Wednesday, 30 December 2015

Chamomile and the Bees, Ballpoint Art

Here is a ballpoint sketch from my garden seat. Masses of small white flowers with protruded centres, slender stalks and delicate leaves are features of Chamomile.

Chamomile is a herbal plant. It grows anywhere. Chamomile tea is also popular, very affordable. I have a few in the garden just for the pleasure of having it in full circle. I keep looking at plants that are performing well in all aspect of climate change. It is a sign of low maintenance so that I do not have to make constant extra effort looking after them. Look like Chamomile is a good candidate. The bees love it too.

Another little step for a relationship with nature.. enjoy and God bless!

Wonderful Direct Ballpoint Sketch from Nature, Chamomile and the Bees

Art Of Earth, Passion Fruits on Vine, Ballpoint

It's the third year the plant is in production. I've noticed this year, the plant have more fruits than last year.

My favourite Xmas decoration! I've just discovered these green passion fruits look like decoration on xmas tree! Maybe this is where the ball shape xmas decoration idea come from. Can't help but looking at them. They are my favourite decoration! After summer, I can taste them with a spoon! It becomes my favourite plant.

Sketching them with a cup of hot chocolate drink in a comfort garden seat ... I am not sure whether it is the ballpoint hobby or my imagination of ice cream dessert with passion fruit.. that kept me going .. :-D ..another direct sketch for "From My Garden Seat" Series .. my little step to develop a natural relationship with nature..

A good relationship with nature will surely give some comfort for the rough road ahead with climate change! Enjoy!

It's the third year the plant is in production. I've noticed this year, the plant have more fruits than last year.  My favourite Xmas decoration! I've just discovered these green passion fruits look like decoration on xmas tree! Maybe this is where the ball shape xmas decoration idea come from. Can't help but looking at them. They are my favourite decoration! After summer, I can taste them with a spoon! It becomes my favourite plant.  Sketching them with a cup of hot chocolate drink in a comfort garden seat ... I am not sure whether it is the ballpoint hobby or my imagination of ice cream dessert with passion fruit.. that kept me going .. :-D ..another direct sketch for "From My Garden Seat" Series .. my little step to develop a natural relationship with nature..   A good relationship with nature will surely give some comfort for the rough road ahead with climate change! Enjoy!
Beautiful Direct Sketch from Nature, Passion Fruits on Vine

Tuesday, 29 December 2015

Flowering Japanese Maple, Ballpoint

From my garden seat, I think I am going to create a series with ballpoint pen and paper for the time our life facing climate change and economic difficulties. It's called recession art! Starting with the garden, I think it is about time to get in touch with nature.. to know is to love it!

Naturally leaves cover flowers of Japanese maple. That's why I did not notice them for so many years. We are all too busy with everyday duties or routine. In this drawing I deliberately show the flowers. There are seven arms of each leaf, very beautiful and elegant. Sound simple? Yes. Then I keep going until I was puzzled and dazzled with the drawing like I'd been with the real tree. After the features and characters of the subject, I hope to capture the feel. These effect is the thing that takes my mind off and leave my bare soul with nature.

Do you see the flowers behind the leaves?
From my garden seat, I think I am going to create a series with ballpoint pen and paper for the time our life facing climate change and economic difficulties. It's called recession art! Starting with the garden, I think it is about time to get in touch with nature.. to know is to love it!  Naturally leaves cover flowers of Japanese maple. That's why I did not notice them for so many years. We are all too busy with everyday duties or routine. In this drawing I deliberately show the flowers. There are seven arms of each leaf, very beautiful and elegant. Sound simple? Yes. Then I keep going until I was puzzled and dazzled with the drawing like I'd been with the real tree. After the features and characters of the subject, I hope to capture the feel. These effect is the thing that takes my mind off and leave my bare soul with nature.
Wonderful Ballpoint of Japanese Maple Tree

Carnation and the Bee, Ballpoint

These are single bloom carnation. There was a butterfly came by the dashed off. I missed it may be because it saw me sitting there. I managed to include the bee instead! :-)

Flowers in garden are an easy way to attract insects, bees and butterflies which are vital for pollination.

I am not an expert in gardening. The carnation was planted in a tight place. However she survives. She made a tone of buds. Some manage to bloom. Many just dry off because of climate change plus my poor gardening skill! .. However, in the art sense, these elements gave more features and drama.. something you do not see in florists' shops! :-D

You see the story in my garden told by the carnation, dry, tattered (see the flower that had petal fell off revealing the centre and the one with no petal at all..)... it told me to go and get the water can quickly!.... :-D

Hope you enjoy the story!.. of our time! :-)
These are single bloom carnation. There was a butterfly came by the dashed off. I missed it may be because it saw me sitting there. I managed to include the bee instead! :-)  Flowers in garden are an easy way to attract insects, bees and butterflies which are vital for pollination.  I am not an expert in gardening. The carnation was planted in a tight place. However she survives. She made a tone of buds. Some manage to bloom. Many just dry off because of climate change plus my poor gardening skill! .. However, in the art sense, these elements gave more features and drama.. something you do not see in florists' shops! :-D  You see the story in my garden told by the carnation, dry, tattered (see the flower that had petal fell off revealing the centre and the one with no petal at all..)... it told me to go and get the water can quickly!.... :-D  Hope you enjoy the story!.. of our time! :-)
Wonderful Ballpoint Sketch, Garden Flowers and Bee


Sparrow, Ballpoint Sketch

I had a good observation of this young male sparrow when I was sitting in the porch having some time out. I did not have anything in hands so I recorded him in my head. I thought surely I would remember him. Drawing from memory is one of "ancient" techniques, I believe, practiced by artists since stone age!

After dinner I decided to give it a go, even after saying about stone age memory technique as above, I was not so sure. I did not practice ballpoint as often either. Here it goes. I think the drawing looks like the sparrow I saw. I am happy that I tried.

I noted one advantage. Ballpoint give speed. I can draw faster than with pencil. This drawing took a couple of minutes! It is the simplest way to enjoy two minutes something from my garden seat! :-)


Beautiful Ball point Sketch, Sparrow

Tuesday, 22 December 2015

Season Greetings, Watercolour Sketch

Strawberries are in season here at the moment. Everyone grabs few strawberry punnets from the shops and run to the beach. I thought it would be nice to share some with you all. Thank you for all your following, like, favourable comments and support during the year... After this sketch, I am hooked into sketching a series with a brush! Hope to share with you in the new year! :-) Best wishes!


