SketchTravel in Nepal

in travel •  6 months ago

SketchTravel in Nepal

To Kathmandu and the medieval city of Baktapur


baktapur_opening.jpg
After arriving in Kathmandu, I visited the ancient city of Baktapur, a world heritage site that is a few miles out of town. It felt like someone assembled all the old architectural styles in their history and crammed them together in an ornate palace complex. It is truly awesome to behold. Note: I experimented with sketching on this trip with pen and ink, pencil, watercolors, and line with washes. So they vary some in style and detail. Just mixing it up for fun!


baktapur-watercolor.jpg

The purpose of this trip for me was to video document a nonprofit project in the country town of Jogitar. I was doing this for the Seattle-based travel nonprofit group Crooked Trails. They call it travel with a purpose. Not only are you exposed to different cultures and places, you stay with the families and engage in community life. It is a true cultural immersion experience. I recommend Crooked Trails to anyone wanting a deeply rewarding travel experience.

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Jogitar, a village of subsistence farmers


I stayed with a family in the main part of the village. The room was upstairs in their barn, which was where they also slept. We had our meals with them, sitting on the floor in their hand-made house. We ate lentil soup and rice known as dal bhat, sometimes with chicken (for the guests).

jogitar village1.jpg

jogitar-ricefields.jpg

The project we were there to do was to dig a trench across a hillside, lay the pipe and bring water to a middle school. The school itself was also built by volunteers on earlier trips. It was very exhausting work in the heat and on the steep slopes, but it was also teamwork and fun. The villagers did much of the work alongside the volunteers. I made such good friends with the villagers. The scenery was stunning, lush green rolling hills with big rivers and terraced rice paddies. I think of Nepal as a cold, mountainous place, but the valleys are subtropical. When it was time to leave, we were told that even their cows were sad.

jogitar village2.jpg

Unfortunately many if not all of these buildings I sketched were destroyed in the earthquake a couple years ago. We have lent support and sent money to families who are slowly rebuilding.

jogitar village3.jpg

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The most dangerous airport in the world


After leaving the village we regrouped in Kathmandu and flew to Tenzing Hillary Airport at Lukla. It has a very short runway, so that on one end it is a severe drop off, while on the other end it is a sheer mountain wall. A documentary by the history channel rated it as the most dangerous airport in the world.

nepal-trek1.jpg

We were taking a 6-day trek up toward Mt. Everest, and Lukla is the gateway. This is an unbelievable trek, shared with so many yaks, porters and Sherpas. Along with fantastic views and sobering suspension bridges, we passed countless little stops where a small hotel or café has popped up in recent years/decades for the hikers. Every turn offered new vistas and sketching opportunities, although I was with a group and not really free to wander off to sketch at will. Many villages had prayer wheels that you turn as you walk by. I loved coming upon stupas as well, those spiritual places that are said to have some remnant of the Buddha in them to keep the spirit alive.

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I felt that this was like three trips in one. Exploring Kathmandu and Baktapur is amazing and worth the trip. Staying in the village with the community was priceless. And doing the trek in the mountains was entirely different as well. Highly recommended, though you need to be in shape!

nepal-trek4.jpg

© @mrsomebody

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This is another outstanding post, your drawings here are amazing, and I’d love to know more about the video project you were working on, that sounds so cool. Resteemed!

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Thank you so much @lilyraabe! It may make sense to do a post about the videos I've done for these projects. I will give it some thought. Appreciate your comments.

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Congrats on this post’s success by the way! :)

You are phenomenal. I just resteemed and followed you. Have you heard of Sndbox? I think they are a great incubation project for awesome creators like you. I think you should check out their quest that is trying to recruit some new fellows. Yeah it is based on Steem here. May interest you. Go to @guyfawkes4-20's blog to find out if it's one you would want to be involved. You will ace it, for sure. Great to meet another awesome creator. Folks like you should be on the trending page of Steemit. That still remains my dream to now.

