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. ๐Ÿ˜€

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. ๐Ÿ™‚ 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… ๐Ÿ˜€

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! ๐Ÿ™‚

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)โ€‹ 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. ๐Ÿ™‚

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.

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! ๐Ÿ˜€ ) 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! ๐Ÿ™‚

Random Thoughts and Updates

Hi everyone! I hope you’re all having a good holiday. As for me, I have a three-week school break at the moment. I am only on my first week but I have already finished doing THREE out of FIVE exams. It’s not fun but I’m surviving. I find this course very interesting. I have learned so much in a span of three months! We had classes on Python programming, Machine Learning, AI and Data Laws (very sensitive, touchy subject), Applied Maths (Calculus, Algebra, Matrix Manipulations), Statistics and programming in R, Databases (which was a very good review), etc.

So far, my favorite was Artificial Intelligence and Data Laws. We talked about AI for Good, The GDPR, Patents on Algorithms, Ethics and Morality. I am suddenly ever more aware and conscious about all the information that I share about myself and my loved ones online. I’ve started deleting pictures of myself and my immediate family, which I wouldn’t want anybody (especially my classmates) to see while trying to scrape for image datasets for our school projects! LOL!

As for the Maths, I am still trying to catch up on Calculus. I never really had a strong background on it since, first and foremost, I never really realized before how fascinating it was when I was first introduced the subject. My interest in Maths, back then especially, Calculus unfortunately heavily relied upon my interest in the teacher conducting the class. I would say that my Calculus teacher was mostly absent, treated us like idiots, except for maybe one or two people in the class, and shamelessly collected money from students in exchange of a passing grade. I can only hope that she really needed the money. Otherwise, I hope someday she grows a conscience.

I never totally hated Maths, I was really interested in Trigonometry and even Algebra when I was in HS and College. In fact, I always like to watch a lot of videos about Maths. This one today, I found very intriguing, touching, and surprisingly poetic...

This video talks about Incompleteness and how, after a certain point, we keep getting back to the problems of infinite loops, who guards the guards and turtles all the way down. This might just be connected to this gnawing, nagging thought that I always get whenever I look out into space, especially looking up at night and just seeing blackness and the stars… it always, always makes me wonder whether I am looking outside, trying to see what’s way out there or I am really way outside trying to look deep within.

What do you guys think?

Also, in the spirit of total randomness… just wanna say that, it’s always difficult to find that balance in a conversation among friends where each person talks about himself/herself just enough. Sometimes, I feel like I’m being interrogated when I talk to French people. They almost always do not share anything about themselves but like to ask questions instead. I guess it stems from the fact that in most (non-Asian) cultures, it’s considered bad form or impolite to talk about oneself all the time. While the people from my home country are just the exact opposite. Filipinos almost always just talk about themselves. Never really even asking you even a simple, “how are you doing”. We were never really taught a lot of social graces, especially when it comes to oversharing and talking too much about ourselves. Tough. Not sure which one I prefer.

Anyway, hope you have a wonderful Christmas! Hopefully, I’ll be back again with some watercolor video with a Christmasy vibe. Ciao for now.

Watercolor Painting of Santorini

Finally, after almost two years, I managed to travel outside of France once again. My family and I stayed in the lovely island of Santorini in Greece for a week during the school holiday. We stayed in this beautiful apartment in Pyrgos, a quiet area in the middle of the island, away from the bustle of the touristy areas of Oia and Fira.

We had a lovely view of the sea, some of the islands, and the mountains from the balcony of our Airbnb apartment. The view, and the Bougainvillea flowers at the entrance of the apartment inspired me to paint plein air on the balcony, one day, when I had the occasion to take a break from our usual walks.

I had so much fun, and felt so relaxed doing this watercolor painting of a scenery in Santorini. It was actually inspired by this picture of myself standing under the lush and lovely Bougainvillea of our Airbnb apartment. I just edited it a bit to make it look more interesting in the painting.

