It’s been less than a week since my return and I’m working hard at losing the 2 kgs of Vietnamese noodles and condensed milk coffees I managed to sneak through customs around my midriff, before the Festive Season of Indulgence truely kicks in.
What a wonderful introduction to travelling with sketchers, our trip to Hoi An was for me! We arrived as strangers and left as friends. In between we managed to amuse the locals, cross a few roads, eat some amazing food, visit some incredibly inspiring places as well as do a few sketches.
We survived humidity, missed the floods, shopped up a storm and fell in love with the beautiful nature of the Vietnamese people. Linh, our host and friend of Anna Barnes, was so accomodating and delightful to deal with. Anna and Kate Stedman were a great source of information, whether it was about food, local customs, historical detail or how many Dong to a Dollar.
And the colour! Oh my goodness such a wild and varied palette. Everywhere you looked, life was technicolour. From the ubiquitous lanterns and silk scarves and banana printed outfits to the waterlillies and the motorbikes and the market stalls, a kaleidoscope of images just begging to be sketched.
And we did!
The wonderful variation of sketching styles in the group made photographing the sketches such a joy for me. The morning lesson would morph into Ca Phe Sua Da at a local coffee shop sitting on red plastic chairs, then we would head off to another amazing cultural or visual destination planned by Anna, to practise the techniques of the lesson.
Afternoons were spent sketching back at our Homestay, Loc Phat or discovering Hoi An for ourselves. At 6 pm, anyone who wanted to head out for dinner would meet in the lobby before sharing a taxi or walking into town.
As a fellow guest said as we were leaving, it was a pleasure to be around such cameraderie and fun. I have no doubt the place is a lot quieter now we have left!
Merry Christmas to my wonderful EHS Sketching Tribe, looking forward to sketching up a storm in 2018.
We will be sketching again in Vietnam with our amazing EHS team in 2019.