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Thank you, and thanks for the follow and resteem too! I just learned about sandbox and actually submitted 2 images for their weekly contest. But there is much more I need to learn about it. I just followed you back and will check out your posts. Appreciate it. @misterakpan

These are so incredible * ___ * the sketches are beautiful and very evocative and the text takes me through your journey and thought processes so well * ___ *

Too bad a lot of the buildings have been destroyed now :( Mother nature can be pretty ferocious ! But thank you for sharing your sketches <3 They are really gorgeous <3

upvotes

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@veryspider Thank you, I appreciate your comments. It is always a good feeling to capture parts of a trip in sketch form, along with photos. They somehow evoke memories of the place more than photos do. Probably because you have to spend a little time doing them so the sense of place creeps into it. I like feeling invisible and quiet when I draw, so that the birds and bugs and people get back to their normal routines and ignore me.

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Aaah, yes, I understand. There is a bit of the artist's personal experience that seeps through the brushes and the pencils onto the art and it gives things a bit more 'soul'... for lack of better terms.

I am a bit more anxious as a person, so I don't really draw a lot at public or open spaces. But looking at your arts made me feel like I should challenge that irrational fear :) I do like the feeling of serenity myself :)

I really like the style and the mix of different media! Incredible, @mrsomebody!

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Thank you @cookiespooky. I am more of a drawer, so it is a good challenge to switch the technique up.

It can be possible by a true creative mind.

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Amazing art work.

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@srinjanamichelle Thank you so much. Nepal is a great adventure.

These are absolutely fantastic.

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Thank you, I appreciate it. It certainly helps to be inspired by amazing views. There was so much more that I just didn't have time to draw. Maybe than means I need to go back! haha @jcayne

Awesome drawings buddy! Found ya through curie's resteem. :)
Keep at it.

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Sweet, thank you so much for your compliments. I'm glad you found me. @yesaye

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No probs! Likewise. :D

Your art has been featured on @steemsketchbook's
Third Issue : The World of Watercolor: Featuring Steemit Artists

Keep Steeming!!!

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Wow, thank you very much! @steemsketchbook

Excellent work, really enjoy the sketches. @mrsomebody can you tell me a little bit about the cost for such a trip? A friend of mine wants to take a major excursion all the way to the Mt. Everest Base Camp. I’ve never even come close to doing something like that, so I need to know what I am looking at price wise. Any tips? Thanks!

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Thank you, I appreciate it. @libertylemon Let's see, my lodging was covered because I was a volunteer. I think you can get hotels in Kathmandu for $20 a night, maybe less. Airfare was... around $1,400 because I booked it late. The 6 day trek was $800 including airfare but Everest base camp was still a couple days away from our furthest point. In my case the arrangements were made through Crooked Trails, so I'm sorry I'm not more help.

Wow this post is awesome, i have seen many skethes and compilation and this one is among the bests! Deserves resteeming.

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@steemsketchbook Thanks a lot. The notes and sketches from a trip always seem like a mess. So once they're all together like here they seem more intentional and planned. haha! You can't go wrong when you visit such an interesting place. There were so many more things I could have drawn given more time. But traveling as part of a group is somewhat limiting in that respect. Just followed you.

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It's awesome to know that you are traveling and sketching with a group. Given that limit, you already made good. Kudos to all of you and thanks for the follow :)

Congratulations @mrsomebody, this post is the most rewarded post (based on pending payouts) in the last 12 hours written by a Newbie account holder (accounts that hold between 0.01 and 0.1 Mega Vests). The total number of posts by newbie account holders during this period was 4276 and the total pending payments to posts in this category was $3570.20. To see the full list of highest paid posts across all accounts categories, click here.

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Geez that's amazing! Thank you for the info. I'm very appreciative. @bitgeek

I love this!

Beautiful drawings, I went to Katmandu in 2010, my drawings are not as good as yours.
All the best.

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@galleriedu Thank you. It is an amazing place for sure. I loved visiting the Monkey Temple and those other world heritage sites. I also got a haircut. That was a cool experience, which involved a head massage (I think).