Me and my bougainvillea tree

Hope you are all having a fun week. Thanks for dropping by! Cheers!

Quick, Loose and Relaxing Watercolor Demo

Hello, everyone! I’ve just recently posted another YT video while I still can. As you know, tomorrow marks the start of my Master’s Degree classes. I’m taking MSc in Data Engineering for Artifical Intelligence, btw. I could not stress that enough because this will greatly affect my schedule. I probably wouldn’t have as much time on SocMed anymore. So, yay?… or nay. Also, I’m so proud of getting into this class and this school in Paris, I just couldn’t stop talking about it. LOL. Sorry about that.

Anyway, this post is about my new Youtube post. I will try my very best to be able to still upload a post once a week. But maybe I will end up doing it once a month, or maybe even less.

So here is the usual loose and quick watercolor doodle that I’ve posted on Youtube, I keep saying.

Here, I used my Holbein watercolor pigments, my Silverbrush Black Velvet brush, etchr lab’s The Perfect Sketchbook and this cute palette by Portable Painter Micro. I also talked a lot in this video (at least in the captions). More than usual. I get like this sometimes when I’m stressed out. It’s more difficult for me to talk about my anxieties in person. I do it better in writing, and seemingly, even way better in Youtube videos. LOL.

Anyway, hope you enjoy my video. And if you did, you know the drill. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Cheerios!

Youtube 100 Subscribers, Master’s Degree, Travels, and Other Updates

Hello, everyone! It’s been a long time since I last made an update. My family and I went traveling for half a month in the Northwestern region of France last month. We were trying to make the most out of the seemingly very few “sunny” days of summer this year. It has been sooo rainy and windy. It felt more like autumn than summer.

Anyways, I was surprised this morning to find this email from Youtube:

Just when I was about to give up on this channel… hope to find more time for videos soon!

It’s been a long time since I last updated my Youtube art channel. I was surprised to find that I have actually been getting more subscribers. It was such a pleasant surprise. I do hope to be able to post more videos soon. I will try my very best. Although, I am going to be really very, very busy starting next month.

I have actually applied to a Master’s Degree in Artificial Intelligence. I managed to get accepted in the two schools here in France where I have sent my application. I chose the one whose campus is in Paris and Nice. But I’ll be taking live online classes since I live in Toulouse. As you know, my day job is actually IT-related, not the arts. I have decided that I am just going to keep doing art as a hobby, not as a main source of my bread and butter. Maybe someday. Maybe I just might be able to find a happy mix of art and IT, like maybe something along the lines of NFT’s… maybe. But for now, I’d like to focus on Artificial Intelligence coz I believe, there is a lot of opportunities there. The possibilities are infinite. ๐Ÿ˜‰

As for my travels, my family and I went on a Food Trip Road Trip holiday going from Toulouse to the Northwest of France. It was quite tiring, but nevertheless, wonderful trip to celebrate our 10th Wedding Anniversary this year. We saw a lot of nice places and dined in Michelin-starred restaurants. I think I will write more about this in my travel blog.

Continue reading “Youtube 100 Subscribers, Master’s Degree, Travels, and Other Updates”

Plein Air Watercolor Painting in Gruissan, France

Every year, my artist friends and I would take a short road trip to a nearby village in the South of France for a plein air water color session and to chill.

I was very happy with our choice of location this year — the Plage des Chalets, which is the setting of the movie, “Betty Blue”, or “37.2ยฐ le matin” as it is known in France. I’ve heard it is also a location of one of Leonardo di Caprio’s movies, but I couldn’t seem to find which one it is. Let me know in the comments if you know which one.

Anyway, here is a short video of our trip to Plage des Chalets and the pink salt mine (yes, “pink”, that’s right!) of Le salin de l’รฎle Saint-Martin. We had a lovely time there. Hope you enjoy watching! And if you did, please give the “like” and “subscribe” button a hit.

Have a lovely summer weekend! ๐Ÿ™‚