My Birthday in Paris and Yoyo Ma Concert, etc.

Last month, I celebrated my birthday in Paris with the hubs and some friends. We stayed at one of our friends’s very lovely apartment, which overlooks the Eiffel Tower. It was wonderful!!! I didn’t wanna leave the room with the view. 😀

We also saw Yoyo Ma at the Philharmonie de Paris. We booked the ticket early this year, and it was almost fully booked! We were still lucky to get seats third row from the stage, facing the front. Here is a video of some of snaps and video shorts I took during the mini-breaks in the concert.

The Philharmonie de Paris was majestic outside, but a bit disappointing inside. But I still had fun watching the concert. It was a birthday gift from my wonderful husband. We had a great time despite the noisy people in the audience violently coughing and sneezing all the time. It was so nerve-wrackingly distracting. I do not know how Yo-Yo Ma managed to keep his calm and cool throughout all the noise. And having said that, I think it will be the last time I will be watching him live. It was too distracting. But it was a real pleasure seeing him live in the flesh. Best birthday gift ever!

Lastly, a bit of update on the job hunt: before going on this trip, exactly a day before, actually, I received a very good news from one of the companies I have applied to. I started working two weeks after this trip. I was ecstatic!!! I have been on the job for two weeks now, and so far, I’m still not disappointed. It’s a great company, one of the biggest French IT Consulting companies, and my client is the biggest aviation company in Europe. Also, I’m working on their big data platform, doing Data Engineering until the end of this year. After that, I might go into another project, of which, I do not know yet. 🙂 I am quite happy. C’est fini, la tristesse.

Cheers, and have a good week ahead!

Back on the Piano

Since I came back from my US West Coast and Ontario, Canada holidays, I’ve kept myself busy looking for jobs. And while waiting, I’ve been catching up on my youtube channel for painting demos, and art supplies haul that I got from my trips. Do check out my youtube channel (https://www.youtube.com/c/springfugue_art), if you have the time. I usually post every Friday, and sometimes, I like to work against the algorithm and punctuate my watercolor videos with videos about my travels and even some of my piano practice.

Talking about piano practice, and practicing any art form, what do you enjoy most about it? For me, I enjoy it most when I am just discovering and learning something new about the art. Like, for instance, in piano playing, I enjoy it the most when I am just discovering how to play the notes. Everything sounds so fresh and so new to me, it thrills me. But after several practice sessions, and when I managed to finally play the song to the end, even not perfectly yet, I feel a bit of sadness. It’s like I have lost that freshness and feeling of discovery and newness. But then, I don’t really feel sad for that long, because each time you play a song, you get to discover something new about it sometimes. Like maybe, you can tweak the notes or the chords, and then it sounds better that way. And the rediscovery and thrill goes on… 😀

Cheers, and have a good weekend!

Fiesta Filipiniana in Le Triadou, France

My friends and I, together with the Philippine Honorary Consul to Occitanie, Jeffrey Cabuay, went on a trip to Le Triadou, in the South of France to attend a Filipiniana Festival and Art Exhibit. This is a Philippine Festival featuring a programme with Philippine folk dances, and folk songs. There was also an art exhibit, where my artist friends and I contributed some artworks.

The event was organized by the Filipino association, “Tanglaw” (Guiding Light), with members mostly living in Montpellier, France, and around the area.

It was very refreshing to see young people (Filipino students) being very active in the event. There were also some participants and guests from surrounding European countries. It was all very entertaining, relaxing and enjoyable. Even the variety of Filipino food being sold at lunch time were delicious! I had such a great time in this event.

Here are the watercolor artworks I have submitted for the exhibit:

You can get more information about them here:

https://springfugue.com/pahiyas

https://springfugue.com/gumamela

https://springfugue.com/paintings

Also mentioned in my vlog:

https://phinaymarket.com for shopping online Filipino items https://www.zazzle.com/store/springfugue for shopping my online Filipino themed artworks

Thanks for dropping by and have a good day! 🙂

Arch Art Supplies San Francisco Haul Unboxing

Hey guys! It’s been sooooo long! I had been so so busy with my Master’s degree, especially the last three months! It felt like ages since I last posted here. And it felt like I have aged five years the last three months due to my overly hectic schedule and overwhelming course projects, assignments, exams, etc! But my classes finally ended last June. And although I still have some projects and exams to accomplish, I managed to squeeze in a couple of weeks’ holiday with my family.

