Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Citylights 2

"Citylights 2"
6x12 Oil on Panel
Click Here to Purchase
This is another scene from wonderful Koh Samui. Oh, how we loved it!

One of the luxuries of living over here is that you meet some fascinating people that have truly traveled. They know the nooks and crannies and some have lived in crazy places I can only imagine. Yesterday the AWA (American Women's Association) held a coffee at a collector's house. She is from the US, but has been living in SE Asia since the mid 80's. Her house was absolutely amazing - it looked like a museum. I think my favorite thing that she and her husband had collected was the Indonesian Kris. Their collection was absolutely spectacular. This isn't one of the hilts from her home (Wikipedia, yay!), but she had some of similar quality and beauty:
This particular style was Balinese. The Java and Sumatran Kris styles are much simpler and the more valuable scabbards (to the locals) in those areas are the ones made with beautiful wood. They have a wicked looking blade, and each blade has an intricate design on it, with very exacting standards depending on the region where it comes from.

Men carry them on their backs usually. Even though they can be used as a weapon, they're more objects of power, or a talisman. We were told that people will sleep with these under their pillow for protection. Supposedly the spirits will take the Kris from under your pillow and slay your enemies while you sleep. You know it has worked if you wake up the next morning with blood on your pillow. Fascinating, and such beautiful objects.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Morning Commute

"Morning Commute"
6x6 Oil on Panel
Click Here to Purchase
This was from my visit to Cambodia last fall. We had a fantastic guide, and instead of taking the main roads to get to the temples, he took the back roads, which were little more than dirt paths, not even wide enough for a car. At one point we passed this gentleman coming back from the fields after a hard days work.

It is very strange living on the equator at Christmas time. There is no snow, not even a brisk chill to the air. At least it got below 70 degrees in Texas in December! But you know what? That is okay. Singapore has figured a way around its tropical weather. One of the malls is sponsoring a real, live, snow globe! So for every $200 you spend (because, 'tis the season, go spend, spend, spend!) you get the chance to experience real, cold, snow and weather. It is quite the amusing advertisements. The big deal is that it is -3 degrees Celcius (about 27F). They even have winter clothes you can try on to take inside the globe with you to pose in photos. It just totally cracks me up. Sometimes I feel like this is a strange alternate universe that I live in!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Singapore Heritage Shophouse No. 91

"Singapore Heritage Shophouse No. 91"
6x6 Oil on Panel
Click Here to Purchase

This is a wonderful little house in Boat Quay, an area that has a ton of restaurants and bars surrounding one of the Quays. A quay is the British terms for a wharf, so it is this really cool little waterfont area. As late as the early 1990s, boats were still pulled directly into Boat Quay just like below: 

Clearly, things have changed in the last few years, and the area has been restored, although it is a bit Disney-esque rather than truly historical. But that is kind of Singapore for you. I'm just happy that they kept the shophouses on this waterfront rather than razing them and building condos!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Singapore Heritage Shophouse No. 90 - SOLD

"Singapore Heritage Shophouse No. 90"
6x12 Oil on Panel - SOLD
Click Here to see other available artwork
I loved, loved, loved doing this night scene in Chinatown. There was something so wonderful about the dramatic lighting and the shadows that they cast on the windows and doors. Plus, it looked pretty sweet in its gold frame. There is just something about these night scenes and a gold frame. They seem to just glow once they are in a frame. Yummy.

I know the past two posts I've had have been kind of down because of my camera. So I thought that I would mention something that made me super happy recently. One of my collectors has become a wonderful personal friend. She happened to buy Shophouse #1 at my show this spring. Then, at the Fair last week, she unknowingly bought #100 (which I haven't posted yet!). I'm just so happy that she got both of those paintings, as she has been such a fantastic supporter. Kind of neat that both the first and the last (supposedly last...) went to the same person, isn't it?

Citylights 1

"Citylights 1"
8x10 Oil on Panel
Click Here to Purchase
This is a scene from Koh Samui, Thailand in the fisherman's village of Bophut. I just loved Koh Samui, and this little village was really cool. It faced west, so the sunsets were just spectacular. It was also not the main town on the island, so we were spared from all the Cancun-like antics of Chaweng beach (which is beautiful, to be honest, I just didn't miss all the drunk tourists crashing their mopeds). After dark a market of sorts was set up along the main road (really the only road) and you could just walk along and enjoy the wares for sale. This was a painting of the main drag, just at sunset.

