I’ve been promising myself that I will return to regular blog posts for almost a year. So, let’s hope that this is the beginning of a new era of posts!
Vietnam was a special trip as it was the occasion of Tom’s return to the country where he served in the Army as an mp. He was drafted and was there for 9 months; did not want to be there, but had no choice. His tour included guarding what he calls a garbage dump, full of equipment that could not be fixed and was waiting to be shipped to Japan or Korea. We found the location. This is a sketch of the town of Phi Tai, Tran Quoc Hoan on the outskirts of Quyn Hon. The dump was a few miles away. The City of Quyn Hon was not a tourist destination. We found a very nice hotel across the street from the beach. No one was there!
It was quite a cosmopolitan city much to Tom’s surprise as he never left the base..
This next sketch is the view of Quy Nhon from our hotel window.
Quyn Non was a destination in the middle of our trip which began in Hanoi.
We thoroughly enjoyed Hanoi, even with the pretty intense heat and humidity. The sketches above are of the table setting at our first night’s dinner which was amazing, the entrance portico for the Vietnam Fine Art Museum, and a stop during our exploration of the neighborhood behind our hotel. We became fans of pineapple juice! I was fascinated by the gaggle of wiring. This is Pho Luong Ngoc Quyen.
While in Hanoi we were very pleased to have an overnight cruise on Halong Bay.
We flew from Hanoi to Hue for a stay at the elegant Hotel Saigon Moran.
This sketch is from a stop on our drive from Hue to Hoi An, at Dam An Cu. Quite a nice lake for swimming, but we didn’t have the opportunity.
In Hoi An we had a three day stay at the amazing “Boutique” Hoi An Resort on the sea.
Tom had a cooking lesson after we both enjoyed a boat trip down the river with the other cooking class participants. In keeping with my preference for not cooking, I sketched and had a good time by myself. I was able to eat the cooking instructor’s demonstration!
The World Heritage Site was cool. Here is a sketch of a typical row of stores across from one of our coffee break stops, Le Loi Street.
After Hoi An we were driven to Quyn Ho, looking for Phu Tai and Long My, Tom’s locations in 1968. Found both.
Our last stop and stay was Ho Chi Minh City, Saigon, with a side trip to the Mekong Delta. Our hotel, the Saigon Prince, was right in the middle of the very cosmopolitan and fascinating business and tourist district. Very different from Hanoi. This is a sketch of our view from the Hotel.
We had much good food, and long exploratory walks. This sketch is from our best lunch in Vietnam, at Nha Hang Vietnam. The truck is one Tom remembers from his tour of duty in 1968.
Our last day was spent on the Mekong Delta, eating with the locals, and having a boat ride thru the narrow channels. The woman who navigated the channels was amazing, strong and quiet.
It is not often that I use sketched images as inspiration for paintings. (Not sure why that is as it seems like a natural approach.) In the case of the Mekong Delta sketch, I did.
This is all watercolor, not too big. I am very happy with it.
I often use photos I’ve taken as inspiration. This painting, which I call Ho Chi Minh City, is watercolor on an acrylic inks background. The brilliant light of the acrylic inks also inspired me. It’s a view from our window in our hotel in Saigon/Ho Chi Minh City.
Well! I feel good about getting back to posting. I will promise myself to post again soon!