Asia’s seascapes, harbours and rivers along with our own unique boating community have been an inspiration to Lorette E Roberts, an artist whose work you’re likely familiar with. She’s the creator of the My Hong Kong ABC Activity Book, which is full of bright Hong Kong-themed images that are perfect for introducing the city to preschoolers. “S” is not for “spider” in Lorette’s book; it’s for “Star Ferry” and “sampan”, two of the Fragrant Harbour’s iconic waterways images.
This past year, Lorette has spent time capturing even more aquatic images for her latest books. Here, she shares some special memories from creating these beautiful works.
“I love the look of all boats, but particularly slightly battered ones that obviously have a story to tell – though, I’d rather be learning about their history than actually be on one!”
“These boats were formally in the Causeway Bay Typhoon Shelter. I’ve wanted to paint this scene for some time. This floating neighbourhood is an insight into the ways and customs of the past.”
“The Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club has an interesting history. Some time ago, I hosted some watercolour classes at the club. I’ve enjoyed being a guest there, appreciating the view and having a relaxing time.”
“I love visiting Vietnam, and Hoi An is a charming place. I saw this girl alone in a boat one evening and I wondered what she was dreaming of, if anything. As you walk along one of the busy streets by the river, there is a temple and behind it is a really beautiful garden; a serendipitous discovery”
“If you’re heading to Cheung Chau, take your sketchbook! Go on the day before the Bun Festival – there are no crowds and a plethora of things to see: buns being steamed, the building of bun towers in progress, lion dances rehearsing, lanterns and bunting everywhere, and last minute practices for the dragon boats!”
“My husband Bill has competed as part of a dragon boat team and he assures me the co-ordination between paddlers isn’t as easy as it looks! He raced at the festival in Stanley and, well, he didn’t come last!”
These images are from Lorette’s latest book, About Boats. See this title and all her beautiful Hong Kong-themed books at loretteroberts.com.
See more in our Living in Hong Kong section
This article first appeared in the Home Décor issue of Expat Living magazine. Subscribe now so you never miss an issue.