July 05, 2009

Painting, Batikking and Chili Crab Night at Batan Waru Cafe

Learning Balinese Traditional Painting at Museum Puri Lukisan, June 2009 by arfi binsted 2009

At our final week in Ubud, Bali, we spent time with painting, batikking, and dancing workshops. I enjoyed painting as much as my children did. We were entertained by a group of school children who practiced Barong dance while we were painting on a Sunday morning at the museum. It was just like being in an artistic palace with artistic people doing artistic works. About time!

Balinese traditional painting is colourful and has fine details. We learned the basic sketch and introduction of lines and colours, including its popular floral theme. I decided to follow my own sketch to transform the idea on my paper. And here is what we have achieved:

Learning Traditional Balinese Painting

The next day, I came solo as batikking is quite a heavy handling for my young children. They decided to do something else with their father, while I later joined them in a cafe for lunch. Batikking is my main project and I just love it.

Although Batik itself is not native to Balinese, there are always some people who learn and make batik as a way of living and give course to visitors. I once had learned making batik when I visited Jogjakarta (Central Java) in 1990s, and Java is the island of batik origin, if you have ever heard about Pekalongan Batik?

batikking by ab '09

First thing I had to do is to choose the design and had to learn to waxing on a piece of paper, following the lines. It is not easy, I can tell you, and it is hot! I chose a design with colour scheme planned on my head and began canting (= waxing the lines with the wax spoon). Canting is designed to store melted wax in its little bowl which the wax is going through a little curved tip to line the design, as you can see on the photo above. The first photo on the top was taken when I just practiced to waxing on a piece of paper, to get my hands used to the design and how to handle the canting on different curves and lines. Then, I moved to the cloth, photographed on the two photos at the bottom. As you can see, there are two splodges on the cloth already as I spilled the hot wax before I lined. This can be a messy job!

And, here's what I came next with the colours.

batikking-2 by ab '09

Yes, I love colours, simply because I love working on them. Have you seen the message how I felt that day? Now, it is my big task to look for the right frame to hang this up on the wall.

On Tuesday night, the last Tuesday we'd had in Bali, we headed off to Batan Waru. We did go to this cafe before, to enjoy desserts, and we did not come back, as we traveled to Jakarta and Bandung.

desserts at batan waru cafe by ab '09

Batan Waru Cafe is located on Jalan Dewi Sita, Ubud, Bali, near the Bunute Restaurant and Tutmak. We used to go there in 2001, 2004, and 2006 to enjoy my husband's favourite dessert, bubur injin, and authentic Indonesian meals, desserts or snacks. I did not like the klaapertaart (on the left bottom of the photo above). The slice was too thick and there was more bread than the young coconut flesh itself and it was also too sweet for my taste. I did not come back for it.

This time, we came back for chili crab night. There was a basket of crab at the front door for the guests to choose. They will be cooked by order. I first ordered breeze, a fizzy drink of the mixture of lychee and herbs. Again, I almost was choked as the drink was way too sweet. I had to top up with my drinking bottle to thin down the sweetness.

breeze at batan waru cafe by ab '09

Finally, out it came, our special plates of chili crab. The crab was sitting on a bed of chili sambal, not too hot, not too sweet. It was just right. My husband even could eat it. There was also a generous handful of fresh coriander leaves and a basket of hot steamed rice. Then, things went black! We had to eat our chili crab in the dim light of candles when they have a power blackout throughout Ubud. Fancy that.

Visit Ubud Community, if you are interested in traveling to Ubud and are looking for information on accommodation, workshops, dance performances, etc. They also have a list of good food cafes, restaurants and bar. I hope you'll enjoy the hospitality of Ubudian, the cultures, and artistic people.


Veda Murthy said...

hi arfi,

love the photography and painting!


mycookinghut said...

I love batikking!! Did that when I was at high school. Would really love to do it again!

Melanie said...

Looks beautiful. I love batik and printing.

Dominique said...

Very interesting post, nice pictures!

Soma said...

That is beautiful. get a frame & put it up soon. I need to find time to do these things again. haven't done them since i had my kids!

Cakelaw said...

You are so talented Arfi! I love both your painting and the batikking.

Arwen said...

Your batik is gorgeous! Very calming colours. It will be wonderful to have it on the wall to remind you of being on holiday.

Jescel said...

i love the batik you made! it's lovely and warm. That chili crab must have been fab :o)

Ivy said...

I love your designs and I know it's not easy to may batik.

♥Rosie♥ said...

Hi Arfi, I adore your painting and the batikking.