Thursday, 3 December 2015

Nature is Simple, En Plein Air Watercolour Painting Landscape

I like looking into water on rocks.  There are little sea lives that, I guess, are of interest of sea gulls.  Walking pass, I could see some people also seemed to have discovered something on rocks around the bay.  It's a good way to spend time with friends in a relaxing way in a busy city.
After locating good seat on the deck, I decided to paint this unusual composition, seaside roading architecture!.  I wasn't so sure but I went ahead any way.   I put the painting away in a draw.  I thought I would change my mind after a while.  I look at it again.  I was surprised I like it a bit more. I like the little conversation here and there..  and somewhere someone enjoy a connection, a friendship in a casual way.. like a fife form in nature in little water residue on rocks
Looking at nature we discover a lot about ourselves.  The real balance that fosters life are all around us.  Some spend a few minutes to appreciate it others, a life time.  Like air and water, like feeling alive, nature is simple, mysteriously simple!
I like looking into water on rocks.  There are little sea lives that, I guess, are of interest of sea gulls.  Walking pass, I could see some people also seemed to have discovered something on rocks around the bay.  It's a good way to spend time with friends in a relaxing way in a busy city. After locating good seat on the deck, I decided to paint this unusual composition, seaside roading architecture!.  I wasn't so sure but I went ahead any way.   I put the painting away in a draw.  I thought I would change my mind after a while.  I look at it again.  I was surprised I like it a bit more. I like the little conversation here and there..  and somewhere someone enjoy a connection, a friendship in a casual way.. like a fife form in nature in little water residue on rocks Looking at nature we discover a lot about ourselves.  The real balance that fosters life are all around us.  Some spend a few minutes to appreciate it others, a life time.  Like air and water, like feeling alive, nature is simple, mysteriously simple!
Around the Bay, Watercolour Painting, Auckland, NZ

Monday, 30 November 2015

Your Turn to Row the Boat Ashore, En Plein Air Watercolour Painting Boats


For some reason, I like oar boats.  I like to go close and look at them..they look like big toys. ..  after searching for some thoughts, I understand why I like them.  They reminded me of the boats in baby bath tub!..  when the baby grows up, the bath tub grows into ocean.. and the toy boats become oar boat..  I remember the children song.. " row row the boat ashore...we all tumbling down.." ...An oar boat is like a baby to the little yacht or a house boat.  The main boat offers a hug, a hold and the sea, a lullaby..  the ocean grows and grows.. so big to make sure many people can't get away from it...    The stack of oar boats was the sign of boat owners who went inshore shopping for supplies, doing some maintenance or just simply having a rest.    Because I think boats are difficult subjects for outdoor painting, I had hesitation.  but I found every time I see them, I thought to myself I would like to try to paint them one day.  Walking around to find a composition, then I came back and decided today was the day I was going to paint them.  "Who could resist the temptation of things that bring them back to the  fun of magical baby time?"  I thought if I had not, I would have had to wait for another time, maybe another year.  The sun was hot.  I had a good start then came the wind.  It certainly added some movement to the painting! :-)  Painting at this boat yard several times, I had chances to listen to stories of boat owners.    Many live in their boats.  I have not heard by their words but by what I know.  I can see why many grow old with their boats..  a hug, a hold and an ocean lullaby in the sunset...  It is love and being loved..  Life is simple!
Beautiful Watercolour En Plein Air Painting Boats, Marine scene


For some reason, I like oar boats. I like to go close and look at them..they look like big toys. .. after searching for some thoughts, I understand why I like them. They reminded me of the boats in baby bath tub!.. when the baby grows up, the bath tub grows into ocean.. and the toy boats become oar boats.. I remember the children song.. " row, row the boat ashore...we all tumbling down.." ... As kids many do not give away their toys. Many keep toys for years. Many keep toys for generations. I used to get fascinated when I look at collectible toys. They hold so much memories. Many live in their boats so they can have things both way or many ways! An oar boat is like a baby to the little yacht or a house boat. The main boat offers a hug, a hold and the sea, a lullaby.. the ocean grows and grows.. so big to make sure many people can't escape... 

The stack of oar boats was the sign of boat owners who went inshore shopping for supplies, doing some maintenance or just simply having a rest.

Because I think boats are difficult subjects for outdoor painting, I had hesitation. but I found every time I see them, I thought to myself I would like to try to paint them one day. Walking around to find a composition, then I came back and decided today was the day I was going to paint them. "Who could resist the temptation of things that bring them back to the fun of magical baby time?" I thought if I had not, I would have had to wait for another time, maybe another year. The sun was hot. I had a good start then came the wind. It certainly added some movement to the painting! :-)

Painting at this boat yard several times, I had chances to listen to stories of boat owners. Many live in their boats. I have not heard by their words but by what I know. I can see why many grow old with their boats.. people here do not own much.. maybe just a hug, a hold from their boats and an ocean lullaby .. some peace and comfort in the sunset...

It is love and being loved... Life is simple!


I am not a boater. I do not live in boats. The boats live inside me! That's what I discovered, when I sat with this piece of paper, it turned itself into a boat.. an oar boat...Now, my friends, it is your turn to row the boat ashore!.. :-)

Sunday, 29 November 2015

Love Earth, Watercolour Thumbnail Sketch

I had a cup of tea near the trees, my special place to chill out. It's a place where I saw children had some play in summer. We had no idea why the local contractors cut down a huge blossom that was curved over a little stream. In spring it becomes a spectacular blossom bridge. I noted that walkers were stopping to look at the missing blossom. They were simply puzzled. "Who on earth could have done that?" I was shocked myself then I tried to calm down by the thought that the contractors merely tried to tidy it up. I could see they realised they had made a mistake. It was not what people wanted so they decided to leave the trunk of the tree behind for the kids to play with! It was so sad. It took about fifty years to have a tree of the same scale. It was part of local memory, hence not replaceable! This incident showed appreciation of natural beauty was important. On half a page of my A5 sketch book, with a pencil I thought of making a note of it. Half way I chose an easier approach by replacing pencil with a brush. The paper buckled with water so I let it dried and finished the drink, folded the sketch book and forgot about it.

This morning still in bed, I found the book on the floor. Reaching to it and I opened it and here it is. The paper was flat, my little scene. My eyes kept looking at it, just a 4"x 6" sketch. It is one of the smallest I've done. I heard children still playing on the tree.. making friends .. and growing up.. I see so much in this little piece of paper .. I think I've just been getting caught in the act.. I love earth! :-)

I had a cup of tea near the trees, my special place to chill out. It's a place where I saw children had some play in summer. We had no idea why the local contractors cut down a huge blossom that was curved over a little stream. In spring it becomes a spectacular blossom bridge. I noted that walkers were stopping to look at the missing blossom. They were simply puzzled. "Who on earth could have done that?" I was shocked myself then I tried to calm down by the thought that the contractors merely tried to tidy it up. I could see they realised they had made a mistake. It was not what people wanted so they decided to leave the trunk of the tree behind for the kids to play with! It was so sad. It took about fifty years to have a tree of the same scale. It was part of local memory, hence not replaceable! This incident showed appreciation of natural beauty was important. On half a page of my A5 sketch book, with a pencil I thought of making a note of it. Half way I chose an easier approach by replacing pencil with a brush. The paper buckled with water so I let it dried and finished the drink, folded the sketch book and forgot about it.  This morning still in bed, I found the book on the floor. Reaching to it and I opened it and here it is. The paper was flat, my little scene. My eyes kept looking at it, just a 4"x 6" sketch. It is one of the smallest I've done. I heard children still playing on the tree.. making friends .. and growing up.. I see so much in this little piece of paper .. I think I've just been getting caught in the act.. I love earth! :-)
Wonderful Watercolour Sketch of Nature

Saturday, 28 November 2015

Seaside and Me, Watercolour Painting Landscape, En Plein Air

I love the quiet time in between seasons.  It's meditational.  In between winter and spring, there is a crystal feel in the air.  Little touch of light gave definition to gentle movement on water and rock edges.  I love the rich warm texture of earth the dark of volcanic rocks and cool blues of sea and sky.  Local features of these elements create contrast level one in my book.  In receiving light and atmospheric of the moment, these natural elements gave contrast between their rugged nature and the delicate light and air.  That's contrast level two!  

