Saturday, November 29, 2008

"Balinese ingenuity"

We saw  this dog in Depensar wearing this "Elizabethan collar". He was in front of his home barking at all of us passing by—just like a dog! The collar was a flowerpot with a rope attached that was then loosely tied around his chest. I felt bad for him, but our visiting veterinarian friend said he probably had some skin irritation and this was keeping him from scratching his fur off. He is quite right right because he had quite a coat of fur. So many of the Bali dogs have patchy coats with areas where there is no fur because that are riddled with mange and skin irritations. It is sad and very distressing to see them scratch. It breaks my heart...

Friday, November 28, 2008

Cruisin' & snoozin'

This little guy was on a mission the other morning. Coming towards me on the beach path and passing without even a glance in my direction. A self assured busy Bali beach dog.

When the heat of midday sets in, many Balinese will find some shade and take a short nap. Too hot do do much else. The same is true for the Bali dogs who will just plop down in some shady place along their  journey. 

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Makan malam

This Bali dog was quite interested in my dinner (malan makam) at Jimbaran beach the other night. You pick your own fish, they grill it over coconut husks and you eat at tables that go down to the waters edge. It is quite delicious and a very festive place to eat. There are Bali beach dogs everywhere.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Life drawing in Bali

Although, I draw from life around me everyday, this was the first time I have gone to an actual life drawing session. I noticed the sign when we first moved here and finally got up the nerve to join this past Saturday. It was two hours in an open-air space in the center of Sanur village. Because of pending pornography  legislation from Jakarta, models should not pose nude until the situation is resolved. So they wore sarongs.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Mr. Bill

Mr. Bill (notice the large red bill) is one of the birds that live across the street at the Kalimantan. A restaurant owned by an expat from Denver Colorado, named Bob, who has lived in bali for 18 years. We frequent his place for quick meals and some good old American political discussions. CNN is usually on thee TV at the bar, unless Bob is away and the girls are in charge and then it is Indonesian soap operas. A local watering hole with an very eclectic menu. He serves a Wyoming breakfast and many other American classics along with Mexican and Indonesian food. They are all helping us learn to speak Indonesian.


Jamu is the ancient Indonesian art of herbal healing. I discovered jamu at the market in Klungkung last weekend and have since read a few books. It is quite an interesting tradition of inner and outer beauty that is based on natural ingredients in different combinations to cure and prevent every disease known to man. The ginger or Zineberaceae family are the stars with Turmeric being the superstar of jamu. Along with close to 1,000 other species that are used in the preparation of Indonesia's traditional medicine.

Jamu gendong

This is a jamu seller. Most jamu gendong have clients and set out early in the morning and late in the afternoon to deliver their products. At a traditional market you will see it being sold along with everything else. After becoming aware of jamu, I started to notice a few jamu gendong around Sanur. I chased this jamu gendong, who delivers on her bicycle, down the jalan (street) the other day. She got away, but not before I snapped a photo as she raced to her clients.

Kunir Asem by Jamu "Jendong"

I made my first batch of jamu, yesterday and did this very quick sketch as I assembled the ingredients to make Kunir Asem. Turmeric, tamarind, palm sugar to taste, 1 1/2 glasses of water and a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil in a saucepan and chill. Turmeric has quite a staining power on fingers and can you imagine what it could do to teeth! So, I delicately hold it with my fingers and drink my jamu with a straw.

Dog day afternoon

Sometimes I only have the energy to draw with a pen in my Moleskine and leave the watercolors at home.  I love watching and drawing the Bali dogs.

Anjing bagus #6

Anging bagus #7

Anjing Bagus #8

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The Balinese Republican

At the Ulu Watu temple they tied sarongs around our waists because we were wearing shorts. When they found out we were from the USA they wanted to talk about how happy they were about Obama being our president. We hear "Obama bagus" from just about everyone. They did point to this guy and said he would have voted for McCain. I said "Republican?" and he smiled and gave me the thumbs up. I think he may be the only Balinese Republican on the island.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Pasar klungkung

Before I took a Balinese cooking class we went to a traditional pasar (market) in the village of Klungkung. We were the only Bule (Caucasions) and I am far taller than most Balinese. It was an amazing experience to see all the unusual and delicious food being sold—cheap! I sampled things I thought I would never try. It was not easy to see ducks being carried by their feet quaking away.

Ayam (chicken)—This hen and her chick were wandering around pecking away at the prayer offerings.
Cabe merah (red chilis)—These finger chilis are not very hot and they are one of the ingredients in Bumbu Bali which is the base of all Balinese cooking. We ground the ingredients with a mortar and pestle. I am now making Bumbu Bali at home with my new food processor.
Woman selling pisang (bananas) while having makan pagi (breakfast).

Hari senin pagi (Monday morning)

On my early morning walks along Sanur Beach, I am sure to find surfer and diving dudes having Bali kopi (the best coffee) while talking and waiting for tourists to rent their boats, tanks and boards.

Pura Luhar Ulu Watu

A Balinese sea temple built in the 11th century. It is located at the southern most tip of Bali and is perched atop sheer cliffs that drop down to the pounding sea. Monkeys run free and will take whatever they can rip from your body—hats, sunglasses, jewelry etc. This monkey and his family were sitting in a tree on the edge of the cliffs. Ulu Watu is a destination for surfers from around the world.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Not your ordinary kitchen door

Our villa in Bali is a somewhat traditional design having separate buildings connected by walkways around the pool. We have a great room, the bedrooms/bathrooms building and the kitchen building. You walk outside under the Frangipani trees to get from one building to another. You never wear shoes in the house so there are flip-flops scattered everywhere. Several of the doors around the villa are carved. This woman and her twin sister are on the double doors that go into the kitchen.


These sweet delicious fruits are called Rambutan which means hair fruit.

early morning working on the Jukung

These colorful boats, Jukung, are designed and decorated to look like fish. There are hundreds of them along the the beach in Sanur.

Moleskine sketches

As you all know, I love dogs. I saw a bumper sticker on a motorbike here in Bali that said "I love Bali dogs"—I'm on a quest to find one for my car back in Maine.  Everyday my heart goes out to all the Bali dogs. It is so very painful to see how most of them live. The Balinese believe that dogs are evil creatures so that is the major reason for the sad Bali dog existence. A life wandering the streets looking for food and shelter.  

On the other hand, the Balinese revere the monkey. This fellow was at the Monkey Sanctuary in Ubud, where thousands of monkeys have free reign of the entire temple and beyond.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Daily sketches from around Sanur, Bali

Daily prayer offering.
At the market.
In the villa garden.
Waiting for customers at the massage tables on the beach.

Sketches from my tiny handbag sketch book

I spend much of my time with a small sketch book and a pen when I am not commited to watercolor sketches. Sometimes it is just easier and more relaxing! I draw while traveling with Jerry, eating out or just during our everyday running around.

A contour drawing of a truck during a trip to the fish plant in Benoa Harbor and I miss my dog.
I got my hair colored and trimmed the other day here in Sanur. While waiting for the color to process, I sketched this self portrait during which I had several Balinese hairdressers watching. My cut and color cost 150,000 rupiah. That is about $15.00 in US dollars. In Maine, that same cut and color can cost me anywhere from $75-$150. I don't think I can tell the difference...


Jerry's fish business is moving right along and production will start in a few weeks. Grouper is one of the fish that will be caught locally, processed here in Bali and sent to the USA.

Everywhere I turn...

Bali is filled with tourists and much of the time I struck by the fact that, most tourists are not pretty...