Well, after a full week of looking, I bit the bullet and bought a new camera. Totally hurt my soul, but I have to be able to take photos to work on paintings. Kind of part of the job description, no? I'm not going to be painting much the rest of the month, unfortunately. The holidays take precedence! Lots of administrative, end of the year stuff to take care of. But, as a gift to myself, I purchased a 12x24'' frame and I am going to do a painting for ME. I can't wait. If somebody is interested in buying it, that would be fantastic, but I haven't painted something to go on my walls in forever, so that is what I'm doing. That'll be my project for the next week or two. I might even have it done and ready to hang by the Christmas party next week!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Singapore Heritage Shophouse No. 89"

"Singapore Heritage Shophouse No. 89"
6x12 Oil on Panel
Click Here to Purchase
Whew, this has been a whirlwind week. I'm just flat out exhausted, to tell you the truth. Last week was another week for The Fair at Goodwood Park Hotel. It went well, made some great sales, met some new friends and collectors again. It just turns into long, long days. 

I'm a little dispirited because somehow in setting up all the Christmas decorations and getting ready for guests on Monday, my camera has gone missing. My best guess is that it somehow wound up in a bag of trash from decorations and was accidentally thrown out. Because I have literally torn this house apart looking for it. But every time I think it is lost, I remember the family legend about my grandmother "losing" a family ring that was so well hidden (in case of thieves) she didn't find it for years! Unfortunately, I don't have years to wait to find this camera. The worst part (besides having to buy a new camera) is that all of the pictures I've taken in the past month are lost along with the camera, including a commission I was working on and all the photos I took while I was in Vietnam for a week. Luckily, I've been backing up my memory card every month, but unluckily, it had been a month since I backed it up. Sigh.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Singapore Heritage Shophouse No. 88

"Singapore Heritage Shophouse No. 88"
Click Here to Purchase
This is a painting of some lanterns suspended from the second story of a shophouse. They really create a wonderful mood, don't they?

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Singapore Heritage Shophouse No. 87 - SOLD

"Singapore Heritage Shophouse No. 87"
Click Here to see other available artwork
Happy Holidays to all! I hope that you all stuffed yourselves with appropriately ridiculous amounts of food :) We went over to a friend's house with several other couples. There were enough dogs and kids running around that it felt like a good, regular, American Thanksgiving. When you are living overseas (or just not in your hometown) it can get lonely unless you have good friends to celebrate the holidays with. The first year my husband and I were here we decided to just leave Singapore and go on a trip rather than just have the two of us to sit at home alone. The past two years we have been lucky enough to have wonderful friends to act as stand-in family and help fill the house with cheer and commotion. But being on the phone the next morning as my whole family was sitting around a bonfire acting like the sick, twisted, sarcastic people we all are very much made me miss them. Maybe in a year or two we can get back for the holidays!

Speaking of holidays, if you are a reader of this blog, and in the Singapore area, (or heck, if you want to fly in, go for it!) my husband and I are having a holiday party especially for close friends and patrons. If you would like to attend, just click the link here for more information. The party is on Friday, December 16th, and we would love to have you!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Singapore Heritage Shophouse No. 86

"Singapore Heritage Shophouse No. 86"
6x6 Oil on Canvas
Click Here to Purchase
Mmmmm, as I'm in the kitchen today getting ready for Thanksgiving tomorrow, I want to let you all know how thankful I am... for everything. Without the wonderful support of my collectors, family and friends, I could not be doing what I love to do right now. I love my husband, I love my life, and I am greatly thankful for all that I have.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving, and make sure to tell someone you care about them how much they mean to you. And don't eat too much pumpkin pie!

Monday, November 21, 2011


6x6 Oil on Panel
Click Here to Purchase

Meet Bill, the water buffalo. He was our neighbor down the street from our villa in Koh Samui this summer. He wasn't too happy with me taking his picture; my husband kept the car door open and the car running just in case he decided to charge!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Singapore Heritage Shophouse No. 85

"Singapore Heritage Shophouse No. 85"
6x6 Oil on Panel
Click Here to Purchase
I love it when I get a really good cabbie. When you get a good cabbie in Singapore, they are really excellent. They'll not only know exactly where your bank's ATM is, but they'll be able to wax poetically on the answers to life. Last night I had an especially awesome one. He was jovial, happy, and couldn't say enough about the Orchid Show at Marina Bay Sands. He got to see the new Gardens by the Bay, which has been partially opened for the event. He just loved it, said there were so many different beautiful plants in there. It really inspired me. Maybe I can get by before the show closes on Sunday!