Understanding colours and tone (tone over colours or colours over tone!), observation, composition and techniques and..  of course ..me, my perception! .. 

Now try to put them together and try to say without using words! :-)  

Sometime it pays not to analyse anything at all.  Just get on with it.  The scene looks simple.  It is simple, the seaside and me!.. 

It is simply love!  just love it, that's how painting becomes easy!.. else I don't think I can paint.. I don't think I can say things without words!

Knowing extreme conditions of climate change, en plein air painting becomes more special to me than ever..  by sharing publicly, I hope to pass on a simple message "Enjoy earth and look after her!  there is no replacement.  she is home.."


I love the quiet time in between seasons.  It's meditational.  In between winter and spring, there is a crystal feel in the air.  Little touch of light gave definition to gentle movement on water and rock edges.  I love the rich warm texture of earth the dark of volcanic rocks and cool blues of sea and sky.  Local features of these elements create contrast level one in my book.  In receiving light and atmospheric of the moment, these natural elements gave contrast between their rugged nature and the delicate light and air.  That's contrast level two!    Understanding colours and tone (tone over colours or colours over tone!), observation, composition and techniques and..  of course ..me, my perception! ..   Now try to put them together and try to say without using words! :-)    Sometime it pays not to analyse anything at all.  Just get on with it.  The scene looks simple.  It is simple, the seaside and me!..   It is simply love!  just love it, that's how painting becomes easy!.. else I don't think I can paint.. I don't think I can say things without words!  Knowing extreme conditions of climate change, en plein air painting becomes more special to me than ever..  by sharing publicly, I hope to pass on a simple message "Enjoy earth and look after her!  there is no replacement.  she is home.."
Gorgeous Watercolour Painting, Seaside After Winter





Thursday, 26 November 2015

Roadside Sketch, NZ, Watercolour Landscape

I found this little sketch in a pile of paper.  A little piece of paper brought back huge memories.  It was a rare chance that I traveled through country side on a rugged curly road.   The sketch was done during a stop over at the road side for a stretch.  Looking around I was surrounded with wonderful natural elements in deep autumn colours.There are so much inspirations.  Couldn't help but pulled out my watercolour pochade and made a note on this poor piece of paper..  I wished I could have had just painted it.

Only a short few minutes but I could understand why Paul Cezanne chose to live in Aix en Provence instead of Paris.  I wish the car could stopped every few minutes for me to record the scenes.  I love to be in a rugged country sides.  I also know there's possibilities that I could not resist the temptation to spend whole day picnicking and painting and I might not remember to go home!  I knew what happened to Cezanne when the place he grew up became part of him.  His art just made the link unbreakable and timeless.   

Home is actually where the heart is.  I was very reluctant to get back in the car after having a moment to absorb and say good bye!
I found this little sketch in a pile of paper.  A little piece of paper brought back huge memories.  It was a rare chance that I traveled through country side on a rugged curly road.   The sketch was done during a stop over at the road side for a stretch.  Looking around I was surrounded with wonderful natural elements in deep autumn colours.There are so much inspirations.  Couldn't help but pulled out my watercolour pochade and made a note on this poor piece of paper..  I wished I could have had just painted it.  Only a short few minutes but I could understand why Paul Cezanne chose to live in Aix en Provence instead of Paris.  I wish the car could stopped every few minutes for me to record the scenes.  I love to be in a rugged country sides.  I also know there's possibilities that I could not resist the temptation to spend whole day picnicking and painting and I might not remember to go home!  I knew what happened to Cezanne when the place he grew up became part of him.  His art just made the link unbreakable and timeless.     Home is actually where the heart is.  I was very reluctant to get back in the car after having a moment to absorb and say good bye!
Gorgeous Countryside, Watercolour Sketch

Sunday, 22 November 2015

Like a Man Loves a Woman, En Plein Air Watercolour Painting Marine

If the weather is a bit flippant, we go painting in this boat yard near the river. It was the season when boaters having their boat for repair and maintenance. Seeing so many of them together, so many choices, I was so excited. Walking around, I fell for this chubby boat. She looks so homely. I am not anywhere to be a boater but just look at her, big bold and cuddly! She is beautiful... and she is mine! I took a pencil and paper, leaving the rest of my gear behind, walked toward her for details and the feel of forms! :-).. I gazed and kept on drawing... I went back to my gear and started painting. The day was good, hot and sunny. The paper was drying fast.. just work faster..


As painting in progress, I heard " like a man loves a woman..", my favourite song from a radio in this chubby boat.. The owner was playing it for us. I thought. She's big, bold and beautiful! who wouldn't fall for her? especially in the coming summer, the summer sea!.. she's made of steel, she's heavy .. she's steady.. she offer stability, minimum disruption from sea conditions.. she offer perfect sleeps with sunset and sunrise on ocean.. she makes people feel home.. She even has satellite disc!

I tried to make the feel of the yard feel real, old concretes with greys and rusty old steel boat with a bit of Indian red and bars with darken viridian.. When I packed up and went home. I forgot boats are one of the most challenging subjects for en plein air!..

" ..Like a man loves a woman..." I know the feel of home in open sea is irresistible! .. someone just lives the dream.. but I am not jealous.. with imagination, I had gone a trip with her during the process of this painting... this is something special about en plein air, something about direct interaction..

"I put my heart and my soul into my work, and have lost my mind in the process." - Vincent Van Gogh

People said " Love is blind" or I had "lost my mind in the process" Both maybe true, I couldn't have seen the scene I painted was a challenge.. maybe because of the song " ..Like a man loves a woman..." was playing at least twice.. taking my mind away... and what I got left were "heart and soul" in the process..


If the weather is a bit flippant, we go painting in this boat yard near the river.  It was the season when boaters having their boat for repair and maintenance.  Seeing so many of them together, so many choices, I was so excited.  Walking around, I fell for this chubby boat.  She looks so homely.  I am not anywhere to be a boater but just look at her, big bold and cuddly!  She is beautiful... and she is mine!  I took a pencil and paper, leaving the rest of my gear behind, walked toward her for details and the feel of forms! :-)..  I gazed and kept on drawing...  I went back to my gear and started painting.  The day was good, hot and sunny.  The paper was drying fast.. just work faster..  As painting in progress, I heard " like a man loves a woman..", my favourite song from a radio in this chubby boat..  The owner was playing it for us.  I thought.  She's big, bold and beautiful!  who wouldn't fall for her? especially in the coming summer, the summer sea!.. she's made of steel, she's heavy .. she's steady..  she offer stability, minimum disruption from sea conditions.. she offer perfect sleeps with sunset and sunrise on ocean.. she makes people feel home..    I tried to make the feel of the yard feel real, old concretes with greys and rusty with a bit of Indian red..  When I packed up and went home.  I forgot boats are one of the most challenging subjects for en plein air!..  People said " Love is blind".  Maybe true, I couldn't have seen the scene I painted was a challenge.. maybe because of the song " ..Like a man loves a woman..."  was playing at least twice..  I know the feel of home in open sea is irresistible! .. someone just lives the dream..
Wonderful Marine Watercolour Painting, Boats

Saturday, 21 November 2015

As Time Passes By, Watercolour Sketch, Landscape

On an old piece of paper, a thought came to me, something from memory but nothing in particular.  It was a mood of poetry without words.  I dipped a brush in water and a grey mix, a muddy spot on the palette.  I do not normally paint in grey tone but it suited the moment.  It was an experiment in painting but a moment of living in life.  This was the result.  

