Nov 1, 2013


Recently I have started to draw fairly big drawings with 0.7 2B pencils (that is the common mechanical pencils). I sit very close to my work, pay attention to details. It is mainly hard labor which requires full control of your hand and concentration.

It is very new to me and I like the process. It makes the work almost personal. It, somewhat, resembles the mosaics process - small pace, touching equally every tiny space on the surface.
Oh, and yes, very addictive...

It is so different from how I used to paint or draw in the past. I worked then very rapidly, bold colors, bold brush strokes, details were not very important, all attention was to the expression, feeling and mood.

In the last few days I have done these two portraits:

They are rapid, bold and dirty. Just needed to see if I still had it in me. I must admit I had to work here rather small (A3). Painting big requires standing, and with my aging back, it is not an option.

But with art there are always new adventures. All you need is open your eyes, widen your heart, loosen your brain to meet them.

Sep 26, 2013

Winter in the tropics

Morning. Just another day. Sitting in my studio. The light is bright and smiling at me from the window-wall on my right. I am sunk in my pencil drawing, on which I am working for a few days now, my computer sings RFM (the French radio station). All well and happy and perfect (Actually almost perfect, since my man has left for one day).
Then with no warning (at least not one that I had noticed) the light disappeared, so much that I had to stop working. The wind threatened to tear the leaves of our plants and the doors just banged crazily. I managed to close the balcony doors just seconds before the painting on the wall was about to relocate itself to the floor.
I am looking now outside. The rain is pouring in waves that carry it side-ways, the sky is grey. Inside the aircon is on, and with the doors closed, the temperature at home is quite cold.
It feels like winter.
So who says there's no winter in the tropics?

Jul 9, 2013

The Asian touch

Some people might say that my art keeps changing, some might also say that I have no consistency, and therefore other might say, that by being all over, my art is not solid. Well... they might have a point... or not... :-)

I have read an article recently about building a consistent body of work for an exhibition. Even raising this topic means that not all artists work the same. Some would work with the same media most of their life or stick to the same subject and others.. well.. will be all over.

The truth is that I get so bored easily. With everything! My art is who I am, looking for other venues to ease my boredom.
However, looking at my art during the last 15 years (and I am indicating just the last 15 years, because I started to be a full-time artist 15 years ago), you can see, not only the changes, but also how my previous art influence my current one, and how my surrounding influences it too.

I have just finished a new painting. 15 years ago I was working a lot with ready-made. For example look here. Then I moved back and forth from media to media, however, acrylics were the "home" I've always returned to.

Using my nowadays methods I gave my painting a "twist". I added a ready-made (broken china) and painted a Chinese plate. I am in Singapore after all :-)

And of-course it has the hint of mosaic art which I love so much :-)

Jun 20, 2013

Heavy SMOG in Singapore

My computer desktop shows the weather in Monaco. It is raining there. I wish it was raining here in Singapore too. It has been dry for a few days now and it is hot.
But it is not the hot weather that is bothering right now. It is the smog!!!

With the burning of forests in Indonesia, the island of Singapore is covered with heavy haze. It is reported to be the heaviest in 16 years.
Yesterday night the PSI level was 321!
The authorities advise everyone to stay indoors, and say, that if the condition continues, they schools will be closed.

This morning at 8am the PSI level was 122, now (1pm) it is 371.

I took photos from our balcony at 8am.
An hour later (PSI 131) it looked like this:
There is a smell of fire in the air, the eyes are burning. Some people are wearing face masks. A scene I have never seen in Singapore before.
So now we are waiting for the rain.

Jun 6, 2013

Laundry Day

When I was a small child we had a semi-automatic laundry machine. A break-through of its time. Most house holds didn't own one. But still, in between the machine circles my mother had to use wooden forceps to deal with the wet laundry, following with hanging all outside on the wires.
A day later the laundry, which was stiff as a heavy paper, was neatly ironed and folded.
I can't even think doing it nowadays... myself...
Who can think today of dealing with hanging laundry that can be easily be put in the dryer.