The cabbie went on to talk about his life, and how he is also a sculptor. He had this incredible life story, and has studied under almost every famous artist here in Singapore. Unfortunately, economic reality means that he is a cabbie - not doing what he loves the most. But he had this incredible outlook on life. He said that by being an artist, and by developing an artist's eye, you grow to have a different outlook on life. You see the world in brighter colored glasses than the rest of the world, and that is how he is okay with driving a cab to support his family even though he would rather be in the studio. His advise really hit home - if I didn't have such a wonderful patron (my husband) supporting the beginning of my career, life would be very different. But maybe, even with the curveballs life can throw you, now that I see the world through an artist's eyes, it would still be brighter and more beautiful to me.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Singapore Heritage Shophouses No. 84

"Singapore Heritage Shophouse No. 84"
6x6 Oil on Panel
Click Here to Purchase

Whew, this past week just left me absolutely worn out! I discovered another area of really beautiful shophouses this morning when I was delivering a painting. It is in Joo Chiat, which I knew was a fantastic place for shophouses. This was just two blocks away from the area I had been exploring earlier, but I think I had given up and gone home after exploring for several hours. It is amazing what you can find when you have a car at you disposal!

I think that is one of the biggest things that I miss living here iAsia. Not having my own car. Having a car gives you so much more independence. We live on the MRT line, which is really fantastic. But it is not quite the same as having a car at your disposal- and a Jerry\'s Artarama around the corner!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Emerald Hill #3

"Emerald Hill #3"
24x36 Oil on Canvas
Click Here to see other available Art
They've turned this little road full of shophouses into some fantastic bars and restaurants. It's very strange because they're literally right next to these 50 story high-rises. But go a block into this little area, and you can barely hear the noise from Orchard and it feels like a totally secluded area. It's also one of the most expensive - rent for a shophouse starts at $15,000/mo!

This week has been crazy busy, exhausting and fantastic all at one time. We got back from Vietnam late, late, late on Monday night. Then I rolled right into doing The Fair for two days and the AAS Charity Art Auction. (My piece sold for above retail value, yay!)

I've talked to several artists here in Singapore, and they are really re-affirming my sense that self-promoting my art is the way to go. I would love to have a gallery here that really helped nurture and build my career; in the meantime, I would also love to have a unicorn. I am meeting so many wonderful people that are nurturing me that much more! I learned a ton this week, and I am looking forward to getting back into the studio tomorrow. Lots to paint!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Singapore Heritage Shophouse No. 83

"Singapore Heritage Shophouse No. 83"
8x10 Oil on Panel
Available at the AAS Auction, Thursday, November 10th, 7-9:30pm
This is a painting of the architectural detail of a house on Emerald Hill. It is going up for auction next week for the American Association, and benefitting the Children's Cancer Foundation here in Singapore. It looks like the night should be an amazing night of art and auctioning. If you are here, you should head over there and help a good cause!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Singapore Heritage Shophouse No. 82

"Singapore Heritage Shophouse No. 82"
6x6 Oil on Panel
Click Here to Purchase
This is a painting from Geylang (I'm pretty sure), the red-light district in Singapore. Doing all these night scenes has really forced me to pay attention to detail. There are so many light sources bouncing around, of so many different colors, you really have to pay attention to which light is affecting which area, and what color it is casting on it. But I love the effects! I'm off to Vietnam today to do some recon work, I'm hoping to get some good reference photos to continue expanding my painting to the rest of SE Asia. Plus, I might stop in one of the tailors and get a dress or two made ;)

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Singapore Heritage Shophouse No. 81

"Singapore Heritage Shophouse No. 81"
6x6 Oil on Panel
Click Here to Purchase

I definitely had some wipe-offs in the past month or so, but things have been progressing well. This is the second successful shophouse that I have done. The hubby and I have also been busy, because we acquired a new studio assistant last week. Meet Jax:

He's a tough one to get a picture of, but when he isn't trying to tell me that my paint brushes need cleaning (no, Jax, no!) he is a wonderfully tempered puppy. Only 6 months old, so there is still a LOT of work to be done, but he seems to have a good base. Nevertheless, he's totally kept me on my toes this past week. I forgot how much responsibility and time a dog takes!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Singaproe Heritage Shophouse No. 80

"Singapore Heritage Shophouse No. 80"
6x6 Oil on Panel
Click Here to Purchase

This is the first painting I did after I got back from home leave and Karin's workshop. Having over 50 colors on my palette has opened an entirely new world up to me that I did not even realize existed. I've really been focusing on  transitioning color; not having any one part of a plane be static. I'm trying to find the colors within the shadows, within the light. It is an entirely new purpose, and very exciting!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Singapore Heritage Shophouse No. 79

"Singapore Heritage Shophouse No. 79"
6x6 Oil on Panel
Click Here to Purchase
This was the last painting I did before heading out to NYC this spring (wow, it took a looong time to post all of these!). This is a lovely corner in Little India, at night.

