Thursday, December 5, 2013

new collection of batik made into shirts

These are the new shirts cut from kain batik collected from Bogor, Solo, Yogya.  I like them all.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

New batik design

I have finished the new major kain phytocrene for Batik Komar to work on in 2014.  Now I am working on a stole design of Phytocrene that is based on partly my botanical illustration and an old one that was done in Wallace's old book.  It will be a long selendang.  But I have no idea who I can give it to produce as it is a most complex work that needs supervision every step.
Let's see what results I get from Batik Komar and Hartono in 2014 before I made a decision.

Saturday, November 16, 2013


There is my painting from 1995 with the strangely beautiful light green colour.  I love this green since then and now my shirt from batik komar is this green with wayang motif.

Monday, November 11, 2013


I am wearing surjan as part of my normal everyday clothings now. 

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Phytocrene palmata botanical illustration is done

Here it is my major work of once a year!
The painting is more graceful and melancholy compared to the one of P. macrophylla.  The inflorescence is longer, but paler with less details.
I still have a small landscape scene of Kebun Raya Bogor with P. macrophylla as subject to paint.  But I think I will start to think about the next design of batik for Batik Komar to make.  It is going to be more different than the last one which is more like painting.  This one, I wanted to have it more like an overall pattern with simple colours, so more universal appeal to Indonesians.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

wagashi wagashi

Lovely Sweets from Japan!

new painting of Indonesian theme

I am working on my major botanical illustration for the year.  But on the side, I am still painting some batik design just to relax myself.  Here is one called Kraton Surakarta in progress.  The background will be a mirror.  The batik kain is a design of traditional classic batik motif of Naga and Parang but in north coast's brilliant colours.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

N'dalem Gamelan Naga

I just finished this painting of my favourite hotel within the Kraton of Yogyakarta.  Right now, I will start my painting of Phytocrene palmata and also my research of the unidentified climber which now I have some ideals what it actually is.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

batik batik batik

Lots of new batik:
Bin House, Dudung, EB, etc.

Green Moment

This is the ceremonial cloth I bought when in Yogyakarta.  I am wearing a green surjan.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Gua Langse

Gua Langse is situated further east of the Queen of the South Hotel on the cliff facing the Java coast at Parangtritis Beach.  We went there in the morning, bright and early.  After about more than 30 minutes of very rough road passed the sign saying Gua Langse, we finally made it to the huts where the keeper will take your entry money and a young man was going to be our guide down the cliff to the cave.  We passed thru more local timber's plantation where we could see monkeys and then right up to the cliff.  We started our descend and our driver was too old for the trip and he waited up there for our safe return.  So the 3 of us, the young guide, me and my friend Jack climbed down.  There were bamboo or wooden ladders on the vertical cliff and then other places were steps formed from the hollow of tree roots.  It was indeed very dangerous.  One false move, you will be down there faster than you want.  Our legs were shaking half way down as it was very exhausting and physically tough to get down.  But we finally made it to the bottom of the cliff.  It has been a 160m descend.  We took some pictures on the sea rock and then walked up to the pavilion to view Parangtritis beach from far.  Then we entered the Gua.  The cave is dark but wide with limestone formations and then the inner part has very low ceiling.  People come to meditate here for 3 days.  The air was still and not cool.  I felt a bit scared trapped in that space.  Outside I mediated facing the ocean, and performed the ritual to Nyai Ratu Roro Kidul (Queen of the South Sea).  I have brought her a perfume and tied up with a breast cloth of green (her favourite colour) and my name card.
The way up was relatively easy, and we were treated to fresh coconut water to regain energy.  It had been a very mystical trip.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Imogiri: The Royal Tombs

When I was in Central Java, I visited the Royal Graves at a place called Imogiri.  Usually it is closed but on Friday afternoon, between 1 to 4 pm, the inner gate is open.  To reach the place usually one has to ascend about 345 steps to reach the gate.  But I was prepared.  I went with my friend Jack from Solo and his driver in a car.  We were then led by a dalem on motorbike, he showed us the way to drive all the up the hill to the gate, so we don't have to sweat at all.  It was a smart move as previously my friend and I were so tired from the Gua Langse hike.
I was already in my Javanese costume which is consisted of barefoot (in the sacred ground), batik kain (length) of seadragon motif (from batik Masina Cirebon), lonthong polo (light blue waist band) locked by kamus modang benang emas (belt) with a timang (belt head), Surjan Peranakan of dark blue (javanese shirt), and a blangkon (hat).
My friend needed to change into the right costume, so did the dalem who was in a different surjan before.  Now all of us were in dark blue surjan lurik.
We were to visit the grave of the highest ruler of Yogyakarta, then finally entered the most sacred inner place.  It is the grave of Sultan Agung.  The opening to the inner grave is very small and made of wood.  Jack and I moved inside and the heat was constant and the air was still.  One oil lamp was burning along with lots of incense.  On the grave was scattered fresh flower petals of rose, jasmine and Ylang Ylang.  The fragrance was intoxicating.  You can go very close to pray or ask for advice from the dalem them if you speak javanese.  It was a mystical place to be.
Outside on the ground we took pictures and observed the beautiful old trees in flower and people collected the bark and leaves to make a tea with ginger, clove and spices. 