Beautiful ink & wash drawings. I often envy those that have the opportunity to travel and sketch on location and your work is exceptional.
It's always a pleasure to encounter a talented ink artist.

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Thanks Phil, I appreciate your thoughts. I always seem to go back to pen and ink, and then challenge myself to mix it up. I like your drawings as well. I'm following you.

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Thanks - I particularly love the sketch you did of the valley where you dug the trench. The stepped hillside really contrasts beautifully with the building in the foreground.

Beautiful sketches, beautiful places, beautiful experience! Thank you very much for sharing!

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Thanks @madmilo. I have posted on instagram and fb, but this is a better format to add images and text all in one place.

I'm so impressed by your art! Keep traveling and making such great stuff!

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Thank you! I'm going to Portugal this spring, and am looking forward to exploring there. Sketching definitely enriches my travel experiences.

Good post, please, look at this my post...there're somthing in common... :) https://steemit.com/ita/@dudithedoctor/alla-scoperta-dei-borghi-medievali-dolceacqua

Nice catch @curie! Looks like @mrsomebody has been posting some beautiful sketches for a while now. Nice work, reward that Somebody :) :) :)

Been to Nepal a couple times now, such an enchanting place, your images take me back there!

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Yeah this was one of those finds were it was like, how the heck is he slipping under the radar!?! So many quality posts.

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Thanks, I'm glad you found me! @carlgnash

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Thank you. I really think Nepal is spectacular. I hope to return one day. Still connected to many of the villagers on fb.

This is beautiful to share these sketches, witnesses of vestiges that really should be remembered. I find it very unique this emotions that I have while observing the drawings: the simple representations you made of the buildings carry very subtly the connections you could have had with them, more than camera pictures could have done.

The project you are talking about sounds truely awesome. I am currently travelling around SE Asia to create a documentary and I understand the challenge of building an actual relationship with the locals to give more essence to the whole film.

I hope you will be back on your travels with more art to share soon. It is surely appreciated.

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Thank you @astralaglae. I've had the same idea as yours - traveling around SE Asia. I'd like to do nonprofit short videos for different groups to help tell their stories for them. I did do a couple simple videos for a shelter I'd volunteered at in Saigon. The challenge is to find the right groups to collaborate with. Some are big and well funded, so they don't need me. And some are too small to have a website or the means to use social media like videos. Gotta find the ones with some traction but could really benefit from my skills - short videos, web images etc. Things they don't have any budget for. Following you and looking forward to reading your posts.

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That is a very nice idea. It has got similarities with the whole idea behind our documentary, even if we approach it from a slightly different angle: we are running a project called astralship.org in North Wales and we are willing to go around and film a bunch of projects sharing the same kind of visions and missions... I guess our aim is a bit like trying to "map out" these organisations that are popping up around the world to show that we are not an isolated case and that other people are trying hard out there.

But yeah, it is a blessing to have some people coming to help out with social media and video making. My background is in films but since I have been working on the project I find it extremely hard to find time to create anything, that is why I am so happy to be on this trip! :)

Thanks for following me, more posts will be coming soon.

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If you are not familiar with the book Blessed Unrest by Paul Hawken, you may find it interesting. It's about nonprofits as the largest social movement in history.

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Thanks for the advice and sorry for late reply, have been out of internet for the past week. It has been nice. :)

Love travel diaries with travel sketches. Lovely

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Thank you. It really is rewarding to do sketches of places. The impressions of those places remain much more than my photos do. @artkapture

You´ve impressive drawing skills! And the place looks like is very worth visiting. I´ll keep an eye on you! ;)

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Thank you @javicuesta. There are so many interesting places there to visit, I could return many times.

Not only you did you had a great adventure, soaking different cultures but you did some amazing sketches! I love urban sketching and I wish I was better at it, practicing for now, but yours are exquisite and dinamic and detailed. Awesome work!
Resteemed!