We just got back from a wonderful weekend in Malaysia for my birthday. We found a place that is completely cut off from civilization. There is no cell phone reception, no TV, no internet. Just some beach bungalows, the beach, a bar, and your tasty beverage - and of course a few friends! In this crazy, hectic place we live, I appreciate being unplugged for a couple of days. It is wonderful to not be bombarded by all of the distractions modern day life can have. When you take away all the distractions, you're forced to interact with people face to face, and find things to do that don't involve computers and phones. We usually re-discover our passion for boardgames. Plus - once we're not all on our phones all the time, that is when we start solving the problems of the world via deep, profound discussions. Because, you know, all the worlds problems are best solved between 12-2am over an ice cold drink. ;)

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Singapore Heritage Shophouse No. 78

"Singapore Heritage Shophouse No. 78"
6x6 Oil on Panel
Click Here to Purchase
Happy Wednesday! Here is another nighttime scene from one of the shophouses.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Singapore Heritage Shophouse No. 77

"Singapore Heritage Shophouse No. 77"
6x6 Oil on Panel
Click Here to Purchase
This shophouse was such fun to paint. This one was totally all about the mood. It was kind of funny, because I originally was worried that this was a sign for a house of ill-repute. To be fair, the sign was in Geylang (the red-light district) and it is RED. But upon asking one of the local artists, who knows Mandarin, he said it was a sign for Korean BBQ. Not exactly what I thought it was. Interestingly enough, the first character, with the kind of T as its backbone, symbolizes horns, like beef, for BBQ (or might have been mutton, I can't remember).

In an everyday life in Singapore note, locals are totally fascinated by how westerners cook with an oven. Ours was broken when we moved in, which the landlord didn't think was a big deal. Ahem, but no. In any case, the owner's handyman, Kelvin, was in here today, uninstalling the broken oven.

Kelvin: "Ah, soon you have new oven, very very good!"
Me: "Yup."
Kelvin: "This oven big! Very big! Very good for you!"
Me: "Yes! Now I can cook whole chicken in the oven!"
Kelvin: "No! This one you can cook TURKEY! Big Turkey! Christmas time coming, Turkey for Christmas!"
Me: "Sure..."

I just find it hysterical that the locals all think we eat turkey for Christmas dinner, and that is apparently why we need these crazy oven contraptions. They really think that the only thing we cook in there is turkey, lots and lots of turkey. 

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Singapore Heritage Shophouse No. 75 - SOLD

"Singapore Heritage Shophouse No. 75"
Click Here for other available Artwork
Singapore has a very interesting relationship with the environment. For example, the island is on the equator, and it does turn into a jungle if left for any amount of time. Nevertheless, the government has cultivated a "garden city" image of endless orchids, palm trees and carefully landscaped shrubbery, giving the false impression of a good relationship with nature. But everything is so controlled that people never go camping, never go hiking (unless it is a guided path with lots of "Don't feed the monkeys!!!" signs on it), they never really experience the outdoors. Which, don't get me wrong, when compared to the woods we trekked through in New Hampshire as a child, the jungle here is pretty intimidating. Bugs are WAY bigger, and snakes are WAY scarier (think verticulating python).

Nevertheless, the government just amuses me. There is a flock of birds that have roosted in some trees on the most expensive shopping district in Singapore, Orchard Road. The birds moved their roost to Orchard after trees were torn down to build a parking garage (and thus more malls). Well, this situation has been deemed totally unacceptable, as they birds, heaven forbid, might be a bit loud. Or even worse, shoppers might wind up a casualty of a bird dropping! So, the government (in conjunction with the Wildlife Authority) is bringing in trained hawks to scare away the smaller birds to a new roost. The only concern? The hawks might turn wild and attack people! Sigh.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Singapore Heritage Shophouse No. 74

"Singapore Heritage Shophouse No. 74"
6x6 Oil on Panel
Click Here to Purchase
My bad on not posting last week. It has been a crazy week of unpacking and intermittent internet availability. My husband and his friend have been trying to set up something with our internet that will be "incredibly awesome and amazing," at least in nerd terms (my husband is an engineer and loves this kind of thing, although it is lost on me completely). Unfortunately, until it is set up completely, a good portion of the time the adjustments to the system result in cutting off the internet to my computer. The guys are having fun with it, though, so I am behind them.

This night scene was from one of the more colorful districts here in Singapore. I just loved how all of the neon bounced crazy colors off of its surroundings.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Singapore Heritage Shophouse No. 71 - SOLD

"Singapore Heritage Shophouse No. 71"
12x6 Oil on Panel
We are finally sleeping in our new apartment. I made sure to get my studio unpacked before everything else, so I am at least getting 1/2 days to paint. The rest of the time I'm trying to finish the unpacking for the rest of the house, meeting with the handyman to get things fixed, going grocery shopping, etc. Hopefully we will be fully settled in by the end of the week. Other than that, I am trying to get lots of painting done between now and the end of November. I signed up for the Goodwood Park Fair in both November and December, so I have my fingers crossed that I will be able to sell some paintings!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Singapore Heritage Shophouse No. 70 - SOLD

"Singapore Heritage Shophouse No. 70"



This weekend has been relaxing and hectic all in the same go. We move apartments next weekend, which normally in the US would be no big deal. You might hire a mover, or to save money just rent a truck for the weekend and pack it yourself. Or, if you have a lot of friends with trucks (and we have been one of those friends) you enlist the help of your benevolent friends' help with promise of payment in beer and pizza. Ah, the good old days.