Monday, September 9, 2013

Tales of Genji

My Japanese friends got me these lovely chopsticks stands that feature the figures from the Tales of Genji.  They go so well with higashi.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Me and my subject of study

This is the huge plant of Phytocrene macrophylla in Bogor Botanical Garden.  I was wearing Batik Komar's Megamundung clouds motif.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

back from Java

I will update soon with many pictures of Java.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Thursday, August 8, 2013


Final preparation for Java

Friday, July 19, 2013

Vietnamese cuisine

I made a few new dishes.  They are easy and very good taste.
Deep-fried chicken wings and also seaside prawns with betel peppers.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

New Painting of N'Dalem Gamelan Hotel Room

Here is the new painting of the room I am going to stay in at N'Dalem Gamelan inside the Kraton, Royal Palace of Yogyakarta.  The tiles are beautiful, I am going to copy the design in detail and see whether I can have a cap made from the design so I can have multiple batik done from the metal cap.
I have chosen to have the boy dressed in kain of traditional parang motif.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Cultural Heritage in Central Java

This is N'dalem Gamelan Hotel inside the Kraton, the Royal Palace of Yogyakarta.  I will be staying there for 2 nights and visiting the Kraton to learn something about the heritage and history of Indonesia.
I am painting an image of this hotel room and will finish it before my trip.

Friday, June 14, 2013


This is the new Summer French Iced Tea from Mariage Freres, Paris.  The galss jar is beautiful with a cap that doubles as a measuring cup of the tea leaves which is black tea with white blossoms and violets.  In a jug of about 4 cups or 1 litre filled with room temperature water, add the pouch of tea leaves and then put the jug in the fridge for at least 1 hour or 2.  Take out and add liquid sugar if needed.  The cool tea is fragrant and pure enjoyment.
I also got a cook book of cuisine using tea.  I will try.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013


This is a young man in batik designed for Labuhan ceremony. 

Vancouver's garden

I went to UBC botanical garden today in the morning to have a quick walk in the forest.  Sinofranchetia chinensis is flowering.  I love this plant.  I have 3 in my garden now all came from the same source.  One is a plant from cutting and 2 others from seeds.  So far, the plants like climbing onto trees the best.  It is hardy here in Vancouver.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013


Mariage Freres' Violetta (Summer French Iced Tea) is going to go on sale mid June.  The other day I found an import of tea from France at Granville Island and I bought Violette in Love (green sencha with violet and raspberry) and Violet rooibos.

spring cleaning

I took the terrarium apart in my room and cleaned up the mess and get the vines good hair cut.  Now you can see Phytocrene macrophylla, Illegera and mucuna.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

New Tea

I received my order of Mariage Freres Tea from France.  Muguet is beautiful, Ylang very fruity and Cannele I still need to try. 

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

dream of Yamagishi's book

Last night I dreamt that Yamagishi Ryoko published a new comic book with beautiful illustrations calling for 10000 yen!
The cover is a scene from Palace Under the Sea with beautiful green colour ocean.  I wish you will publish an illustration collection.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Yamagishi Ryoko's illustration

Prince of where the Sun Rises is a great story written and drawn by Yamagishi Ryoko.  She designed all the beautiful outfit of the main character.  This image is the Prince in a traditional Indian inspired costume, very close to the Indonesian outfit I am going to wear for ritual.   I
wish I can wear it as elegant as he did.

wagashi spring 2013

Beautiful ganache chocolate from La Chocolaterie.  I have passionfruit, matcha and sakura.  The fan is my own make featuring aristolochia grandiflora and other species.  The gold dust on it is real gold! 

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Early Spring in Vancouver

Magnolia trees are flowering right now at UBC botanical garden.  They are pink and beautiful, but laterly it rains a lot so it is still cold and wet.