I can divide Singapore to two main areas - The Expats live in state-of-the-art condos. Most of the locals live in public housing (HDB), most of them very nice and huge.
You will never see any laundry hanging out in a condo, but going to an HDB neighbourhood is all different feeling and view. There's this a warm environment around the HDBs. The buildings are colourful, surrounded but little shops that sell everything. And yes, laundry is hanged outside.


 I have just finished a painting. I call it Laundry Day.
I painted the Western style.
I can't even begin to understand how the Eastern way work. How do they get it on there, how do they get it off.
It's a mystery to me :-(

May 24, 2013

Location, Location, Location

We left Singapore for a short vacation to our second home in Europe, where I (also) have all the art supplies I need. A vase with roses waited for us on the table, and I've decided to paint them. Luckily I took a photo because they died after two days...
Not being comfortable with painting flowers, it took me four days to complete rather a small acrylic painting.

I have realized that in my European home I paint differently than in my Singaporean one. I cannot tell why, but this is a fact!
In both locations I paint at home with the same medium. And in both places I am happy with my home. So what is it really that changes one approach in art???

Many of the old masters moved to southern France both for its cost of living and its weather.
Our second home is (sort of) in southern France, and that does not make me a master, sadly not even nearly... The light here and in Singapore is not much different (neither that cost of living).
Nevertheless, my art is different.

May 12, 2013

The birth of a tree

A new tree was born, an additional to my trees' family. If you have followed my art lately you've realized that I am into trees lately. Their branches create a fabulous abstract structure. In fact, Mondrian early works was a study of trees which were slowly diverted into abstract, leading the way to his famous red-blue-yellow famous square abstracts.

My trees (as most of my paintings lately) start with blue lines marking their branches. Then they develop either to very graphic forests or with a touch of impressionism.
Usually the colors are unnatural.

Today I finished another tree. This time it has more realistic colors. Here it is:
As always it began with blue lines and then came the background. Yes, I know... It is somewhat backwards. Usually you should begin with the background and only then you draw the lines. Makes life easier. However, I like how the imperfect background covers parts of the lines, making them less sharp.
Finishing this part allows me to check the composition, see if I am happy with it. Then I continue to the stage which will be my second layer of background.
It starts to feel like trees and I like the depth, but the whole thing is too impressionistic to my liking. Third and hopefully last layer will make it more graphic.
So, I choose now to add somewhat childish leaves. Their colors are bright, the edges sharp, pulling them forward and by that making the background deeper.
Again I need to check the composition. Oddly, I cannot see it objectively just by looking at it. I use the large mirror in my studio or even better, I take a photo and check it on my computer.
I am not happy. There is no balance and the background looks flat.
Another day of work, additional leaves, treating again the background with some green mixed with red.
I am done!
I sign!

May 10, 2013

The trees of Singapore

Once upon a time there was tiny island named Temasek. Temasek was covered by rainforest.
Long time has past, Temasek changed its name to Singapore and most of the rainforest is long gone. Apart from a few pockets of natural rainforest in some of the Singaporean parks, all the greenery of Singapore is planted.

There is almost always something going on or around the trees. Usually ferns of different kind are planted on the tree trunks dressing them with green.

In the last few weeks, part of trees in Orchard road are dressed with colourful blankets, making an outdoor show of unusual combination of nature and art. 

Despite of the (almost) daily rain, every few day a small tanker scrolls the roads making sure that none of the trees in thirsty...
I once dreamt of being a carpenter, then I wanted to be a cashier (looked fun pressing those buttons on the register...). Now I want to have this job of watering the plants...

