HOW NOW MACAU

Happy New Year! It’s been a while since I put anything on the ol’ blogotron and you can blame Christmas and New Year for that. In fact I was grumbling that one of my favourite blogs, Caustic Cover Critic, hadn’t been updated for ages, then thought “But I haven’t posted anything either! Oh the irony!” so maybe all blogs stop over Christmas?

I have actually been doing lots of work, but you can’t see it, it’s all secret and it’s all going to be published in February. That’ll be a good month. Just you wait.

In the mean time, I went to Macau yesterday:

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Not to imply that I went there by scooter, I went there by boat like a normal person. But I drew that scooter when I was there.

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Macau is a very pretty place full of old Portuguese architecture and nice things like that. There is good food and it’s a lot more chilled out than Hong Kong. Also it’s full of tourists, but where isn’t these days?

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I walked around all afternoon and drew lots of pictures. Not a lot to say about them, but I got very tired walking so much, and very annoyed whenever I sat down to draw because people kept leaning over my shoulder and taking photos and that sort of thing. I swear if Chinese teenagers go for more than sixty seconds without taking a photo they start shrivelling up or something.

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Here’s a church near Serrado Square as seen from a window upstairs, though the view was slightly blocked by silver tinsel leftover from Christmas. There’s this attitude in Hong Kong (and Macau to a lesser extent) that Christmas isn’t just one day, or twelve days, but its the entire season that people might be persuaded to buy things between the summer and until Chinese New Year.

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I finished the previous sketchbook I was working in pretty much exactly on New Years Eve, so now I’m onto a new one which is very wide and thin. It’s a fantastic layout for some things, including the view from this cafe’s window, and it’s terrible for others. If you click on it, you will see the picture BIGGER.

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It’s also good for vertical compositions which is a great drawing challenge because this sort of vertical perspective isn’t something you do a lot, unless you work in rather melodramatic comic books. It’s not ideal for a vertical blog layout though. Not sure how you’d get a smaller version. Zoom out I guess.

I spent the day wandering around and drinking coffee and drawing and getting upset by tourists and upsetting other tourists. I also went to the Macau Art Museum, which is great. They have this big collection of 18th and 19th century sketches from artists visiting in the colonial period, which was fantastic to look at and also made me think “Why am I even trying?” Go check it out, but please don’t compare it to my work too harshly. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

After an emotional rollercoaster of a day like this, I did what all tourists in Macau do and went to a casino. I went to the Grand Lisboa, which looks like the sort of alien spaceship that Neill Blomkamp would throw together if he was drunk, and can be seen ruining the skyline in the last drawing in the post. I figured if I’m going to go to a casino, it might as well be the most gaudy, ostentatious one I could find.

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The casino was kind of disappointing. I went in expecting sort of Fear-and-Loathing chaos, or at least the easy-going-fun gambling we get at Happy Valley. Despite all the red and purple and gold and fake diamonds, it’s just a lot of middle aged people play baccarat and slot machines.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI didn’t even see any blackjack! I know! They did have strippers and sort of gymnast girls but it was all a bit underwhelming. But hey, the coffee was free, the cocktails were cheap, and the punters were ugly. I’ll probably go back some day and do a really big series of drawings or try some different ones. But for now, I was whisked away like Cinderella. Oh well.

Here’s the alien-spaceship-casino in all its distant glory:

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