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!!!