Yes, "live more and paint less" is also a well known technique of many painters... painting came with poetry.  I kept this note as a memoir..   part of a journey..  I let the art to decide where it will take me...  well! actually I like to relax for a bit..  but just can't stop! :-)
On an old piece of paper, a thought came to me, something from memory but nothing in particular.  It was a mood of poetry without words.  I dipped a brush in water and a grey mix, a muddy spot on the palette.  I do not normally paint in grey tone but it suited the moment.  It was an experiment in painting but a moment of living in life.  This was the result.  Yes, "live more and paint less" is also a well known of many painters... painting came with poetry.  I kept this note as a memoir..   part of a journey..  I let the art to decide where it will take me...
Watercolour from Imagination, Freehand Sketch

Friday, 20 November 2015

The Sea Talks to Me, Watercolour Painting En Plein Air

'Our one-year-old son will insult you with his happiness and freedom every day' - Antoine Leiris. A father's defiant message to ISIS after his wife, the mother of his son, was killed in Paris, 13 Nov 2015. It is an impressive statement.

As usual I love everyday of my life but the terrors that happen around the world make me more conscious .

Make the most of everyday. More love to family members. More joy to every moment of life....

Making time to enjoy summer is a must on my list. I often dream of lying on a beach with a wet paint brush, capturing whatever in front of me. However, I was not allowed to take painting gear with me to the beach to enjoy time with family.

In situations like this, I thought of a French pochade watercolour box I bought sometime ago and a pad of watercolour A5 papers (a birthday gift) would be perfect. I quietly slipped the little set in the bag unnoticed. When everyone was going for a walk along the beach, it was the time for me to enjoy the scenes of the beach while sitting with bags and sandals. Time went. It was a long walk. When people came back, I showed them the picture. It was a surprise. People find it hard to believe it was an actual scene on the beach that was right in front of us! I was pleased everyone had something to enjoy especially the one that got left behind!.. me.. It's a win win situation.

With this little picture, that summer day will be in my mind forever. Dream came true!:-)

Writing this, I still feel the heat of the beach. That's is the charm of en plein air with a pochade box. Try it for yourselves, you will be pleasantly surprised that the scene you love can actually talk to you! :-)

I plan to have more and more the secret pleasures with the charming French pochade painting box while sharing wonderful time with family and friends. I am having the world both ways in my arms! Hug.

Looking at the two ladies with their little steps toward the sea, I thought of Picasso painting of the first step. In life, we do not have the whole staircase in front of us, only the first step. The first step of independence into uncertainty requires courage.. I thought of the first step of a one year old who just lost his mother.. the first step of a father who decided to love him twice as much..

Everyday is a chance for a first step into the magic of life. Take it.

Yes, love life a bit more everyday. My friends, you always win.

 Making time to enjoy summer is a must on my list.  I often dream of lying on a beach with a wet paint brush, capturing whatever in front of me.  However, I was not allowed to take painting gear with me to the beach to enjoy time with family.  In situations like this, I thought a French pochade watercolour box and a pad of watercolour A5 papers (a birthday gift) would be perfect.  I when everyone was going for a walk along the beach.  It's the time for me to enjoy this little scene while sitting with bags and sandals.   It was a long walk but when people came back.  I showed them the picture  It was a surprise.  Hard to believe it was an actual scene on the beach right in front of us! Everyone has something to enjoy especially the one that got left behind!.. me.. It's a win win situation. With this little picture, this summer day will be in my mind forever.  Dream came true!:-)  That's is the charm of en plein air with a pochade box.  Try it for yourselves, you will be pleasantly surprised that the scene you love can actually talk to you! :-)
Beautiful Beach Scene in Watercolour, Waiheke Island, Auckland, New Zealand

Thursday, 19 November 2015

Watercolour Purist and the Dust of Life, Art Concept


The love of purity in the atmosphere relates to our love of planet earth, our home. Its delicate balance is important for our survival.  Because of the the delicate and gentle nature of watercolour art, it does look like it is the art of getting away from everyday life problem but it is not. It is a way to remind us how wonderful it is to have purity in life. We are lucky that behind the love of purity are designers, scientists, researchers, scholars and engineers.. together we'll return better condition to the planet.  I hope one day, watercolour purism concept will become as natural as our desire to breathe fresh air, drink clean water.   "I never get tired of the blue sky."- Vincent van Gogh  Me, neither. You might have notice blue sky goes with beautiful days! Many beautiful days make a beautiful life!:-)  Because of the timeless and borderless nature of traditions of watercolour art and the intimate way it relates to people (as it is to me), I hope I would be able to pass on the love of purity to next generations before I leave earth. Purity is truly the art of life on planet earth!
A Walk in the Park, Watercolour Sketch
“Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.”― Pablo Picasso

Decades ago, the dust of life might be an artistic perception. The dust might be routine everyday business or activities that take away opportunities to create. To some, art is a way to get away.

Now effect of the dust of life become global issue. No other generation experience the dust of life, the pollution is rising to the level that causes climate change threatening stability of the planet.
How does air pollution contribute to global warming?

Air pollution includes greenhouse gases. One of these is carbon dioxide, a common part of the exhaust from cars and trucks. Greenhouse gases cause global warming by trapping heat from the Sun in the Earth's atmosphere.
How do our everyday activities contribute to air pollution and climate change?

The pollutants released into the atmosphere cause local air pollution, huge plumes of smoke covering a large area, and acid rain. We are emitting such a high level of pollutants that they are causing serious global environmental problems: climate change and ozone depletion. In some cases, air pollutants contribute to climate change, and greenhouse gases contribute to air pollution:

Climate change itself may have a direct impact on air quality. We see pollution related foggy cities in China, Indonesia and soon in France... Air quality modelling studies show that with warmer temperatures in the future, higher levels of ozone will be produced in North American cities.

Processes such as fossil fuel burning in industry, motor vehicles and buildings emit pollutants that cause local and regional pollution. These pollutants include particulate matter (PM) and ground-level ozone (O3) — the key ingredients of smog — along with nitrogen oxides (NOx), sulphur oxides (SOx), volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and carbon monoxide (CO).

The same processes also release greenhouse gases, mainly carbon dioxide (CO2), nitrous oxide (N2O) and methane (CH4) , one of the most important greenhouse gases, is a major cause of increased ground-level ozone, which are linked to global climate change.

