Painting more than what he sees
By ONG YEE TING
Sunrise on the Water, Tok Bali
IT WAS more than just beautiful beach scenes that artist Zainal Abidin Musa wanted to capture on the canvases.
“Painting is different from photography. It is not only capturing images that one sees but expressing your interpretations of that magical moment when you see it,” he said.
The 48-year-old Perak born artist, who is holding his first solo exhibition in Penang, said his recent trips to many islands had inspired him to work on a series of water sceneries.
“Sunrise and sunset are incredible at beaches. It is amazing to see how the lights play magic on the water and create the most wonderful view,” he said.
Zainal said the beach paintings were a record of his personal ‘dialogue’ with nature.
“Every painting is a unique experience with nature and I must be there to feel the thing before I can put it down on canvases,” he said.
The art exhibition themed Lights on the Water at a2gallery in Bangkok Lane features 29 seaview paintings by Zainal.
He said the paintings also related to his carefree teenage years living nearby sandy beaches in Kelantan and Terengganu.
The artist said he played a lot with colours when it came to painting as he was influenced by French impressionists such as Monet and Van Gogh.
“In Malaysia, most landscape painters are using the British water colourist techniques but I am more interested in the French style where I can put in the perfect combination of lights and colours,” he said.
Zainal said his love for paintings started during childhood but he stopped painting after he worked in the advertising industry upon graduation in the 1980s.
“Working life in Kuala Lumpur was very hectic and I had come to a point when I needed to take a break from everything.
“I took some time off from work every week to enjoy nature and that was when I started painting again after leaving the art scenes for about 10 years,” he said.