Now, for better or for worse, any movement we make in Singapore is tied to an HR department. (Besides the face few people own cars, much less a nice, big, pickup truck!) You don't really realize how much freedom you are giving away by getting their "help" and support. So rather than having the ability to find a mover, or even make a decision, it takes a three day game of telephone between six people (usually three of which speak about three to five words of english) to figure out anything. It gets a little disconcerting when I've spoken to the owner of the moving company, Peter, and he says he'll come over for the estimate. Later that day, another gentleman, who is not Peter, shows up. Here is how our moving estimation progressed:

Him: "You move?"
Me: "Yes, when do you come to pack?"
Him: (points to washer/dryer) "Take, take?"
Me: "No, No. What day to pack?"
Him: (points to bed, fridge, other various items) "Take, take?"
Me: "No, yes, no, no, no, all this, look! Lots of items in closet. What day can we schedule?"
Him: (complete and total look of confusion, then a look of understanding and clarity) "Ah! 40 cartons, can, can-lah?"
Me: "Can, but what day?"
Him: "I call boss."

That, almost literally, was the entire extent of our conversation. Needless to say, it gets a little strange when everything has to go through HR, and I'm actually happier that I am packing our things. The boxes were delivered on Saturday (we get to pack ourselves, but we have people to carry the heavy stuff, yay!) and we are about 80% packed. This week is pretty busy, so I won't get much of a chance to paint, but I'll hopefully get some chance...

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Singapore Heritage Shophouse No. 68

"Singapore Heritage Shophouse No. 68"
6x16 Oil on Panel
Click Here to Purchase
This was the painting and post that Blogger devoured. It is of a row of houses in the Chinatown area, on the main drag. I think my favorite part about these houses is that I didn't make up any of the colors that they had on them. All five of them have a really wonderful red/green color scheme going on.

Monday, September 19, 2011


6x12 Oil on Panel
Click Here to Purchase
I've taken a little break this week from the shophouses, and expanded into the rest of Southeast Asia. It is definitely a challenge, and the paintings are taking much longer than the little shophouse ones, but I also think that the quality is coming out very nicely. This is a fond memory from Koh Samui, an little tiny island in the middle of the South China Sea, off the east coast of Thailand. 

Also, Blogger seems to have eaten one of my posts, about which I apologize. I posted number 68, but then it never appeared on the blog or on my list of entries. It has disappeared somewhere, probably the same place that socks go when only one of a pair comes out of the dryer. Those gremlins are awful!

Test Post

Did Blogger just eat a post? Sorry if this winds up being emailed to you! Here is a photo of a lovely beach at sunset just in case it winds up in your inbox:

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Singapore Heritage Shophouse No. 67 - SOLD

"Singapore Heritage Shophouse No. 65"
6x16 Oil on Panel
This longer panel is of a bright orange building down in the heart of Chinatown. In so many other cities and towns, this would be a vulgar, garish thing. It is literally Clemson orange with Chinese red trim and some aqua accents on the shutters. One of the most interesting combinations of colors I've ever seen, but it strangely works for the building. To be fair, it is next to a school but yellow with cobalt blue trim building, so it is in great company!

I thought you all would enjoy a "welcome to Asia" moment I had last night. Pictogram - FAIL. To make the context even more amusing, it was seen at a port-o-potty at the Swiss Club Oktoberfest event. So that meant a bunch of locals and Germans and Swiss in full Lederhosen. Locals in Lederhosen is definitely a sight to see. But back to the sign, even the Asia hardened people I know here were left unsure at the meaning! I think the best explanation we had was that you are not allowed to throw away carrots or spareribs, but you are allowed to throw away annual reports. However, you can only throw away annual reports when barefoot and when you are not smoking. Silly, I know, but so is the sign!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Singapore Heritage Shophouse No. 66 - SOLD

"Singapore Heritage Shophouse No. 65"
6x6 Oil on Panel
This was a really cool scene in Chinatown after dark. I believe it was close to Temple St. The more I am working on these shophouses, the more I am having a lot of fun using the camera parallax to really warp, twist and accentuate the perspective in a way that enhances the mood.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Singapore Heritage Shophouse No. 65

"Singapore Heritage Shophouse No. 65"
6x6 Oil on Panel
Click Here to purchase

This is one of my personal favorites in this whole series. There is a hawker/restaurant on a corner in Geylang (an area of Singapore that has an, um, colorful, reputation). None of the signs on this building have any English on them, and the upstairs is completely dark. But just in case you have any doubt about what they serve, they have this giant banner hanging up. Duck rice is actually a really tasty dish. Now, it of course won't compare to the braised duck I had when my uncle treated me to a dinner at Louis XVI in New Orleans, but for $5 you can get a very appetizing meal. One of the things I am always tickled about is how universal certain things are, like pantomime. Or giant banners with a duck on them.

