Portland Chinese Gardens

Portland Chinese Gardens. watercolor, pen & pencil. 11 x 3.5 inches.

Visited the Chinese Gardens on my recent trip to Portland. They’re small but gorgeous, many twisting little pathways around the central pond. Wish I’d had time to take in the teahouse, but this took me most of the 3 hours I had to spend here.

While I was drawing this, two septuagenarian  gentlemen came and did Tai Chi – or possibly Qi Gong? – right in front of where I sat (after asking if I minded, which I did not). As soon as they started I was awash in spirals of energy, a physical sensation like someone drawing feather-light fingers over my skin. It ebbed in intensity occasionally but didn’t stop until they did. I’m often very impatient when I start a sketch, I get this jumpy anxiety and tend to rush through my initial drawing. Thanks to these guys I got into that calm state of flow much faster than usual.

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