Thursday, October 22, 2009

Work in progress

Funny how the year 2009 started out quite bleakly with the world economic recession hanging over our heads and art business everywhere suffering a slow period. And now, here I am in the last quarter of the year running on 5th gear!

The most recent news is that I've managed to secure the house next door to be turned into my studio/gallery. Right now, I'm busy supervising the contractors to do up the place a bit, i.e. turning the garage into my work area, minor spruce-up works inside so that it will be a presentable art gallery, making my work-bench, etc.

Over the next few weeks/months, I will be installing the lights, getting the curtains, designing and making the storage equipment, and making my own simple furniture and minor storage accessories.

At the same time, I'm juggling my time to finish up some works for my up-coming exhibition in Bangsar which will hopefully happen in November.

And as the maiden exhibition at my studio, which I've simply called "The Art Room," I'm planning a show with some friends of the Penang drawings we made during the marathon. Hopefully that will be ready before the year-end.

It's quite a headache, but I don't mind this little pain knowing that there is an outcome to look forward to.

And so, who says an artist's life is one of leisurely pursuits? Sigh...

Monday, October 12, 2009

The 1st Malaysian International Drawing Marathon 2009

(At Suhaimi's house before we left for Penang)
(My drawing) (Suhaimi's drawing)

(Tengku Sabri's drawing)

(Tengku Sabri preparing to draw)

(Professor Fauzan Umar standing in as model)

(One of the participants of the marathon)

(Deep in discussion)

(Suhaimi and Lennon)

(The Cathay Hotel on Leith Street)

(Plumber on the move)

I am proud to say that I took part in the 1st Malaysian International Drawing Marathon 2009, the inaugural programme hosted by the School of Arts, Universiti Sains Malaysia in Penang from 5 to 7 October 2009.

It was partly a male-bonding session with my friends and I who drove up together in my trusted station wagon. There was me, Lennon, Tengku Sabri and Mie Pak Lah, all excited, partly because of the drawing marathon, to meet my lecturers and artist friends, my art collector, and also because we wanted to make it a "food marathon," too!

It was literally a drawing marathon where some 20-plus artists stayed up the entire duration for 72 hours to draw. Drawing is one of the first things they teach you in art school, and it forms the foundation of your artistic strength in later years. It is so basic that many art students today disregard its importance.

For me, the drawing marathon was a welcome break from my paintings. Besides the invigorating exercises that pushed me to explore my drawing skills, it also rejuvenated my spirit in making art.

Being at the University, meeting Professor Fauzan Umar who first taught me drawing at ITM all those years ago, being in the company of other artists furiously sketching away -- these all combined to create an atmosphere filled with creative energy. Being there was truly an inspiring experience and sparked my ideas and motivation to create and explore the possibilities in my work.

It was a shame that the outdoors of Penang was not utilised much. Instead, the drawing sessions were held indoors (with the exception of the first day when we had a scheduled outdoor sketching session), with settings that immediately brought back memories of art classes from my college days!

I look forward to a yearly installment of this marathon, and hope that next time the organiser will encourage participants to freely explore Penang. After all, the city is a UNESCO World Heritage site, and every street, every corner that you turn, you can feel the vibration and the energy from years of accumulated history, heritage and trade. Now that would make for some interesting output!

And as a little something new (because I always believe in lifelong learning and progress), I compiled the photos above in a little video. Enjoy it!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

For the love of art (The Edge, 3 August 2009)

This article appeared in The Edge (Options) 3 August 2009.

Cultural Index: For the love of art

Full Circle

This article appeared in Accountants Today (August 2009), written by Anis Rozaimah Ramli. Please double click on each image to read the story.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Never a dull moment around here

(Raya at Pakharuddin's place)

I feel very bad for neglecting this space for so many months, but truthfully, with so many things going on in my life recently, and the puasa and raya festivities, I find that I hardly have time to update this blog.

My wife has been on a long leave from her job and we have been spending a lot of time at home together with Musa. It is nice to see her spend her time leisurely with me, instead of rushing off for work at the break of dawn and only to see her late at night.

My kids have also returned from their school in Jakarta for their annual holidays, and they, too, have kept me preoccupied. We recently went on a holiday together to Langkawi, all nine of us, and it was a very memorable trip for all.

Despite the demands on my time, I have also been working non-stop the past few months to produce works and to paint based on my trips this year.

In fact, there is an upcoming exhibition I am preparing for -- a three-man show with my good friends and artist comrades, Suhaimi Abdul Wahab (Mie Pak Lah) and Tuan Azhar. It's called Tiga Lautan and will be organised by Art Village in mid November. At least, that's the that I look forward to very much. It's meaningful to me because Mie and Tuan share the same feelings that I have on art and on the whole matter of "why we paint" and hopefully, the exhibition will materialise to enable us to share our feelings with others.

Finally, I'm taking part in an international drawing marathon organised by Universiti Sains Malaysia's art faculty. I'm also excited about this one because I've managed to rally up the interest of fellow artist friends to take part in this event with me up in Penang. As I understand it, the event will bring in artists from all over the country, and the world, for a gathering to do drawings with fellow artists. It starts this Monday, and Lennon, Tengku Sabri, Mie Pak Lah and myself are driving up for it.

My time is fully occupied these past few months and the next, for sure...I will be in 5th gear, moving things along...there are many things I want to record in this blog, but they can wait for the mean time.

And oh, almost forgot...God willing, I will be occupying the house next door very soon, and make it into my studio and gallery. My wife will be happy to have my paintings, easels, canvas and brushes and paints (which are now lying haphazardly on the floor of our current abode) out of the way, for sure...