May 5, 2013

Weather and hair

I have a new phone. Well... it will be a phone (maybe) one day. I still cannot give up my two blackberries. My new phone has mainly two usages, none of which is actually for making calls, as it is still sim-less. Its main usage is to drive me crazy (!!!), the second is to see the weather... And these two are kinda stupid.
There is no point in checking the weather in Singapore. It is always the same. Always around 29-33 centigrade (84-92 Fahrenheit) and always wet and humid.
And humidity is bothering. I don't mind sweating and taking 2-3 showers a day, but I do mind what it does to my hair :-(

If you are Caucasian and your hair is like mine - straight but not flat, you are doomed to look like you got up and forgot to comb your hair. With the humidity I look like a vane. There is no product I have not used. All in vain. My hair can look great it the air-conditioned home, but once outside it looses all control.

I went today to the hairdresser. And finding one in Singapore, who knows how to cut Caucasian type hair, is a mission of itself... Gladly I have found one. And today I let him decide what to do, not trying to make him maintain my haircut for years.
And he cut and cut and cut. At some point I looked like my aunt Shula... Not a compliment... I closed my eyes. Aunt Shula, a German sever lady, is not my favourite one, to say the least.

Two hours later, when I left the hairdresser, my short hair actually looked okay, and feeling the air on my neck was a great treat.

(Hello, yes, this is me, wearing my painting shirt.)

May 2, 2013

Singapore and smoking

I was just leaving the pottery studio earlier today and saw this smoking zone.

To be honest, it is not the first time I see it, rather, the first time I bother to take a photo of it...

Out in the sun, a rectangle, measured something like 1x1 meters (3x3 feet), mark the smoking zone, making sure that if the smoking doesn't kill you, then the sun will do the job.
Starbucks had cancelled long ago it's smoking zones. Coffee Beans dedicated 3-4 tables for smokers, luckily under the parasols, attracting a crowd of the nicotine addicts, who are waiting to conquer the rare seats.  Just a handful for other coffee shops still have a small place for smokers, making them a smokers heaven  (some would say - hell...)

If you are a smoker, you probably feel like the animals in the forest which are been slashed, diminishing your living zones. In time the only place you will be able to smoke in will be your home, though if you live in the US, not even that.

If you are not a smoker, don't start! It is foolish!!!

Apr 30, 2013

The shore of Singapore

A few minutes before you reach the shores of Singapore, the ocean changes its looks. It becomes spotted with uncountable ships awaiting their turn to enter the port of Singapore.

The port of Singapore is the world's busiest transhipment hub. It is hard to grasp, that one of the tiniest countries in the world has the busiest port activity in the world.

It was after mid-night when I arrived home. From the plane's window I saw the ocean spotted with the ships lights, illuminating the waters with shining ripples. It felt like home.
I figured that a few thousands of people were sleeping at that time on the ships. Yes... trying to calculate odd things is a family bug...

(I did the above mosaic a few years ago for an exhibition dedicated to the spirit of Marc Chagall. It lives now with maestro Giulio Menossi)

Apr 17, 2013

A short vacation and early mornings

Every morning when I wake up I swear. No, really, for as long as I remember myself.
And waking up at 3:30 am is a total upgraded scale of misery.

The taxi driver took me through the wet empty roads of Singapore to the airport.

2 days later:

Sitting outside, smoking, watching the city waking up, witnessing the yellow snake of cabs awaiting clients. Soon the demand will be reverted.
Too early for me. Tired and hungry.
Too early, it seems, for the homeless too. Usually I see them by the smoking area, offering them a cigarette. Sometimes even talking to them. They are actually nice.

I hear German and Japanese and Spanish. Yesterday I was talking some idiotic things in Hebrew in the elevator, only to realize when we got to the lobby, that our partner to the elevator ride was Israeli...

Back in the room, a boy is sleeping here, a girl is chatting with me on Skype, a husband is chatting with me on the phone. Actually, life is good.

Will be back here on the blog when I am back home in Singapore.

Apr 8, 2013

Art supplies in Singapore

I don't claim to know all the venues where you can find art materials in Singapore. I know of two places where I visit frequently lately.

