Painting Outside in Korea

TempleDoors_tracy_butler
Temple Doors, South Korea, chalk pastel on board

Sketching or painting outside can be a very relaxing experience, but it all depends on where you decide to plant yourself.

Until recently, I lived in South Korea and I used to love painting in Gyeongju, Korea’s ancient capital.

On this occasion spring was at it’s height and I had completely misjudged the crowds after a harsh winter which were out walking or taking photographs (both national pastimes).  Even though it was early in the morning, the only westerner with an easel and chalk pastels was fair game.  I was jostled, photographed (as was my work – a big no-no without permission) and I have Korean fingerprints on my painting as pastels had not been seen before.  I have never been the centre of so much attention – it’s rather difficult working with a camera lens resting on your shoulder.

My advice?  Be careful where and when you choose to set up for en plein air painting, but be very grateful to the temple’s monks who go out of their way to feed and befriend you with a life time’s supply of coffee and boiled sweets.

 

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