Painting Vlog 1: The Oil Painting Newbie

I am an oil painting newbie.  My friends gave me this Daler-Rowney set when I did commissions for them. (Such generous friends! Thank you, Maea and Randy!)   It took me 8 months to try oil painting. I got the set last October and I got the  brushes from Jackson’s Art in January.

oil painting, brushes

But I was only able to buy linseed oil last week.

My friend,  Jeanne, who asked me to teach her how to paint flowers in acrylic, has done several oil paintings already.  She is so artistic! (And a fast learner!) So I asked her where she was able to buy linseed oil.  She referred me to a local bookstore. When I was able to finally buy linseed oil, I tried to learn how to paint with oils. I also watched the Youtube videos of Lena Danya and Andrew Tischler.

This was something new that I was going to try so I documented my learning journey though a vlog!  This was also the first time that I was in front of the camera talking about my art. LOL.  I was very awkward. Hahaha Twenty years from now, I hope I would be able to look at this video and see my younger self with much fondness even with the grammar mistakes I made. ( Bisaya is my default language.) Here’s my video:

I shared my thoughts and realizations in the middle of the video and at the end of the video.  Oil painting is difficult!  Perhaps I will write another blog post about that.

These are my oil painting outputs.

oil painting landscape

the oil painting newbie

I also painted botanicals with oils.

botanical oil painting

Comparing my output with my watercolor painting,  I have better result with watercolors. I think I should focus on watercolors for now.  Hahaha!

botanical watercolor

Till next vlog or blog! (Whichever comes first)

How to Paint Angel Roses in Watercolor

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I am happy I have the time to do watercolor painting this month so I have another time lapse video on Youtube! It is a quick painting process. I was not doing much detailed work. I am still in process of practicing my strokes before I paint something for sale on Artfinder.

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Here is the video:

10 Reasons Why My Friend, Wela, is Awesome.

friendship

I am lucky to have friends who had my back and Wela was one of them. It is only fitting to write about her today, her special day. So let me tell you how awesome Wela is.

1. She is one of my longtime friends. Our friendship spanned 32 years and counting. We first became friends when we were seatmates in grade 4. Both our mothers accompanied us on our first day of school and sat us together after telling us that we are cousins.

This is her grade 4 ID picture which I kept. I did not even have a copy of my own ID picture but I have hers with dedication from her.

Friendship

2. She taught me how to draw Garfield and we would create different cartoons featuring Garfield.  I need a lot practice now. Hahaha!

garfield

3. She is a true friend through and through. Even though I betrayed her, she saved me from embarassment. And that mistake was forever in my conscience. Yes, 32 years of forever apologizing to her. So here’s the story: We had a classmate who kept on teasing us. I can no longer remember was it was about. It was recess and we were hanging out at the terrace of our classroom. When recess was about to be over, I went inside and Wela followed leaving our classmate behind, oblivious that the class was about to start. I had the brilliant idea of closing the door with him locked out in the terrace (which should not be a huge deal because he could always knock and ask to be opened. Duh! There were at least 30 other classmates inside who could hear him.) So I told Wela to lock the door. The classmate started crying. The teacher heard the crying and asked me, “Katrina, what is that all about?” I answered, “Ma’am, it was Wela.” (I feel like Judas Iscariot betraying Jesus.) Wela then answered, “Sorry, Ma’am.” And she then opened the door. My heart sank and I carried the guilt all these years. Wela acted like it never happened- that I did not betray her. I do not know what nice things I did to her all those times that she still kept me as her friend.

friendship

4. She was my high school penpal along with our friend, Shirly. I studied in a different school in high school. I would always look forward to reading her letters whenever my mama visited me in my school. I lost all her letters when mama did some spring cleaning while I was away for college. I remember her drawing of her cheerleading uniform in one of her letters.

5. She was my college dorm mate. I was glad we went to the same university. We really did not hang out a lot because she spends her weekends with her relatives in Bulacan while I stayed in the dorm but it was comforting for me knowing that I have my childhood friend just two rooms away from me.

I am the one wearing striped shorts; Wela in blue shorts.