We toured the West Coast of the United States, driving from Los Angeles, to Arizona, Utah, Las Vegas and San Francisco. We visited so many, many beautiful places like Venice Beach, The Grand Canyon, Horseshoe Bend and Lower Antelope Canyon in Page, Arizona. We also went to Monument Valley in Utah, Bryce Canyon, Mammoth Lakes, Yosemite Park, Death Valley, and San Francisco. It was super tiring and hot (like hell). I also had to help my husband drive a bit. It was exhausting. But I loved it!!!

That spot in Monument Valley (Border of Utah and Arizona) where the famous scene in Forrest Gump, where he decided to stop running, was shot

Anyway, I managed to drop by an art supplies shop in San Francisco, called, Arch Art Supplies. It had some good reviews on the internet, and it was not so far away from our hotel, Grand Hyatt near Union Square, which I highly recommend! We had such a lovely time there, especially enjoying the complimentary snacks and drinks at the Lounge Club, and the beautiful view of San Francisco from there and in our own room. I especially enjoyed watching “Karl”, the fog roll in and out of the city.

So here is my video, and I hope you enjoy watching it. I’ve included in it some short clips from our trip.

Thanks for dropping by, and have a great weekend! 🙂

Face Detection App Deployment on Heroku

Yesterday, we had our group’s meeting with our Python Machine Learning Labs teacher to update him with the progress of our project. We are building a Face Detection Application that we could either deploy on the web or as a mobile application. For my part, I used my Data Science (DS) classmate’s model that was pre-trained on SSD MobileNet V2 FPNLite 640×640 with 50000 steps (~0.7s per step)​ for my web app deployment.

Here is a snippet of the meeting’s recording, showing the part where I presented my work on react.js web app that I have deployed in Heroku using Github workflow actions, something we recently learned this week on our DevOps class.

The teacher was not happy with react.js app due to the overhead of the browser. Heroku was also not the best place to deploy the web app. He was also a bit confused about my colorful bounding boxes coz I was randomizing a list of color codes to display it. He thought it was some error with the detection. LOL! He suggested instead that we go with AWS technologies, Lambda functions in particular, and use Python instead. I think that this was a good exercise for me, and the group. Even though, we are not going to use this deployment in our project, it was interesting to use what I have learned this week in our DevOps class on the subject of CI/CD, and using Github workflow actions. 🙂

Here is the link to the Heroku deployment, if you want to check it out: https://diversity-face-detection.herokuapp.com/

Note that the app takes some time to load, and you will have to allow access to your camera. Also, sometimes, you might need to reload the page to see the bounding boxes.

Drawing Contest (Concours de dessin) by Art Tea Shop Toulouse

I was surprised and very flattered to be contacted by Art Tea Shop Toulouse for their Drawing Contest. They asked if they could use the photo I took of my watercolor artwork for their Drawing Contest’s flyers.

J’ai été surprise et très flattée d’être contactée par Art Tea Shop Toulouse pour leur concours de dessin. Ils m’ont demandé s’ils pouvaient utiliser pour les flyers de leur concours de dessin la photo de mon aquarelle que j’ai prise.

My original artwork and photo

If you are interested to join, do visit their instagram page for details.

Si vous êtes interessés, consultez leur instagram pour plus de détails.

This artwork was totally not my best but I guess I captured the mood really well. My composition was not bad at all. And overall, everything in the photo looks quite nice! 🙂

Cette peinture n’est pas du tout ma meilleure, mais je crois que j’ai bien saisi l’ambiance. Ma composition n’était pas mauvaise du tout. Et dans l’ensemble, tout ce qui est sur la photo est très joli 🙂

By the way, they also have a nice restaurant / tea shop, where we had one of our monthly watercolor sessions two years ago.

À propos, ils ont aussi un joli restaurant/salon de thé, où on a fait l’une de nos sessions mensuelles de l’aquarelle l y a deux ans.

