華沙 Warsaw CS Host Hania
我從未想過Picture the Host Project能影響他人，那是第一次，有人因為我畫畫而有興趣拾起畫筆，我無意間成了Hania的啟蒙者，真是與有榮焉，雖然Hania不懂我示範的混色技巧，小手指甚至不夠力正確執筆，但也不要緊，最重要是她能在畫畫過程中感到快樂，在她小小年紀時，烙印畫畫等於快樂的記憶才最重要。
Picture the Host Project一開始是很實際的想法，因為Couch Surfing要向Host寫叩門信，要令Host對我這個叩門者有興趣，才會收留我，為了令叩門信有噱頭，令Host有深刻印象，才以「為您畫肖像畫」作招徠。
我希望人物的姿態能顯示他／她／牠們的個性，所以姿態要隨意，最好是個人興趣（芬蘭Mervi的織毛衣），或是日常生活（莫斯科Lily與Olivia的親子閱讀），也要考慮Host坐定定的能力（尤其小孩子），每隔十多分鐘，需小休一陣；還要請Host儘量坐在採光最亮的地方，以察明暗；我也儘量不補筆，時間不夠上色就乾脆黑白（之後的華沙CS Host Fatima），甚至草稿（盧森堡的wwoof Host Thessy），我覺得這系列的人像紀錄最重要是當下，旅行途上一切都是未知數，畫得到是緣分，畫不到也是命。
This is a drawing of my first CS Host in Warsaw, capital of Poland. Asia is the mother, Grzegorz is the father and Hania is the little daughter. Hania was just a few years old with a pair of big eyes in a small face and she is just as cute as a doll.
Asia took me into the baby room in the next day after I drew this picture. It was Hania sitting on a little chair and DRAWING! Hania saw me drawing the other night and she was imitating with a set of drawing tools bought by Asia. There are little drawing plate, little brushes, drawing paper, color paints and even plastic apron for kids.
It was probably the first time for Hania to hold a drawing brush. She held a brush like holding a fist and literately GRAB the brush in her little hand. She pressed the brush into the paints and strongly pressed the painted brush on paper. Hania saw me and gave me a sunshine-smile and show me her lovely colorful picture.
I never thought Picture the Host Project can be an influence to other people. That was the first time somebody pick up a brush to draw because I have drew. I became Hania’s drawing inspirator accidentally and I am glad of it. Although Hania didn’t understand the mixing color techniques that I demonstrated for her and her little fingers didn’t even have enough strength to hold a brush correctly but that’s totally fine. The most important thing is she ENJOY drawing and imprint a memory of drawing equal to happiness in a young age.
It was a very practical reason for me to start Picture the Host Project at the first place. I have to write Hosting Request letters in Couch Surfing and I have to impress the hosts in my letter to increase the chances of being hosted. ‘Drawing a portrait for the host’ is a gimmick.
I have been to Moscow, London, Copenhagen, Oslo, Stockholm, Helsinki, St. Petersburg, Tallinn, Riga, Vilnius and Warsaw so far and drawing all along the way. When time pass on and places go by, more and more drawings accumulated. I found out these drawings are more than gimmick. They are records of my travel with beautiful scenes, warm friendship and unforgettable memories. My sketchbooks some how became more important than my wallet and passport. I can earn money back if I spent them all, passport can be re-issued if missing but I can’t re-draw the pictures again if the sketchbooks are missed. Even if I re-draw the pictures I can never get back the feeling of that time, that place and that people.
I was always exploring how to draw best in every picture. Shall I draw the background to show the living condition of the figure? Or shall I leave a white background to focus on the figure? Shall the color be a rigid line or smooth transition between dark and light?
I hope the posture of the figure can show their personality and the best posture is to relax. The best posture is to show their personal hobby (Mervi is knitting in Finland) or daily life (Lily and Olivia’s reading time in Moscow).
And the host’s ability to pose have to make into consideration too (especially kids). Break time must be taken every 15 minutes.
It is best for the host to sit in the brightest place for observing lightness and darkness.
I don’t usually re-draw when I leave the drawing spot. If I don’t have enough time for coloring I would make the picture into black and white (Fatima, my next Warsaw CS host) or simply a sketch (Thessy the Luxembourg wwoof host).
PRESENT is the most important element in this series of portraits. Traveling is always expecting the unexpected. To finish or not to finish a picture are both fate.
I think Hania’s family is in the middle class in Warsaw. The couple own an online company which specialise on internet marketing. They live in a high-rise building on an around 1000 square feet apartment with a master bedroom, a baby room and an open kitchen.
They took me to Museum of King Jan III’s Palace at Wilanow. That was a museum reconstructed from a palace and the collections are beautiful.
I found an English book about posters in Chinese Cultural Revolution in the Poster Museum. That was a good book with a rare topic and well written.
We visited the royal garden and saw a performance on Japanese Dance. It is an interesting feeling to see Japanese Dance in a far country (for me) here in Poland...