However, there is hope because they come from the same sources, many of the actions that reduce air pollution can also reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Addressing the issues of air pollution and climate change requires cohesive effort from leading countries. The progress over 20 years of UN negotiations is the objective of the coming 2015 conference in Paris to achieve, for the first time, a binding and universal agreement on climate, from all the nations of the world.
How does Watercolour Art relate to Climate Change?

With this line of thought, I think of the development of watercolour art toward more luminosity and transparency, the beauty of natural glow of daily light and seeing through. Like no others, watercolour art offers viewers to experience transparency by seeing through colours to the base paper and luminosity as paint particles interact with light bouncing of the surface of the painting. Literally, in our living environment, to see through, the air must be clean. Luminosity means the quality of light in the atmosphere. The painters avoid opaque and muddy effects for more purity.

Watercolour purist points toward the beauty of clear, clean, transparent.. not just the beauty for the eyes and souls for art lovers only. At this time in human history, watercolour purism is also a way to raise awareness of the importance of purity in physical environment we live in and perhaps in our relationship with nature. Earth needs some TLC. As it happens, we are the generation that has to do something about it. Our chance to save the environment for the next generation is now or never.

Watercolour purism is not just a concept inspired by war environment in the past. It is not just a way to create art for the souls. It continues to be the concept for survival under threats of climate change now and the foreseeable future.

The love of purity in the atmosphere relates to our love of planet earth, our home. Its delicate balance is important for our survival.

Because of the the delicate and gentle nature of watercolour art, it does look like it is the art of getting away from everyday life problem but it is not. It is a way to remind us how wonderful it is to have purity in life. We are lucky that behind the love of purity are designers, scientists, researchers, scholars and engineers.. together we'll return better condition to the planet.

I hope one day, watercolour purism concept will become as natural as our desire to breathe fresh air, drink clean water.

"I never get tired of the blue sky."- Vincent van Gogh

Me, neither. You might have notice blue sky goes with beautiful days! Many beautiful days make a beautiful life!:-)

Because of the timeless and borderless nature of traditions of watercolour art and the intimate way it relates to people (as it is to me), I hope I would be able to pass on the love of purity to next generations before I leave earth. Purity is truly the art of life on planet earth!

Saturday, 14 November 2015

The Purest of Them All, a Tribute through Watercolour Art


Mastering watercolour does not require "purity". With confident brush strokes, washes and understanding interaction of paper, water and colours including White, grey, black.. beautiful works can be created.  Purity is a popular concept among artists. It goes further in visual art through watercolour.  Purity of watercolour emphasises in the clean washed and limpid execution, bereft of body white, maintaining transparency and at the same time achieving luminosity.  This concept began, not as many collectors think, with Joseph Mallord William Turner, RA (1775 – 1851) and his immediate followers.  It really began between the wars with artists like Philip Wilson Steer OM (1860 – 1942), American artist John Singer Sargent (1856 – 1925) with more than 2,000 watercolours, Scottish artist and illustrator Sir William Russell Flint (1880 – 1969), English artist Edward Seago RBA ARWS RWS (1910 – 1974) a War Substantive Captain with honorary rank of Major, 1944; English watercolour artist Edward Wesson (1910 – 1983)..  It was Rowland Frederick Hilder OBE ( born in New York, 1905 – died 1993, an army Camouflage Officer during WWII) an English marine and landscape artist and book illustrator, who likened watercolour painting to the elegance of the string quartet against the sonority, breadth, thrust and impact of oil paintings. It is this delicacy and freshness of the one-time application of paint which appeals to him.
Sea, Sand and Me, Watercolour Painting, Fine Art
Mastering watercolour does not require "purity". With confident brush strokes, washes and understanding interaction of paper, water and colours including White, grey, black.. beautiful works can be created.

Purity is a popular concept among artists. It goes further in visual art through watercolour.

Purity of watercolour emphasises in the clean washed and limpid execution, bereft of body white, maintaining transparency and at the same time achieving luminosity.

This concept began, not as many collectors think, with Joseph Mallord William Turner, RA (1775 – 1851) and his immediate followers.

It really began between the wars with artists like Philip Wilson Steer OM (1860 – 1942), American artist John Singer Sargent (1856 – 1925) with more than 2,000 watercolours, Scottish artist and illustrator Sir William Russell Flint (1880 – 1969), English artist Edward Seago RBA ARWS RWS (1910 – 1974) a War Substantive Captain with honorary rank of Major, 1944; English watercolour artist Edward Wesson (1910 – 1983)..

It was Rowland Frederick Hilder OBE ( born in New York, 1905 – died 1993, an army Camouflage Officer during WWII) an English marine and landscape artist and book illustrator, who likened watercolour painting to the elegance of the string quartet against the sonority, breadth, thrust and impact of oil paintings. It is this delicacy and freshness of the one-time application of paint which appeals to him.

The visual concept of purity in watercolour art is a significant development. It is continued until today...

I have listed a few facts of time and involvement as proofs that purism invented and developed by these war time artists were not the concept of the elites, the snooty, the snobbish, the arrogant but of generations who had lived, seen or directly affected by the worst of human conflicts which made hunger, sorrow, suffering, hopelessness, fear, death and decay ... an unforgettable experience. At the point one might have thought that there would not possibly anything we could benefit from the total destructive misery of war, there came a concept of fine purism in visual art for the eyes to see!...

I think of a famous quote from Pablo Picasso (1881-1973) "Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life." The statement expressed the tendency of human soul that search for purity. The general term "dust of everyday life" showed the artist did not pay much attention to it. Art sets free and purifies the soul. I do not glorify wars. In Picasso case, world wars seemed to be elements adding to the motivation. The artist produced huge volume of works through out 75 years career. Being able to live with art had turned negative into positive in extreme situations.

As part of survival, human soul has the tendency to seek for purity. In the dark, the eyes seek for light. In war, the soul searches for peace, purity of life! This desire is portrait through the concept of purity in watercolour art. No other times in human history, darkness blanketed the souls like the experience in times of World Wars. No other time in Art history the artist soul searched for purity was so clear. The result of this search is something purer than the pre war purist concept. Watercolour Purism with all requirements, represents reaction of human souls to all darkness in war times. With evolving current world conflicts, an escape of the soul into the purest form of life would naturally continues...

"Mirror, mirror on the wall who is the purest of them all?"... I guess ..I am trying to find answer..

The delicate properties of watercolour gave chance to artists to explore the challenge and drive the concept of purity to its finest. Why pushed it? .. it was nothing more than a desire to uplift the soul out of its misery.. seeking for a moment of delight with effortless poetry!... looking around I think it is more than just a human tendency ...

The creation of watercolour purity concept was in stark contrast with the war environment where flooded infested trenches and muddy fields were soldiers living environment. Was inspiration for purest form of purity in art coming from a spirit above?

No matter what state of the world, the concept of purism in watercolour guides the mind and the hands of painters to seek for beyond boundaries. .. I wonder why is the speedy execution required by this concept? .. I can't help but thinking about speedy machines required for the battles in the air.. the speedy response of people on the ground for survival.. speedy response with muscles, heart and soul...

Pure watercolour itself has special beauty because our soul always searches for purity and our eyes love to see it. With war history, the concept symbolises the spirit of peace.. it is the visual language of elegance, poetry..

