorling Camp

Emma and Elizabeth stayed with Sabita and Bee Striit from January 15th to the 18th, and then stayed with friends at the Tibetan refugee camp from the 19th to the 28th.

Paljorling camp has a beautiful monastery.

After the girls had settled in, they went into town to get some lunch.

Adorable Emma is adorable.

Apparently the reason why the power lines are such a clusterfuck in Nepal is because when one stops working, they just string a new one up to bypass it instead of searching out the old one and repairing it. Crazy.

This handsome fellow is decorated for a local festival. We can’t find any info on what festival it was, but our best guess is that it was a local version of Kukur Tihar, the Day of the Dog.

Or, as Emma said, “It coulda been a temple dog that had a birthday, for all I know.”

To be continued!

Categories: Animals, Celebrations, Dogs, Family, food, Friends, Holidays, kids, Life, Nepal, Travel | Tags: | Leave a comment

Weekly Sketch: Saraswati

Another busy week, another unfinished sketch. This was going to be a drawing of the little Saraswati figure that Emma got for Elizabeth in Nepal, a gift of creative energy. Saraswati is the Hindu goddess of knowledge, music, art, wisdom and learning.

The original:

This was the same day that Elizabeth bought the beautiful rainbow sweater/jacket.

I love that sweater so much.

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On the subject of art, I’ve been thinking about the corporate logos that Nepalis paint all over everything, and I have a theory. Disclaimer: I know almost nothing about Nepali culture or religion, this is just a thought that came to me.

It kind of makes sense, in a polytheistic culture that celebrates a full spectrum of energies, that they might celebrate the life-changing power of oil by painting the Castrol Oil logo on a Ganesha shrine. Or that in such a bright, vibrant culture, they might honor the transformative effects of commercial paint by adding the Berger Paints logo to a colorful gateway. Or that a recreational boat rental company might invoke the exhilarating thrill of chocolate by putting the Kit Kat logo on its boats. I like the idea that they might be calling up the energy of a specific product by putting its logo on their stuff.

Anyway, it’s just a theory. If any experts on Nepali culture want to chime in, I’d love to hear from someone knowledgeable.

Categories: Artwork, Family, Friends, Holidays, kids, Life, Nepal, Travel, Weekly Sketch | Tags: | Leave a comment

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