Tuesday, December 30, 2008

filling the well

I really needed a bit of time out and took myself to see the Korean Art exhibition at the Singapore Art Museum yesterday - this was my artist's date for this week. I really had no expectations, I knew none of the artists, nonetheless I hoped there would be one or two pieces that I liked or moved me in some way. I was pleasantly surprised to discover three artists work that I particularly liked; two on an asethetic/emotional level, the other conceptually. It's always wonderful to discover some new contemporary artists, and then realise that my preferences are fairly well established - for example I know I gravitate towards nature, natural forms and materials and particularly admire artwork which is executed skillfully.

Cheong Kwang Ho's work really impressed me. He makes exquisite copper wire sculptures - large, transparent pieces. My favourites were a large (around 4 ft across), four petalled flower, the other a multi-lobed leaf. Each piece was beautifully handcrafted - the leaf and flower literally stripped to their bare bones.

I lost myself in Kim Hong Joo's paintings. These were subtle aerial typographies of imagined landscapes, with paths or rivers running through them. Up very close you could see an incredible attention to detail, with very fine brush stokes of different colours blending together. According to the blurb, it takes him months to complete one painting. I loved the ambiguity of these landscapes - these could be microscopic or large scale.

Ik Joong Kang artwork intrigued me and I will certainly find out more about him. 'Happy World' dominated a large part of a wall and consisted of (hundreds?) of 3 x 3 miniature canvases. According to the brochure, 'Kang describes himself a s a collector of dreams, dreams of people.' I really like the idea of all these (possibly) random images and thoughts coming together to create a one large completed piece. It got me thinking - what if I did a small drawing or artwork every day? Something really small - even a doodle. Mmmm, that might be an interesting project...

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

christmas paper

Here's me signing off now until after Christmas. Try as I might I never feel particularly Christmassy in the tropics - though I do try! Here's something I made a few days ago. The paper is very thin, and glistens ever so slightly with glitter. Now I haven't got time to figure this out, but the paper is horizontal so you have to turn your head to see it as it was intended. Anyway, wishing you Happy Christmas!

a gift to myself

Bliss. I have just bought the winter issue of KIE magazine http://int.kateigaho.com/ I am an unashamed admirer of Japanese aethetics and culture. It's a truly luscious magazine and I'm never disappointed. I've mourned other magazines I've loved in the past when they've changed their paper, their format, their direction. KIE gets it just right - the focus is tight - Japanese arts and culture. Large format, high quality paper, exquisite photography, intelligent articles - it's pure pleasure. This is one magazine I cannot imagine ever tearing up for scrapbook images!

Monday, December 15, 2008

duxton hill

Went out drawing today to Duxton Hill in Chinatown today with Jane. Meant to use my chalk pastels but couldn't find them - that spring clean I keep thinking about is getting more necessary! There are some lovely old shophouses, most of which have been restored and the area is quite gentrified - lots of bars and restaurants. Felt I was doodling a bit rather than doing any serious studies. Bauhinia trees line the street and found one or two whole flowers. Thought next time I'm here I'll pick up some of the petals to incorporate into paper... Oh, and next time I will bring some colours.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

luz casal

Spent a bit of time yesterday going through our CDs - and listening to some I haven't put on for a while. If anyone's voice can melt my heart, it's Luz Casal's. Sublime voice, sends shivers down my spine. I think I first came across her when I saw Almodovar's film Tacones Lejanos (High Heels), at least twelve years ago. This song brings back so many memories. She sings a couple of songs for the film, both are just beautiful. I think I might have to see if I can find the film and watch it again sometime... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=83b_KNcduOk

pigeon orchids

As I was coming out of our supermarket yesterday, II suddenly started noticing pigeon orchids up in the trees. They only bloom when there is a drop in temperature of about five degrees - and that happened a few days ago.

Monday, December 8, 2008

after the downpour

Well the downpour seems to have stopped, at least for today. I've been a bit frustrated as it's been so wet lately that I couldn't get to draw outside. It was actually cool (by Singapore standards) and a little breezy, really nice. Anyway, I grabbed the chance and did a couple of drawings of what I think is some kind of fig species - I've no idea which. There was a fish tail palm in the middle of it all, but I don't think this was the host tree. It was pretty hard to draw, roots all over the place and hard to follow. If my drawing looks confusing, it's because it was! I'm now wondering about recording some of the sounds I hear - they were incredible today - high pitched whine of cicadas (which is pretty standard), warbling orioles, hooting sounds from a drongo, and the funny clicking sounds of squirrels...

Friday, December 5, 2008


This morning I was sorting through some old files and came across this photo taken sometime in June. I'd happened to be in a shop in Bras Basah complex which sells an amazing range of chinese brushes and paper, and lucky for me a Chinese calligrapher was there buying some materials. He agreed to write the Chinese character for 'paper' for me in ink. He did several versions and I have since used one of them for my business card. It is embossed in white. I specifically chose to put this character on my business card to acknowledge where paper originated from - and that's a whole story in itself!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

saga seeds

Around where I live there are lots of Saga trees (Adenanthera pavonia). I have a mental map of their location as they drop the most gorgeous little red seeds. They are pretty irresistible. After I’d finished drawing tree roots (see previous post), I rewarded myself by picking up exactly 100 seeds. I’ve put them in an empty olive oil bottle we picked up a couple of years ago in Australia. 100 seeds doesn’t really look much – I wonder how many it will take to fill the bottle?! I can’t compete with the Singapore Science Centre which apparently has the largest collection of saga seeds in the world – I’ll have to check that out – they’re aiming to collect one million!

saga trees

Earlier this week I took myself off to draw tree roots. On a practical level they are easier to draw than branches – no neck strain! I just love tree root forms - how they contort, and grow around and over obstacles. They really are a delight to draw. I am planning to use these drawings as the basis for a some embossed paper images.

welcome to my blog!

I’ve been thinking for a while about setting up a blog focussing on my artwork and finally here it is! I’m planning to update regularly with new drawings, paper creations, prints and any other pieces I’m currently working on. I also want to tell you a bit about where I get my ideas and inspiration from - I know for myself that I’m always interested to see how other artists work and they connections they make. And talking of which, I may add one or two exhibition reviews.

Oh, and it would be great to hear any feedback on my blog and comments on my work!