My favourite one is Strais. A small shop run, as it looks, by a family, a very smiling helpful people.
My favourite corner is that of the acrylic paints. They have the best quality -  Golden. Each time I am there, I buy more and more tubes of this fantastic paste. If I continue like that, Golden will have to move into producing colors that don't exist to fulfil my appetite. 
Across the road, in Bras Brasah Complex, there is Art Friend shop, which is huge, full of supplies, but disappointing in acrylic paints. 
I love Bras Brasah Complex. It is one of the old shopping centers still exit in Singapore, which have become an extinct species. Old building are being demolished, replace by state-of-the-art architecture, really mouth drooling. But entering an old complex let you feel the old Singapore, with its warmth and Asian characteristics.

I went to Straits yesterday to buy yet more materials. The car "screamed" that is needed fuel. I had no clue where was the nearest gasoline station, so I turned on the annoying GPS, waited for it to warn me to drive carefully... bla bla bla... and I clicked to let it direct me to the nearest station. She (the digital lady in the GPS) guided me alright, but... I didn't believe her...
She told me to keep straight, but on the left there was a tiny street which "smelled" like fuel. So I made the left turn... so what if the sign said it was cul de sac... I didn't believe it either...
500 meters into the narrow street the road ended with no fuel to be found.
I manoeuvred a U-turn, and then I saw this worker resting. I thought it deserved a shot.

I do have trust issues...

Apr 5, 2013

Orchids and Singapore

Vanda Miss Joaquim was chosen to be Singapore's national flower.
To read more about this type of Orchid and other related topics click here.

Living in Singapore, I have decided to give the Orchids a chance... Painting flowers is way out of my comfort zone. Give me portraits, abstracts even trees and you will make me happy. Flowers were never my favourites... I don't even like to have flowers at home. Love them in the garden, and starting today, love them on my canvas :-).

I started as usual with my blue lines on a prepared canvas with an under-paint, continuing with painting the flowers -

Then I added my background blue lines, which will create an abstract net, painting each section separately with warm colors. This will be my second under colors. I do it, though later it will be totally covered, because the warmth of the colors will influence the third layer -
And here it is - Bursting Orchids (20x36 inches, acrylic on canvas) -

One last word -
This is not the Vanda Miss Joaquim, but a related sibling which I have absolutely no clue what its name is.

Apr 3, 2013

Monsoons in Singapore

Singapore doesn't really have a wet season like it's neighbours on the east and west. Located on the tip of the peninsula, it is influenced by the eastern as well as the western monsoons' periods. Which means it rains regularly, or should I say POURING...
The sky are rarely clear blue as you might imagine the skies of the tropics, but rather light grey or VERY dark grey.

I took some photos the other day from our balcony -

So you see what I mean by a very dark grey... and you know you are going to experience yet another flow of water.
A few minutes later the monsoon hit. The rain is so dense it makes you wonder how do the sky can hold so much water. It is literarily blocking any view.

In this time of the year it doesn't last long. It comes daily in the mid-afternoon. There are times, though, that it can last for days.
An hour later the view is back.

 So, if you are planning a vacation on a white beach below the palm trees, this is not to place to be. However, Singapore has lots of other attractions (which I will mention in later posts) and please, don't forget your umbrella.

Apr 2, 2013

The rolling wave

We were recently in Bali, a short flight, a short vacation.
We drove up to Ubud to see the local art. Ubud has a reputation for a significant Balinese art. Sadly, with the tourism, the original art was transformed to please the western crowd. I must admit, I do admire some of the art displayed there, however, they produce the paintings over and over. So are these originals??

Though I was disappointed by the art, I was fascinated by the sea. The waves were mesmerising. I took endless photos of these waves, and then did some drawing study.

Then I did it with acrylic on paper, size A3 -
And then it turned into an abstract (acrylic on canvas, 20x36 inches) -

What I am about to write

I am not new to blogging. But instead of continuing writing in my old blog, which has been running for quite a long time, I have decided to create a new one.
This one will be about my general art (instead of mainly mosaics) and about the place I currently live in.
I presume that some posts will be totally NOT related to art but to the place I live in, which is Singapore.

So stay tunes, I'll back in a sec with some more.