Art Tea Shop in Toulouse

If you live around Toulouse, do drop by the Art Tea Shop. It’s a really nice brasserie and tea shop with warm, welcoming staff. The place is very cozy and quite original, they have good food and drinks, and they sell artworks from local artists, too. We totally had a good time there. I should go back one of these days. 🙂

Si vous habitez dans la région de Toulouse, ne manquez pas de vous rendre à l’Art Tea Shop. Il s’agit d’une brasserie et d’un salon de thé très sympathiques avec un personnel chaleureux et accueillant. L’endroit est très confortable et assez original, ils ont de la bonne nourriture et des boissons, et ils vendent des œuvres d’art d’artistes locaux, aussi. On a passé un très bon moment là-bas. Je devrais y retourner un de ces jours. 🙂

Moon River on Valentine’s Day

Hey guys! Here’s one of my all-time favorite piano pieces to warm our hearts on this lovely occasion.

We all forget sometimes that Valentine’s Day is not just a celebration of romantic love. For me, it is a celebration of all kinds of love.

Hope you enjoy this one.

Happy V-Day, everyone! 💖

Watercolor Painting Demo – Self Portrait – El Nido, Palawan

Hey guys! Today, I took a bit of break from my hectic school schedule — assignments and exams and projects. I’ve decided to create a quick watercolor painting demo.

The self-portrait painting was inspired by this photo of mine taken in El Nido, Palawan from 2019, just before the COVID outbreak. I try to keep everything loose and fresh here, not putting too many details and keeping a limited set of colors in my palette.

I’ve mostly used Daniel Smith blues, indigo and sepia, Winsor and Newton Caput Mortum, and a bit of Sennelier quinacridone gold. For the brushes, I’ve used my Da Vinci Casaneo size 8, and Silverbrush Black Velvet for the rest. I did a bit of light sketching before the painting, but I did not use any masking fluid. I’ve also used for the first time, a 100% bamboo paper from Hahnehmule. Hope I spelled that right.

Hope you guys are having a good weekend! Thanks for dropping by. Ciao!

Mont Saint-Michel Watercolor Painting Demo

Hello everyone! How have you been? I hope you’re one of the chosen few who managed to escape the ire of Omicron. It seems to be very much omnipresent and omnipotent these past few months. Only the hashtag blessed (according to some instagram people) have managed to slip through unnoticed.

I, myself, have been under the weather for the last few days now. It’s not COVID, though. Just the common flu. The symptoms might be even worse than Omicron’s, though. I have been feeling like somebody slapped me around the whole night, every morning I wake up. My whole head hurts, especially my eye sockets, my scalp and even my teeth! I got nasty joint pains the first night. I hardly slept. From time to time, I get sharp nasty pains in my ear. Maybe I should redo the auto-test to check if I really don’t have COVID.

Today, I feel much better, though. I now only have a bit of cough and colds, and I sound a bit like Marge Simpson (or a bit like the sexy French Lola voice you usually hear on French TV doing the voice-over on magazine shows (think Edith Piaf!)… only in France! 😀 ) when I talk. That, and despite the fact that I’ve unwittingly wiped out clean my entire local project folder with all my Python Labs Machine Learning codes in it yesterday morning. Who does that?!!! I wanted to slap myself, but my sickness was already making me feel as if I have been slapped around enough already.

What’s good about all these is that I managed to get some free time (no classes also last Thurs and Fri) to paint again. I have been postponing for the longest time to paint Mont-Saint Michel. My family and I had the occasion to visit this magical place up in Normandie during the summer.

I painted it in a loose, quick, relaxing and fun way, as usual. I don’t want to take my paintings too seriously. I just want to have fun doing them. That’s the most important thing to me.

Thanks for dropping by. Cheers, and keep safe, everyone! 🙂

New Year Art Haul, Lunch Date, etc

Hello, hello, lovely people! How’s the first few days of 2022, so far?

As for me, I feel like celebrating since I have just finished completing and passing all the exams (five in all, including the grueling Applied Maths Subjects) due this holiday. And I still have a week to rest a bit before my classes start again!

Anyway, the last day of the year, hubs and I had a chance to go on a date and eat out at a fancy two-Michelin star restaurant called, Py-r. The first time we went there was eight years ago. It didn’t have any Michelin star yet, but it was already quite good.

And just after the sumptuous lunch, we strolled around a bit to help digest all the food we ate. We passed by one of my favorite Art Supplies Shop, Rougier et Plé. I thought I’d check out if I could really get a 10% discount from my student card. And I did! Which is really very nice! If you’d like to see my haul, do check out my Youtube video:

Happy New Year, and thanks so much for dropping by! 🙂