Monday, February 28, 2011

Loving What Is

(New artwork for my 1st exhibition: 1 of the 4 in the owl woman series)

I had a breakthrough in realizations last week. I was shown repeatedly by events that I am such a control freak, and am so so bad at letting go. I spent the the last few days decluttering and was shocked that I kept so many academic papers, from university days because I thought I'm going to use them in the near future! I gave away tapes, TAPES!!! Whoever play tapes in the 21st century? I'm such a hopeless hoarder! Sometimes I have a feeling if I declutter more I will start losing weight too! We will see. (big smile) I gave away books, deleted files from my computer, and felt this space of expansion filling me so that I'm empty to be filled with new, creative things! I felt I could breathe deeper and have more clarity now that I have "feng-shui" my space to be more spacious and clutter-free!

I had been having this great urge to be in nature for a while so I did that few days ago, took my journal and went to a garden nearby during the afternoon. Pour out my heart and soul onto the empty brown pages, surrounded by trees, falling leaves, a huge pond and deep, sacred silence and quality quietness. I should have done this earlier, being near nature to rejuvenate the tiresome feeling of being overwhelmed by the city, noise, chaos, traffic and people's endless chatter. I had been postponing this what I called "soul-date" with myself, enjoyed the day really well until it started to rain! I thought how silly that I was actually happy to be stranded in the rain, enjoying the unpredictability of the weather's arrangement.

I am learning the great lesson of "Loving What is". Although I am very forgiving and easy with my past but when it comes to the future I want to know and plan my way ahead to EVERY single detail. And it's impossible but my mind clings on to an idea, an outcome, the urge to know the solution. It's horrible, this wanting to KNOW, because it leaves me no peace.

To know which artwork will sell, how many will sell, who will buy. It permeates through other crevices in my life. Relationships. career. Family. This wanting to KNOW. And then after all the noise and drama in my head I just felt like a deflated balloon, nothing left inside me but more confusion. I am still learning the difficult lesson of Living in the moment, Loving what is shown in front of me Right Here, Right Now, and NOT whining about it, wishing for a different reality, fantasizing about being someone else, living other life but this.

I just need to open my palms, not hold on too tight to imaginary things. To trust in the ultimate intelligence of a knowing Universe. Sometimes I am so in need to control I forgot there's a god, and thought I could be one. It's crazy to want everything my way when I really don't know what's best for me.

So, I'm learning to be okay with not knowing. To say "I don't know" when I have no solutions to a problem, to admit my limitations to events beyond my control. It's hard work.

I am working on a series of "Owl/Wild Women" and so far have done two. I didn't take a direct picture of the artwork because they were supposed to not be out in public b4 the exhibition (end of March)! But I couldn't resist, was really hoping to share what I've been up to after the long absence of showing my creative labour on my blog.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Sassy Saturday with Creative Siren-Jin

I was reading an interview of kindred spirit artist and blogger Soraya in Diana's blog and suddenly a thunder bolt of idea strikes me and made me realized how I'm surrounded by many wonderful and artistic people in my life and how I've never truly tell them how much I appreciate their creativity and talent.

So, in the attempt to acknowledge these beautiful people in my life, I decided to interview them myself to get them to share their creative talents and processes which I am sure will inspire the rest who are finding ways to express themselves too!

I'm calling these interview series "Sassy Saturday with Creative Sirens" aiming to dig deeper into the stories and wisdom of my creative friends!

Can you believe it? Jin, my best friend, is a certified therapist, an artist, a graphic designer. (I am pretty sure he is hiding a few more tricks and talents under his sleeves). He is multitalented and so so so creative! I am a witness to his compassionate brave big heart which he share in his therapy work with his client. I am amazed by the characters that seem to come alive in his drawings, whether it is a nymph, an island fox, a pixie, an elf, a faery. He could simply draw divinity into an apple. I am so so so proud as a friend to have such a talented soul by my side!

Q1.) Tell us a little about yourself and your passion in your work. How do you manage your multi-interests?

A1.) It is not so much about managing, but it is more like I designed my life to be like that by accident. 7 years back I only knew that I want to spend my life doing things I love. So little by little, after some great years of hustling, I somehow made my life this way.It is no small feat for sure, as it can be incredibly stressful. I just take it 15 minutes at a time, not thinking about the future nor the past to the best of my ability.

