Ashram life

It’s been almost 2 weeks since I booked myself a stay in Satyananda Yoga Rocklyn Ashram. Looking back, the experience was invaluable.

It is situated in a lovely and peaceful surrounding. I have a few hours each day to reflect and of course to paint.


On day 1, I attended Havan (a fire ceremony) held in the 2 buildings on the right (shown below, on the bottom image). There were offerings of spices and lots of chanting. The smoke purifies the atmosphere and the ceremony is believed to bring abundance and prosperity.


A bell (top left) will be rung to signify the beginning of events – meditation, chores, meals, etc. On the top right, a pretty wreathe made of gum leaves and bottom, a mud brick building used for meditation.


Everyday we start our day at 6 am, gathering at the studio below, for yoga and meditation. And everyday after breakfast, my tasks were to ensure the studio glass doors were cleaned (remove hand prints), and blankets and mats were stacked neatly.


My room (bottom) has a great view of the forest. Loads of kangaroos and rabbits (didn’t manage to draw any rabbit) came out to feed in the evening. The sculpture belongs in the garden of the ashram.


And finally, a shed behind their main building where clothes are hung to dry, cars are being repaired etc.


Hope you enjoyed this post. Namaste!

Durian, king of fruits 

Have you come across durian? Have you smelled or tasted it?

This is the fruit (below)- quite distinctive with spiky thorns around the outer skin, which is not edible. The fruit contains a number of seeds covered with soft yellowish flesh. The flesh has a texture like avocado and is sweet. It’s extremely fragrant (or smelly – some love it, others not so much).

durian by evelynyee

Malaysians love the fruit. A number of stalls are selling the fruit – eat-all-you-want style at a flat fee. The following photo was taken when I was out at one of the stalls.  

durian stall by evelyn yee.  

The Palace in Kuala Lumpur

All things must come to an end, right? My time in Penang was up and so I moved on to new adventures in Kuala Lumpur – there were lots of people to see, lots of food to eat and lots more sketches to be drawn.

palace malaysia - evelyn yee
And what better sketch to start with than the beautiful Istana Negara, palace of His Majesty The Yang di-Pertuan Agong of Malaysia. In the above sketch, the Petronas Twin Towers and the Kuala Lumpur tower (also in the next sketch) are shown in the background.

 palace in malaysia - evelyn yee 
 It’s an amazing structure costing about RM100 million to built – that is a lot of RM (about AUD33 million)!!

Urban sketching in Penang

Penang (and the rest of Malaysia) is hot and humid all year round. It is quite uncomfortable to be sketching outdoors unless it’s early in the morning, when the sun is still low or under shade. 

 I sketched this scene at lunch from a market. Penang has many small streets and scooters are popular modes of transport.

 Penang shophouses_evelynyee 
A charming shophouse next to 7-11

 Penang shophouses_evelynyee 

A view down a street – I drew this from the comfort of an air-condition cafe in a shopping mall😀

 Penang shophouses_evelynyee 
And finally a view from my hotel room.


Drawing with sticks

Why not? It’s fun and the lines are unpredictable (wonky?). Not to mention that it’s a tool you can make yourself.


Actually I have sharpened the “other” end of my dip pen, so that I need not have to carry an additional tool. So yes, it is a stick. You can pick up a twig, sharpen and you will have a brand new tool to play with. For the above piece, I have dipped my stick in watered down watercolour.

The lines are not consistent and that is the beauty of using the stick. Other parts have been painted with a brush.

Hope you enjoyed these as much as I have creating them. 

Happy Weekend!

Gouache paintings

I always have some drawing tools with me when I leave the house. Often I have a small set of watercolour to paint on-location, but I never seem to carry my gouache set with me, and as the result it gets forgotten.

Recently I decided to give this lovely medium a go. Can’t remember the last time I used gouache before then. I am loving it.


Here is another one (below) painted in watercolour and gouache – since they are both water based mediums, I mix the 2 mediums and this really works for me.