Friday, February 19, 2010

Apprenticeship at The Art Room

(Me using pastels)

These days, the studio is seeing quite a bit of activity with the arrival of two people who are apprenticing at The Art Room. Yes, things are getting a bit busy and the studio space is feeling a little bit cramped since Awie and Khairunissa joined me here.

But I'm not complaining. They are here to learn and I am rather glad to have their company and assistance. I try to instruct them what I know. It's in no way formal education. Nor is there a particular system employed to ensure their enlightenment.

(Musa observing Awie's observational skills)

Daily, they do drawing exercises -- blind contours, vertical and horizontal lines, etc. They learn about tonal values, observational skills and such.

Besides the instruction of basic skills, I also let them learn about cutting the canvas, stretching it and basic carpentry skills to make the stretcher. In the studio, they assist me with displaying the artworks on walls, and also, occasionally paint the undercoat for my works. This last exercise, I believe, will help them get comfortable with the oil and acrylic mediums -- how each feels on canvas, how the brush works with these different media, etc.

(Me trying to capture the fleeting evening lights at Putrajaya)

Last weekend, we arranged an outing to Putrajaya Botanical Gardens for some outdoor live drawing sessions. The beautiful scenes there made for some really interesting inspirations and I think it was a change of scenery for both Awie and Kharunissa.

(Khairunissa practising her vertical and horizontal lines)

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

New paintings

I've just updated my Flickr account with photos of some works done in 2009 and 2010. Some are waterlilies, some are sunset landscapes and others are...ermmm...well, see for yourself lah!

These paintings are also currently up at my studio...before I bring them down for the group show of paintings from the Penang Art Marathon.

In the meantime, enjoy...!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Visit to Pakharuddin Sulaiman's gallery

When a whole motley crew of artists and collectors get together, it is usually at an exhibition opening, and it is usually a kind of an awkward affair -- you're there for the sake of the art gallery owner or the artist whose works are being displayed...well, not all the time lah...Other than these two people, you hardly know anybody else there, and pretend to look very interested in the paintings to escape from having to make small talk.

In November last year, such a gathering came together. But it wasn't at any of those commercial art galleries, and it wasn't for any exhibition opening. It was at Pakharuddin and Fatimah's gallery of their collected art works somewhere in Ampang. It wasn't the least bit awkward, thanks to Pakha's unique personality to bring all sorts of people into the conversation.

It felt, rather, like a much-anticipated tour -- the ones my school always arranged for its students to go on some educational field trip -- headed by Pakha himself! The "students" in this case included artists, friends and collectors. Among them were Tengku Sabri, Raja Shahriman, and U-Wei.

Pakha's gallery was really impressive, filled with paintings and sculptures. He knew every piece in his collection, the story behind each work and the reason for collecting them. Another part of his collection that was mind-boggling was his books -- lined up neatly against the walls. Another voracious reader, Tengku Sabri, was similarly impressed with his books, too!

After the gallery tour, Pakha and his wife took us to lunch -- the first choice, to eat assam pedas, had to be cancelled because the restaurant was closed. We finally went to an Indonesian restaurant where we all gathered around a long table like a big artist family gathering!

Pakha, as always, was very lively and had an interesting opinion, or unique perspective, on everything...entertaining us with all the latest news in the art circle...and the gossips! Tak kering gusi langsung to be in his company!

(The last two photos of me are with Raja Shahriman the sculptor whose works were at the time being displayed in a solo at Petronas Gallery, and with one of Pakha's collection which was my favourite, a work by Amron Omar)

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Doa Selamat at the Art Room

On 14 January, we had a little doa selamat kenduri for the new studio/gallery. There were about 20 guests, mostly friends, family and neighbours.

I had the help of my friend, Awie, to clean the place up, cook and basically make the entire place more welcoming for the occasion.

The menu was simple food -- mee hoon goreng, roast chicken, roti jala and beef curry, salad and pudding for dessert. I must thank my mother-in-law and sister-in-law for bringing some of the food.

And to those who came to give their blessings, many thanks to you. I hope that this new place will be the beginning of many more inspirations, productive work and gatherings.

More pics, from top to bottom: what's left of the food; the "ustaz section" in deep discussion; the "artist section" headed by Tengku Sabri and Hanafiah; the "family section"; and Chef Awie carving the roast chicken; at the end of the night, my wife and me.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Comment moderation

Recently, I've been getting so much comment spam that I've decided to activate the comment moderation on blogger. Hope that this will help to reduce spam, but not genuine comments from you!

Please keep on reading (I promise to update real soon!) and sharing your thoughts with me.

In the meantime, have a nice work week!