Thursday, May 21, 2009

View of Insadong - Painting

Two posts in one day! Just trying to catch up a bit. I finished this painting today, well I think it is finished or I am just tired of working on it. It was the view we had from the 10th floor of our hotel/apartment in Insadong. I loved looking out the window -there was something new to see everyday.

Painting - Flowers From a cart

I have been off visiting family in the US so nothing has happened here on the blog. It was a good trip - good to go home to the USA and also good to come back to my new "home" in Seoul.

This little painting I did before my trip. It seems like everywhere there are carts selling something. These flowers came from a photo of one of the flower carts in Insadong. I loved the bright colors of the pots and flowers and I wanted something that was not as complicated as the cityscapes I had been working on. I am used to the standard American sizes of canvases and panels, this one is 22 x 16 cm or about 6.25 x 8.75 inches.

Now that we have moved to an apartment with lots of room and windows I now have space to have an "art studio" (a bedroom) to paint in! This is a good thing since I have lots of ideas for paintings and empty walls to hang them on.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

The Underground Market

Last week we heard about the Underground Market--Of course we have been walking past it for 2 months and it has a big sign that says Underground Market over the entrance. It is even right next door to us. I feel so illiterate.

We went at night so there were not many people there at the time. The above is the entrance to the market, and I have to say that during the day it is even darker, doesn't look at all like an inviting market.

It was huge inside. I didn't get a lot of pictures because all of the shopkeepers were ready and waiting to sell us something. We quickly found that if you picked up something you were expected to buy it. We were looking at a bag of what we thought might be a bag of generic peanut M&M's. Out of no where came a shopkeeper to collect payment. They were not M&M's, we didn't care for them so Jay took them to work.

We saw everything from peppers to pigs heads to pianos--sorry no pictures of the pigs heads.

More Peppers

And even more peppers. Korean food is very spicy!

I wish I could have gotten more pictures - there was a restaurant down there, and butcher shops, fruit and vegetables, household goods, clothing and shoes.

There were lots and lots of dishes! I think you could find almost anything down there if you look hard enough. I want to go back to shop but Jay will have to come to carry everything.

Painting - Street in Seoul

Acrylic paint on watercolor paper. (9 3/4 x 14 inches)

This is one of many streets in Seoul. I find that because all the signs are in Korean I have to look at everything more carefully. I am trying to learn the Korean Hangul (alphabet) I feel like I am back in Kindergarten. I can sound out some of the words but still don't know what most of them mean. The yellow sign on the right is the "Good Restaurant" menu. It does have bulgogi (which is very good), and kimchi (which I think is more of an acquired taste), listed but I couldn't figure out the rest.

There is something to see everywhere. Seoul is a fascinating place.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Flower Arranging Class

I took a Flower Arranging class here at Fraser. They arranged for a professional teacher to come in and teach us. It was a lot of fun and I think mine came out well. There was a lot of interest in doing another one but I think it turned out to be too much work for the staff and they said no.

Big Fish

This beautiful fish is on Yeouido Island in Seoul. I was walking around trying to find the subway station when I came across it. There are a lot of sculptures all over Seoul!

"New" Paintbrush

I found this brush here in Insadong! It is 16 inches long. I think it is beautiful, but I'm not sure yet if it will be good for painting. The bristles are some sort of natural hair, I know because it smelled like an animal when I washed it! It took several shampooings to get the grime and smell out of it. When I bought it I thought it may be "old" since it was dirty, I asked the storekeeper, who spoke little English, who asked the other sales men, who then just laughed! She did tell me that it was indeed "old" --about 2 years old.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Hidden Gallery

We were surprised to find this little art gallery under the bridge along the Cheonggyecheon stream. The pictures are all photos of Seoul. The area is open on one side and there appeared to be no one supervising the exhibit.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

A Wealthy Life

Jay got this email with tips for a wealthy life.

Dear all,
How did you spend your holiday?
These are tips to keep healthy your body.

▶ 건강 10훈 (wealthy life ten points) ◀

1. 小肉多菜(소육다채) : 고기는 적게 먹고, 야채를 많이 먹는다.
(Less meat, more vegetables)

2. 小鹽多醋(소염다초) : 소금은 적게 먹고, 초를 많이 먹는다.
(Less salt, more vinegar)

3. 小糖多果(소당다과) : 설탕은 줄이고, 과일을 많이 먹는다.
(Less sugar, more fruits)

4. 小食多嚼(소식다작) : 음식은 적게 먹고, 많이 씹는다.
(Less food, more chew)

5. 小煩多眠(소번다면) : 근심은 적게 하고, 잠을 많이 잔다.
(Less worry, more sleep)

6. 小怒多笑(소노다소) : 화는 적게 내고, 많이 웃는다.
(Less anger, more smile)

7. 小衣多浴(소의다욕) : 의복은 적게 입고, 목욕을 자주 한다.
(Less clothes, more do)

8. 小言多行(소언다행) : 말은 적게 하고, 행동을 많이 한다.
(Less speak, more do)

9. 小慾多施(소욕다시) : 욕심은 적게 내고, 봉사를 많이 한다.
(Less desire, more serve)