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Thank you @darina. It was definitely a great adventure. Sketching can really be hit and miss, with some working out ok and others not so well. And sometimes I get interrupted or it starts to rain. But I always have a little sense of accomplishment when I do them. Even my sketchbooks have a life other own, having been dragged from one place to another, getting wet, getting scuffed up in my daypack. Some of them are actually falling apart now.

Amazing arts.
Lots of love from Nepal.

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Thanks @steemnepal! It was such a great experience.

I love your sketches and it seems like you had a wonderful travel experience while doing them. I look forward to follow you and see more of your work! 😊Helen

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I appreciate your kind words. Sketching definitely adds to the travel experience, and helps me to pay attention to things in a different way. I am heading to Portugal this spring, and expect it will be an incredible place to visit and do sketching in. Followed you. I like your icon designs, very nice. I'm an icon designer as well. @helenmunch

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You're welcome! Portugal is definitely an incredible place to visit with your sketchbook, patterns and tiles everywhere, small houses and narrow streets. Look forward to see your rendering of that... Thanks for following back! I'll see you around! :) Helen

Wow, amazing artwork friend!!!! It's so good, and soo beautiful <3

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Thank you @winizart! Glad you like it. I think Steemit is a great place to show things like this, where you can have multiple images and text to give them context.

Wow. I am not kidding you when I say this is one of the best travel posts I have seen on Steem blockchain. To have it illustrated with your own (exceptional) art is amazing. I love your sketches. Crooked Trails sounds like a really cool organization, and what a great way to really experience a place - staying with local families and helping out with local projects. So cool. And even the cows were sad to see you go! Well, I guess I am glad you left so you could end up here on Steem blockchain :)

Much love - Carl "Totally Not A Bot" Gnash / @carlgnash



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Human Certified Original Works

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Thank you so much Carl! I appreciate your kind comments, and am honored to receive your badge of originality. Yes Crooked Trails really is amazing. While I was with them we went to visit the nonprofit Maiti Nepal in Kathmandu that rescues girls from being kidnapped into the sex trade. A very humbling experience. @humanbot

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Geez yeah I bet that was humbling. I can't tell you how much I enjoyed this post. Your illustrations remind me of some classic illustrators - reminded me a bit of Arthur Rackham which is super high praise in my (illustrated) book :)

This post was nominated by a @curie curator to be featured in an upcoming Author Showcase post on the @curie blog. If you agree to be featured in this way, please reply and:

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You can check out the previous week's Author Showcase to get an idea of what we are doing with these posts.

Cheers - Carl (@curie curator)

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@carlgnash Yes please include me as a nominee. You can use any or all of the text and artwork in my post. it would be an honor. I plan to join discord, so I may be able to send you a brief statement in the next day or so. Thanks again, I appreciate it very much.

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Perfect. I usually write these posts Wednesday evening (late) Pacific time. I am in Oregon, grew up in Southeast Alaska so kinda all around your neck of the woods :)

Oh my god, these "sketches" - if you can even call them that - are astounding. They look postcard-ish in their detail and uplifting feel. I've never particularly wanted to visit Nepal, but these make it much more alluring of an idea! I like the watercolour mixes with the stark, black lines.

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Thank you @claritagigi. I had never thought of Nepal until I was asked to video tape this nonprofit volunteer effort there that the Seattle Crooked Trails sponsored. I really didn't know what I was getting into. That group has been there many times, so I benefited by traveling with them. Very glad you like the post!

Very nice work. As a former student of architecture, I love architectural renderings.

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Thank you @chadizms. I tend to notice the architecture as well. Of course it is always easier to draw things that don't move around, unlike people and animals. haha

Love these! Really nice line work.

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Thanks @midlet. It's always rewarding to do them.

Wow, what a great way to remember your trip. I love your sketches.

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Thanks @jiris. I do tend to look back through sketchbooks more than photos.

@mrsomebody very cool sketch
Strokes are really nice. Keep it up 😀

This type of post is the reason I joined steemit! I will certainly follow you so I can see more of that awesome stuff!