6. Wela was my officemate. For more than a year, we worked in the same company. We were both busy with our respective jobs. We may not look like close friends at work but unbeknownst to many, Wela was my voice of reason. She would get emails from me whenever I am upset at something work-related. She would share her thoughts on the matter and made me feel better. Wela made work meetings a lot better just because she was there. ( I hated meetings because I had processes I had to run on my computer that I need to monitor.)

I was sad when she left for another job because her leaving felt like losing an ally. When she broke the sad news that she was resigning, she also told me she found love. She made me forget the bad news by bringing happy news.

love

This is Wela and Kit on their wedding day.

7. Wela was there during my saddest birthday and made it a little better. It was 2009. My father was bedridden for a month already. He just suffered his worst side effects from oral chemo. Celebrating my birthday was the last thing on my mind. Wela came in the afternoon and brought me flowers and brownies. Even for a few minutes, I was happy to celebrate my birthday.

8. Wela is a great poet. I am lucky and blessed to receive two poems from her. You can read her poems about me in this post and this post. These poems are few of my treasured possessions that no one can take away.

Wela and I on my 40th birthday.

 

9. Wela is a great mother to Lui and wife to Kit. She makes sure she spends time with them that we already understand whenever she misses many of our get-together with friends.

10. Wela makes sure to drive me home whenever we spend time together. Even if it is difficult to navigate the narrow road to my house, she drives me home anyway. Thank you, Wela!

I am really blessed to have a friend in Wela. I love you, Wela. Happy, happy birthday! Thank you for your friendship! Mwah!

Note: I swiped some of the photos from her Facebook account.

15 Food Places to Try in Taiwan

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I traveled to Taiwan with a foodie so I really did not have to worry where to eat.  My friend, Gail, already had a list of places to try.  We agreed that we would be flexible with the choices. We also wanted to save time.  Gail’s list was more of a guide and not a fixed itinerary. We agreed that if we happen to be around that area in her list we would try the suggested dishes.  On this trip, there were hits and misses but, nevertheless, we were happy eaters.

This list is actually the 15 food places we tried in Taiwan. I took photos of almost all of the food we ate so this post just brings back yummy memories of that trip.

Here are the 15 food places you might want to try in Taiwan:

1. Fu Hang Dou Jiang

As soon as we arrived and stored our things in the MRT lockers, we trooped to this food place in Gail’s list. It was not hard to find because the moment we walked out of the MRT exit to Shandao Temple we saw the line outside the HuaShan Market.  The line was long.  The end of the line was around the corner and the food stall was still on the second floor of the building.   We lined up anyway.  (Both Gail and I graduated from a university where long lines during enrollment was the norm then. All those four years of patiently lining up for registration were not in vain.  Ha! Patience, indeed, is a virtue we both acquired from experience. )

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Gail was the one who ordered the food. There was no English menu so she just pointed her order hoping she got a good one. It was like lottery. I guess she got a jackpot.  We got a hot soy milk dish, a cold soy milk dessert, an egg dish and bread.

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We thought we should have a similar dish in the Philippines since we are all fond of taho. It was yummy.  Judging from the crowd, the place was a hit. What amazed me was that Fu Hang Dou Jiang was established in 1958. I wonder if these lines were this long since 1958.

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2. Convenience stores

7-Eleven and Family Mart were everywhere. We made it a point to check out what they had to offer. I think Gail bought as many milk teas as she can bring to her family back home.  I only bought a regular coke in a can with a cute cherry blossom design. We realized too late that it was expensive. I could have picked some milk tea instead.

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3. Sukiya.

This is actually a Japanese food chain.  There was a branch near our Airbnb rental so it was easily our breakfast place when we want to eat a quick meal. Sukiya has a breakfast menu so we just chose from the selection. We also observed what the Japanese patrons ordered and it seemed they also chose from the breakfast menu.

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4. Fu Long Boxed Meal

This was part of the free lunch in our Klook tour to northeast coast of Taiwan. The box contained pickled veggies, tofu, braised pork, egg, sausage and rice. It was already a complete meal.

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5. Ikea food court

Gail and I both agreed that we should visit Ikea. I wanted to check out their different showrooms where I could see how different spaces are being decorated with Ikea products but, alas, the Taiwan store did not have that showroom. Nevertheless, we were happy to fill our tummies in their food hall.  I got the Swedish meat balls and Gail had the salad.  We shared the dessert and fried chicken. And for some reason, I wanted to eat waffles.