"Mirror, mirror on the wall who is the purest of them all?"

I found the answer:

The spirit that was with people who made ultimate sacrifice ..on the ground, in the sea and the sky. That spirit is the Purest of Them All.

My tribute.

Saturday, 7 November 2015

Evolution of Watercolour Art, Painting Note



Watercolour has a long tradition in many cultures around the world. It is considered as the oldest painting medium… in Art history.

Primitive humans applied water-based pigments with fingers, sticks and whatever was naturally available; their works can be seen in prehistoric cave paintings. These paintings were sometimes drawn with ash, earth/minerals and water.

The Far East has many surviving pieces in which the painters incorporated lettering and story telling in most of the works. Egyptians used water based paints to letter and paint on papyrus paper, as well as decorate tombs and public spaces. The ancient Chinese also have a grand tradition of watercolor painted on silk ( started around 200 BC) and later on hand-made rice papers; the Japanese soon followed their lead. The Chinese and Japanese production of masterpieces grew suddenly with the advent of hand-made papers around 100 A.D. 

Currently the U.S. dominates the international watercolor scene. The popularity of water-colour continue into 21st century with a long list of Watercolour Societies around the globe, UK, USA, Canada, Europe, Australasia and Asia. From an opaque look on the cave walls, artists have driven the development of watercolour material, techniques, and expression toward more strength, permanency, transparence, illusiveness, luminosity and effortless poetry... To emphasise the importance of these attributes, watercolour purists (a concept developed by British artists) go as far as eliminating the use of Chinese white in their works because of its opacity. Others emphasise on the versatility in mix media art. Evolution of watercolour is a long journey since the early days of human civilisation. In 2011, a 100,000-year-old human-made ochre-based mixture that could have been used like paint was found in South Africa. We also have cave paintings drawn with red or yellow ochre, hematite, manganese oxide that may have been made by early Homo sapiens about 40,000 years ago (source: Wiki). Watercolour art has evolved from primitive basic to the sophistication along with development of science , technology and social history. The diversity and dynamic of watercolour art that we enjoy today is the result of global efforts. It symbolises the art of unity without boundaries!
Watercolour, Still Life

The Moors brought papermaking to Spain in the 12th century which soon spread to Italy. Two of the oldest paper manufacturers include Fabriano of Italy which opened in 1276 and Arches of France, which opened in 1492. 

During the Middle Ages, European monks used water-based paints to create elaborately decorated books. These works are considered to be a major art form and were painted on vellum or sheepskin. “The Book of Hours” circa 1415, is considered to be the most famous illuminated book.

Medieval and Renaissance artists painted frescos with water-based pigments on wet plaster, the most recognizable being Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel completed in 1512. Albrecht Dürer (German 1471 – 1528) was the first acknowledged master of watercolor. He used complete renderings in the medium as studies for other works; these studies now stand alone as great works of art. Hans Bol (1534-1593) created the first school of watercolor and was heavily influenced by Dürer. Peter Paul Rubens (1577-1640), known for his voluptuous figures, was also a master watercolorist.

From the 18th century on British dominated water-colour scene.

In the late 18th century, specially treated and sized papers were mass produced for water-colour paintings. Works of Thomas Gainsborough (1727-1788) and John Constable (1776-1837) were seen as masters of the medium. Finest Watercolor artists also include Joseph Mallord William (JMW), Turner (1775-1851) with impressive washes, John Sell Cotman with breathtaking control of the medium

In the early 19th century, American masters like Winslow Homer, James Whistler, John Singer Sargent and Thomas Eakins created works on par with, or greater than the Europeans. LaFarge, also of stained glass fame, was a preeminent watercolorist.

Homer, Sargent and Whistler exceeded the confines of English watercolorists’ works. American born Impressionist Mary Cassatt, famous for her depictions of domestic life, also took an active interest in watercolors.

French painters Honoré Daumier and Eugene Delacroix are also well known for their remarkable creations in watercolor, Daumier for his satirical political and social works.

In 1866, the world's finest watercolor paint brushes No 7 were originally made for Queen Victoria by Royal Warrant. British Royal interest in water-colour art lasts until today.https://www.royalcollection.org.uk/exhibitions/royal-paintbox-royal-artists-past-and-present , 350 years with a collection of 40,000 watercolour paintings.

By the late 19th century, 1870s onward, artists’ societies promoted watercolor, successfully bringing the medium into mainstream America. The American Watercolor Movement of this period paved the way for later watercolorists to be seriously received in exhibition with artists painting in other media.

Early 20th century, American artists of great renown Georgia O’Keefe, Arthur Dove, and German artist Paul Klee, and Russian born French painter Vassily (Wassily) Kandinsky were painters who found voice in watercolor painting.

The American artists and their contemporaries embraced watercolor as a primary vehicle, equal to painting in oils. This also became common with major English painters. American artist Mark Rothko (1903-1970) created large canvases with transparent water-based paints which created an atmospheric feel to his works. Additionally Edward Hopper and Charles Burchfield were notable contributors to the medium… and another significant contributor, John Marin, was a proponent of watercolor, the majority of his works being in the medium. Unlike the large paintings of Abstract Expressionists, watercolors were usually created in a smaller, more intimate format.

American artists contribution to the watercolor is second to none. They continued to work in watercolors, which lost then gained enormously in popularity with a wide range of creations, continuing the tradition with new and innovative results. Artists Philip Pearlstein, Francesco Clemente and Andrew Wyeth worked in watercolors even during its short lived decline in the Americas.

Currently the U.S. dominates the international watercolor scene. The popularity of water-colour continue into 21st century with a long list of Watercolour Societies around the globe, UK, USA, Canada, Europe, Australasia and Asia. From an opaque look on the cave walls, artists have driven the development of watercolour material, techniques, and expression toward more strength, permanency, transparence, illusiveness, luminosity and effortless poetry... To emphasise the importance of these attributes, watercolour purists (a concept developed by British artists) go as far as eliminating the use of Chinese white in their works because of its opacity. Others emphasise on the versatility in mix media art. Evolution of watercolour is a long journey since the early days of human civilisation. In 2011, a 100,000-year-old human-made ochre-based mixture that could have been used like paint was found in South Africa. We also have cave paintings drawn with red or yellow ochre, hematite, manganese oxide that may have been made by early Homo sapiens about 40,000 years ago (source: Wiki). Watercolour art has evolved from primitive basic to the sophistication along with development of science , technology and social history. The diversity and dynamic of watercolour art that we enjoy today is the result of global efforts. It symbolises the art of unity without boundaries!





Friday, 6 November 2015

Fear of Little Brush, Painting Note


With many painters, a brush is no more than "a stick with some hair on it" said Jamie Wyeth. It is just a carrier of paint onto the painting surface. I do not have fear of the brush in situations where a painting can be adjusted any time. I do not criticise other medium but try to say what it is that a watercolour painter has to face, the fear of a little brush! the brush that leaves unadjustable marks on a sensitive unforgiven pure white paper surface.

What if I make mistake?
What if I make wrong judgement?
What if I loaded too much paint?
What if I loaded too much water?
What if the paper dries out before I could do anything?
What if the paper buckles up? . . .

