New Medium: Ink + Water

Recently bought Water Brushes with Ink for my Monday Figure Drawing classes. Really struggling to control the weight of each stroke, but it’s great for thinking about volume and shadows.

Best piece of advice my high school figure drawing teacher gave me:

The fastest and easiest way to change your perspective and habitual drawing style is to switch mediums. So if you’re stuck or having a bad art day, don’t give up – just switch from a pen to a paint brush. 

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Finished…. Marathon #2.

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Today, I finished the Virgin London Marathon in 4 hours and 37 minutes. I couldn’t be happier with my time, the weather conditions, and crowds that came to support the runners. Overall, it was an amazing day and after a flapjack cake, coffee and large bowl of pasta, I feel like a normal human being again. We’ll see how I feel tomorrow morning though!

My philosophy in life and in particular with this challenge was inspired by Confucius:

“It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.” 

I could shower you with cheesy quotes about perseverance, but instead I’ll leave you with a quote from NIKE:

JUST DO IT.

My latest BRUNCH adventures in London.

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Forge & Co. 

http://www.forgeandco.co.uk

Address: 154-158 Shoreditch High Street, London E1 6HU

What I ordered: Eggs florentine, americano, and immune boost smoothie 

Best Part: If you buy a glass of Prosecco at 10 and receive free re-fills throughout your Saturday Brunch. The atmosphere is the perfect mix of classy and chilled.

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At home

Lemon & blueberry buttermilk pancakes with french press coffee w/soy milk

Recipe: http://southernfood.about.com/od/pancakesandwaffles/r/bl80613j.htm

Best Part: You get to stay in your pjs, perfect your cooking skills, and relax with your flatmates in that lazy Sunday fashion. 

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Duck & Waffle 

http://duckandwaffle.com

Address: 110 Bishopsgate, London EC2N 4AY

What I ordered: Duck egg en cocotte and filter coffee

Best Part: The view above London from the 40th floor, especially if you go in the early morning and see the sun rise. Weekend reservations are impossible to get, so I would recommend booking for an earlier time before work (6:30-7 AM reservation). 

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Nama Food

http://namafoods.com

Address: 110 Talbot Road, London W11 1JR

What I ordered: Lasagne Verdure and espresso with coconut milk

Best Part: If you’re feeling experimental and want to try something new, then vegan is the latest trend. Don’t confuse veganism as being the ‘healthiest’ or most ‘delicious’ option; however, it is definitely something to spice up a typical Saturday.

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Nordic Bakery

http://www.nordicbakery.com

Address: Multiple Locations in London

What I ordered: Filter coffee, egg & herring dark rye sandwhich and half a cinnamon bun

Best Part: The dark bread is great to purchase and take home as your weekly supply of delicious healthy bread. 

TRAVELING, blogging, and drawing.

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I’m currently at Heathrow Terminal 1 about to debark towards Sofia, Bulgaria. There is nothing better than siting down with a coffee and my sketchbook at the airport. The rush of adventure, the fear of take-off, the assurance that I’ve passed security, and the calm of coffee. I remember my elementary teachers saying that you remember things better if you write them down. I don’t know whether that is scientifically proven, but I find it to be true. Therefore, I try to reflect and write down my impressions and reflections of my travels. This trip will be purely personal (going to visit family) but equally offers the opportunity for diversity and variation in my life. So for now, I say bye and здрасти София … Предстегам след 6 цаса… Имам престой в Германия.

Reflections on my week in BOSTON… and a peek into Harvard/MIT.