Q2.) 3 words to describe you. Another 3 to describe you artwork!

A2.) The 3 words to describe me would be quirky, crazy, weird and adventurous. hahaha...that's an extra!The 3 words that describe my artwork would be quirky, fun, whimsical and juicy. That's an extra again!

Q3.) What inspires you? Or who? Where do you seek inspiration?

A3.) It's hard to say what inspires me, but I do know I like things that fascinate my ADD brain. It has to be shocking and out of the ordinary. Being colourfool, being whimsical, being poetic or even just down right mind blowing is really inspiring.I seek a lot of my inspiration from other illustrators, designers and artist. They are from all over the world. Some are Peruvian, Brazilian, Spanish, Japan, Canadian. Some are from disney. I look for a whimsical, sensual, childlike qualities in their work. ;)

Q4.) What kind of medium(s) do you use?

A4.) I use a lot of water color, clay, and acrylic paint. The only things I can paint with are Chinese brushes. I also use computer programs like Adobe Illustrator to do my work.I am one of the artistes who like their living spaces clean. Mess is not really ideal for me. LOL!

Q5.) What does creativity means to you? Do you apply it anywhere else?

A5.) Creativity to me really means a way of life, not just any life, my life. Therefore, I definitely use it in every area of my life, to express qualities and fun that can make me happy. Hopefully it can make other happy too.

Q6.) (On doing healing & making art at the same time) How has each field influence the other?

A6.) To me they are one, as I do art therapy a lot with my clients. They are literally one. To be able to creatively express a problem, touching it, feeling it be it with clay or paints is a huge advantage of truly interpreting the problem. And then being able to creatively express a solution makes the solution much more solid and wonderful. This makes healing much more permanent, as the solution came from the painter's mind. If they can come up with the solution once, they can do it for any other problem.

Thank you Jin for your wonderful time and sharing!I have learnt something from you, once again!=) I hope I have done enough justice with the questions and pictures!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

bad, bad flu VS great, great friends

I'm down with the flu today. My body has been heaty for a few days now and today it decided to be full on unwell. I have a feeling it might be my body attempting to purge and release whatever negativity I have been holding on. About work, myself, and how hard I've been pushing myself. It is asking me to slow down, forcing, actually. It's weird cause the last few days I couldn't sketch or paint anything and felt very low. Off-balance. The harder I push myself the slower I produce.

It's in the chinese blood. This being so competitive and harsh and rigid and hard about producing results. Probably because our ancestors faced alot of tough situations e.g. famine, war, flood and even though they're champion of being survivors and are known to be tough headstrong immigrants that flock to around the world; they never really learn how to just be laid-back. It's really silly when I think about it how the only war I had now is in my head, and I just have to not be so harsh on myself to win the battle, eat some chocolate, go out and walk on the grass and feel the sunshine.

I went to gym to work out today (silly me, in this flu) and felt so out of balance that I had to do deep-breathing in the locker room. Felt so much better and alive after that and more myself.

A voice in me told me to read past entries of Kelly Rae's blog, and I did and realized that the message for myself is not to rush this journey, and not be envious of anyone elses' success but instead learn how they do it.
There are many successful mixed media artists who blog but I still connect with her writing most! Learn from their failures, uncertainties, wisdom, experiences. I was too preoccupied with seeing only the success and the end and I needed to see and remember that success stories had a start too, the starting point is usually awkward and unsure and full of doubts. Rome wasn't built in one day. One of her blog entry especially "years that question and years that answer" here reminded me efforts take years and years. Patience is such a virtue and art that I am still learning to master.

On another different note. Thank God for girlfriends to uplift my spirit!Got together with a few friends from university days and went to Eunice's house and celebrated Post Valentine's Single Ladies night out at her place!We laughed and talked about *what else* Boys! How at this stage of our lives (late twenties) with our past romatic experiences we need a man who is able to love our strength (I dare say my lady friends are pretty empowered and bold and have inner strength which I so admire), support our dreams, and yet also have vision, knows what he wants, and pursue that vision too!