On top of that is the desire to achieve clarity, spontaneity, transparency, flawless, effortless, simplicity, mood, tone, accidental, poetry.. The desire to make a thoughtful move with carelessness, the thrill of a fleeting moment. The desire to make the difficult looks easy. The list of desirable quality of a good watercolour goes on and on.. The longer the list the more fear it creates.

There's also fear to see our own limitation.

Ah! on top of that is the quality that watercolour purists insist. I would not include it here because I think I would need another post for it.

Fear of little brush is the reason I practise! I practice to know and to make friend with it. Some brushes are more difficult than others but I think if I practise enough, the brush will start talking to me!

Good watercolour is unpredictable. The brush also has its own mind and personality. When working en plein air, random wind, rain, heat, cold.. in the environment add to the challenge... so often I leave the control to the elements. Sometimes, I just run!

Here is a little secret. Behind the fear of the little brush is my excitement of discovery. No matter how much I practice, the little brush retains her mystery and endless possibilities.

With many painters, a brush is no more than "a stick with some hair on it" said Jamie Wyeth. It is just a carrier of paint onto the painting surface. I do not have fear of the brush in situations where a painting can be adjusted any time. I do not criticise other medium but try to say what it is that a watercolour painter has to face, the fear of a little brush! the brush that leaves unadjustable marks on a sensitive unforgiven pure white paper surface.  What if I make mistake? What if I make wrong judgement? What if I loaded too much paint? What if I loaded too much water? What if the paper dries out before I could do anything? What if the paper buckles up? . . .  On top of that is the desire to achieve clarity, spontaneity, transparency, flawless, effortless, simplicity, mood, tone, accidental, poetry.. The desire to make a thoughtful move with carelessness, the thrill of a fleeting moment. The desire to make the difficult looks easy. The list of desirable quality of a good watercolour goes on and on.. The longer the list the more fear it creates.  There's also fear to see our own limitation.  Ah! on top of that is the quality that watercolour purists insist. I would not include it here because I think I would need another post for it.  Fear of little brush is the reason I practise! I practice to know and to make friend with it. Some brushes are more difficult than others but I think if I practise enough, the brush will start talking to me!  Good watercolour is unpredictable. The brush also has its own mind and personality. When working en plein air, random wind, rain, heat, cold.. in the environment add to the challenge... so often I leave the control to the elements. Sometimes, I just run!   Here is a little secret. Behind the fear of the little brush is my excitement of discovery. No matter how much I practice, the little brush retains her mystery and endless possibilities.
Watercolour Painter Fear, Watercolour Sketch







Thursday, 5 November 2015

Boats and Puddle, Watercolour Painting, Marine

En Plein Aire painting at the Royal Akarana Boat Club is always technically challenging.  There are so much to choose.  To keep going at painting art, I have to find varieties to stretch boundaries. That is probably the reason I feel excited at the opportunity.  This time I chose the close view of the boat yard.  Gazing, drawing, painting in a nice day with fine weather on the seaside like this is very hard because on the other side of me is just wanting to sit on a comfortable chair with a drink and a view.  I kept on regardless.  It was hard work but I felt happy that I had tried!

A little persistence and discipline can go a long way!

 En Plein Aire painting at the Royal Akarana Boat Club is always technically challenging.  There are so much to choose.  To keep going at painting art, I have to find varieties to stretch boundaries. That is probably the reason I feel excited at the opportunity.  This time I chose the close view of the boat yard.  Gazing, drawing, painting in a nice day with fine weather on the seaside like this is very hard because on the other side of me is just wanting to sit on a comfortable chair with a drink and a view.  I kept on regardless.  It was hard work but I felt happy that I had tried!  A little persistence and discipline can go a long way!
Wonderful En Plein Air Painting day at the Royal Akarana Yatch Club, Auckland, NZ

Wednesday, 4 November 2015

Only You, Watercolour Painting Seascape

It was my turn to suggest a site for en plein air painting.  I chose a park side but was not in favour.  After analysing it, we decided to go somewhere else.  The group preferred the water edge.  It was windy so we turned into the bush on a headland for a sheltered position.  I came to the edge and looked down.  I fell for the scene.  Because we had already wasted an hour, I had to be hurry.  I worked quickly thinking I was playing with chances that it might fail.  After a few minutes I started to enjoy it.  This scene was so peaceful, I chose a simple palette.. the painting finally appeared with surprise.  This would be a place that I would be happy to spend more time dipping my toes in the water..  I credited my friend for her leadership to rescue a near disaster situation otherwise I would go home empty handed. 

Looking at the picture, I think the painting day was a success.  It pays to make quick decision and hang on to any possibilities that one could think of.

It was my turn to suggest a site for en plein air painting.  I chose a park side but was not in favour.  After analysing it, we decided to go somewhere else.  The group preferred the water edge.  It was windy so we turned into the bush on a headland for a sheltered position.  I came to the edge and looked down.  I fell for the scene.  Because we had already wasted an hour, I had to be hurry.  I worked quickly thinking I was playing with chances that it might fail.  After a few minutes I started to enjoy it.  This scene was so peaceful, I chose a simple palette.. the painting finally appeared with surprise.  This would be a place that I would be happy to spend more time dipping my toes in the water..  I credited my friend for her leadership to rescue a near disaster situation otherwise I would go home empty handed.   Looking at the picture, I think the painting day was a success.  It pays to make quick decision and hang on to any possibilities that one could think of.
Magical moment on the Shore


Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Nature and Art, Painting Note

One important aspect in my works is the balance. The balance that comes from nature that we are all a part of. I like to draw it from nature because I like to communicate the beauty of nature through its own essence.

The balance of nature should come naturally like the air we breathe. How does experience with nature affect a work of art? one might wonder. There are plenty of examples through out art history. Paul Cezanne made a conscious and difficult decision to chose to live in Aix en Provence instead of Paris in order to study and capture the beauty of nature as he saw it. The communication with nature through his work made him the father of modern art. All started with nature!

There's also a popular thinking that "closer to nature" only matters to painters working on plants, birds and bees..

Nature is inside and outside us. It helps us to relate and communicate. Whatever I paint, I feel that my perception of nature is always there staring back at me!

I am just about to say everyone should activate their conscious relationship with nature then I am aware that there are contradict views on human relationship to nature:

"Nature and art, being two different things, can not be the same thing. Through art we express our conception of what nature is not." Pablo Picasso.