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6. Random breakfast place

We were very early in Ximending because we were afraid that the tour bus might leave us if we get lost and arrive late.  We did not. The meeting place was easy to find. Since we had ample time, we searched for a place where we could eat breakfast.  We found a small eatery that served sandwiches. It was yummy and was enough to fill our empty stomachs.

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7. Jiufen food stalls

It was raining and time for lunch. Food stalls were full. We were hungry. We immediately chose the first stall with available seats for us and ordered whatever they were offering.  We got noodles and meatballs.

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Then we ate along the way. We got peanut ice cream roll and fried mochi.

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8. Shifen random food stall

We did not fly lanterns in Shifen so we looked for a place to eat. We found this eatery and ordered noodles. it was still raining and a bowl of soup was comforting. That fried taro roll is yummy, too.

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I got the beef noodles while Gail got the wanton noodle soup.

15 food places to try in taiwan, taiwan food blog, taiwan food trip, taiwan food places, shifen

9. Yu’s Almonds

We were dropped at Ximending at the end of the tour. By that time, the shops around the area were already open. We found Yu’s Almonds by chance which was in Gail’s list.  We got a hot almond milk type of dish with some herbal jelly drink.

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10. Ningxia Night Market

Taiwan is known for its night markets. We specifically went to Ningxia for the food finds in Gail’s list. For some reason, we could not find the stall on her list since we only had the photo and not the name or the exact location. We just chose a random stall and picked a dish. We took a selfie but later we found out that a passing Taiwanese guy photobombed out shot.  Funny.

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We also tried some fried potato balls with salted egg in the middle.

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11. Mos Burger and Matcha Latte

It was another early day and we were at the train station without breakfast. We wanted to secure our ticket first. Once we got our tickets and schedule, we grabbed something to eat.  This time we chose Mos Burger which I learned is another Japanese fast food chain. We also grabbed a macha latte from 7-11 which we loved.

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12.  Red Bean Tofu Dessert at Zhong She Flower Garden

If you watched my Taiwan video, you would know that we walked from  the train station to the Zhong She Flower Garden.  All that walking made us hungry so we dropped by this small eatery near the garden entrance. If you’re Filipino or have tasted taho,  this dish was like cold taho with red beans.

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13. Japanese Restaurant at the Taichung Train Station

It was past lunch time. We were hungry so I was not able to remember the name of the restaurant. Put me in a Japanese restaurant and I would most likely to order ramen if it is available.  So I got ramen while Gail got some tomato-based soup.  This was yummy.

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14. Ximending Night Market

We were trying to follow Gail’s list. We only got to try 3 dishes and we called it a night.  Shocking.  We were looking for the stall with colorful drinks but we were not able to find it.

A long queue is an indicator of good food so expect us to exercise our lining up skills.  This is Ay-Chung Flour-Rice noodles. They served flavorful noodles with pig intestines. Gail loved it. For me, it was okay. It was filling and it reminded me of a flavorful home-cooked sotanghon.

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We also had this mashed potato topped with corn and bacon bits that was swimming in cheese sauce.

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We found a bench and we devoured this sinful goodness.

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We also got a barbecue-flavored fried mochi.

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15.  Great Food Town- Airport Food Court

I spent 4.5 days in Taiwan and I thought I would be chugging bubble tea everyday.  It was not the case so I made it my mission not to leave Taiwan without trying bubble tea so I really looked for it at the airport before we left.  Mission accomplished.

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These were the different dishes we tried in Taiwan.  We looked like we ate a lot but we really wanted to eat more. We missed the good xiao long bao near the Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall. We were in a hurry when we visited the place. We also missed the shaved ice dessert on the list. We also planned to hit the original Din Tai Fung and the quirky Modern Toilet; we just did not have the time.  Oh, well, there is always the next time.

Till next time, Taiwan!

How to Paint Tulips in Watercolor

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It has been months since I last painted. I plan to paint more this month so I got my art groove going by painting on the first day of the month. This is a loose watercolor painting. I was just enjoying the process and did not go into detailed work.

You may follow the process through this graphics.

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This is the video of the painting process.

Let me know of any painting tutorial you want me to try to do next.

 

 

 

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