Happy Anniversary Still.Life! Here’s to 35 paintings!

23 Oct


I made my 1-year milestone in this humble little art project and I am stoked!

*cue confetti cannons and Elgar’s Pomp and Circumstance*

It’s not so much about me making significant headway in picking up technique per se, but I truly feel this is a celebration about making the journey.  Much like how we celebrate birthdays and wedding anniversaries.

I am STILL very much a beginner but I hope that I am at least helping to motivate others like myself, who are stumbling along this path of learning/discovering “Art”, be it oil painting or any other medium.

OK… now.. recap!

I started in October 2010, taking informal lessons from my artist grandfather’s ex-student. Together with my dad and my cousin, we made our first creations on pencil and water colour.

Collage - First drawing lessons in October 2010

After grasping (barely!) the basics, we moved on to attempt oil paintings in weekly Still Life sessions. I am still at this stage… which is totally FINE because I’m not in a race!

Self explorations … Taking your time

I was lucky that I had quit my job and could spend a fair amount of my time with this new hobby. It helped to build my confidence when subsequent efforts and research yielded results.

To push myself to try something new, I told two good friends that I would paint them something – as a Christmas present. They chose the subjects – Grapes and Mangosteens.

Whilst I failed rather miserably in meeting my deadline, I had wonderful understanding pals who didn’t mind that I took my time with them. And so I did. It’s still far from perfect but for a beginner… Pass-able right? =P


Lesson learnt?

“Don’t shy away from trying, just take your time!”

A private show…

Five months into my journey, I had the wonderful opportunity of participating in a little private exhibition. In preparation for this, my Teacher chose a few of my attempts to concentrate efforts on. With his help and guidance, I eventually managed to turn up with 3 finished works.

(Disclaimer: the frames were digitally added for the fun of it.  Heh.)

Read about how my journey with the apples here.

Read about my struggle with the lotus leaves here.

Read about my frustrations with flowers here.

I felt really encouraged with the feedback that I got.

The slump afterwards…

In all honesty, the period after the exhibition was hard to get by… without a goal to work towards, I went free-wheeling on the journey, which was beginning to feel like a downhill ride.  It didn’t help that work started to get in the way.  Perhaps the law of diminishing returns struck.

It wasn’t just the painting.

I didn’t know if people even wanted to read what I post in my blog.

BUT the painting continued… and I plodded along with it.

I do sincerely feel that even if I do not know what purpose this blog serves now, I know I will one day find out.

I cannot stop.

Finding my footing…

I started monthly updates and kept things at a more manageable pace, blog-wise. Painting-wise, it was business as usual really.

Well, I think it can only get better and more focused as I get clearer on what I would like to achieve through this blog.

And one year on… 35 oil paintings!

Woot~! Who would have thought I will get here? Haha.. it just shows how little steps, one at a time,  will still get you somewhere. I surprise myself – looking at where I am able to get to in this journey.

[Disclaimer: Most are works-in-progress.]

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I’m psyched with what I’ve got so far! It’s not great but it’s MINE! =D

I guess, the journey a little like marriage. LOL.

After the initial headspin of new romance, comes the test of time and the onset of “boredom”. What does one do?

Effort, my friends. It takes effort and commitment to putting time aside for learning (or, in Steven Corvey’s words, “sharpening the saw”). Even if you don’t feel like doing something, don’t stop, continue to do it.

I realised that it is at times of this “enforcement of habit” that I sometimes re-discover the spark. It catches me when I least expect it.

In the long run, it isn’t just about chasing a rush or high or accolade (although having a goal sometimes helps), but about committing to move along irregardless, even if slowly plodding along. And on this journey, enjoy and simply naturally observe how it grows.

In this way, I know it will never become a chore.

SO… do I want to continue with this?

“I do.”

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