Above is Eunice being silly and her dog. Cutest thing ever. I had the song "I'm a slave for you" by Britney Spears playing in my head looking at this picture the way she is bending all the way to carry this snow-white creature. white fluff on white back.

More white. Many angels we have that night. This woman above has a heart and a laugh so BIG and genuine that makes me so fond of her!She is the proud owner of a handsome Siberian Husky. Small dogs are too easy for her!She prefer taming wilder ones!;)

When womanfolks get together they go crazy!The good food, the heartfelt sharing, talk and whispers of the hearts shared and exchanged, vulnerabilities exposed, nonsensical, silly talks and dirty, naughty talks (yes, I am honestly admitting this is part of what makes me laugh so hard my belly hurts!) It is completely, absolutely okay there are no romantic attachments NOW for me because these women brighten my day(and nights) and rejuvenate me so I could bring that positive energy into my artwork!I can be too intense when I'm left alone with my thoughts and they remind me not to take myself so seriously!Thank you Joeanne Lp, Eunice and Jasmine Jojo!

Hopefully this flu will vanished tomorrow and I can go back to painting!I am contemplating of using iridescent colours for that magical feeling to my wild women series artwork!I'm feeling extra chatty today, it must be all the positive energy that seeped through from reading Kelly Rae's older posts! Have not finished reading yet and is making a point to continue to read and be inspired!I hope I don't come across sounding like a stalker! *YIKES!

My nose is still runny (my nose is threatening to fall off if I rub it one more time) but my mood is singing!I really WANT my healthy body back!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Hokkaido's Owl Howl

The Spring Festival this year has our family going to Japan's Hokkaido for a holiday! I was a little terrified of not being able to survive its cold winter because Malaysia is summer all year round!But thanks to mum's preparation of sufficient winter clothing, I enjoyed this beautiful country the 1 week I was there!I have been missing blogging and visiting your blogs and leaving comments so here I am again, hoping to catch up with all the bits and pieces happening in your life!My fingers were itching to click on your blog address all the time I was holidaying!
I love how everything is covered by pure white snow in Hokkaido, the country appears so still, quiet and serene in that pure white state. I love catching snowflakes in my black gloves and seeing it melt away and sighing and catching somemore and being mesmerized by the creative beauty of nature.
I would love to expose a little secret about me,
I am an ice-cream-holic. I cannot resist any flavours as long as it's ice-cream. I was licking greedily my honey melon ice-cream in that picture, caught "red-tongued" by my sister on camera.I am also a sake-holic, I don't just like any alcohol. Sake-the japanese rice wine, is my one and only love. This is one sake factory we visited.
There is no one place in Japan that is not picturesque. Anywhere you focus your camera, there is bound to be a spot of beauty, whether it is the natural beauty of its environment or the way the Japanese display its souvenirs, rice wine, dolls, food on the counter. Every detail is taken care of, display arranged as a visual feast to take your breathe away! My heart's truly captured by the Japanese's aesthetic values and persistence!
If you've been following my blog you'll know about my fascination (and just maybe, a little obsession ;) with owls because they symbolized magic, wisdom and intuition to me. I have been reading up on these nocturnal creatures as native americans animal spirits that were held precious and sacred by its people. I was truly amazed and astonished that owls are a sacred winged creature for the Japanese too, and they truly regard them highly. Almost everywhere I go, every shop in every tourist attraction spot, are seen selling owl statues, owl accesories, big and miniature owl carvings handmade from wood. And my heart is filled with blessing as I take it as a sign to keep on painting these magical birds!

Wood carvings Glass Owls (these ones look so classy and adorable) More more glass owls (I wish I could have a mansion all filled with these creatures) Ice sculpture of an owl catching a fish with wings spread out (this must be hard work) Gigantic sculpting of an owl from snow (the wings' intricacy left me speechless)

The break is a blessing as it pulls me away from my obsession with work and gets me outdoors for a breathe of fresh air and filled my mind and spirit with new wonders of a country with such a different and unique cultural experience.
Now, after the eye-opening and refreshing mini-break, I'm ready to take back the paintbrush and paint away, and howl the creative howl with the snow-white owl!