Temples and Palaces – Bali Journal

Ubud Palace Carving, Ink, graphite and water colour Bali Journal 2015

Ubud Palace Carving, Ink, graphite and water colour Bali Journal 2015

Bali is known as the island of temples and indeed it is easy to think that almost every building in Bali is either a temple or a shop.  On this trip I begun to have a better understanding of the Balinese religion and the role of the temples in every day life.  Every Balinese house has a temple, one at the door to avert evil spirits, and then a little temple complex in the house compound for temples to their ancestors and the particular gods that they worship.  They were sometimes very elaborate or just often just simple, the structure of the temple was not as important as the spirits they contain.

I just loved all the intricate carvings that were everywhere and in particular the juxtaposition of the white stone against the old red bricks of the building.  So many patterns and designs, it was heaven.

Palace Dog,  Water colour

Palace Dog, Water colour Bali Journal 2015

There are many dogs in Bali, some are treasured pets, others are very street wise strays.  The Balinese used to have a terrible problem with stray dogs and rabies, but a concerted effort between the Balinese government and Australian and other international vets have helped to sort out the problem.  Without a specific breeding program the dogs have reverted back to their archetypal form as seen above.  Sort of like a pointy eared Labrador.  (I just learnt that fact from a TV dog show the other day, but 90% of the dogs in Bali were of this type so it made sense to me and I thought I would sound knowledgeable for a moment).  This one had a collar (but no tail) so I presume he was loved by someone in the palace.

By the way this is a drawing by me without any black outlines!!, it was hard to do, but occasionally I just like to prove to myself that I can do it.

Nature Temples Pen and ink Bali Journal 2015

Nature Temples Pen and ink Bali Journal 2015

Here are some of the less ornate temples, these were nature temples near a farm we passed.  The tall brick one is for the male nature spirits and the smaller wooden one is for the female spirits.  My understanding is they were to pray to the old nature spirits to say thank you for letting the farmer use the land and keep on the right side of them.  The Balinese religions combines their old nature spirit worship, Hindu gods and ancestor worship.  A full time job to keep all of them happy, but the island has the most beautiful quality to it, that many people put down to this sincere incorporation of the spiritual into their everyday lives.

Bamboo Bridge Sapu Lidi Resort Ubud Ink and water colour Bali Journal 2015

Bamboo Bridge Sapu Lidi Resort Ubud Ink and water colour Bali Journal 2015

I really struggled with this drawing of a beautiful bamboo bridge, the proportions somehow got completely out of whack, but the feel is something like the original.  Here is also an offering box that are seen outside every house or business every day.  I think the bridge had one because of the cross over of a path and water.

Balinese Pattern water colour and ink Bali Journal 2015

Balinese Pattern water colour and ink Bali Journal 2015

Lastly is a pattern page.  Hope you have enjoyed this revisited of the journal.  I still have quite a few pages to go, so I will be back with more.  I am determined to complete this journal, then it will be the first travel journal that is finished.  It is the year for finishing journals, as I have only two more pages to complete my sketch book.  That is really exciting as I have never kept up sketching for that long either.


15 responses to “Temples and Palaces – Bali Journal

  1. Love the patterns AND the dog. Fantastic journal.

  2. Karen thank you for sharing these beautiful images and giving the back story on what they represent. I love the idea of a temple. They probably keeps everyone a little more calm and focused, perhaps I need one too.

    From time-to-time I try painting without lines and it is a challenge. I don’t know if there is just comfort in having a line to work from or the depth of the line that gives form. Either way your pup worked out nicely and I do hope he is cared for and loved. Stray dogs and cats are such a concern in the current world we live in.

    Now for the bamboo bridge. I would never know if you had captured that image exactly or not but since its your sketch I would say its perfect, its your vision. Plus it really is so beautiful, love the burning incenses.

    And lastly, that pattern, oh that beautiful pattern! I see that as endpaper for your next journal…ummm a collaboration is brewing here!

    • Hi Cathe, I still itch to go back and put a pen to the dog picture, I was always in trouble at art school for outlining my drawings, but I find I like the more graphic and bold feel it gives a picture and most artist I like have this in common. I may try the bamboo bridge again in a larger drawing,, it is 70% there, if it hadn’t been in a journal I would have started again, but I had to finish it and that to us a good learning, and it turned out better than I expected.

  3. Beautiful insights and drawings, and eye catching pattern. So inspiring. Bali sounds like a wonderful experience you journaled with passion and so happy you shared with us.

    • So glad you enjoyed the post and in particular the pattern as the background was inspired by your stripy pattern I so admired. It has been a good season for fellow bloggers taking us on their travels via their art. I really enjoy seeing how people see new places and what they choose to draw.

  4. I love the red brick with white stone, beautiful and rich contrast. I love hearing about your experience and seeing what you put in your journal…thank you for sharing your lovely lovely work!

    • It is a pleasure to share my trip with others. I too loved the contrast of the carving, I have found another picture of similar carving which may go in to the journal. Still some lovely images to work on.

  5. I really enjoyed looking at your art and reading your descriptions, struggles, delights from your journal. I especially love the bamboo bridge. I see it for both for what it actually represents and also as an array of beautiful intricate patterns. Drawing without outlines that you write about is one of the challenges I face when I work with scratchboard so I now what you mean.

    • Thank you Nancy, scratch board is difficult, I have tried it but was not very good, that takes such a skill to work light into dark. I am glad you like the bridge, I loved the patterns in it and the way it blended into and used the natural environment.

  6. There is a cafe called Gedong Sisi just along from the Ubud palace, but still opposite the market. It’s a good place to stop to cool off because there is lots to sketch in there.

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