10.小車多步(소차다보) : 차를 적게 타고, 많이 걷는다.
(Less ride, more walk)

Have a nice day!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Cheong Gye Cheon

Today we explored the Cheong Gye Cheon stream. It dates back to the 1300's and used to be where the housewives did their laundry. In the early 1900's it became a shanty town. In an effort to improve the area in 1958 the stream was covered with concrete and in 1976 an elevated highway was built over it. In 2005 the Cheonggyecheon stream was restored to a park like setting. It is an nice area to walk through, even though it was very cold when we did.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Art Stores

I am living in the Insadong area of Seoul. This area is known for it's art and antiques! I am trying acrylics while I am waiting for all of my oil painting supplies to arrive from home. I don't have to go far to find what I need. Within 2 blocks I pass lots of little shops each selling some sort of art supplies!!! I love shopping for paint and brushes!!! Here are some pictures of just a few of the little shops.

Shopping for the acrylics is more fun than painting with them though. They are a bit frustrating, but some talented friends gave me some valuable tips for working with them. Probably the most important was to remember that they are not oils and stop trying to pretend that they are.

Jay has the next few days off for the Lunar New Year! So we will be exploring more of the city. On Tuesday, a friend from church is going to show us where there is a grocery store in our neighborhood and her favorite place to eat! That should be fun. So far the only grocery stores close by (we don't have a car) are little 7-11's or Family Marts. We were excited to see an IGA not far away but it has the same things as the 7-11. We do get to larger grocery stores, the EMart, Lotte Mart, and Costco when we need to. Our apartment building has regular bus trips for those, which has been helpful. I will have to take pictures of the grocery store next time Jay comes with me, it is a whole different experience than back home.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

It is Cold in Seoul

The girls here wear skirts and heels no matter what the weather, so I am sure that these stockings come in handy! I think I will get myself some.

It has been really cold here the past few days, so I haven't taken many pictures. This picture of the legs was taken in Insa-dong near where we live. There are hundreds of little shops all over and then there are little tents and carts on the streets selling all sorts of things. We went out to walk around yesterday but didn't last long before we came home to warm up.

Then last night, with all of our warmest winter clothes on we went to Korean class at church. We learned the Korean Alphabet (or tried to anyway) It was fun to go and meet some new people.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Going to Church

Going to Church is quite a bit different when you can't jump in the car and go. I am going to skip the whole subway experience for now. (I didn't get good pictures of it.)

We will start with the stairs this is just one set of many that we go up and down to get to the subway. There are lots of stairs involved to get to or from the subway. As Jay said, "Going to church is good for the heart and soul, ... and the legs and abs and back."

This octopus or squid tank was just in the road (no sidewalk) outside of a little restaurant.

This I think is funny. It is one of those games with the claw that you use to try to grab a prize with. In the US there are usually toys in them, but this one has vitamins and mints. At least that is what we think was in there.

Here is the road we went up. It is nice and steep and there is no sidewalk.

From the subway it is all uphill. These are not little alleys, these are the streets and there is quite a bit of traffic on them.

You should see cars pass each other on these streets! They come within inches of each other. They all drive with their side rearview mirrors folded up. I haven't seen any accidents. Yet.

The black gate is to the church property--(it is open on Sunday's--We did a practice trip on Saturday) and then we get to walk up the steepest hill of all. It is steeper than it looks in this picture. This is the driveway to the parking lot. I don't think many people drive to church because the parking lot is just a little bigger than a basketball court--In fact it is a basketball court.

Here is the church building--more stairs! That is Jay in the picture. We definitely get our exercise going to church. I am quite proud of myself, I did walk this in heels last Sunday. The heels were fine but my toes were frozen by the time we got home. Next week I am wearing my Ugg boots. If it snows or is icy we may stay home. (Ok, I might stay home, Jay is much more adventuresome than I am, and lots better at climbing hills!) The senior missionaries took a taxi last week and said that even the taxi driver didn't want to go up the driveway.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Views from My Window

I love looking out our windows--we have 2 of them. Both face the same direction which I think is south, but it feels more north to me. My sense of direction is way off.

There is so much to see out there!

This building is across the street from us and it is across (over) the street. I am not sure what they do there music or theater, I think. We walk under it to get to the subway.

The tall building on the right is called the Jongno Tower. The top is a restaurant. Wikipedia says "Jongno Tower is a 33-story office building. Its top floor is equipped with a restaurant and bar which is famous for its view of Jongno and other areas of Seoul." Jay has been there before and said the food is good.

Art and Seoul

Kinda corny but I like it. This blog will be about my adventures in Seoul, Korea. I will be here for 3 years, and while my husband is working, I will be having fun! (He will have fun too since he loves his work and will go sight seeing with me!) I also hope to do a lot exploring of the Korean arts and do a lot of my own art. We are currently living near a lot of art galleries and museums in Insadong and I love it. There is so much to see!

We arrived in Seoul on New Year's Eve. Even though we had a great flight--(we got upgraded to business class!!) we were exhausted! I totally recommend business class and Asiana airlines! The apartment we are currently in had a New Years party and we really did intend to go but I think we were asleep by eight even with our afternoon nap. So much for welcoming in 2009!