I understand this definition of Pablo Picasso means that nature and human are two different identities. I wonder "Is it of nature that our bodies live, feel alive, die and decay or the whole process of our existence is an expression of our conception? if so where does the conception come from? us! where does "us" come from?.. nature or God?.. see! by splitting into two identities we are running around a circle! :-) or it was just me running around trying to think?" I leave the answer to you anyway! :-D

One thing is sure. Art is timeless! :-)
  One important aspect in my works is the balance.  The balance that comes from nature that we are all a part of.  I like to draw it from nature because I like to communicate the beauty of nature through its own essence.    The balance of nature should come naturally like the air we breathe.  How does experience with nature affect a work of art?  one might wonder.  There are plenty of examples through out art history.  Paul Cezanne made a conscious and difficult decision to chose to live in Aix en Provence instead of Paris in order to study and capture the beauty of nature as he saw it.  The communication with nature through his work made him the father of modern art.  All started with nature!  There's also a popular thinking that "closer to nature" only matters to painters working on plants, birds and bees..    Nature is inside and outside us.  It helps us to relate and communicate.  Whatever I paint, I feel that my perception of nature is always there staring back at me!  I am just about to say everyone should activate their conscious relationship with nature then I am aware that there are contradict views on human relationship to nature:   "Nature and art, being two different things, can not be the same thing.  Through art we express our conception of what nature is not."   I understand this definition of Pablo Picasso means that nature and human are two different identities.  I wonder "Is it of nature that our bodies live, feel alive, die and decay or the whole process of our existence is an expression of our conception?"  I leave the answer to you!   One thing is sure.  Art is timeless! :-)
A wonderful sunny day with Nature

Summer Breeze, Watercolour Painting Seascape, En Plein Air

The best place to enjoy a hot day is near the sea.  Better still, we found a place with trees which could provide some shade and wind shelter.  Knowing we were coming, the fisherman gave us his spot and move further away.  He insisted to go because he hadn't had any luck. 

I ventured out to the edge of the head land and saw this composition.  I made a quick sketch and came back to my setting.  I tempted to sit right there and painted as suggested by my friend.  There was something telling me that it was not a good idea.  I gazed at the scene and absorbed key details and colour balance then started painting.  Minutes later, the wind came and gave a shuffle.  My hat and board were tossed away.  I quickly ran after and rescued them.  I held tight to the board and kept on painting.  The wind gave another big hustle.  I ran quick and rescue my friend's painting and bag before they get into the sea.  

For colour composition, I use some warm in the sky and water to balance the energetic blue green theme of the shore while maintaining peaceful, fresh, vibrant feel of the picture.  Nearly finished, I looking at the picture again and decided to add a friend to the fisherman.  I think they look good together!   

If I had sat at the head land edge, I would not have had this picture.  It would ended up in the sea along with other bits of my gear!  ..Pew!  The experience tells me always take an extra care when you go near the sea and do listen to my instinct.  What a day!:-) 


The best place to enjoy a hot day is near the sea.  Better still, we found a place with trees which could provide some shade and wind shelter.  Knowing we were coming, the fisherman gave us his spot and move further away.  He insisted to go because he hadn't had any luck.   I ventured out to the edge of the head land and saw this composition.  I made a quick sketch and came back to my setting.  I tempted to sit right there and painted as suggested by my friend.  There was something telling me that it was not a good idea.  I gazed at the scene and absorbed key details and colour balance then started painting.  Minutes later, the wind came and gave a shuffle.  My hat and board were tossed away.  I quickly ran after and rescued them.  I held tight to the board and kept on painting.  The wind gave another big hustle.  I ran quick and rescue my friend's painting and bag before they get into the sea.    For colour composition, I use some warm in the sky and water to balance the energetic blue green theme of the shore while maintaining peaceful, fresh, vibrant feel of the picture.  Nearly finished, I looking at the picture again and decided to add a friend to the fisherman.  I think they look good together!     If I had sat at the head land edge, I would not have had this picture.  It would ended up in the sea along with other bits of my gear!  ..Pew!  The experience tells me always take an extra care when you go near the sea and do listen to my instinct.  What a day!:-)
Wonderful day at Seaside


Friday, 30 October 2015

Spring in the Yard, a Tribute to Van Gogh in Watercolour

I kept this post in a draft form because it is special to me.   But after reading a post on LI that it is 125 years since the death of Van Gogh.  I decided to post mine to share.
It was a rare opportunity to visit a home garden in spring. For a composition, I looked down from a deck into a garden corner and decided that she's mine. It looks ambitious. It looks overloaded. I knew with the sweeping wash and mute colour movement at the moment in watercolour art scene, I think this is the one that would be avoided by many watercolour painters at all cost. "What are you going to do?" asked one of my friends. "Paint it, I am going to paint it" I replied.  I know people might think I was out of my mind.  At the same time I was not so sure.  Facing the challenge of  nature with its intensity and complexity is not easy.  I might fail but that was the point.  If I did not seize the opportunity to stretch my boundary now, I would never do it.  Looking at all dazzling colours in front of me, I thought about one of my heroes, Vincent Van Gogh.
I thought about Van Gogh because he came from the land of flowers. He was fearless in his approach to painting direct and was brilliant in portraying the essence of nature with its complexity. With that thought, I did not have much to lose but a lot to gain. I jumped straight in capturing the flowering honey suckle wall, the garden furniture set, the pots full of bulb flowers, a small blossom tree and finally few black birds! I though about the tulip fields of Netherlands as I added the red tulips to the pot on the table.  I thought about the blue iris field he painted as I added blues irises to the pots around the table. I tried to keep to colours pure, intense and raw with descriptive strokes capturing features of elements (the technique I saw in his paintings) in the same time I tries to retain the glittering effect of sun light.
This is, if I may, a tribute to Van Gogh, a master who showed me the joy and excitement in nature with his brilliant and "could not be more direct" technique! It took courage to capture the "Wow" factor in nature the way he did.  "That courage and soul have become Van Gogh legacy! " was my thought.
When I look at my " Spring in the Yard", I feel dazzled and happy.  I think I have captured the effect of spring in this garden corner. I realised the biggest benefit of living with art is an opportunity to live with a soul! I feel humble.
It was a rare opportunity to visit a home garden in spring.  For a composition, I looked down from a deck into a garden corner and decided that she's mine.  It looks ambitious.  It looks overloaded.  I knew with the sweeping wash and mute colour movement at the moment in watercolour art scene, I think this is the one that would be avoided by many watercolour painters at all cost.  "What are you going to do?" asked one of my friends.  "Paint it, I am going to paint it" I replied.  At the same time I was not so sure.  This was my first time.  I might fail but that was the point to seize the opportunity to stretch my boundary.  Looking at all dazzling colours in front of me, I thought about one of my heroes, Vincent Van Gogh.   I thought about Van Gogh because he came from the land of flowers.  He was fearless in his approach to painting direct and was brilliant in portraying the essence of nature with its complexity. With that thought, I did not have much to lose but a lot to gain.  I jumped straight in capturing the flowering honey suckle wall, the garden furniture set, the pots full of bulb flowers, a small blossom tree and finally few black birds!  I though about the tulip fields of Netherland as I added the red tulips to the pot on the table.  I thought about the blue iris field he painted as I added blues irises to the pots around the table.  I tried to keep to colours pure, intense and raw with descriptive strokes capturing features of elements (the technique I saw in his paintings) in the same time I tries to retain the glittering effect of sun light.  This is, if I may say, a tribute to Van Gogh, a master who showed me the joy and excitement in nature with his brilliant and "could not be more direct" technique!  It took courage to capture the "Wow" factor in nature the way he did.  That courage and soul have become Van Gogh legacy!  When I look at my " Spring in the Yard", I feel dazzled and happy.  I think I have captured the effect of spring in this garden corner.  I realised the biggest benefit of living with art is an opportunity to live with a soul!  I feel humble.
Wonderful Exciting Spring Garden