In other news, I've been working hard on this blog and the website. I worked on a new layout and banner across the top of the blog, and the website is now being updated with all the current artwork for sale. Not as fun as painting, but definitely necessary!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Singapore Heritage Shophouse No. 63

This shophouse is in an area right next to Chinatown known as Duxton Hill. After dark there are all kinds of wonderful neon lights that cast lots of fun, crazy light and shadows on the shophouses. 

Singapore Heritage Shophouse No. 68

"Singapore Heritage Shophouse No. 68"
6x6 Oil on Panel
Click Here to purchase
This is a little scene of several shophouses together in Chinatown. The is one of the main drags going through the area. I just love how different the architecture and facades are on all of them, but they still seem to coordinate color wise!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Singapore Heritage Shophouse No. 62

Singapore Heritage Shophouse No. 62
6"x6" Oil on Canvas
Click Here to Purchase

Life in the tropics... I've now had three good painting days this week (today is going to be included), and I have gotten so much done. I love it! I spent a good portion of this summer really looking at my artwork, and the business end of it, and what direction will be best for my artwork and myself. Do I want to go play in the "big leagues?" Do I want to just paint for myself and have my husband be the breadwinner? Do I want to just be a hobbyist and go to lunches and volunteer here and paint when I feel like it? 

This has been quite an evolution in both my art and myself. We live here in Asia, and we could wind up having to move somewhere else on very short notice. Luckily, these circumstances have made it so that we do not depend on my income from art, and I am more or less allowed to pursue it at my leisure.  But at the same time, if we lived back in the US, our situation would most likely be more rooted and stable, allowing me to better establish myself as an artist. I could sell online (right now shipping costs basically negate any profit I could have). Galleries are much easier to approach if you are local, etc.

Pursuing your passion at your leisure may seem wonderful as well, but then you are treated as a hobbyist. I don't want to be treated as a hobbyist. I want this to be my job, my livelihood. Getting into major galleries in the US and breaking into the NYC or San Francisco art scenes doesn't really concern me, but I do want people whom I meet and see my work to take me seriously. So, long story short, I've decided to step up my game and focus on the local market here in Singapore. I think that as I get better as an artist here, and continue to grow and define myself, things will eventually happen in the US as well. I've been too scattered as of late.

The local art market in Singapore (and the rest of Asia) is completely different from America. The biggest difference is that most Asians don't buy art because they like it. They buy it like they would buy a piece of real estate - for potential investment growth. Disturbing. So, because of this, the gallery system is a little strange, and I think I'll be avoiding it. So the next step will be self-promotion here in Singapore. Art fairs, art (like tupperware) parties, all kinds of fun things. I know that expats respond best to my art, so I'm going to go where they are and find them. 

I also am stepping up my game with the quality of my art. I learned so much this summer from Karin Jurick, and I don't think it is best to post a blog post just to post. If I produce a wipe-off one day, then there just won't be a post that day. I think it is much better to have a consistent body of excellent work than some mediocre work in there. So, I apologize to my mother if now through Shophouse #79 I skip a couple. Those were some that now I would have gone back and wiped off.

It will definitely be a new adventure, but one I think is worth pursuing. We could move anywhere, at any time, and I think by focusing on my experience abroad that I can be the truest to both myself and my art. One of the most terrifying realizations I had after I graduated from college was that the only thing that was getting in between myself and my happiness and dreams was... myself. Time to check that ego at the door and roll up the sleeves and get to work.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Singapore Heritage Shophouse No. 61

"Singapore Heritage Shophouse Series No. 61"
6x6 Oil on Canvas
Click Here to Purchase
Wow, I have a lot going through my mind right now. I just heard about Carol Marine losing her house to the wildfires in Texas. My heart goes out to them. They literally got out just before the fire hit their subdivision. I've seen a lot of loss with hurricanes, but with those you have some time to prepare, time to make a choice. You can decide what to bring with you, you can decide to stay or go. With something as fast as a forest fire, you just have enough time to get out. My heart goes out to her and her family. They have done so much for the daily painting movement, given back an incredible amount.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Singapore Heritage Shophouse No. 59 - SOLD

Singapore Heritage Shophouse No. 59
6x6 Oil on Panel
This more detailed view of a shophouse is a great example of how ornate the moulding gets around some of these houses. They not only paint them in different, fun colors, but the moulding will show phoenix, vines, flowers, and more. As a painter, it can be a bit overwhelming, but I did have a lot of fun with this one showing that bit of detail.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Emerald Hill Series #2 - SOLD

"Emerald Hill #2"
Oil on Canvas
This painting is one of five that I am doing for a private commission. Emerald Hill is this great little conservation area in the middle of the HUGE shopping district, Orchard Road. Luckily, I was able to finish this early in the week before other life things took over...