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@jaclavet Thank you. I can say the same thing about your work. So cool and imaginative. Following you as well.

Congratulations @mrsomebody!
Your post was mentioned in the Steemit Hit Parade for newcomers in the following categories:

  • Comments - Ranked 10 with 69 comments
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I also upvoted your post to increase its reward
If you like my work to promote newcomers and give them more visibility on Steemit, feel free to vote for my witness! You can do it here or use SteemConnect

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@arcange Thank you for this. I really appreciate the mention and exposure.

amazing article :)
love from nepal

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Thanks @bibkchhetri. It really sad to think of those villages after the earthquake. And Baktapur... such an amazing place.

Took me back to my childhood. I grew up somewhere around there! Thank you so much. Please let me know if you're open to doing illustrations for stories based in the country for Mithila Review http://mithilareview.com. Cheers!

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thank you @salikshah. I will check out the Mithila Review

you're so talented! amazing talent keep it up!

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Thank you @khaker. Appreciate your kind words.

Great post! I totally have to go there! It wasn’t on my list anyway, but now it jumped way to the top 😄 and your drawings are amazing, very inspiring!

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Thank you @yeszuzia. Yes you would probably like it a lot. I love temples and shrines, so you can't go wrong there. For some reason I am fascinated with these older poor cultures with their layers of history and ruins. And I like drawing structures as you do. I did take some drafting classes before getting into art school, so structure, perspective al all that always interest me. I love the sketch in your post on Gdansk.

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Thank you! Yes I love drawing perspective and structures too, I've been doing it for so long, that now it's very relaxing for me :D I used to do it just with pencil, now I'm also trying to learn watercolors. I love those old other cultures too, I definitely have to go to Japan one day too. And it's great that you had an opportunity to stay with some family! I love travelling like that, not to a hotel, because you can really feel and get to know this culture and their whole lifestyle!

Yesssssss, @mrsomebody. Niiiiicely done. That's how you sketch shit! Epic post. I got a little bit of goosebumps from the work. I'd be a sad cow too if I saw you drawing next to me. hhehehehe. Where to next?

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Dang @oneminja your work is awesome! You really know how to capture form, human form. And your animation is amazing, really great. It's nice to see it in a motion graphic form too. Ok I'm following you. Glad we met! I just esteemed your post too. Cheers.

Awesome! Really! Traveling and sketching is the perfect mix! Do you know @steemartists page?

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thanks @airmatti. I don't know that page. I'll check it out tho, thank you.

Love your artwork

Wow what a wonderful and amazing art you got i love them nice one brah

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I appreciate your comments @chukwudubem. Glad you liked them.

Two of my favorite things, sketching and tibetan buddhism! Maybe watercolours are not the best mean to paint the vivid colours they have in architecture. Truly awesome anyways, one of the best posts i've seen on steemit :-)

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Thanks @onicreative. I would agree – sketching and Buddhism. I hope to post sketches from a few other trips soon - Italy, Japan, Peru, France. I really like your photos from Pitigliano - amazing lighting.

Oh, this post and the sketches are absolutely wonderful. I love your style. Following to see what else you've got. You're welcome to follow back if you like my stuff :-)

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Following @leurbanexplorer. Thank you, I really like the format here where I can add context to the sketches. I just posted sketches from a trip to Paris, Nice etc. https://steemit.com/travel/@mrsomebody/sketchtravel-in-europe

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So cool! I recognize some of those places! :-)

WOW! @mrsomebody, you are truly an awesome artist. These watercolors reminds me a lot of studio ghibli's work and their use of color! Have you ever looked at Kazuo Oga's work? Or Gonzalo Carcamo? It would probably interest you! Keep up the good work! Its really great to see good artists succeeding in steemit!

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Hello @mimoartes. Thanks for your comments. I am not familiar with Kazou Oga or Gonzalo Carcamo's work. I will check them out. I am more of a drawer than a painter, but I guess that means I should do more watercolors! Appreciate your thoughts.