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Reflections on my short trip to Boston:

  1. I personally found Boston to be the older and more attractive sibling of New York: the streets are cleaner, the people are friendlier, and the architecture is diverse. (Boston is the perfect mix between tradition and modernity). Plus, Boston is quite small, making the walk from the North end all the way to Cambridge a charming afternoon.
  1. The city has a bustling culture scene. I was fortunate enough to catch a Puerto Rican festival this past weekend. First, my friend and I stumbled upon a full free night concert and the next day we saw a parade! The atmosphere was absolutely joyous due to the wonderful Bostonian people and hispanic pride. The cultural diversity of the city adds to its dynamic ambiance. (Fun fact from a local: Boston has a large Puerto Rican community).
  1. Boston could easily be identified as a university area. The actual city is filled with names ranging from Northeastern, Berklee School of Music, Tufts, Boston University, and Boston College. And just across the Charles River are MIT and Harvard in Cambridge. As a student aspiring to their high calibre, I found the two prestigious universities to be aweing and yet normal. By talking to current students, it became clear that going to Harvard or MIT was difficult (but DEFINITELY not unattainable through hard work). Insider information: Harvard students pee on the statue of John Harvard, so DON’T rub the foot. Also, MIT students love climbing on things… buildings, the alchemist statue, etc.
  1. The transportation was easy to use and efficient. I was staying at MIT in Cambridge, which was closely connected to the city through the T (metro). There were also buses and other quick links. I’m biased because I live in London, but hey, for an American city the public transportation was pretty good!
  1. So much to do! So much to see! So much to enjoy! There are museums, historical sites, comedy clubs, malls, movie theatres, Red Sox games, food markets, parks and so so so much more. Additionally, the city appears to care for its citizens. For example, the greenway is a park stretch from the North End to South Station. AND there’s free wifi on this strip (it also has benches, tables, fountains, and vegetation).
  1. The people were absolutely lovely. The population sample was probably skewed away from students because it was summer, but I found Boston to have a nice mix of students, young professionals, and established business suits. Although it heavily depends on the area, Boston also has a nice balance between the different socio-economic classes.

Personal recommendations for places to visit:

  1. Boston Commons
  2. Faneuil Hall Marketplace/Quincy Market – bustling food and clothing stores
  3. Beacon Hill – where the rich people live
  4. North End – Italian part (must try cannoli)
  5. Newbury Street – shopping and beautiful area
  6. Freedom Trail
  7. The financial district
  8. The Boston Harbour Inn
  9. The different university campuses (especially Cambridge)

Food/Drink:

  1. Eat lunch or dinner on top of the Prudential Tower for an amazing view of Boston
  2. Coffee and a sandwich at Thinking Cup
  3. Coffee shop experience =  Flour Bakery and Cafe 
  4. Brunch in Cambridge – Area Four (they serve pizza!)
  5. Boston Common Coffee (why go to Starbucks when Boston has its own chain?)
  6. La Burdicks – for a hot chocolate experience like a true Harvard Student
  7. Georgetown Cupcakes – there’s one on Newbury street

Final Conclusion: Boston… I’ll be coming back for you someday. You absolutely took my heart away!

WaterMelons, WaterColours, WaterMornings

Watermelon Sketch

 

7: 04 AM (Drinking green tea and enjoying pumpernickel bread with peanut butter & banana)

1. For me, the presence of watermelon slices immediately signals ‘summer’ and ‘outdoor parties.’ The watermelon triangles are a staple of any successful pool party or backyard barbecue.

2. Will children in 100 years know that watermelons once did not have seeds? Or will every sort be ‘seedless’? We now have seedless grapes, seedless watermelons, and even the plumcot (a complex hybrid between apricots and plums). Food is becoming ever more convenient, but moving further away from the dietary regime of our ancestors. As Michael Pollan writes in his book Food Rules“Don’t eat anything your great-grandmother wouldn’t recognise as food.”

3. Баба Вани винаги казба.. “Не яш диня преди да лягаш за сьн.” Translation from Bulgarian to English: ‘ My grandmother always yells at me to NOT eat watermelon before bed. Out of all her rules, this one might be my least favourite. I mean, who doesn’t have watermelon cravings at 10 PM? I can’t be the only one enticed by the red and green candy that is watermelon.