I've spent the better part of this week with a friend in the hospital here in Singapore. I'm totally not a natural care-taker - in fact, I'm a lot like a bull in a china shop when it comes to stuff like that. Nevertheless, none of us have family over here, and a lot of my friends aren't married, so they don't have a spouse to come and help them out, which is no fun. It wasn't anything sudden, she just had to go in for a fairly routine surgery, but it required staying overnight for two nights after.

If I have learned anything from this experience, it is that I definitely want someone with me if I ever have to go into the hospital abroad, especially Asia. Firstly, they are incredibly tight-fisted with pain medication over here. My friend came out of her surgery and they wanted to just give her Panadol (Tylenol) and Naproxen (Aleve). Seriously? She just came out of surgery, and you want to only give her Aleve?!?! I think the nurses are also less educated and empowered than the ones in the US. Quite often I've met nurses in the US that are way more on top of things than the doctors themselves. Not so much here. Every medicinal decision required direct negotiation with the doctor, and not just my friends regular surgeon, but the anesthesiologist. Is it like that in the US? In any case, luckily, her anesthesiologist was awesome, and made sure that she got the appropriate pain meds. It just took several hours of bullying the nurses before they were convinced to get her involved. Oh well, you live and learn!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Singapore Heritage Shophouse No. 58

Singapore Heritage Shophouse No. 58
6x6 Oil on Panel
Click Here to Purchase
I'm FINALLY back in the studio again, working on a four painting commission for someone here in Singapore. Oh how I have missed it! I have literally not picked up a paintbrush since Karin Jurick's workshop in late May. How awful is that? Unfortunately, sometimes we have to take care of things with life in order to be able to continue painting. Plus, I don't know about you all, but sometimes a forced break from painting makes me want to come back to it even more!

One of those things I have had focus my energy on was finding a new apartment. If I were in the US, this would kind of be a fun adventure. There are a lot of resources, realtors must be licensed, etc. Not so much here in Singapore. It has been pretty difficult to find a two bedroom over 800 sq.ft. On top of that, they manage to chop up all the usable room into something totally unusable. For example, one of the "two bedrooms" we viewed had a second bedroom that was literally 4'x5'. I looked the agent straight in the eye, and I said "Where is the 2nd bedroom?" "Right there lah!" He said. I just looked at him like he had lost his marbles. On the plus side, that unit did have a fantastic balcony. Ha. So, needless to say, it has been a bit difficult to find a place closer in to town that can also have a second bedroom big enough for me to lie down in - much less have as a studio!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Singapore Heritage Shophouse No. 57 - SOLD

Singapore Heritage Shophouse No. 57
6x6 Oil on Panel
This was one of my favorites - a scene from Chinatown at night.  I was super happy that it sold at the show, and went to such great homes.  

On a painting note, I'm not going to lie - I'm in a bit of a rut.  Life is getting in the way.  Last week was fantastic, don't get me wrong.  At one point we found a private beach that had a pony, and a three dog welcoming party that included the most beautiful yellow lab that wanted to play fetch.  It was amazing.  A beach with a pony.  A beach with no people, and stray (well, communal is a better term I guess) dogs.  

Paradise.  Beautiful, but not helping me paint.  We're having a huge 4th of July get together this weekend, so I'm trying to get things together for that, and then it takes a solid 2-3 days to get packed to be out of town for 3+ weeks.  So, painting has been pushed to the side for the moment, unfortunately.  Duty calls.  I'll still keep posting the work from the show, and hopefully I'll get to squeeze a day or two in here and there.  I hope everyone's summer is going well!    

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Singapore Heritage Shophouse No. 56

Singapore Heritage Shophouse No. 56
6x6 Oil on Panel
Click Here to purchase
Another shot of how everyone air dries their clothing here.  Plus, this one is also appropriate because I'm doing a mad laundry dash before leaving for Koh Samui.  A week of fun and sun with the hubby and another couple in Thailand.  I'm really looking forward to it, to be honest.  Hopefully we can get some diving in as well!  This happens to coincide with our third wedding anniversary, so I think it will be just awesome. Happy Father's Day to all the dads out there, and I'll continue blogging from the beach!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Singapore Heritage Shophouse No. 55

"Singapore Heritage Shophouse No. 55"
6x6 Oil on Panel
Click Here to Purchase
I'm finally getting back into the swing of things, and it's just about time to check out again for a week.  Sigh.  The summers are always super hectic here.  People are gone a lot visiting family, new people are moving in, others are getting transferred out, and  usually we are traveling ourselves; things just seem to be busy.  Speaking of which, I had a lovely lunch and foray to the art store with someone who is new to Singapore.  I love getting new people into the city; it is such a breath of fresh air.  New friendships new experiences, new stories.  Plus I would be lying if I didn't say I wasn't kind of worried with most of our friends repatriating (moving back to the US) at the end of December.  The future was starting to look a bit lonely. 

In any case, I was also waxing about how efficient yet completely inefficient Singapore can be.  Library, car tolls and parking violations are the most scarily efficient process I have ever seen.  There are no people involved and it is totally automated.  Notifications of fines and fees are sent via mail.  Other things, not so much.  Like any kind of internet payment.  With a lot of the payment vendors online, you have to enter your debit card info on the website, then it sends you a text message to verify that the transaction was authorized (even on small transactions - like $20 for movie tickets), then you have to type in the verification code from your text message back onto a special website within three minutes or your transaction resets. It's a total nightmare.

So today I was trying to register my business with Singapore (online, super efficient, right?).  It's about a three step process, once you go through the eight step process of getting a special PIN that requires you to sign over your first born child while getting a text message and hopping on your left foot (and I digress... I really don't get these extra special PINs and passwords that can only be obtained through superhuman means).  In any case, after this short, three step process, I accidentally clicked on the wrong form of payment.  Any other website in the west, it would be no big deal, just click back, or exit out, or whatever.  Nope, instead, I get this crazy screen of doom:

"Please try again after 27 minutes" SERIOUSLY?  27?  I'll rate you!
So now its an hour later and I still can't get the website to acknowledge the fact that I exist.  Le sigh.  I was just ONE STEP AWAY from a perfect efficient easy experience.  Welcome to Asia.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Arab Street View

Arab Street View
6x6 Oil on Panel
Click Here to Purchase
This is my first attempt post-workshop in NYC.  Of course it was a doozy!  Why in the world would I ever attempt something easy.  Pshaw.  It would be a complete lie to say that it has been easy to get back on the wagon since returning from the US.  I've been going through all of my pictures and I just can't seem to get inspired.  Luckily, this one is a photo that I have been dying to paint for almost two years now.  I just didn't feel like my skill set was up to snuff enough to tackle it.  Now, thanks to the boost I got from Karin Jurick's workshop, I really feel like I was able to do this scene justice.  

Karin's workshop was great, it really reminded me about why I started this journey in the first place.  Being in school and working on my MFA has been phenomenal, and I really think I have leapfrogged in my learning much more so that if I was trying to teach myself or taking workshops.  Nevertheless, I've been starting to feel a bit pigeonholed at school, and Karin was a breath of fresh air to remember to be myself.  For example, when I was in college (and we were all dirt poor) - two of my guy friends (one was my future husband, actually!) gave me a fan deck from Sherwin Williams because they knew how much color made me happy.  I'm not going to digress about how this should have been a resounding alarm bell about pursuing a finance degree... oh wait I just digressed.  In any case, I've been feeling like just the 10 or so colors we are "allowed" on class haven't been enough.  Karin forced me to buy 50 or 60 (I currently have 64 on my palette) colors.  All of a sudden, I feel like my work is much more vibrant, and I love it.  

Monday, June 13, 2011

Singapore Heritage Shophouse No. 54

"Singapore Heritage Shophouse No. 54"
6x6 Oil on Panel
Click Here to Purchase
This is another one in Chinatown, just down the street from where I have my studio.  I spent the weekend literally taking inventory of all of my new supplies.  Since moving my studio back into the house for the summer, it has been a little cluttered.  And by cluttered, I mean, "hurricane hit" is an apt descriptor.  By the time I got back from the US with at least 100 new tubes of paint, I had no clue what I had, much less what it looks like or how it works.  So I eased back into the painting mindset by exploring one of my favorite things in the world - color.  
Look at all the pretty colors!  My palette will probably never be that pretty again :)

Friday, June 10, 2011

Singapore Heritage Shophouse No. 53

"Singapore Heritage Shophouse No. 53"
6x6 Oil on Panel
$110 Available Here
I really loved this little shophouse.  It was on an overcast day, so all of the local color was close to the actual colors you saw, such a rare occurrence in life.  This made such an interesting abstracted little composition.

Pardon my not posting for almost three weeks.  I was in NYC for Karin Jurick's workshop (which was awesome, and I'll go into later).  I had full intentions to continue posting through the workshop and the week after when I was home with family, but it was just crazy.  I'm finally back in Singapore and unpacked, and trying to wrap my head around everything I learned and experienced.  Just trying to (literally) take inventory of everything and get organized enough to continue on.  This is going to be a super-hectic summer.  Phew!

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